Hagia Sophia: Is the decision in line with divine guidance?

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By Dr.Aslam Abdullah

In 2019, more than 3.7 million Muslims and non-Muslims visited Hagia Sofia, and Turkey earned millions of dollars from tourists. Why Turkey did change its status from a museum to a mosque?

From 537 E.E. till 1454 C.E, Hagia Sofia (literally means the wisdom of God) was under the control of various Christian denominations. In 1453, Sultan Muhammad won the war and decided to convert it into a mosque. He removed the statues of Jesus and Mary, but retained the structure and kept the Christian artifacts. In 1931, Kamal Ataturk turned it into a museum of Christian and Muslim artifacts. The museum displayed Christian symbols and a copy of the Quran written by the third Caliph Uthman.

In July 2020, a Turkish court decided to restore its status as a mosque. Christians of all denominations who fought for centuries for the possession of this historical religious monument and secularists condemned this. The Turks have divided opinion. A majority want it as a mosque while a minority wants it to retain its museum status. The Muslim community, all over the world, is divided and has four opinions. A group of Muslims supports the Turkish court decision. A group condemns it. Another group calls it a bad move and says it would hurt Muslims in countries where they are in the minority, and the fourth groups prefer to stay neutral.

How should one develop an opinion based on divine teachings? There are two opinions among Muslim scholars on the issue of conversion of non-Muslim places to worship. One group states that if Muslims take over land and others abandon their places of worship, they should turn them into mosques. They quote the Quran verse. “And say, Truth has come, and falsehood has perished. Indeed falsehood, [by its nature], is ever perishing/bound to perish.” (17:81)

The second group argues that Muslims should protect the houses of worship of others, especially Christians. In support of their argument, the quote the following Quranic verse. those who were ousted from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying. “Our Sustainer is God!” For, if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, all] monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques – in [all of] which people abundantly extol – the name of God would surely have been destroyed [ere now]. And God will most certainly assist him who suc­cors His cause: for, verily, God is most powerful, mighty, (22:40)

They also quote a letter; the Prophet send to monks of Mt. Saint Catherine that reads as follows:

They [Christians] must not give anything of their income but that which pleases them—they must not be offended, or disturbed, or coerced or compelled. Their judges should not be changed or prevented from accomplishing their offices, or the monks disturbed exercising their religious order…

He will be regarded as one who has corrupted the oath of God, disbelieved His Testament, rejected His Authority, despised His Religion, and made himself deserving of His Curse, whether he is a Sultan or any other believer of Islam.

Whenever monks, devotees, and pilgrims gather together, whether in a mountain or valley, or den, or frequented the place, or plain, or church, or in houses of worship, certainly we shall protect them. For they are under my Protection.”

History reminds us that Hagia Sophia was not only a Church but also a center of crusaders. It fell to the Turks when they won the war. They did not destroy it; the way victors used to do during those times. They kept it intact. They did not convert it into a palace or cause its desecration. They transformed it into a place of worship of God. They believed it was the God of Christians and Jews also.

Was their decision divinely inspired and guided. No. The politics of war and the hostility between the Turks and others determined their action. But was that the options the Turks had? They had seen the Haga Sophia play a pivotal rule in conspiracies against them. They were not willing to take another chance. Instead, they transformed it into a mosque out of political necessity.

Was the decision to turn it into a museum the right one in 1931? No. If religious sensitivity was the concern for this decision, then the mosque should have been restored to Christians. It was a place of worship. The choice of Ataturk opened the wounds again.

Is the 2020 decision the right one? No. It is against a decision based on politics. Turkey could have pioneered a new chapter in interfaith relations by offering a unique action on the issue. Haga Sophia has acres of land. A decision allowing Muslims and Christians to hold their prayers in their own legally designated spaces while retaining the museum in its original form could have convinced all parties. It might still be within the theological framework of Islam.

The tears of the world over the Turkish decision are crocodile’s tears. The world’s secular and political leadership is not sincere in its fake concern over the issue. The UNESCO or human rights group did not show its outrage when Spain, Greece, Italy, India, and Israel demolished thousands of mosques or changed their status. It was silent when China destroyed hundreds of mosques. It remained quiet when India, under a judicial order, handed over the Babri Masjid to Hindus based on their concocted claims.

