A typical saif, or scimitar.

The scimitar was a sabre that originated in Southwest Asia, or the Middle East.

The Arabic term, saif, translates to 'sword' in general, but is normally taken to refer to the scimitar, a curved backsword.

The scimitar was widely used by Muslims in the Ottoman period (1299-1923). Though some records date the scimitar to be used in the 9th century.

The scimitar, while popularly thought to be a cutting-only weapon, can actually perform not only deep, powerful cuts but also hooking, rising, and descending thrusts.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.