The first call to prayer inside Hagia Sophia in 86 years
The Hagia Sophia, the mosque that was turned into a museum in the past, returns 86 years later to be a mosque again.
The return of Hagia Sophia to a mosque after its conversion to a museum in 1934, came by a judicial decision issued by the Turkish Supreme Court to cancel its conversion to a museum.
Muslims from all parts of the world can now perform the prayers in Hagia Sophia for the first time in about 9 decades, while the first Friday prayer was programmed on July 24, 2020.
In the same regard, a presidential order was issued to assign the affairs of the Mosque of "Hagia Sophia" to the Presidency of Turkish Religious Affairs, while canceling the entrance fees to the mosque, which was a museum, which allows visitors to tour in it for free.
Hagia Sophia ... between past and present
Although that Muslims have prayed for more than 5 centuries in the Hagia Sophia Mosque, its construction was originally a "cathedral" that was built in the sixth century AD, to be converted by the Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II in the year 1453 AD from an Orthodox church to a mosque after entering Constantinople as a pioneer.
And the "Hagia Sophia" remained a mosque and a destination for the Muslims until the unfair decision of 1934 was issued to convert it into a museum.
About 85 years later, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made a proposal to return the archaeological landmark inscribed on the World Heritage List "UNESCO" to a mosque again, which was later achieved by a judicial decision.
The history of Hagia Sophia after the Ottoman took over Constantinople
Returning to the history of turning the church of Hagia Sophia into a mosque, we find that, in 1453 AD Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror entered the city of Istanbul as a conquest, and his first orientation, according to historians, was to Hagia Sophia, and this move he made has transformed the fears of the Byzantines into security, tranquility, and peace.
After entering Hagia Sophia he called for the first prayer, prayed inside of it, and announced the conversion of the church into a mosque for prayer, remembrance, and worship after it was destroyed and burned twice due to wars and disturbances.
The prayers of Sultan Mehmed II in Hagia Sophia were the launch of the historical conversion, to take place 3 days after that, where the mosque was officially opened in front of worshipers and the first Friday prayer was led by Sheikh “AK Shams al-Din”.
One of the titles that Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror gained after the conquest of Istanbul was the “Roman Emperor” and thus he became the owner of all properties that were registered in the name of the Byzantine family.
According to the provisions of this law, the Hagia Sophia Mosque has become the Sultan’s property, so that its ownership was registered in an official document issued during the era of the new republic and in the current Turkish letters.
Sultan Mehmed II quotes about Hagia Sophia
Sultan Mehmed II says in one of his endowment pages that he wrote in 1453: "Any person or group attempting to change or amend the endowment or remove the verse of the Sophia from the status of a mosque or declare guardianship over it through a conspiracy, corrupt interpretation, forgery, or lies is an act of great sin and commission For the greatest kinds of forbidden that result in an eternal curse from God, His Prophet, and His angels.
With the historic decision that has returned Hagia Sophia to a mosque again, the grandchildren of Sultan Mehmed II had preserved the guardianship, maintained the trust, and regained the heritage of the Turks and Muslims in the world and one of the most beautiful landmarks in Istanbul