Dr. ‘Ali Hassoon spoke about the upbringing of Sultan Muhammad Al-Faatih saying,
Since his succession to the throne of the Ottoman Empire in 855 A.H. (1451 CE), he was looking forward to the conquest of Constantinople and thinking about it. He was raised by scholars who instilled love for Islam in him and taught him how to adhere to the Quran and the Sunnah (tradition). So, he grew up with a strong love for Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation), adherence to piety, reverence for scholars and affection for spreading knowledge. His sublime religiousness was due to the religious upbringing that he received since his early childhood in accordance with the directions of his father and with the help of a number of senior scholars who supervised his education and upbringing.
Muhammad Al-Faatih was influenced by the righteous scholars since his early childhood, particularly the senior righteous scholar, Ahmad ibn Ismaa‘eel Al-Kooraani who was known for his virtue. This righteous man was the greatest teacher of Muhammad Al-Faatih during his father’s reign.
At that time, Muhammad Al-Faatih was the ruler of Magnesia, and his father sent him a number of educators and teachers. However, he disobeyed them and refused to let them teach him anything. He did not even memorize the whole Quran. So, his father asked for a man with gravity and seriousness and they told him about Al-Kooraani . Hence, he appointed him as the teacher of his son and gave him a stick to beat Muhammad if he disobeyed him.
Al-Kooraani went to Muhammad with the stick in his hand, and said, “Your father sent me to teach you and beat you if you disobey me.” Muhammad Al-Faatih laughed much when he heard this, but Al-Koorani beat him severely until he showed due respect for him and started memorizing the Quran until he completed it within a short period.
This great leader was educated and brought up by scholars who provided him with a true Islamic upbringing. Those revered educators used to tear up the decrees of the Sultan if it contained anything that contradicted the rulings of Sharee‘ah (Islamic legislation). They used to address the rulers with their names. They never bowed before the rulers or kissed their hands; on the contrary, the rulers used to kiss their hands. Hence, it is not strange for such educators to graduate a great leader like Muhammad Al-Faatih, who was a religious Muslim who complied with the rulings of Sharee‘ah and glorified it. He was a righteous and pious ruler who consulted the scholars and asked them to supplicate for him.
Dear educator, consider this extraordinary example Muhammad Al-Faatih, who conquered Constantinople, and how his father brought him up in accordance with this influential theory.
He attached him to the righteous scholar, who taught him the Quran. Interestingly, Al-Kooraani was not the only influential scholar in the life of Muhammad Al-Faatih, but there was another scholar (Aaq Shams Ad-Deen ) who drew the attention of Muhammad Al-Faatih to conquer Constantinople.
Sahl ibn ‘Abdullaah At-Tustari learns from his uncle:
Al-Ghazaali reported that Sahl, May Allaah Have mercy upon them both, said,
I was three years old when I used to wake up at night to watch the prayer of my uncle Muhammad ibn Siwaar. One day, he said to me, “Should not you remember Allaah The Almighty who created you?” I said, “How should I remember Him?” He replied, “Say in your heart, whenever you are alone at night in your bed rolling from side to side, three times without moving your tongue: Allaah is with me, Allaah is Looking at me, Allaah is Watching me.”
I did that and informed my uncle.
“Say the words seven times each night,” he said to me.
I did that and informed him.
“Say them eleven times.” I did that and found sweetness in my heart therefrom. A year passed. Then my uncle said, “Remember what I taught you and continue that practice until you go to the grave. The fruits thereof will be yours in this world and the Hereafter.”
Years passed, and I used the same words until their sweetness penetrated the depths of my heart.
“Sahl,” said my uncle, “As long as Allaah is with you and Sees you, how can you disobey Him? Beware of disobeying Him.”
Through this good instruction, guidance, and continuous training as well as this religious upbringing, Sahl became one of the senior righteous worshippers in the history of Islam.
Finally, dear educator, you must be sure that the child who sees his father lying can never learn truthfulness, and the child who sees his mother cheating his father or his brother, will never be honest. The child, who sees that his mother is heedless, will not learn cooperation or adhere to discipline.
The family is the incubator that sows the early seeds of morals and behavior in the child and shapes his emotions and feelings through the behavior of its members.