The sacred relics are housed in a palace previously owned by Ottomans from 1478 to 1856.
Originally constructed between 1460 and 1478 by Sultan Mehmed II, the Topkapi palace was owned by 30 different sultans who altered and expanded it from 1478 to 1856. The ottomans ruled from the palace for about 600 years; each sultan managed to obtain relics and manuscripts from all over Arabia.
The relics and manuscripts are considered to be the belongings of the Prophets, Caliphs, and their family members. There are over 82,000 relics present in the Topkapi Palace museum; the centuries-old jewelled swords and daggers are indeed a feast for the eyes.
Following are some of the well-known relics that were acquired from multiple parts of Arabia:
The Emerald Dagger:
The dagger was supposed to be a present for the Iranian ruler, Nadir Shah. The first Sultan of Topkapi, Mehmed, sent a delegation to Iran so they could deliver the gifts to Shah. Unfortunately, the delegation could not deliver the presents to Shah because he was assassinated before they could reach him. Hence, the dagger was returned to the Ottoman empire.
The manuscript displayed in the Topkapi Palace is one of the oldest versions of the Quran. It was initially owned by Caliph Uthman Ibn Affan; it is believed that the red blotch on the manuscript is his blood as he was assassinated while reading it. Please know that the manuscript dates back to the late 1st century or early 2nd century AH (early to mid 8th century AD).
Sword Of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH:
Ma’thur is one of the swords that Prophet Muhammad PBUH bore before receiving his first revelation in Mecca. The sword is guarded by hundreds of keepers in the palace as it is considered a sacred relic. The sword itself is a stunning masterpiece; its blade is 99 cm in length. The handle is of gold and in the shape of two serpents. Furthermore, the hilt and sheath are encrusted with jewels and stones.
The Golden Arm:
St. John baptist’s arm was brought to Constantinople at the time of Constantine VII. It was stored in the Emperor’s chapel in the 12th century and then was transferred to the Church of the Virgin Mary; it was moved again to the Church of Peribleptos in the first half of the 15th century. However, it ultimately ended up in the Topkapi Palace. The golden case has several inscriptions on it and is still occupied by St. John’s bones.
The Sword of Osman:
The Sword of Osman was generally used in the coronation ceremony of the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. The sword was named after the founder of the Ottoman Dynasty, Osman I. It is believed that Osman inherited this sword from his father-in-law. This particular weapon played a significant role in all 30 sultans’ lives. The sword now holds a special place in the palace. It is beautifully crafted is made up of pure gold.
As stated above, there are over 83,000 relics in the palace. All are exceptionally beautiful. Muslims from all over the globe gather at the Topkapi palace during the month of Ramadan to pay their respects to the sacred relics that were left behind by their ancestors.