Is this the best 1.3 billion Muslims could do?
(Bringing Islam to the World One Concept at a Time.
Trying to Take the Qur’an to Every Home and Heart that Needs It —
And Which One Does Not?)
Is this the best 1.3 billion Muslims could do? I ask myself.
I am referring here to a speech that President Erdogan of Turkey delivered in Turkish on the conversion of Hagia Sophia back to being a Mosque, after nearly a century of being a Museum.
Some of my friends found a home-made English translation of that speech on the Internet and very kindly shared it with me, which, frankly, I found it impossible for me to listen to or absorb.
That English Translation was garbage in English language from beginning to end. Evidently, this was the best the 1.3 billion Muslims of the world could do on a most important topic of the past several hundred years.
I don’t know all the facts and details, but obviously, World Media thought it fit not to provide a text or translation of President Erdogan’s most important speech, with profound international implications, to their global audiences.
Here now are some simple details about this most amazing architectural, cultural and historical wonder, Hagia Sophia, that connects, not only the two continents of Europe and Asia, but also two of the most important “Religions” of the world, Christianity and Islam.
And these details and facts are not a product of careful and extended research on my part, but what I quickly picked up from here and there, like most other people. So, I cannot personally vouch for the veracity of each one of them.
Evidently, Hagia Sophia was a grand church in Constantinople, the capital city of Byzantine Empire for hundreds of years that Turkey’s Sultan Muhammad the Second conquered in 1453.
Sultan Muhammad then purchased Hagia Sophia, some say with his own money, and deeded it to the Muslim Community in perpetuity to be used as a mosque.
This practice is called Wakf, and Muslims used it to protect and preserve lands, monuments and institutions of all kinds throughout the world, for the past over 1400 years.
Sultan Muhammad took special care to see to it that all the Christian architecture, mosaics and paintings of Hagia Sophia, from the time of the Byzantine Empire, were protected and kept intact.
For the next nearly 500 years, Hagia Sophia was used as a mosque by Muslims of Turkey, who all took special care, generation after generation, to preserve the Christian Character and Architectural Integrity of the structure.
For nearly five hundred years, Five-Times Daily Prayers were performed in Hagia Sophia with the Christian mosaics and other relics in place. The mosque remained open for both Muslims, for prayers, and for non-Muslims, to visit and enjoy.
Then in 1934 or so, the then Turkish president, Mustafa Kamal, by a Special Presidential Decree, arbitrarily converted the 500-year old mosque into a Museum. Hagia Sophia, thus, remained a Museum for nearly a century until July 2020.
Recently, several individuals and organizations went to court asking the court to annul the 1934 presidential decree and restore the historical character of Hagia Sophia as a mosque.
After, it seems, several attempts, finally the court, using the original Property Deed and other relevant historical documents of more than 500 years, ruled that Mustafa Kamal’s Presidential Decree of 1934, making the mosque a Museum, was illegal, and Hagia Sophia must be reverted to being a mosque.
I am vague on the facts here, others must do their own research and verify the information, as Islam requires we do, but I think the Turkish Parliament passed a bill incorporating the court’s ruling and President Erdogan then promptly signed the bill reverting Hagia Sophia to its original status as a mosque.
And then, evidently, President Erdogan delivered a brief speech in Turkish, I take it, addressing the what and why of the situation.
World Media played up the fact that President Erdogan changed the status of Hagia Sophia from Museum to mosque. This was more like Partisan Propaganda than Objective News Reporting.
If Objective Reporting or Proper Professional Standards had been used, World Media would have said clearly that this place was a mosque for 500 years; Mustafa Kamal, arbitrarily changed it to Museum by a decree; Turkish people, in recent years, sought judicial redress; and finally the courts ruled that Hagia Sophia, based on historical records and papers, must be converted back to being a mosque.
And when the Turkish Parliament passed a Bill to that effect, President Erdogan signed the Bill and made it Law.
By all considerations, I am guessing this was a most important speech that President Erdogan delivered. It must have said things with the most profound implications to all the Christians and Muslims, as well as other concerned people of the world.
And a speech like this should have been translated and provided to all the Muslims and Christians of the world, and to everybody else, in both textual and audio forms.
But since the World Media don’t seem to have done their professional duty and due diligence in this regard, at least Muslims should have done it. Muslims should have made translations available to their fellow-Muslims in English and in every other language of the world.
And when some Muslims did decide to do it — translate and post the English Translation of Erdogan Speech on the Internet I mean — this is the garbage they produced.
That is why I ask: Is this the best 1.3 billion Muslims could do?
And then I think back about the Hadith that says in effect:
Always do a thorough and perfect job whenever you undertake to do something. No matter what it is. For, that is what Allah wants you to do.
If Muslims do nothing, but just follow this simple Hadith, they would change their own Destiny in this world, as well as the Destiny of the entire world.
And for those of you who care, that is the real Sunnat of Rasulullah, Sallallahu Alaihi wa Sallam:
Doing a perfect job, no matter what you touch.
Beyond eating dates and wearing long robes. For, even Abu Jahl and Abu Lahab ate dates, wore long robes and sported a turban on their heads.