This tomb, on the outskirts of Istanbul, belongs to Abu Ayyub Ansari (may Allah be pleased with him) who was a great and close companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him).
Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA – From Madinah to Constantinople::
Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA born Khalid bin Zayd bin Kulayb in Yathrib — hailed from the tribe of Banu Najjar and was a close companion (Arabic: الصحابه, sahaba) of Muhammad. He was named after the biblical Job. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA was one among the Ansar (Arabic: الأنصار, meaning aiders, helpers or patrons) of early Muslim history or those who supported Rasulullah SAW after the hegira (migration) to Medina in 622. The patronym Abu Ayub means father (Abu) of Ayub and enjoyed a privilege which many of the Ansar in Madinah hoped they would have.
When Rasulullah SAW reached Madinah after his Hijrah from Makkah, he was greeted with great enthusiasm by the Ansar of Madinah. Their hearts went out to him and their eyes followed him with devotion and love. They wanted to give Rasulullah SAW the most generous reception anyone could be given.
Rasulullah SAW first stopped at Quba on the outskirts of Madinah and stayed there for some days. The first thing he did was to build a mosque which is described in the Quran as the “mosque built on the foundation of piety (taqwa)”. (Surah At-Taubah 9: 1O8).
Rasulullah SAW entered Madinah on his camel. The chieftains of the city stood along his path, each one wishing to have the honor of Rasulullah SAW alighting and staying at his house. One after the other stood in the camel’s way entreating, “Stay with us, O Rasulullah.” “Leave the camel,” Rasulullah SAW would say. “It is under command.”
The camel continued walking, closely followed by the eyes and hearts of the people of Yathrib. When it went past a house, its owner would feel sad and dejected and hope would rise in the hearts of others still on the route.
It wasn’t just Rasulullah SAW & Abu Bakr traveling to Madinah, but also the entire community of Quba walking along with them. As the Prophet were riding his camel, hundreds of men surrounded the camel of Rasulullah SAW & were walking along with him
This wasn’t just a journey or traveling from one location to another, but an entire procession was moving. It was a slow journey from the Masjid of Quba to the place that would eventually be designated as Masjid al-Nabawi As-Sharif in Madinah.
On the way, it was time for Zhur. Rasulullah SAW stopped in the neighborhood of Banu Salem, a spot between some of the mountains in the outskirts of Madinah.
Musa’ab bin Umair & As’ad bin Zurara (one of the leaders of the Ansar) were sent by Rasulullah SAW to institute the Friday prayer after Rasulullah SAW’s second meeting with the Ansar, so Salah al Jumu’ah had been going on for some time now.
After prayer, Rasulullah SAW gave the Khutbah.
Majority of the scholars of Seerah don’t mention the Khutbah because it’s not authentically narrated.
The weak narrations state Rasulullah SAW’s Khutbah was over Dunya & akhirah. Rasulullah SAW talked about prioritizing the life of the Hereafter over the life of this world. Rasulullah SAW talked about how humans will live & experience these two worlds – the Dunya & the akhirah, & about the magnitude of the greatness of the Hereafter when you compare it to the temporal nature of the life of this world. Rasulullah SAW emphasized to his companions to prioritize the akhirah over the Dunya. It was a very short & brief Khutbah (about 10 minutes)
– After Rasulullah SAW concluded with the Khutbah & got on his camel, he was surrounded by some of the men of Banu Salem
These group of men, which included leaders Itbaan bin Malik & Abbas bin Ubadah bin Nadhlah, were holding the rope of the she-camel of the Prophet
The men of Banu Salem told the Prophet, “Stay with us, Ya Rasulullah. We have numbers. We are ready, and we will protect you.”
Rasulullah SAW showed appreciation for their offer and said, “Leave the rope of the she-camel. She is under the command of Allah SWT. The she-camel will stop where Allah SWT has decreed for me to take up residence. Until then, leave the she-camel. It’s not even me who is directing her. It is directly under the guidance and instruction of Allah.”
