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Hagia Sophia and the Mosque Conversion

Hagia Sophia church museum mosque conversion is political signaling for the dominant global powers, it has nothing to do with Islam really.

First, let me go over basic questions on Hagia Sophia.

Hagia Sophia pronunciation and meaning

Hagia Sophia, pronounced as Ayasophia (hai – uh – sow – fee – uh), means “holy wisdom”.

Sophia meaning in Islam

Sophia or Sophiya both mean “wisdom, sagacity and philosophical”. It is a word that entered the Arabic Language from Greek Byzantine. “Sophia” does not have any mention in the Quran or religious texts, however. Now, “Sofia” or “Sophia” names are quite common in the Muslim world for ladies.

The architects of Hagia Sophia?

Byzantine Romans namely Anthemius Tralles and Isidorus of Miletus were Hagia Sophia’s original architects. They were known to have knowledge of mechanics and leverage.

hagia sophia church conversion

Islam and conversion of religious sites?

There is no early Islamic precedence of converting religious places to mosques, but that was when Islam was an ascendant power.  It is a whole new political ball game when civilization is being boxed in and is trying to fight its way out. 

  • The earliest Muslim leaders and Prophet Muhammad have made it absolutely clear that there is “no compulsion in religion” [Al Bakara: 256]
  • Quran says that God [Allah] Protects “monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in the which the name of God is much mentioned” [22:40]
  • Prophet Muhammad signed a treaty with the Christians from the city of Najran to worship in his own mosque that read: “There shall be no interference with the practice of faith… No bishop will be removed…, no monk from his monastery, no priest from his parish.”
  • Prophet Muhammad’s letter to the monks of Mt. Saint Catherine assures them 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…monks [should not be] disturbed exercising their religious order… whenever monks, devotees, and pilgrims gather together in… church or houses of worship, certainly we shall protect them”
  • The Second Caliph of Islam, despite winning over Jerusalem from the Romans in 637AD, after a bloody conflict, assured the locals in strict Islamic traditions “their churches shall not be taken over as residences and shall not be demolished… nor shall their crosses be removed”
  • Sultan Salah Ud Din Ayubi conquered Jerusalem in 1187 AD but granted safe passage and the right to live peacefully inside the city, despite the fact that Muslim women and children were slaughtered by crusaders’ in the same city a few decades back.

Even Pakistan that was born out of the trauma of religious hate never sanctioned any conversion of Hindu temples.

So, the precedence is very clear, Islam sees places of worship as sacred, not to be altered, whatever the religion.

On the other hand, there is plenty of precedence of converting mosques to Churches.

History of Hagia Sophia Conversion to Mosque

Now, let’s examine the historical buildup of Hagia Sophia matter

hagia sophia church conversion

Hagia Sophia was built in 537AD by Justinian I, the Roman.

Hagia Sophia has been largely administered by Greek Eastern Catholics throughout history.

It was briefly taken over by Crusaders in 1204 AD and looted artifacts and desecrated the building.

Sultan Mehmet II Al-Fateh finally breached Constantinople’s formidable defense in 1453AD, converted Hagia Sophia into a mosque۔

Sultan Mehmet had purchased Hagia Sophia from his personal money and donating it to Islamic Waqf or trust, so legally it has to be a religious property.

1600s Colonial British and French spread out to the world and build a formidable military machine.

The Ottoman Muslim conquest ran out of steam at the Gates of Vienna in 1683.

Christian kings regroup and kick Muslims out of Europe, immediately thereafter in tandem with a rising western colonial foothold in Muslim lands.

Muslim lands, including Ottoman, face severe reversals, in the Middle East, Africa, and India by local collaborators of colonial British.

WWI and WWII take place between western colonial powers, over resources of the world.

Ottoman former hinterlands are gradually carved up by British and French victors and dictators installed. Also, Jewish people have settled in Jerusalem again.

General Kemal Ataturk defends Anatolia against combined colonial Western powers and takes over power in Ottoman Turkey.

General Kemal embraces secularism and western values, in 1934 converting Hagia Sophia into a museum, formally ending the Ottoman rule that was already in decline, with the Turkish Army acting as guarantor.

Turkish Army sends, in 1960, a legitimately elected prime minister Adnan Menderes, with Islamic leanings to the gallows.

Turks Takes the Lead again in Islamic History

Muslims all over the world are brutalized by dictators, taking power with a Western nod, from legitimate governments to keep Islamic resurgence under check.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan wins elections in 2003 from the Justice and Development Party (AKP) platform based on a conservative voter base.

Western countries try several times to topple his government through internal coups involving several institutions, including the Turkish Army. All were repulsed.

Fast forward to the present day, the USA is severely hit by Corona Virus; 41 million are out of jobs in the USA, and the economy contracting 4%. The remaining Western world powers, like the UK and France, have sick economies that have run out of steam exactly the way the Muslim empire had in Vienna.

Why convert Hagia Sophia to a Mosque?

Tayyib Erdogan converts Hagia Sophia, a cathedral of 1500 years to a mosque in 2020, which is meant to reflect this reality.

What will happen now?

Erdogan has started spreading Turkish wings across the former Ottoman lands using the Turkish Army, but this endeavor requires huge wealth, that Turkey can only acquire from abroad.

Now that Erdogan has lit the fuze of Muslim expansion, it can only end in either his assassination or when Turkish tanks roll into Makah city – there can be no middle ground.

The USA, the inheritor of Western Colonial tactics of gaining wealth, and the only remaining guarantor of this crumbling order, is already showing signs of hiding behind walls.

The Turks are lucky they have a functioning state, with a literate population and a secular constitution.

What to conclude from the Hagia Sophia affair?

Hagia Sophia’s conversion is just a symbol of what’s to come. The real fight is which political system will take up the Global leadership after the USA, when their proxies Generals and Kings loose grip subsequently. Turkish influence will spread across the former Ottoman lands of the Middle East, South-Eastern Europe including Greece, Hungary, Balkans, and Muslims will breathe a sigh of relief from four centuries of global humiliation from the old order.

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