The so-called world that is now crying over the decision has remained a silent witness to Muslims’ atrocities for centuries. Is it not a fact that the Roman Catholic Church organized inquisition against Muslims in Spain? Is it not a fact that Jews of Israel are carrying a systematic genocide against Muslims?

The Turkish decision emerges from their understanding of global politics. If the Turkish government had given priority to divine guidance, the outcome might have been different. What the Quran says about conflicts among people is as follows:

But [since] good and evil cannot be equal, repel thou [evil] with something better and lo! he between whom and you was enmity [may then become] as though he had [always] been close [unto thee], a true friend! (41:34)

Important Events

 

  • 360 – Inauguration of Hagia Sophia, under the rule of Constantius II.
  • 404 – The original roof got destroyed in a fire.
  • 415 – Restored and rededicated by Theodosius II.
  • 532 – Burned down once again in the Nika riots beginning in the Hippodrome of Constantinople. The church got completely destroyed alongside various others. After a mere 93 days, construction of the Hagia Sophia began.
  • 537 – The reconstruction got completed with the lavish decorations and ornaments
  • 553 – An earthquake shook Hagia Sophia, weakening the crown of the Eastern arch.
  • 558 – Another earthquake hit, causing a break between the two halves. A few months after, the main dome collapsed alongside the eastern semi-dome. It destroyed the ambo, ciborium, and the Holy Table.
  • 562 – Reconstruction completed.
  • 726 – Hagia Sophia got stripped of religious illustrations and sculptural work with the abolition of the veneration of icons (iconoclasm).
  • 842 – The Second Council of Nicaea commenced the redecoration of Hagia Sophia and reinstituted t icons.
  • 859 – A great fire damaged the Hagia Sophia.
  • 869 – An earthquake caused a half dome to collapse.
  • 989 – Another massive earthquake caused the collapse of the western dome.
  • 994 – Hagia Sophia reopened after reconstruction took place.
  • 1204 – Hagia Sophia became a Roman Catholic Cathedral.
  • 1261 – Hagia Sophia was converted to an Eastern Orthodox Church again.
  • 1344 – An earthquake caused severe damage throughout the striation
  • 1346 – Various parts of the building collapsed, and the church was closed.
  • 1354 – Hagia Sophia reopened after construction.
  • 1453 – Following the fall of Constantinople, Sultan Muhammad ordered the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Some say he purchased the building.
  • 1573 – The exterior changed and altered to follow the customary mosque appearance.

 

  • 1717 – Renovations on the interior began.
  • 1734 – Hagia Sophia added a library and a Quranic School.
  • 1847 – The structure underwent another restoration.
  • 1849 – The mosque reopened.
  • 1919 – The Divine Service in Hagia Sophia, after the Salvation in 1453, started and completed by a Greek military priest.
  • 1935 – The building transformed into a museum on the order of the first President of Turkey Ataturk.
  • 2020 – The 1935 decision to convert the Hagia Sophia to a museum; the Turkish President signs a decree converting it into a working mosque.

12 thoughts on “Hagia Sophia: Is the decision in line with divine guidance?

  1. Ertrugul Bey would have done the same as Erdogan and the Turkish court verdict.
    Reason: Turkey has 99.6% MUSLIM population who believe in only ONE ALMIGHTY GOD…
    God has given them dominion over Hagia Sophia rightfully.

  2. You guys are always compromising. You take a balanced approach to keep your masters happy as well as do not make people angry.

  3. Truth is that Church was converted by force into Mosque and no religion can allow this ethically and morally. Violates True Islamic principles.

