ISTANBUL: A ceremony was held after 87 years at the historic Hagia Sophia Mosque in Turkey on the occasion of Prophet’s Night Journey and Ascension (Shab e Meraj).
According to Turkish media reports, the 27th night of the month of Rajab al-Marjab 1442 AH was celebrated with religious devotion and respect throughout the country.
This year, a special ceremony was held at the historic Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul on the occasion of Shab e Meraj, which was attended by a large number of citizens.
According to the report, after 87 years of almost eight decades, the voices of blessings and peace were echoed in the mosque on the occasion of Shab-e-Meraj.
The Turkish Institute of Religious Affairs also organized special events on the occasion.
It should be noted that after the court decision last year, the Turkish president opened the Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul for congregational prayers on July 24 after eight decades.
On the 26th of last year, thousands of citizens, including the Turkish president, offered Friday prayers in the congregation at the mosque. The Turkish government also appointed Imams and Muezzins for the five daily prayers in Hagia Sophia.
It may be recalled that on July 10, a Turkish court ruled that the Hagia Sophia Museum should be converted back into a mosque. Following the court’s decision, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan signed a presidential decree to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque. Sophia’s museum status has been revoked and the mosque was taken over by the Turkish Department of Religious Affairs.
The Sophia was built in the sixth century and remained the world’s largest church for nearly a thousand years. It was converted into a mosque by Sultan Muhammad the Conqueror after his conquest of Constantinople in 1453 AD.
After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in 1935, Kamal Ataturk turned Hagia Sophia into a museum, but a Turkish court ruled after eight decades that the decision was illegal.