Arm of the Saint John the Baptist is in Istanbul


John the Baptist was the one who baptized Jesus Christ. According to Islamic belief, he was the son of Zechariah, the brother-in-law of Mary, Mother of Jesus.

He was born miraculously because both mom and dad were not old enough to have a new baby because they were very old.   He grew up together with Mary as a friend in the same temple where The Zacaria was the leader of the rabbis and where Mary had dedicated to this temple.

And it was he who took care of Mary throughout this time of dedication in the temple as she passed secluded in the niche of this temple and was listening and accompanying   every miracle of Mary becoming pregnant and the birth of her son.

He had already positioned himself against Herod, the cruel Jewish king of the city of Jerusalem.   Herod was mad because he had absurd desires like marrying his own cousin. He was a murderer because he killed a lot of family members around him who tried to correct him.

John as a prophet could not approve and get burned before so many mistakes and sins according to the beliefs of the city and positioned against him as well.

The mother of cousin also wanted this relation with the king at last would be gaining mount with this approach of the king. John the Baptist came to try to correct it too but it did not help.

One night while Herod was already drunk, he approached his cousin again, and the mother appeared before him and began to speak badly to him who is hindered by John.

The king would not normally make a cruel decision against him because he was very respected and loved by the people because at last he was very influential.

But he is already drunk and poked by the mother of the girl, he sent the soldier to behead John the Baptist.

He was brought in the main square and was fulfilled the king’s command before the people.

Only the blood on his head did not stop bleeding.

It continued so much that even the king and the court were in doubt about whether he was already dead.

The king shouted to cut off all body organs.

They began to cut off arms, legs, and even every part of John’s body.

Anger and shame did not stop there, and the king ordered the order to spread these severed organs from the body to various corners of the Roman empire as proof of the authorities’ power in the face of revolts.

His arm came to Constantinople and was exposed throughout the pagan era of the empire.

After the Roman Empire converted to Christianity the Justinian recognized the John the Baptist as the next of Jesus and as the sacred person   who did the baptism of Jesus and did a homage with a golden protection for this sacred arm and was preserved in the church of Santa Sofia as the relic of John the Baptist.

Arriving to date for the conquest of Constantinople by the Muslims, 1453, Sultan Fatih entered the Hagia Sophia and repaired this relic and listening to her history, asked to preserve in his own palace valuing this memory of John. For while John the Baptist was considered by Christians as to whom he christened Jesus, Muslims valued him as an Islamic prophet, whose name is quoted in the Holy Book of the Qur’an. According to the Qur’anic Verse it speaks of him as the valuable person and was never given his name to anyone before him.

And today this arm is exposed in the museum of Topkapi Palace in the part of HAS ODA, where the relics of Prophet Muhammed are preserved.

His head was taken to Damascus from present-day Syria and is protected in another Islamic work.

His body is in a city near Jerusalem called Sebastian.