    1. Kaaba was converted into a mosque and after its idols were destroyed during the conquering of Makka. Was that an act of violation of true Islamic principles in your opinion? It was a place of worship for the idolators. Should the prophet have kept it to them as it was when he conquered the city? Subhanallah

      1. So agreed that Kaaba was a temple , still the Makkeshwar , Shivlinga in desert with water flow from top as in Kaaba, the black stone is being touched as in Hindu Dharma rituals, Mahakaal temple rituals same white single piece with no leather items and same timings of five times prayers are being performed. 7 rounds of stone same though anti-clockwise.
        See Bhavishya Puran book , mentioned, Mohammed word is derived from Mahamad – a Sanskrit word. Still remains of 350 idols nearby Makkah.
        Difference between Dharma(Religion) and Majhab is making the things happen by Force, Immoral, and Unethical , untruthful ways of doing a thing or taking a decision.
        Misuse Islam for power, misinterpretation of Prophet teachings in personal gains.
        Basic issue is Conquering the place by power and then forceful conversions, this is what makes a Majhab immoral,, unethical and perverted version.

  4. ADMIT GENOCIDE AND DISOBEYING INTERNATIONAL LAW BY SHITTING ON IT YOU UNCIVILIZED JIHAD OTTOMAN INFIDELS BARBARIANS. ATATÜRK FUCKED UP AND YOU PROVE ONCE AGAIN YOU ARE STUPID MONGOLIAN ANIMALS WHO SHOW DISREGARD TO HISTORY AND CHURCHES. 🖕🇹🇷🦃🤮

  5. Greek , absolutely right.
    They (JIHADI) are doing same thing in India showing disregard to temples and others like Buddhism in Pakistan.
    If you remember only Turkey and Pakistan displayed the Radicalism in United Nations against India.
    The Genetic material jihad needs to be changed.

    1. Brother, bring your historical evidence and population demography status, if you are indeed just and truthful!

      Fact : today 99.66% Turkish population is Muslim (practising or otherwise).

      So who will attend the Church?

      You have many more holy churches and cathedrals in more holy places like Jerusalem, all over Europe and the holy Vatican and all over the world!

      Much ado about nothing! Churches are going empty all over the world, first come back to God b4 whining about religion.

      Lastly, this genocide you mention—what bull-shit propaganda are you going on!

      Any historian has to but admit that the GOLD MEDAL for all genocides will go to the Crusaders in the past alongwith Mongols; and the US ALLIES today in Middle-East and Afghanistan!

      And the gold-medal for genocide planning goes to Zionist Israel ever since World War 2.

      All Hollywood finances, production; most powerful international media and all banks, interest-based finances are in the bloody clutches of modern Shylocks of Zionists–which then keep a tirade of demonizing peaceful Islam with their brute corrupt wicked power.

      May God give them guidance to live together like human brethren worshipping the same Almighty God, as all are Abrahamic Montheistic religions,, and not continue make mountains out of molehills!

      Summarizing the genuine history for you and your friends :

      Important Events

      360 – Inauguration of Hagia Sophia, under the rule of Constantius II.
      404 – The original roof got destroyed in a fire.
      415 – Restored and rededicated by Theodosius II.
      532 – Burned down once again in the Nika riots beginning in the Hippodrome of Constantinople. The church got completely destroyed alongside various others. After a mere 93 days, construction of the Hagia Sophia began.
      537 – The reconstruction got completed with the lavish decorations and ornaments
      553 – An earthquake shook Hagia Sophia, weakening the crown of the Eastern arch.
      558 – Another earthquake hit, causing a break between the two halves. A few months after, the main dome collapsed alongside the eastern semi-dome. It destroyed the ambo, ciborium, and the Holy Table.
      562 – Reconstruction completed.
      726 – Hagia Sophia got stripped of religious illustrations and sculptural work with the abolition of the veneration of icons (iconoclasm).
      842 – The Second Council of Nicaea commenced the redecoration of Hagia Sophia and reinstituted t icons.
      859 – A great fire damaged the Hagia Sophia.
      869 – An earthquake caused a half dome to collapse.
      989 – Another massive earthquake caused the collapse of the western dome.
      994 – Hagia Sophia reopened after reconstruction took place.
      1204 – Hagia Sophia became a Roman Catholic Cathedral.
      1261 – Hagia Sophia was converted to an Eastern Orthodox Church again.
      1344 – An earthquake caused severe damage throughout the striation
      1346 – Various parts of the building collapsed, and the church was closed.
      1354 – Hagia Sophia reopened after construction.
      1453 – Following the fall of Constantinople, Sultan Muhammad ordered the conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Some say he purchased the building.
      1573 – The exterior changed and altered to follow the customary mosque appearance.