– The scholars of Seerah have discussed the wisdom and lesson of leadership of this part.-
Before Islam came to Madinah, the two major Arab tribes were Aus. & Khazraj, and the 3 major Jewish tribes were Qaynuqa, Quraydha, & Nadir
There was a full-scale civil war in this region
Aus and Khazraj had declared war against one another. They had multiple severe full-scale battles, where hundreds of people were killed.
About 14 Sahabah & 70 Mushrikun died at the Battle of Badr
In these battles between Aus and Khazraj, hundreds were killed. It was very severe, and in our modern day equivalent it would be like thousands of people dying in battles.
The Jewish tribes were split – Qaynuqa had teamed up with Khazraj, while Nadir & Quraydha had teamed up with Aus
Everyone was fighting everyone else in Madinah Al Munawarrah.
The last major battle they had was 5 years before Rasulullah SAW arrived in Madinah and that day was known as Yaum al Buath, in which hundreds of people were killed from all tribes.
Only 5 years had passed, so the wounds were still very fresh. Things were still delicate
Islam had been in Madinah for nearly 2 years by the time of Rasulullah SAW’s arrival. Things were starting to root and established, the formerly warring tribes were slowly getting past their issues
Rasulullah SAW was very sensitive to the dynamic in Madinah
He understood that going one way or another, with showing preference to any one tribe over another would just bring about old issues and conflict that had been to rest. Rasulullah SAW didn’t want to stir any old wounds, so he abstained from this
Even if there wasn’t this history between the tribes, if the Prophet himself verbally decided to choose any one tribe, neighborhood, family, or one person, it could possibly lead to someone (or many people) feeling slighted
If Rasulullah SAW himself decided, “I’m going to stay with that person who not many people have heard of,” then someone else, like As’ad bin Zurarah RA, might go, ““What about me? I was one of the first people that came to you in Makkah all the way from Madinah. I gave you the Oath of Allegiance. Nobody was following you. I established a whole community here. I hosted Musa’ab bin Umair RA. What about me?”
Even if As’ad bin Zurarah RA never said these things, because the Sahabah had the utmost respect for Rasulullah SAW he would still feel bad possibly.
For Rasulullah SAW to abstain from all of this there was this divine plan. That’s why Rasulullah SAW said to Banu Salem, “This is in the hands of Allah. The she-camel is being guided by Allah, so leave it be.”
Many scholars of the Seerah mentioned that as the Prophet passed through every single neighborhood, several men of each tribe would hold the rope of the she-camel and ask the Prophet to stay
When the Prophet passed through the neighborhood of Banu Bayada, Ziyad bin Labeed and Furwat bin Amr came and grabbed the rope of Rasulullah SAW’s she-camel, saying, “Come to us, Ya Rasulullah. We’re ready. We’re prepared.”
Rasulullah SAW politely told them, “Leave the she-camel. It’s under the command of Allah.”
Rasulullah SAW passed through Banu Sayyidah, where the same thing occurred. Rasulullah SAW then passed through the neighborhood of Banu Al-Harith, where the same thing occurred. He then passed though the neighborhoods of Banu Adi ibn Najr, Rasulullah SAW’s distant relatives.
Salma bint ‘Amr, the great-grandmother of Rasulullah SAW, was from this Banu Najjar. She was the fifth wife of Rasulullah SAW’s great-grandfather, Hashim bin Abd Manaf
When Rasulullah SAW passed through this tribe, the leaders Salit bin Kais and his father held on to the rope of the she-camel and said, “Ya Rasulullah, come live with your uncles.”
Rasulullah SAW again excused himself and politely declined the offer
– As he is passing through neighborhood after neighborhood, the Prophet passed by the home of Abdullah Ubay bin Sulul, a leader of Khazraj, who would later be known as the Ra’isul Munafiqeen (Leader of the Hypocrites).
He was a major force against the Muslims & the community of Rasulullah SAW. He was difficult to deal with & later down on the road, he created problems for the Prophet.
