By: Ch Muhammad Natiq:
Bayezid I (Reign: 1389-1402) was given the honorific title of Yildirim ( thunderbolt ) for the brilliant speed with which he mobilized his military to attack the enemies. The Sultan is credited for crushing a large scale European crusade in the Battle of Nicopolis (Niğbolu) in 1396. It was a stunning victory as the Ottomans defeated armies of around 20 European states which proves the military prowess of Bayezid 1.
For his heroic victory at Nicopolis, Sultan Bayezid Han was officially given the title of “Sultan” by the contemporary ceremonial Abassid Caliph residing in Mamluk Egypt.
The effect of the defeat of Nicopolis was so devastating for Christians that Chronicler Jean Froissart would declare : “Since the battle of Roncesvalles when all twelve peers of France were slain, Christianity received not so great a damage.” [Source: Tuchman 561]
This victory stabilised the Ottoman state and discouraged the formation of future alliance of European states. [Source: Battle of Nicopolis”. Encyclopædia Britannica. 2009]. Besides his military skills, Bayezid 1 was very pious Muslim who created a system of sending annual gifts for all the residents of Hejaz (Mecca and Medina) as a sign of his love for Muslim Ummah. [Source: Salih Gülen]
Unfortunately, Sultan Bayezid’s image has been tarnished by certain fanatics who believe that Bayezid 1 was defeated at the battle of Ankara 1402 due to alcoholism (استغفراللہ). It is sad that such baseless lies are bought by the gullible people who lack ability to research. Firstly, the Islamic population of medieval Anatolia would never tolerate a drunkard as ruler. Secondly, if Bayezid had such vices then he wouldn’t be able to crush a grand European alliance before.
The primary reason for the defeat at Ankara conflict was the betrayal of a major chunk of Bayezid’s forces who defected to Amir Timur’s camp in the midst of battle. Also, we must not forget that Bayezid 1 was busy besieging Constantinople when Timur invaded Eastern Anatolia; which is why Bayezid 1 didn’t really have time to formulate a proper war strategy.
Certain blind admirers of Amir Timur present Bayezid 1 as the person who fueled the fire of war which is factually incorrect. Bayezid 1 was the sovereign ruler of Ottoman Sultanate who refused to bow to a fanatic like Amir Timur who had shed the pure blood of tens of thousands Muslims from India to Iran and to Middle East.
(shocking example of Timur’s cruelty against innocent Muslim civilians in comments below)
The struggle of Bayezid Yildirim against Timur failed, but it serves us all a lesson that one should never fear defeat if one is on the right path. This is why Bayezid refused to escape the battlefield despite insistence of subordinates. He accepted the defeat but remained steadfast on all his high principles. May Allah elevate the the ranks of Bayezid Yildirim. Amin Ecmain .
May God raise the ranks of Sultan Yildirim Beyazid. Sultan Bayezid Han Coķ Yaşa.