Muslim world hails Hagia Sophia conversion

Turkey's decision to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque, though contended by the West, has been welcomed by the Muslim world. Arab nations and Pakistan have congratulated and hailed the move which they say is a welcome one for Muslims around the world.

Muslim world Hagia Sophia

A Turkish decision to reconvert Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque after serving decades as a museum has won praise from the Muslim world.

“We congratulate Turkey and ourselves for converting Hagia Sophia back to a mosque because it belongs to all Muslims,” Ekrema Sabri, the preacher of Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, said in a statement.

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The Grand Mufti of Oman, Ahmed bin Hamad al-Khalili, offered his congratulations to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Muslims worldwide for reopening Hagia Sophia as a mosque.

“We congratulate ourselves, the entire Muslim nation, and particularly the Turkish nation headed by its leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for converting Hagia Sophia back to a house of worship where Allah authorized his name to be raised and mentioned,” he said on Twitter.

Read more: Turkey honours Hagia Sophia by converting it in to a Mosque

The Muslim Brotherhood group described the Turkish decision on Hagia Sophia as a “historic step”.

This step “confirms the sovereignty of the Turkish people over their land and the exercise of their rights,” spokesman Talaat Fahmy said in a statement.

He said the Turkish court decision to reconvert Hagia Sophia to a mosque “restores the right to its owners”.

Muslim world hails Hagia Sophia conversion: Arab Maghreb Union elated 

The Arab Maghreb Union also described the reopening of the Hagia Sophia mosque to worshippers as a “great historic event”.

“We extend our heartfelt congratulations to the Islamic nation as a whole and particularly to the Turkish people, led by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on the occasion of the reopening of the Hagia Sophia mosque to prayer,” the union said in a statement.

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On Friday, a Turkish court annulled a 1934 cabinet decree that had turned the Hagia Sophia into a museum, paving the way for its use again as a mosque after 85 years.
The court ruled that the architectural gem was owned by a foundation established by Sultan Mehmet II, the conqueror of Istanbul, and presented to the community as a mosque — a status that cannot be legally changed.

The Hagia Sophia was used as a church for centuries under the rule of the Byzantine Empire. It was turned into a mosque following the conquest of Istanbul in 1453. But in 1935, a cabinet decision had converted Hagia Sophia into a museum.

Pakistan backs Turkey over conversion of Hagia Sophia 

A local legislator in Pakistan welcomed on Saturday a recent decision by Turkey to reconvert Istanbul’s iconic Hagia Sophia into a mosque after serving decades as a museum.

“We hail President Recep Tayyip Erdogan for his courageous decision on the status of Hagia Sophia Mosque. It is not only in accordance with the wishes of the people of Turkey but the entire Muslim world,” said Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, the speaker of the state assembly of Pakistan’s largest Punjab province.

Elahi, a member of the Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-I-Azam) which is a coalition partner of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, underlined in a statement that the Hagia Sophia Mosque is a part of the common cultural legacy of the entire Muslim world, according to local broadcaster ARY News.

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On Friday, a Turkish court annulled a 1934 cabinet decree that had turned the Hagia Sophia into a museum.

The court move paved the way for its use again as a mosque after 85 years.

The court ruled that the architectural gem was owned by a foundation established by Sultan Mehmet II, the conqueror of Istanbul, and presented to the community as a mosque — a status that cannot be legally changed.

The Hagia Sophia was used as a church for centuries under the rule of the Byzantine Empire. It was turned into a mosque following the conquest of Istanbul in 1453. But in 1935, a cabinet decision had converted Hagia Sophia into a museum.

Anadolu with additional input by GVS News Desk

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