Several men of Khazraj told Rasulullah SAW, “Ya Rasulullah, we would appreciate it if you could show a little bit of love to Abdullah Ubay bin Sulul. The reason for that is that he is a leader of Khazraj. We had put the wars behind us and we had developed a consensus that we would declare him to be the leader of the entire city of Madinah the final decision and final word when it comes to our affairs in Khazraj. Not only did the Arab tribes Aus and Khazraj agreed to make Abdullah Ubay our leader, but also the Jewish tribes have agreed to this. All of this was set until a few individuals from our tribes came back from the season of Hajj and started talking about the fact that they met Rasulullah SAW. From there on, the rest is history. The majority of our city is Muslim now and we wait for you and look to you and we’re ecstatic that you’re here to lead us now. Abdullah Ubay now feels that he has been sidelined because of this whole process and we feel like his feelings might be a little hurt, so if you could show a little love to him, then that would be great. We could maybe avoid some type of conflict.”
– The humility and pragmatic leadership of Rasulullah SAW is such that he obliged this request. As Rasulullah SAW was passing through the neighborhoods, he stopped outside the house of Abdullah Ubay bin Sulul
Rasulullah SAW asked someone to go and tell Abdullah Ubay that Rasulullah SAW would like to meet with him. Some of the members of the tribe of Khazraj went to Abdullah Ubay’s his door and knocked.
Abdullah Ubay came near his door (but didn’t open it) & asked, “What do you want?”
He knew that there was all this commotion in Madinah today because of Rasulullah SAW arrival, so he was hiding out inside of his house.
The members of Khazraj said, “Rasulullah SAW is requesting permission to come into your house and pay you a personal visit.”
Abdullah bin Ubay bin Sulul opened the door and said loudly enough for Rasulullah SAW to hear, “Why don’t you go and visit those people who have called you here? I didn’t ask you to come to my city. I didn’t call you here.Visit those people who called you here. I don’t have time for this.”
Then he slammed the door
Sa’ad bin Ubadah went up to Rasulullah SAW and trying to make sure that Rasulullah SAW had no hard feelings, said to Rasulullah, “Ya Rasulullah, we were going to make him a leader, but then Allah blessed us with you. That’s why he’s just having trouble dealing with that reality. Please excuse him.”
Rasulullah SAW didn’t say anything. Rasulullah SAW just got back on his camel and continued on his way.
Rasulullah SAW continued on his journey within in Madinah until he came upon the neighborhood of Banu Malik bin Najjar.
The camel continued in this fashion with the people following it until it hesitated at an open space in front of the house of Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA. But Rasulullah SAW did not get down. After only a short while, the camel set off again, Rasulullah SAW leaving its reins loose. Before long, however, it turned round, retraced its steps and stopped on the same spot as before. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA’s heart was filled with happiness. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA went out to Rasulullah SAW and greeted him with great enthusiasm. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA took Rasulullah SAW’s baggage in his arms and felt as if he was carrying the most precious treasure in the world.
Early years of Madinah Al Munawarrah
Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA’s house had two stories. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA emptied the upper floor of his and his family’s possessions so that Rasulullah SAW could stay there. But Rasulullah SAW preferred to stay on the lower floor.
Night came and Rasulullah SAW retired. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA went up to the upper floor. But when they had closed the door, Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA turned to his wife and said:
“Woe to us! What have we done? Rasulullah is below and we are higher than he! Can we walk on top of Rasulullah? Do we come between him and the Revelation (Wahi)? If so we are doomed.”
The couple became very worried not knowing what to do. They only got some peace of mind when they moved to the side of the building which did not fall directly above Rasulullah SAW. They were careful also only to walk on the outer parts of the floor and avoid the middle.
In the morning, Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA said to Rasulullah SAW: “By Allah, we did not sleep a wink last night, neither I nor Umm Ayub.” “Why not, Abu Ayub?” asked Rasulullah SAW. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA explained how terrible they felt being above while Rasulullah SAW was below them and how they might have interrupted the Revelation. “Don’t worry, Abu Ayub,” said the Prophet. “We prefer the lower floor because of the many people coming to visit us.” “We submitted to Rasulullah SAW’s wishes,” Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA related, “until one cold night a jar of ours broke and the water spilled on the upper floor. Umm Ayub and I stared at the water and we only had one piece of velvet which we used as a blanket. We used it to mop up the water out of fear that it would seep through to Rasulullah SAW. In the morning I went to him and said, ‘I do not like to be above you,’ and told him what had happened. He accepted my wish and we changed floors.”
