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AyaSofya (formerly Hagia Sophia) Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey


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Author Topic: AyaSofya (formerly Hagia Sophia) Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey  (Read 103 times)
Zeynab
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« on: April 28, 2020, 06:36:21 pm »

 



salamem dear sisters and brothers.


Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul remained a mosque between 1453 and 1935, until the hardline secular government of Kemal Ataturk came to power and changed it into a museum.

In Turkish this Mosque is known as Aya Sofya and it has a very interesting history. 

Hagia Sophia was an orthodox Christian cathedral built in the reign of the Byzantines in 537 AD in Constantinople.   In 1453 the Ottomans under the leadership of Sultan Mehmed II conquered Constantinople, later named Istanbul.  Soon after, Hagia Sophia -  a church of Eastern Orthodox Christianity - was converted into a mosque and would remain so until 1935. 

The exhilarating event was initiated by an Islamic ulema getting on the church pulpit and reciting the Shahadah  ("There is no God but Allah, and Mohammed is His slave and the final messenger").   Understandably, the bells, altar, all statues and mosaic depictions were removed and plastered.   Soon after 1453, many of the relics of the church were sent to Europe.  Essentials of the Muslim place of worship were built - the qiblah (indicating the direction toward Mecca during prayer), the minbar  or pulpit and four minarets.  Many of the original Orthodox-themed mosaics were covered with Islamic calligraphy designed by Kazasker Mustafa İzzet.  The medallion that  hung on the panel of the AyaSofya Mosque featured the Name of Allah The Almighty.  Smaller medallions along other panels of the Mosque  carried the inscriptions of the Prophet Muhammad, the first four Caliphs, and the Prophetís two grandsons.  It displayed the finest gesture of complete Monotheism, followed by an abolition of sectarian values demonstrating the unity of submitters, an aspect of great significance in the Noble Quran.

For centuries the Ottoman rulers spent much in the upkeep of the AyaSofya Mosque with massive renovation projects.  This structure repeatedly sustained damages by earthquakes throughout the Byzantine era.  It was also badly ransacked and looted by the fourth Crusaders in the 1200s.  Though initially a Christian place of worship, yet historians seldom talk how the Hagia Sophia church was disgraced by the Fourth Christian Crusaders and treasured by the Ottomans as the AyaSofya Mosque.



AyaSofya after it was turned into a museum



Artist Gaspare Fossati depiction of AyaSofya Mosque 1850s


A handful of little-known British and European historians have indulged in much speculation portraying a harsh description of the fall of Constantinople in 1453, claiming widespread pillage by Ottoman forces, killing of civilians, raping of women and selling people into slavery, without a shred of evidence throughout the annals of history for their unsupported allegations.  Outlets like Wikipedia drafted by certain segments of Western sources have been mostly responsible for ciruculating such disinformation and defamation.



The adhan (call for prayer), AyaSofya Ottoman era


In 1616 the Ottomans constructed the Sultan Ahmed Mosque close to the AyaSofya Mosque.  These two mosques were among the most notable in Islamic Ottoman Turkey.   The red bricks of AyaSofya juxtaposed with the blue of Sultan Ahmed Mosque looked amazing (and it still does).   Thus the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is more widely known as the Blue Mosque of Istanbul because of its exquisite blue tiles. It was completed in 1616, long after Hagia Sophia fell into Islamic hands and was renamed AyaSofya. The construction of the Blue Mosque was ordered by the young Sultan, Ahmet I, who, at the age of just 19, decided he wanted a building more impressive than the AyaSofya.  Both Mosques present a gorgeous spectacle and can be appreciated from the outside and inside.


 
In the current era, exteriors of AyaSofya Mosque (above) and Blue Mosque (below)


Hardcore secular dictator and self designated 'Ataturk' was quick to change AyaSofya Mosque into a museum in 1935, removing the beautiful carpets where prayers were offered.  The Turkish ministry of culture during his time did little or nothing to maintain this structure which deteriorated for years, and the World Monuments Fund placed AyaSofya on 1996 World Monuments Watch, and again in 1998.  

AyaSofya, a museum at present, remains a popular tourist attraction with over 3 million visitors annually.

Kemal Ataturk strictly prohibited any part of the AyaSofya Mosque to be used for offering the Muslim prayer (salah).  Much later in 2006 after the Turkish Justice Party came to power, the government granted a small room of the Mosque-turned-museum for prayers.  Some years later in 2013, the muezzins were also allowed to make the adhan (call for prayers) from the minarets twice a day for dohr and asr prayers. 



AyaSofya, ablution fountain


After being shut for prayers as a Mosque by Ataturk since 1935, some Islamic jurists in Turkey have sought to have the AyaSofya once again opened as a mosque in 2013. The debate isnít just a religious one.  For much of the 21st century, Turkey has witnessed a rise in support of its history.   By far the majority of Turks recognize the 700-year-Ottoman era as an inseparable part of their country's history.

In May 2018 more than 2,500 Muslims offered Eid-al-Fitr prayers at AyaSofya Mosque in Istanbul early Saturday morning.

