The head of Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate (Diyanet), Ali Erbas read out a special sermon, before the collective Friday prayer.
According to the sermon, “In this blessed time, together, we are witnessing a historical moment in this holy place.”
He also said that Hagia Sophia Mosque regains its congregation today, the third day of the blessed Muslim month of Zulhijjah, in which the blessed Eid al-Adha is approaching us.
The Imam said, today is the day when takbirs, prayers, and salavats, resonate in the domes of Hagia Sophia, and the adhan rises from its minarets.
He further said that today is the day when believers stand up in prayer with tears of joy, bow down in submission, and prostrate thankfully and adding, “Today is the day of honor and humility.”
The Imam quotes Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAWW), who said: ‘Verily Constantinople will be conquered. What a good commander is the conqueror, what a good soldier is the conqueror.’
He added, “Conquest is a revival, not an attack, and is reconstruction, not destruction.”
The Imam concluded the sermon and said, “In the sacred atmosphere of Hagia Sophia Mosque, the journey to belief, worship, history and observation will, unabated, move forward.”
The Turkish President Recep Erdogan retweeted this which said, ‘Have a nice Friday.’
— Erdoğan Dijital Medya (@RTEdijital) July 24, 2020
Earlier a top Turkish court announced this month it had annulled Hagia Sophia’s status as a museum.
President of Turkey Erdogan immediately decreed that the building, a Christian Byzantine cathedral for 900 years before being seized by Ottoman conquerors and serving as a mosque until 1934, had been converted once again to a mosque.
It is to be noted that the iconic, domed building of Hagia Sophia is located in Istanbul’s Fatih district, on the west bank of the Bosporus, overlooking the Golden Horn harbour.
Since 1934, it has since become one of country’s most visited tourist sites, hosting more than 3.7 million tourists in 2019.