Rasulullah SAW stayed in Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA’s house for almost seven months until his mosque was completed on the open space where his camel had stopped. Rasulullah SAW moved to the roots which were built around the mosque for himself and his family. He thus became a neighbor of Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA. What noble neighbor to have had!
Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA continued to love Rasulullah SAW with his entire heart end Rasulullah SAW also loved him dearly. There was no formality between them. Rasulullah SAW continued to regard Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA’s house as his own. The following anecdote tells a great deal about the relationship between them.
Saidina Abu Bakr RA, once left his house in the burning heat of the midday sun and went to the mosque. Umar saw him and asked, “Abu Bakr, what has brought you out at this hour? Saidina Abu Bakr RA said he had left his house because he was terribly hungry and Saidina Umar RA said that he had left his house for the same reason. Rasulullah SAW came up to them and asked, “What has brought the two of you out at this hour?” They told him and he said, “By Him in Whose hands is my soul, only hunger has caused me to come out also. But come with me.”
They went to the house of Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA. His wife opened the door and said, “Welcome to Rasulullah SAW and whoever is with him.”
“Where is Abu Ayub?” asked Rasulullah SAW. Abu Ayub, who was working in a nearby palm grove, heard Rasulullah SAW’s voice and came hurriedly.
“Welcome to Rasulullah SAW and whoever is with him,” he said and went on “O Rasulullah!, this is not the time that you usually come.” (Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA used to keep some food for the Prophet every day. When Rasulullah SAW did not come for it by a certain time, Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA would give it to his family.) “You are right,” Rasulullah SAW agreed.
Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA went out and cut a cluster of dates in which there were ripe and half ripe dates. “I did not want you to eat this,” said Rasulullah SAW. “Could you not have brought only the ripe dates?” “O Rasulullah, please eat from both the ripe dates (rutb) and the half ripe (busr). I shall slaughter an animal for you also. “If you are going to, then do not kill one that gives milk,” cautioned Rasulullah SAW. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA slaughtered a young goat, cooked half and grilled the other half. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA also asked his wife to bake, because she baked better he said.
When the food was ready, it was placed before Rasulullah SAW and his two companions. Rasulullah SAW took a piece of meat and placed it in a loaf and said, “Abu Ayub, take this to Fatimah. She has not tasted the like of this for days.
When they had eaten and were satisfied, Rasulullah SAW said reflectively: “Bread and meat and busr and rutb!” Tears began to flow from his eyes as he continued:
“This is a bountiful blessing about which you will be asked on the Day of Judgment. If such comes your way, put your hands to it and say, Bismillah (In the name of God) and when you have finished say, Al hamdu lillah alladhee huwa ashbana wa anama alayna (Praise be to God Who has given us enough and Who has bestowed his bounty on us). This is best.”
These are glimpses of Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA live during peace time. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA also had a distinguished military career. Much of his time was spent as a warrior until it was said of him, “Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA did not stay away from any battle the Muslims fought from the time of Rasulullah SAW to the time of Muawiyah RA unless he was engaged at the same time in another.”
The last campaign he took part in was the one prepared by Muawiyah and led by his son Yazid against Constantinople. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA at that time was a very old man, almost eighty years old. But that did not prevent him from joining the army and crossing the seas as a ghazi in the path of God. After only a short time engaged in the battle, Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA fell ill and had to withdraw from fighting. Yazid came to him and asked:
“Do you need anything, Abu Ayub?” “Convey my Salam to the Muslim armies and say to them: “Abu Ayub urges you to penetrate deeply into the territory of the enemy as far as you can go, that you should carry him with you and that you should bury him under your feet at the walls of Constantinople.” Then he breathed his last. Abu Ayub al-Ansari RA died during the First Arab Siege of Constantinople, dated circa 674H
The Muslim army fulfilled the desire of the companion of Rasulullah SAW. They pushed back the enemy’s forces in attack after attack until they reached the walls of Constantinople. There they buried him.
(The Muslims besieged the city for four years but eventually had to withdraw after suffering heavy losses.)
Update: The day Constantinople be the final resting place of Abu Ayub Al Ansari RA.
