The building in which the sacred relics are kept, in considered to be the most beautiful structure of the palace complex, with its interior decoration. The high quality tiles of the inner and the outer room walls date from the 15th and 18th centuries.
Sultan Selim I (his Turkish nickname “Yavuz” means someone who is smart and nimble) brought most of the sacred relics back with him when he returned from his expediton to Egypt in 1517. These relics were originally in the possession of the ruling caliph El Mütevekkil II (the “caliph” was the successor of Mohammed as the leader of the Islamic world). Other relics were sent to Sultan Selim I by the Emir of Mecca, “Seyyit Berekat”, after his proclamation as caliph. A letter and a dagger of the Prophet Mohammed were presented to the palace in the 19th century.
The sacred relics can be divided into two groups:
1- The personal relics of the Prophet Mohammed.
2- The used daily articles of various prophets, caliphs and Islamic saints, such as old Korans.
Personal Relics of the Prophet Mohammed:
The Holy Mantel of the Prophet Mohammed, “Hırka-i Saadet”
Mohammed gave his mantel as a gift to the Arabic poet “Kaab bin Züher”, who was a heathen in the beginning, and later accepted Islam. After his death, the mantel was purchased by Caliph Moawijje fpr 20000 dirham. The Holy Mantel later came to residence of Omaijades, then Abbasides, and in the 16th century to the Ottomans through Sultan Selim I.
Surely this 1400 years old Holy Mantel is the most important relic. It is made of black woollen material, has wide sleeves, and is 1,24cm long. Since iys arrival at the palace in the 16th century, it has been preserved with great care and attention in a golden shrine. Today, the shrine is displayed in a silver throne which was produced in the palace during the reign of Sultan Murat IV in the 17th century.
Every year on the fifteenth day of the month of Ramadan, the Holy Mantel was visited with cermony by the sultan, viziers and inhabitants of harem.
The swords of the Prophet Mohammed “Seyf-i Nebevi”
It is said that the Prophet Mohammed had nine swords. Today, two of them displayed at the palace, “Zülfikar” given by him as a gift to his son-in-law Ali, the fourth caliph, the other one is an heirloom from his father.
Both swords are ornamented with gold and precious stones. They are displayed together in the same room as the mantel of the Prophet Mohammed is found.
In front of these swords is also displated the bamboo bow of the Prophet Mohammed with its golden case.
The letter of the Prophet Mohammed, “Name-i Saadet”
With this letter Mohammed requested the ruler Moukavkas to join Islam. The letter made of a dark leather, has dminesions of 16x19cm, consists of 12 lines, has the seal of the Prophet, and was found by chance in Egypt.
The seal of the Prophet Mohammed, “Mührü Saadet”
It is said that the seal of the Prophet Mohammed was handed down from Caliph Abubakr, to Caliph Omar and then to Caliph Osman. It was lost when it fell from the hands of Osman into a fountain.
Almost 150 years ago the present seal of amber was found in Baghdad and brought to the palace.
The tooth of the Prophet Mohammed, “Den-dan-Saadet”
In a golden chest ornamented with precious stones, lies a piece of the Prophet’s tooth, which was broken during the battle of “Uhud”.
The hair of the beard of the Prophet Mohammed, “Lihye-i Saadet or “Sakal-ı Şerif”
Although almost 60 hairs of the Prophet’s beard have been preserved in the palace, only one is displayed in a jewel-decorated golden chest.
The footpring of the Prophet Mohammed, “Nakşi Kadem-i Şerif”
In the room with the above-mentioned relics is one of six existing footprints of the Prophet Mohammed. The stone, on which the footprint appears, is placed in a heavy golden box with a golden cover. It is said to have appeared in the stpne upon the Prophet’s ascension to heaven.
The standard of the Prophet Mohammed, “Sancak-ı Şerif”
Mohammed was said to have carried a black standard and white standard during the holy wars. The black standart called “Ukap” was sent from Egypt, and is to seen today in a golden shrine.
Because of it having been badly damaged it was later sewn onto a sacred green standard.
The sacred swords, “Suyuf-u Mübarake”
These are the swords which belonged to the first four caliphs (abubakr, Omar, Osman and Ali), and various Islamic saints (Zeynel Abidin, Ebul Hasan, Halid bin Velid, Cafer-i Tayyar and others).
Handwritten Korans, of which several are attributed to Caliph Osman and Caliph Ali mentioned before.
Objects from the Kaaba
These include the protective covering of the holy black stone, “Hacer-ül Esved”, which is gold-plated and wighs 14k. Hanging from the roof the Kaaba, while also displayed is a part of the Kaaba’s Repentance Gate, and silver and goldplated keys (keys of the Kaaba).
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