After 88 years, Muslims have welcomed the Taraweeh prayers at the historic Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey, an Islamic country located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia.
According to the Turkish news agency Anatolia Agency (AA), the first Taraweeh prayer after 88 years was offered at the Sofia Mosque on the first of Ramadan.
The majority of worshipers attended the Taraweeh prayers at the historic mosque almost nine decades later, most of whom had also been vaccinated against corona.
The first Taraweeh after 88 years was performed there on April 1. Photo: Daily Sabah / DHA
In view of Corona, people wore face masks as a precautionary measure and the worshipers also expressed happiness when the first Taraweeh was held in the historic mosque.
The Sofia Mosque was restored 86 years later in 2020, but since then, restrictions have been imposed there because of Corona, and last year Taraweeh could not be arranged there.
This time, after a significant reduction in Corona cases in Turkey, 88 years later, Taraweeh prayers were held at the Aya Sofia Mosque, which was attended by elderly, young, and young worshipers.
While Taraweeh prayers have been arranged in the Sofia Mosque during the holy month of Ramadan, several other religious gatherings will also be held there during the holy month.
After the epidemic, prayers were offered at the Sofia Mosque without any restrictions.
The building was closed for several years before the restoration of the Sofia Mosque two years ago, but in July 2020, a Turkish court allowed the building to be used as a place of worship.
Following a court order, the Turkish government restored a mosque there, and on July 24, 2020, for the first time in 86 years, the call to prayer was heard and prayers were offered.
Older worshipers including youth also participated in Taraweeh.
The historic building was used as a Byzantine church for 900 years before 1453 and was converted into a mosque by the Ottoman kings.
The Aya Sofia building was later converted into a museum by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in 1934 and was later closed for some time.
After the coming of Rajab Tayyip Erdogan’s government, legal work was started for the restoration of the mosque in the said historical building and thus in July 2020, after 86 years, the mosque was restored in the historic building.