The city of Istanbul, once Constantinople, purportedly hosts the tombs of many Sahaba, the revered Companions of the Prophet Muhammad. Though the city did not fall until 1453, when it was conquered by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmet II (d. 886/1481), Muslims forces campaigned against the city during the earliest decades of Islam’s irruption onto the world stage. The fifth Caliph Mu’āwiya (d. 60/680) directed a major campaign against Constantinople in the year 49/669, less than forty years after the Prophet’s death. In these earliest of days, it was often at the very walls of the city itself that some Companions of the Prophet reportedly breathed their last breath.
The present post is the first of a series that will document the lives and alleged burial sites of many of these Sahaba.* By some counts, more than thirty such tombs are spread across the city. During our last visit to the city in May of 2012 we visited many- but far from all- of these in order to properly locate and photo-document them. It is hoped that this series will facilitate the future visits of other travelers and to shed further Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī.
Just beyond the city walls and alongside the Golden Horn is the district of Eyüp, named after the tomb and mosque complex built around the burial site of Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī (d. 52/672). Our guide to the city John Freely reports:
The mosque of Eyüp is the holiest in Istanbul; indeed after Mecca and Jerusalem it is perhaps the most sacred place of pilgrimage in the Islamic world. This is because it is the reputed burial place of Eyüp (Job) Ensari, the friend and standard-bearer of the Prophet Muhammed. Long after the Prophet’s death, Eyüp is said to have been one of the leaders of the first Arab siege of Constantinople from 674 to 678 and to have been killed and buried somewhere outside the walls. When some eight centuries later Fatih Mehmet besieged the city, he and his advisors, as Evliya Çelebi writes,
“spent seven whole days searching for the tomb. At last Akşemsettin (the Şeyh-ül Islam) exclaimed, ‘Good news, my Prince, of Eyüp’s tomb!’ Thus saying he began to pray and then fell asleep. Some interpreted this sleep as a veil cast by shame over his ignorance of the tomb; but after some time he raised his head, his eyes became bloodshot, the sweat ran from his forehead, and he said to the Sultan, ‘Eyüp’s tomb is on the very spot where I spread the carpet for prayer.’ Upon this, three of his attendants together with the Şeyh and the Sultan began to dig up the ground, when at a depth of three yards they found a square stone of verd antique on which was written in Cufic letters: ‘This is the tomb of Eba Eyüp.’ They lifted the stone and found below it the body of Eyüp wrapped up in a saffron-coloured shroud, with a brazen play-ball in his hand, fresh and well-preserved. They replaced the stone, formed a little mound of the earth they had dug up, and laid the foundations of the mausoleum amidst the prayers of the whole army.”
Grave of other Companion died and buried in Istambul
This pleasant story, though still current and recounted in one form or another by the guides and guidebooks, seems rather unlikely – apart from its supernatural elements – because it appears that the tomb had always been known and respected even by the Byzantines. Various Arab historians note that it was made a condition of peace, after the first Arab siege, that the tomb should be preserved. An Arab traveller during the reign of Manuel I Comnenus (r. 1143-80) mentions it as still existing in his day, while another traveller, Zakariya al-Kazwini (ca. 1203-83), relates that “this tomb is now venerated among them (the Byzantines) and they open it when they pray for rain in times of drought; and rain is granted them.” If the tomb was still extant in early Palaeologan times [dynasty begins 1259], it seems improbable that it should so completely have disappeared before the Turkish conquest. Probably, Fatih restored or rebuilt it on a grander scale. (Sumner-Boyd and Freely, Strolling Through Istanbul, 363-4)
Remarkably, the early historian al-Ṭabarī (d. 311/923) corroborates Freely’s account of Byzantine Christians visiting the tomb of Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī. Furthermore, al-Ṭabarī’s attestation forwards the popular phenomenon to the early 4th/10th century:
It was reported that the Greeks frequent his grave, renovate it, and pray there for rain in times of drought. (al-Ṭabarī, The History of al-Ṭabarī, 39:40)
Philip K. Hitti provides a slightly different account than Freely of the burial place’s discovery as well as offering some details concerning Abū Ayyūb’s final campaign:
Tradition asserts that in the course of the siege abu-Ayyūb died of dysentery and was buried before the walls of Constantinople. His legendary tomb soon became a shrine even for the Christian Greeks, who made pilgrimages to it in times of drought to pray for rain. During the siege of Constantinople in 1453 by the Turks, the tomb was miraculously discovered by rays of light… and a mosque was built on the site. Thus did the Madīnese gentleman become a saint for three nations. (Hitti, History of the Arabs, 201-2)
light on Istanbul’s importance for the tradition. Returning to the immense historical chronicle by al-Ṭabarī we find the following about Abū Ayyūb listed among “The Events of the Year 49 (February 9, 669-January 28, 670)”:
The Main Prayer Hall – Eyub Sultan Mosque.
