The social media platform of Twitter swarmed with humongous reactions as Turkey organized the first Friday prayer in historical Hagia Sophia after 86 years.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan took part on Friday in the first juma prayers, after 86 years, at Hagia Sophia since the Istanbul landmark was reconverted to a mosque despite international condemnation.
— Adv. Mian Omer🇵🇰 (@Iam_Mian) July 24, 2020
Earlier on July 10, a top Turkish court revoked the sixth-century monument’s status as a museum declared by Kemal Attaturk in 1934, and Erdogan restored the status of Hagia Sophia of a mosque. The building reopened for Muslims for worship. The decision has left the Christian community furious and upset. Also, it has further strained relations with NATO ally Greece.
Friday prayer at Hagia Sophia and the social media frenzy
Muslims from across the globe hailed the first Friday prayer in the historical Hagia Sophia. TV channels in Pakistan broadcasted the live prayer from the Hagia Sophia mosque. Pakistani audiences witnessed the soul-stirring moments of Jumma prayer and recitation of Quranic verses on their TV screens.
The event not only garnered the attention of the Muslim devotees from across the world but virtually all the major international media outlets broadcasted the event of the first Jummah (Friday) prayer at Hagia Sophia mosque live on their channels. Besides, its religious significance the international observers are also analyzing the political aspect of the historic decision of Turkey to convert the Hagia Sophia museum into a mosque.
Historical day in İstanbul: #HagiaSophiaMosque is opened for Prayer and President @RTErdogan recited Holy Qur’an at the masque. 350.000 people joined friday prayer #AyasofyaCamii pic.twitter.com/G1wAiBmMvt
— Kasım İleri (@kasimileri_) July 24, 2020
Meanwhile, on social media #HagiaSophia, #AyaSophia, and #AyasofyaCamii are trending atop on social media. Social media users from across the world are expressing delight on the occasion. Whereas, internet users from Turkey posted pictures of preparations for the grand Jummah prayers at the Hagia Sophia mosque on Twitter and other social media platforms.
Read more: Juma Prayers at Hagia Sophia after 86 years!
The heart-rending images from the Istanbul showed worshippers flocked to the Hagia Sophia mosque on Thursday night. Several videos circulating on Twitter showed worshippers hailed the slogan of Allah-u-Akbar, (Allah is Great) while entering the mosque. A dozen of enthusiastic worshippers waved the flag of Turkey at Hagia Sophia mosque.
Worshippers thronged Hagia Sophia mosque
Pictures floating on social media show hundreds and thousands of worshippers thronged the Hagia Sophia mosque to offer Friday prayers in the congregation despite coronavirus restrictions. According to reports, worshippers had traveled to Istanbul from across Turkey to attend the historical Friday prayers at Hagia Sophia in the presence of Turkish president Erdogan. Only a thousand worshippers were allowed inside the mosque. Images on social media showed many took their place outside the mosque on pavements and grass with their prayer rugs.
The defenders of the decision called it the beginning of the consolidation of Muslim Ummah. Moreover, they also cheered Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for spearheading the campaign for the revival of the lost glory of Islam in the world. Some internet users even referred to Recep Tayyip Erdogan as “Sultan Erdogan” in their tweets.
Meanwhile, images of Recep Tayyip Erdogan reciting the verses of the Holy Quran ahead of Jummah prayer at Hagia Sophia mosque floated on Twitter.
The head of Turkey’s religious affairs directorate, Ali Erbas, said on Wednesday that up to 1,000 people could take part in the Friday prayer, which will be preceded by a Koran recital.
Leaders and officials from several Muslim-majority countries were invited, including Qatar and Azerbaijan, Turkish media reported. Nearly 20,000 security forces were present in the area to ensure the security of the worshippers. Architects and builders worked night and day to meet the Friday deadline, with scaffolding visible inside the monument and turquoise carpet laid for the faithful to pray.