      1717 – Renovations on the interior began.
      1734 – Hagia Sophia added a library and a Quranic School.
      1847 – The structure underwent another restoration.
      1849 – The mosque reopened.
      1919 – The Divine Service in Hagia Sophia, after the Salvation in 1453, started and completed by a Greek military priest.
      1935 – The building transformed into a museum on the order of the first President of Turkey Ataturk.
      2020 – The 1935 decision to convert the Hagia Sophia to a museum; the Turkish President signs a decree converting it into a working mosque.

      Regards.

  6. Whatever you wrongly defend the issue , the fact is that majority have radical mindset without applying their minds.
    Use of religion for political gains that’s it, mosque is not a home to Allah rather a place where you pray HIM, just like when you visit other places to do some tasks. Allah almighty God is every where as per Quran and not a copy right of one religion only.
    And if no proper defence then threaten , foul language use and changing goal posts again again are typical characteristics this group ?
    E.g. ISIS , Hezobaalh, Osama Bin Laden , terrorist groups are never heard of being discouraged or condemned in true acceptable sense by majority , why ? Because they descend from the group who killed the Mumd nawase , Ftma, relatives in mosque only during morning prayers , is it not true ?

    1. The unsurmountable problem is how can a PHD scholar with immense God-gifted intellect, knowledge and experience teach a juvenile Kindergarten knowledge “secret” fellow human being?

      1. Truth : Musjids are full daily 5 times, Churches are empty even on Sundays/Saturdays; synagogues are secret chambers which fill up only Saturdays not to pray but more to plan mischief by Zionist world just like their dogs RSS in Nagpur.

      2. Quraan doesn’t say Almighty Allah is everywhere, rather ” Allah swt is above the infinite Universe He has created!”
      So Almighty God is much bigger than the infinite Universe, imagine!!!
      Yes, Almighty Allah is everywhere with His Knowledge and the trillions of invisible Angels He has all over the entire Universe, including one angel on every human being’s right and left shoulder each.

      3. FACT : ISIS is the Black DOG procreated by Zionist Israel and Crusader US and its puppies. Truth emancipiates from mental slavery.

      4. Will not even give you importance about answering the typical Shia ignorant slander you pick up from shit websites! Some other day, maybe!😇😅
      Today is First day of our blessed month Zil-Hajjah for Hajj on the 10th day, the biggest and noblest ANNUAL WHITE congregation of peace, mercy, wisdom and love of Humanity in the most blessed HOUSE of Almighty LORD around the Kaaba in blessed Mecca built by none other than Prophet Abraham, Prophet Ishmael and witnessed by Mother Hajer (Hagar) may peace be upon them all!
      Further reading for wisdom….
      http://www.islam-guide.com

      Warm regards.

      1. Very unfortunate that still many learned Muslims are not ready to accept the Truth and Facts. They go on defaming RSS Hindus Majority community and Government of India on false, untrue narratives.
        Reason ,RSS want Hindu nation and Shantidoots want Islamic nation for India and rule Hindus. Thats it.
        Truth – EVERYWHERE= UNIVERSE
        No Randomised controlled trials, scientific studies , research has proved the existence of a power present everywhere, it is a Blind Faith and Belief based on perceptions of minds only.
        Quran never allows to covert any other place of worship to mosque.

  7. the decision to convert the Hagia Sophia to a mosque by right of `conquer` , enforces the fact that it is `stolen property` and justifies the decision to convert the Hagia Sophia back to a church by right of `liberation`. Don `t forget that `from the balcony of Kremlin you can see Constandinopol` .Putin allowed Erdogan to make that `move` as punishment for the recognition of ukranian orthodox church `autocephality` by the greeks and the rest…. when balkan orthodox churches will accept the russian religious protectorate (not likely), the agia sofia will be a church again.

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