The raid of Yazīd b. Mu’āwiyah against the Byzantines occurred during this year. He reached Qusṭanṭīniyyah accompanied by Ibn ‘Abbās, Ibn ‘Umar, Ibn al-Zubayr, Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī. (al-Ṭabarī, History, 18:94)
Then later under “Those Who Died or Were Killed in the Year 52 (January 8, 672-December 26, 672)” al-Ṭabarī states:
Among them was Abū Ayyūb. His name was Khālid b. Zayd b. Kulayb b. Tha’labah b. ‘Abd b. ‘Awf b. Ghanm b. Mālik b. al-Najjār. All [the biographers] are unanimous that he was one of the seventy Anṣār who swore allegiance to the Prophet on the night of the ‘Aqabah meeting. The Prophet established the bound of brotherhood (mu’ākhāh) between Abū Ayyūb and Muṣ’ab b. ‘Umayr. Abū Ayyūb participated in [the battles of] Badr, Uḥud, and the Ditch and all the [other] events on the Prophet’s side.
Abū Ayyūb died when Yazid b. Mu’āwiyah raided Constantinople during the caliphate of his father, Mu’āwiyah. His grave is at the foot of the fortress in Constantinople, in the Byzantine territory. (al-Ṭabarī, History, 39:40)
As al-Ṭabarī has related, Abū Ayyūb was among the first Muslims of Medina. In fact, as Ibn Isḥāq and al-Balãdhūrī report, the Prophet took up residence with Abū Ayyūb when he first arrived in the city and stayed there until the mosque’s construction was completed (Ibn Isḥāq, The Life of Muhammad, 228-30; al-Balãdhūrī, The Origins of the Islamic State, 19).
More on the life of Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī can be found in a modern pietistic compilation by AbdulWāhid Hāmid. We will conclude this post with an excerpt from the end of his account given his appropriately memorializing tone of Abū Ayyūb:
The last campaign he took part in was the one prepared by Mu’āwiyah and led by his son Yazīd against Constantinople. Abū Ayyūb at that time was a very old man, almost eighty years old. But that did not prevent him from joining the army and crossing the seas as a ghāzī in the path of God. After only a short time engaged in battled, Abū Ayyūb fell ill and had to withdraw from fighting. Yazīd came to him and asked: “Do you need anything, Abū Ayyūb?”
“Convey my salāms to the Muslim armies and say to them: ‘Abū Ayyūb urges you to penetrate deeply into the territory of the enemy as far as you can go, that you should carry him with you and that you should bury him under your feet at the walls of Constantinople.’” Then he breathed his last.
The Muslim army fulfilled the desire of the companion of the Messenger of God. They pushed back the enemy’s forces in attack after attack until they reached the walls of Constantinople. There they buried him. (Hāmid, Companions of the Prophet, 1:157-8)
Entrance to to Masjid Eyub Sultan.
*I say “alleged” simply because the history of such sites are more rich and complicated than they initially appear. Several of these sites, for example, were in fact places of veneration for the city’s Christians as well, well before the arrival of the Ottomans. Rather than wrestling with questions of historicity, the posts of this series will focus more on what the available narratives and sources have to report about the Companions supposedly buried in Istanbul. And to encourage more curious readers, I refer to English-language sources or English translations of primary sources wherever possible, though this may not always be maintained throughout the series. Finally, I try to provide dates both in the ḥijrī (Islamic calendar, AH) and Common Era (CE).