What is the significance of The Hagia Sophia?
If you wanted to compare The Hagia Sophia in it’s significance to orthodox christians (in terms of what it means to them) it would be similar to what the Kaaba means to the Ummah. As the main Cathedral of the Byzantine Empire, the Hagia Sophia is incomparable to another cathedral in its importance due to its historic significance.
It has been narrated that Sayyidina Ayyub Ansari رضي الله عنه passed though and prayed outside of The Hagia Sophia stating:
“One day this will be the Jamia Masjid.” – Sayyidina Ayyub Ansari RA
How Did The Hagia Sophia Become a Mosque?
Another notable historical significance of The Hagia Sophia is that Sultan Mehmet Fatih II conquered The Hagia Sophia, obtaining it peacefully! When he entered the building, he fell to his knees in praise of Allah and performed prayers twice. Thereafter, it was established as a Masjid and served as a soup kitchen for the poor, a library, a Madrassah, a pool with a fountain and a primary school for children! The Hagia Sophia has truly been the heart of the Istanbul for centuries, serving its community generation after generation.
The reason this Masjid has it’s virtue is that this Masjid was taken as an exchange between the christians and the Muslims. The Muslims purchased this Masjid from them and constructed for them another land in which they were free to practise their worship. Therefore this Masjid was founded upon peace. When it was converted into a Masjid in 1453, the amount of tribulation that caused in the world, now it has returned to its original ruling from which Muhammed al-Fatih left behind.
Who Devlievered The 1st Khutbah?
The first person to give the Khutbah inside The Hagia Sophia was Sheikh Shams al-Din. He was a Damascan Scholar and the spiritual father of Muhammed al-Fatih.
What is the Rank of The Hagia Sophia?
After the virtues of the first 3 Masjids – Masjid Haram, Masjid Nabawi and Masjid Al-Aqsa, The Ulema thereafter counted Mosques in their virtues. Normally they count the Umayyad Mosque to be the fourth. The Hagia Sophia is in the top 7 from the virtuous Masajid of the Ummah.
How Did The Hagia Sophia Become a Museum?
Later on, The Hagia Sophia turned into a museum in 1935 by Mustafa Kemal Attaturk, the founder of Turkish secularism who ended the role of religion and closed religious institutions. Many Byzantine churches were turned into museums, opening them up for tourism and forgetting their original purpose as places of worship.
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the President of Turkey has since reinstated its purpose as a place of worship, reopening the building for prayers 7 days a week and also open to tourists alike. Ulema have emanated from this Masjid. Duroos of Hadith also used to take place here.
Other Important Significances of The Hagia Sophia…
As mentioned in Damascus, Sayyidina Khidr passed through this Masjid.
Images of Isa Alayhi Salaam have been covered with a curtain. The outline of 4 angelic figures remain in the 4 corners surrounding the dome. These represent 3 of the Arch Angels as mentioned in the Islamic tradition plus an additional which is not mentioned in our tradition.
The history and heritage of this Mosque have been retained as much as possible for all to enjoy but most importantly to serve its true purpose of a Masjid of Allah!
“Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror, conquered the Hagia Sophia like a diamond in the sun, preserved in a city beyond compare, like Istanbul.”
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