Scimitar . It is a single-edged sword with curved blade , originating in Southwest Asia. The Arabic term ' saif'se translates as " sword " in general, but usually refers to the curved swords or ' scimitars ' in particular. Scimitars were used primarily by cavalry because of its relatively low weight and curved design , making them more comfortable to hit opponents from the start without getting stuck . The scimitar is a symbol of Muslim soldiers , coming to be considered " the weapon of Allah " , but was used by other people , like the Mongols . Many Islamic traditions adopted scimitars . This can be seen , for example , in the coat of arms of Saudi Arabia . The scimitar also used in Saudi Arabia to apply the death penalty by beheading . The earliest known use of scimitars is around the eighth century , when used among Arabs , Turks and Central Asian soldiers . This is an important symbol in Arab culture , and is used as a metaphor in many phrases of Arabic. For example , Saif and Saif al Din "Sword of the religion " are common Islamic names . The original source of the word is unknown, but some experts believe it is derived from the Persian word shafsher , meaning " Lion Paw " for his long and curved design . This word has been translated into many languages to end up like scimitar. Have been set varieties of Persian Shamshir like Kilij Turkish, tulwar Indian, Moroccan nimcha the pulwar Afghan and Arab saif . The term saif in Arabic can refer to any curved sword of the Middle East , South Asia and North Africa . The scimitar Castilian term dates from the fifteenth or sixteenth centuries , and seems to derive from the Italian or French scimitarra cimeterre .