Monday, July 27, 2020
The President of Religious Affairs Prof. Dr. Ali Erbaş delivered the first khutbah by reviving the sword tradition and established the Friday prayer with the community at the Great Hagia Sophia Mosque which has been re-opened for worship after 86 years
Dear and Honorable Muslims!
May the blessings and grace of Allah and the peace and abundance of Friday be upon you.
At this blessed time and at this blessed place, we are witnessing a historical moment. The Great Hagia Sophia Mosque is rejoining with its community when we are too close to the Eid al-Adha and when it is the third day of the blessed Zulhijjah month which is one of the hajj months. Alhamdulillah our nation’s longing which had turned into a deep heart wound is coming to an end. Thanks and praises to Allah.
Today is the day when the takbirs, tahlils, and salawats are echoed again at the domes of the Hagia Sophia and when adhans and sala prayers are recited from the minarets of the Hagia Sophia. Today is the day when 70 years ago 16 muezzins shouted ‘’Allahu akbar’’ with the loudest voice from the 16 balconies of the minarets of the Sultanahmet Mosque which stands in front of us now and when we are experiencing a similar moment in which our minarets rejoined with adhans after 18 years passed. Today is the day when believers stand in prayer while crying joyfully, reach to ruku in awe, and prostrate thankfully.
Today is the day of honor and modesty. Endless thanks and praises to the Almighty Allah Who lets us live in such an honorable day, lets us join at mosques which are the most blessed places of the entire world, and accepts us in His presence at the Divine Place of Worship Hagia Sophia.
Salat and salam to the Biggest lover of Allah and the great prophet of Allah Muhammad Mustafa who said, “Verily you shall conquer Constantinople. What a wonderful leader is going to her leader be, and what a wonderful army is going to that army be!” and gave glad tidings of the conquest of Istanbul.
Salam to the companions of the Prophet Muhammad who set off for the sake of being the leader who is mentioned in this hadith, the spiritual architecture of Istanbul Abu Ayyub al-Ansari being in the first place, and to those who followed their auspicious path.
Salam to Sultan Alparslan who opened the doors of Anatolia for our nation with the belief of ‘’Conquest is not an attack but a revival; conquest is not destruction but a construction’’, to our martyrs and veterans who made Anatolia our homeland and handed it down to us and the sultans in the heart of our geography who added the love of faith to it.
Salam to the person of science and wisdom Akshamsaddin who placed the love of conquest into the heart of Fatih Sultan Mehmed slowly like an embroidery and established the first Friday prayer at the Hagia Sophia on the date of June 1, 1453.
Salam to that young and vigorous sultan who adopted the verse of “Yet when you are resolved, then put your trust in Allah; surely Allah loves the (ones) trusting (in Him)” by heart; to the genius of history, literature, science, and art; to Fatih Sultan Mehmed who produced the most advanced technology of his age, moved his ships over land, bestowed with the conquest of Istanbul with the permission and favor of the Almighty Allah, and then did not let anyone to damage even a stone of this dear city; may Allah let his place be heaven.
Salam to the master of architects, the great artist Architect Sinan who furnished the Hagia Sophia with minarets and implemented the reinforcement works which ensured that the Hagia Sophia stands for centuries.
Salam to all our believer brothers and sisters who wait with longing for re-opening of the Hagia Sophia Mosque for worship in all parts of the world and celebrate this event with joy.
Salam to our ancestors who exerted great efforts from yesterday to today for rejoining the Hagia Sophia with its adhan, iqamat, sermon, khutbah, dua, tilawat, scientific activities, and the honorable and dear community which stands in rows.
Salam to our people of science and idea and pioneers of scholarship and benefaction who instilled hope and patience to people by defining the Hagia Sophia as, “our room of soul, beliefs, and deeds at our own home” and saying, “The Hagia Sophia is going to be re-opened definitely! Our young people, wait for it! Let some more mercy rain on us. Every rain is followed by a flood. What else I would want if I were a straw on that flood! That is going to be re-opened like a dear book.” May mercy be upon all of them.
With its life more than fifteen centuries, the Hagia Sophia is one of the most valuable places of science, wisdom and worship in the human history. This ancient place of worship is a wonderful expression of servitude and submission to Allah, the Allah of the worlds.
Fatih Sultan Mehmed Han handed down this great place of worship, the apple of his eye, to believers by endowing it in condition that it is going to stay as mosque until the Judgment Day.
The property of endowment is untouchable according to our belief, the ones who touch them are burned; the condition of the person who endows it must be realized definitely, those who do not realize it are going to be cursed.
For this reason, from that time to today, the Hagia Sophia has been the sacred place of not only our nation but also the ummah of Prophet Muhammad.
