“Those who have been driven from their homes unjustly only because they said: Our Lord is Allah – For had it not been for Allah’s repelling some men by means of others, cloisters and churches and oratories and mosques, wherein the name of Allah is oft mentioned, would assuredly have been pulled down. Verily Allah helps one who helps Him. Lo! Allah is Strong, Almighty .” (Qur’an 22:40)
So let us get very obvious points out of the way.
So as someone was curious about what my position is at Prima-Qur’an as well as the position of the Ibadi school in regards to Hagia Sophia let us get obvious things out of the way.
Anyone who uses Qur’an 22:40 against turning the Hagia Sophia into a Mosque is only a person so desperate for any proof text to support their position that they will make a verse say something that doesn’t even have the faintest suggestion of what they try to impose upon it. There is nothing in that verse that forbids one place of worship to be changed into another.
Point 1) There is not a single text anywhere in the Qur’an or Sunnah that says that places of worship of other religions cannot become places of worship for Muslims. There is simply none.
Point 2) Mecca itself was a holy sanctuary of the idolaters and the Blessed Messenger (saw) smashed their idols. It is now the most sacred Mosque in all of Islam. Now we can say it was originally a Mosque built by Ibrahim and his son (peace be upon them) but we do not have a shred of historical evidence to support this. We only have our belief as Muslims in what the Qur’an has revealed.
Point 3) As populations begin to embrace Islam in large numbers it is only logistically feasible that as people leave the former religion and embrace the new faith that those buildings would be converted to new places of worship. If you have a warehouse that is used for selling shampoo products and suddenly shampoo wanes in popularity and the use of toothpaste now increases in popularity you could:
1) Destroy that warehouse.
2) Leave the warehouse as it is and let it go to waste.
3) Convert the warehouse into a storage place for the new popular goods.
Al-Attgarin Masjid Egypt, Arab Mosque Turkey, Al Khadra Mosque Palestine, The Umayyad Mosque Syria were all former churches. The Abu Fares Mosque, the Abdullah Bin Salem Mosque in Oran Algeria were former Synagogues that are now Mosque.
So should we abandon them all? That is a drop in the bucket when you consider that most of the Middle East were some form of Christian sect until the rise of Islam. That is simply what happens. As Islam began to rise Christianity began to wane. In fact, it is very plausible that many Churches converted to Mosque belong to remnants or sects of Christianity that are no longer extant.
In a nation of 99.8% population following Islam is there really a pressing need for any churches?
The whole issue is a big nothing burger.
However, we are proud that our Shaykh Ahmed Al Khalili (May Allah swt continue to bless us by him) issued a statement in favour of Ergodan and the Turkish people and congratulated the Ummah of Muhammed (saw) on the opening of this Mosque. He was the first scholar in the world that congratulated the Ummah, the Turkish People, and made an official statement!
Saudi Arabia and Egypt went crazy! If Turkey didn’t help people in Libya against Egypt’s Sisi and his Saudi partners then for certain you will see Saudi and Egypt praise Ergodan and his move. It’s simply politics from them. They even give a fatwa that it is forbidden to pray in aya sofiya! Subhan’Allah! The hypocrites can’t be happy that a Masjid reopened! They started cursing our Shaykh and Al-Ibadiya. Calling us infidels that we are happy a museum was turned into a Masjid. Every time you give these people Qur’an they go crazy! However, we are prepared to debate them any time, any place, anywhere. Oh, Allah are we ready!
At least we do not do like the Arminians (and countless others) who have turned Agdam Mosque into a pigpen and cowshed!!
Where were Unesco and the world heritage organization when this happened?
Those who say Turkey does not need another Mosque?
May Allah (swt) use this situation as an opportunity to open the eyes of the Ummah as to who are the bootlickers and those who are trying to cause discord among the Muslims.