After many attempts and invasions by the Muslims, the crown of the conquest of Constantinople (قسطنطنیہ ) came to Sultan Muhammad and then he died in history as Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror. Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror came to Constantinople on May 29, 1453, and on June 1, 1453, he offered Friday prayers at the famous Christian church, Hagia Sophia. With the introduction of Friday prayers, the old building was transformed from a church into a mosque, and its status as a mosque remained until 1935.
It was later converted into a museum by a decree in 1935, after which in 2020 Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan restored the status of the Hagia Sophia Mosque, which was constitutionally decreed by a decision of the Council of State.
With the restoration of the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul as a mosque, it is being objected to in many ways by a section of the society. In this regard, the well-known jurist Dr. Muhammad Mushtaq has refuted these baseless objections with great argument and now this debate should be concluded after the address to the nation by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and the discussion on Hagia Sophia.
Hagia Sophia had the same status in Eastern Christianity as Vatican City in Western Christianity. After its conquest, a minaret was built here in the Ottoman Caliphate. When Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror conquered Constantinople in 1453, as a conqueror he had the right to do whatever he wanted in his conquered territory. There was no concept of a nation-state at that time, there was no international law, just a mention of ethics. Earlier, during the reigns of Ertugrul and Osman, this was the period when the Mongols used to build minarets on whatever territory they conquered. History also shows that there was so much bloodshed in the conquered area that horses would sink to their knees in blood and it would be almost impossible to pass through the street markets of the conquered areas. Apart from this, what the kings did in the conquered areas is mentioned in the history books.
The objection that Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror should not have changed the status of Sofia after the conquest is not correct. At that time they had every right to do whatever they wanted in their conquered territory. Simply put, when Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror conquered Constantinople and Hagia Sophia, he gained all the property rights of his territory, while history has shown that Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror did not take undue advantage of it. That is why there are still religious symbols of Christians in Hagia Sophia.
Secondly, Hagia Sophia has not been converted from a ‘church’ to a mosque but has been ‘restored’ back to the mosque from a ‘museum’. This is an important point that breaks the opposition’s propaganda. The first, which took place in 1453, was valid according to the law of the time. Turning the mosque into a museum after that was a serious mistake, which the Turks themselves admit. Why did this happen? How much Kamal Pasha was involved in this? What was the role of his advisers and companions, and how much did it involve the consent of Kamal Ataturk? All of this requires a separate debate, but it was a wrong decision that Turkey has corrected following its own constitution.
The third objection is that UNESCO has declared it a World Heritage Site. But does declare Hagia Sophia a World Heritage Site end Turkey’s right to it? If not, then this objection automatically becomes invalid. Hagia Sophia is owned by Turkey and is free to use it in any capacity, without the denial of any international, even self-imposed international law.
Now listen further. Israel has recently turned mosques into nightclubs in its territory, so why are the protesters silent here? In the past, horses and donkeys were tied up in our own Badshahi mosque. Here, too, the objectors will appear completely silent. Christians have built churches in the beautiful mosques of Europe today, but there will be no objection. Then why only object to Hagia Sophia, which has been converted from a museum to a mosque? Do protesters know that Muslims in Europe and the United States have bought churches from Christian governments over the past century and converted them into mosques? If the objection is that it was a church and Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror should not have turned it into a mosque, then the whole of Istanbul should be returned because it too was conquered.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a recent speech that we will protect the historical status of Hagia Sophia. Turning it into a museum was a mistake and we are correcting that mistake and restoring its mosque status. No one needs to worry about that. Hagia Sophia will be open to worshipers and tourists at all times, while the monuments of Christianity will be preserved in the same way as it has been since 1453. Also, the entry will be free for every special and general public.
Turkish journalist Furqan Hameed writes in his column that Ardavan has made it clear that Hagia Sophia “does not belong to the state or any institution. Rather, it is owned by the Faith Foundation. Its status cannot be changed without the consent of the Foundation. He also conveyed the message of Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror: Whoever came to change the institution (foundation) that gave Sofia the appearance of a mosque or to repeal any clause of the foundation or to change its original condition by various tricks or to help in it If someone tries to make someone else look, I will make it clear to everyone, that person will be committing haraam and committing a great sin. It will be cursed by Allah, the Prophets, the angels, and all Muslims. Allah’s punishment will be upon him. ”
President Erdogan said that today with this decision we are safe from the curse of Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror.
Does anyone still have an objection?