The Hagia Sophia is the place where Islam's endless mercy is once again declared to the world. Fatih Sultan Mehmet said to the people who took shelter in Hagia Sophia after the conquest of Istanbul and was concerned about the judgment to be given about them, “Do not be afraid about your freedom and your life from now on! Nobody's property is going to be plundered, nobody is going to be persecuted, nobody is going to be punished for their religion,” and he did realize all his words afterwards. So, for this reason, the Hagia Sophia is the place where the greatest experiences of respect to beliefs and co-living were shown and put into practice.
Dear Brothers and Sisters!
That the Hagia Sophia is re-opened for worship is the conversion of a great mosque, which embraced the believers for five centuries into its original status as a requirement of its historical place.
That the Hagia Sophia is re-opened for worship is the proof of the rise of the Islamic civilization, whose foundation is laid on tawhid and whose reinforcement is made with virtue, despite all the hardship faced by it.
That the Hagia Sophia is re-opened for worship is a life line support for all the mournful masjids in the world, al-Majid al-Aqsa being in the first place, and for mournful believers.
That the Hagia Sophia is re-opened for worship is determination of our dear nation, which keeps the love of iman and homeland above everything, to build a strong future with the spiritual power it takes from its roots.
My brothers and sisters!
In our civilization, our mosques are the sources of our unity, wellness, brotherhood, belief, and peacefulness. The Almighty Allah states as follows about those who construct mosques and masjids, “The mosques of Allah are only to be maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last Day and establish prayer and give zakat and do not fear except Allah, for it is expected that those are going to be of the [rightly] guided.”
What else could be more mournful than a mosque whose minarets are silent, whose pulpit is alone, whose dome is silent, and whose yard is deserted? Today, there are mosques which are attacked, locked, even bombed and destructed because of the dangerously increasing Islamophobia in various places of the world.
Hundreds of millions of Muslims, who are oppressed and sad, are being exposed to oppression.
I would like to show this excellent exemplary behavior of Fatih Sultan Mehmet at the Hagia Sophia five centuries ago to today’s world and would like to invite the entire humanity to say ‘’Stop!’’ to all kinds of oppression, Islamophobic discourse and actions being in the first place.
My brothers and sisters!
We are the believers, who consider the meaning expressed by the Hagia Sophia as a divine objective and a sacred trust, our greatest duty today is to strive for the domination of compassion and tolerance, peace, tranquility, and benevolence all over the world.
Islam means peace, salvation, and salam. Both the last Prophet Muhammad and all his companions were sent to the earth for ensuring benevolence and peace in the world. They were sent to invite people to follow Allah's orders and move people away from what He forbids.
Then what we should do to work day and night so that benevolence, truth, and justice can dominate in the world all the time. Our duty is to be the hope of salvation of humanity which experiences desperation in the vortex of huge problems. Our duty is to be the guarantee of justice in the geographies surrounded by cruelty and injustice, tears and helplessness. We need to start a new resurrection by following the call of, “O Muslim! Understand, live, and tell Islam so beautifully and so authentically that make the ones who come to kill you resurrect thanks to you.”
We believe that, with the expression of Hazrat Ali, “People are of two types: they are either your brothers in faith or your equals in humanity.” We believe that the earth is the common house of us. We believe that, regardless of their belief, race, color, land, everyone who is a member of this house has the right to live freely and humanly in safety within the framework of universal values and moral principles.
With this stance under the dome the Hagia Sophia, we are inviting all humanity to justice, peace, compassion, and equity. We are calling them to keep alive the universal values and moral principles which preserve the honor of being human and make us honorable creatures. We are inviting the humanity to help each other and be in solidarity for the preservation of life, religion, mind, property and generation of the humanity, as we are the members of the last and true religion, which declares that every life of men, women, children, the young, and the old is untouchable. Because today, we need more than ever to integrate our heart with our human nature and our mind with our conscience, to meet people with people, and to reconcile people with nature.
I would like to address to the entire world from this honorable place while ending my khutbah,
The doors of our Hagia Sophia Mosque is going to be open for all servants of Allah regardless of any discrimination, just like it is at our Süleymaniye, Selimiye, Sultanahmet, and other mosques. The journey which leads to belief, worship, history, and contemplation is going to last forever without interruption, if Allah permits, in the spiritual atmosphere of the Hagia Sophia Mosque.
May the Almighty Allah let us serve duly to our Hagia Sophia Mosque which has a privileged place within our glorious history and an exceptional value in our hearts. May He bestow on us the happiness of respecting duly to such a great mosque as the Hagia Sophia which is a magnificent one. May He add all the executives, our President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan being in the first place, who strived to realize the re-opening of Hagia Sophia Mosque for worship and the protection of our culture and identity, those who made dua for this purpose, and those who shared our happiness to the list of the people who are loved by Him and who have His consent.