Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Külliye
Eyüp,one of the oldest settlements of Istanbul,takes its name from Hz.Halid Bin Zeyd Ebu Eyyüp El-Ensari.Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Külliye, gives the name to the region that they take place, are on the south coast of Golden Horn.(Külliye is an Islamic-ottoman social complex) Hz.Eyyubi El-Ensari,one of those who accepted Islam first and later martyrized in the course of Arabic invasion in Istanbul in the 7th century, was buried here and by the orders of Mehmet the Conqueror, a tomb and a mosque were built in this area.
The construction of the külliye, including mosque, tomb, madrasah and Turkish bathroom, was started in 1458.The old sycamore in the middle of the yard is as old as the history of the mosque and the mosque is still as strong as that sycamore.Of course it was fixed over for a few times. The mosque, which was highly damaged by 1766 Istanbul earthquake, was pulled down and rebuilt by the order of Selim III . The mosque, built upon the instructions of Uzun Hüsayin Ağa, was got ready to pray inside by Selim III. As Selim was Mevlevi (whirling dervish) there are Mevlevi sikkes ( species) on the bars of the yard, in which there are also a set and a grass holl.
Ebu Eyyub Halid bin Zeyd or Ebu Eyyub el-Ensari, shortly remembered as Eyüp Sultan, was one of the companions of the prophet Mohammed, He was the first person who hosted Hz.Mohammed s.a.v. (the prophet of Islam)in his house when Hz.Mohammed immigrated from Mecca to Medina. That’s the reason why he was also called “mihmandar-ı nebevi”.Later on, he martyrized in Istanbul at his eighties.
There is a hearsay claiming that he was buried in the ground of city walls due to his will.According to the narration, thereafter Akşemsettin brought out Eyüp Sultan’s grave by means of his spiritual estimate. Now his tomb is in the locality and in the mosque that are titled with his name Ebu Eyyub had a high spiritual post as far as his merit and maturity are concerned .As he was trained by Hz.Mohammed(s.a.v) he used to pay great attention to the sunnahs of Hz.Mohammed and he used to interrupt whenever he saw something going wrong in order to explain and teach the correct way with the aim of struggling to apply the sunnahs. (Sunnah is the religious practice which is based upon the words and actions of Hz.Mohammed.) Eyup Sultan, who got sick when the Islamic army surrounded Constantine, transmitted this hadith from Hz.Mohammed.” A person will be buried in nearby Constantine City Walls.” And he strongly wished to be that person estimated in the hadith.Yezid, the commander, centered Ebu Eyyub’s coffin among the soldiers and they proceeded both battling and protecting the coffin.On seeing this weird scene,The Byzantin commander, who was in charge of conserving Constantine City Walls,asked:
“What is this?”
Yezid answered : “ He’s a companion of our prophet.His last will was being taken and buried nearby the city walls in your country and now we are goin to have his druthers.”
The commander : “ How silly you are ! When you are back,we will definitely harm his corpse.”
Yezid : “ If I leave even a church undestroyed and if I don’t kill all the Christians in Syria,I will have denied my prophet who gave me the chance of serving for this valuable person,as soon as you touch his body or grave.”
Thereonithe Byzantine commander replied : “I promise you for the sake of messiah that I will protect his grave as much as I can.” And a tomb was built for him.
Also Christians held in high esteem. On their return path from Hayber War,Ebu Eyyub El Ensari was volunteer for sentry duty,during a whole night out of Hz.Mohammed’s tent,so the prophet prayed like that “ My God,you protect him as he stayed overnight and protected me.”