An early Crusader who had just arrived in the Holy Land viewed a band of Saracens from a distance. He was so impressed with the curved sword that they wielded that he attempted to locate his own. Naturally the Saracens were not anxious to trade with the enemy, so he was forced to use his own straight blade crusader sword. The image that the Crusader saw is the picture that the western world still holds of the Islamic warrior—a turbaned soldier with a curved blade sword.
However straight bladed swords were also used by Islam during the Crusades. The stereo-type exists, because the Prophet Mohammed likely carried a curved weapon. There are relics which are preserved in the armory of the Sultans in the Topkai Palace in Istanbul that substantiate that he possessed a Scimitar. There are two swords that are associated with Mohammed at the armory. One of the swords is a narrow blade and is slightly curved. The hilt and scabbard of the weapon are embellished with precious stones and gold. The period that he utilized the blade would have been between 560-632 years.
We have written about western swords with names in this blog. Islamic warrior’s swords also had names. The famous sword mentioned above was ‘Dhu’l Faqar’. Mohammed wielded this weapon at the battle of Badr in 624. Legend recounts that the sword was cloven in two near its point, and this is how it has been depicted ever since. It was bequeathed to Ali, son-in-law to Mohammed. He served as Caliph from 656 to 661.
The Scimitar as well as being a beautifully formed sword, it also is very balanced and easy to handle. Collectors appreciate the sword. Also it is so easy to wield that it is also used today in exotic belly dancing.