السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ
It’s Saturday 25th July 2020. Let’s talk about ‘My 2 Visits to Istanbul’ today.
Yesterday (Friday 24th July) will be remembered as a memorable day in the history of Istanbul. It was the day when the world famous building known as ‘Ayasofya, or Hagia Sofia’ was officially reopened as a Masjid مَا شَآءَ الله.
My first visit to Turkey was 20 years ago, in the year 2000. While travelling to Albania and Kosovo, my colleague and I decided to spend 2 days in Istanbul. It was a Friday.
We visited the resting place of Ḥaḍrat Abū Ayyūb al-Anṣārī رَضِيَ ٱللَّٰهُ عَنْهُ, who was the host of our Holy Prophet صَلَّىٰ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ when He صَلَّىٰ ٱللَّٰهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ migrated to Madīnah al-Munawwarah. It was such an emotional visit.
He is known as Sulṭān Eyüp (Ayyub) in Istanbul and the whole area is named after him, Eyüpsultan (or just Eyüp). A beautiful Masjid is built in his memory.
The Sultanaḥmet district hosts 3 of the best monuments within a kilometre, Ayasofya, Blue Mosque, and Topkapi Palace.
We prayed our JumuꜤah Ṣalāh in the spectacular Sulṭān Ahmet Camii (Mosque), also known as the Blue Mosque, an absolute masterpiece of Turkish architecture, and visited the Ayasofya, which was a museum at that time. It was glorious inside, and from the outside.
The Topkapi Palace which, at its peak, housed 4000 people, is regarded as one of the world’s richest museums.
There are 4 main courtyards and several smaller buildings. The room which houses the Holy Relics is just amazing.
The Süleymaniye Masjid, which we also had the pleasure of visiting, was just magnificent. It was a memorable visit مَا شَآءَ الله.
Seventeen years later, in Ramaḍān 2017, I visited Istanbul again, this time with family. It is a wonderful city with a very rich history. A few photos of my 2017 visit accompany this message.
After you have visited the 3 Ḥarams, if circumstances allow, and you are planning to take a break, then make sure Istanbul is one of your destinations. You will not be disappointed.
Almighty Allāh protect all Muslim countries and keep their leaders in His Protection, Āmeen.
جَزَاكَ اللَّهُ خَيْرًا
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وَالسَّلَامُ Hanif Dudhwala