Any news of the Muslim prayer inside AyaSofya seems to touch a sensitive nerve within the Western establishment, being very touchy about AyaSofya reopened as a Mosque for Islamic prayers.  Though most Westerners who take offense are themselves hardcore secularists, yet it's simply a petty minded spirit that keeps them barking at something which isn't their entitlement any longer.  Various European countries have in the past protested over the readings of the Noble Quran inside the Aya Sofya Mosque.  However, their hissy fits have proven to be insignificant.  AyaSofya has been a Mosque since 1453 and will continue to be so, Allah Willing. 



A portion of the compound of AyaSofya Mosque.  Art depiction Ottoman era 1800s 



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Heba E. Husseyn
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« Reply #1 on: April 28, 2020, 07:50:07 pm »



Love it.   Exhilarating read.   Images are marvelous! 

The West opposes the reading of the Noble Quran inside AyaSofya which they themselves admit "used to be" one of the largest churches of Christianity, yet the same partisans comply with the Zionists occupying the Al-Aqsa Mosque with a straight face as if they don't know that the Al-Aqsa has always been one of Islam's very significant mosques .... just as  Palestine is the homeland of the Muslims, NOT the European Ashkenazi Zionists (formerly Khazars).

Thank you dear sis Zeynab.    I pray and hope the blessed month is going as best as possible in these very troubling times.   Ameen.  Walaikum As-salam.   




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« Reply #2 on: April 28, 2020, 07:58:00 pm »



Walaykum Salam.

Yes, our history is just so mesmerizing and this piece of history is especially great.

During the reign of Ottoman Sultan Abdulmejid, sometime between 1847 and 1849, the AyaSofya underwent an important renovation led by Swiss architects the Fossati brothers.   There used to be a separate compartment for the ruling class to use for prayers.  During this renovation project, this compartment was removed.

InshAllah, AyaSofya will be open for all five prayers with adhan very soon. 

Wonderfully concise piece Sister Zeynab.   

And very logical analogy Sister Heba with Al-Aqsa Mosque, on the objection of westerners over AyaSofya.

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« Reply #3 on: April 28, 2020, 08:57:08 pm »




Walaykum Assalam dear all.  SubhanAllah, wonderfully enchanting.

Turkey has every entitlement to reopen Aya Sofya as a Mosque.  It was always supposed to be a mosque, not a museum.  It's outrageous that the West doesn't heed when the Zionists desecrate the AlAqsa and Dome of the Rock, but frown when the Glorious Quran is read in AyaSofya. 

I heard that the mihrab of Aya Sofya looks particularly very beautiful.

Hope that damn Ataturk is rotting in Hell.  The way he messed up Turkey .... he even altered the spellings of all Muslim names of men and women to be written and spelled in the Western style with English alphabets, abolishing the Arabic script. 

Alhumdulilah month of Ramadan is going well.  Just praying to Allah to keep a watch on our lives and keep us all safe, ameen ya Rab.

Our salams to Sisters Zeynab and Heba, and to you brother TS.



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« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2020, 09:14:48 pm »


Ameen, by the Grace of The Almighty, we're moving through this great blessed month well, strictly within our homes.  Absolutely right, the help and intervention of Allah is required every minute, every second in our lives for sustenance and safety.

You're right Sister Ruhi, the long rule of secularists of the Ataturk regime turned the system upside down.  That way things seem to be better now, though I wish Erdogan and his party did a better job following the example of the Ottomans.  Unfortunately I can't at all compare them with the respected Ottomans.

Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent known to the Turks as 'Qanuni' (lawgiver) Sultan Suleyman and ruled from 1520 to 1566 installed two bronze lamps on each side of the mihrab, and Sultan Murad III (1574 to 1595) added two marble cubes from the Turkish city of Bergama.   The mihrab of AyaSofya is indeed beautiful.  Here are the pictures.



From Wikipedia Commons



From Flicker 

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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2020, 09:22:17 pm »



MashAllah and wow!   This mihrab is truly stunning.

Yeah brother, I too have hoped for long that Tayyip sets a better example of following his renowned predecessors.  He maybe a bit better than Ataturk but that isn't much to write home about.  So now I've given up of Tayyip the lame pasha.  He's got nothing to do with the Ottomans.


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« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2020, 09:25:35 pm »


  
 😀😂  I second your insight on the "lame pasha."   
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« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2020, 09:27:46 pm »


     💚  SubhanAllah, lovely mihrab !!!! 
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« Reply #8 on: April 28, 2020, 09:30:39 pm »



Btw would any one know what "turbe" means in Turkish?
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« Reply #9 on: April 28, 2020, 09:34:41 pm »



From what I know, turbe means tomb.   It commonly refers to smaller mausoleums of families of Ottoman rulers.

Am I right brother TS?
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« Reply #10 on: April 28, 2020, 09:37:35 pm »



Yes, I would think you're right.   It's derived from the Arabic word turba which can refer to a mausoleum as well as a funerary complex or a plot of land in a cemetery.
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« Reply #11 on: April 28, 2020, 09:38:42 pm »



I see ... big thanks dear sister and brother.
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