Turkey’s Hagia Sophia’s Step vs India’s Babri Mosque Destruction.
On Wednesday (5/8), Modi laid the first stone for the construction of the Hindu temple which also coincides with the one-year anniversary of the revocation of special rights in Kashmir which is a Muslim-majority country. Symbolic of this development he did by placing bricks made of silver in the construction of the temple of the god Rama.
And regarding the controversy, here we present the study of Prof. DR. Isra Ahmad Khan, who received his PHD degree from ‘Aligarh Muslim University’, India. The current author is Professor at the Faculty of Islamic Studies, Ankara University Social Sciences, Turkey.
This article we quote from the Turkish news agency, Anadolu Agency (aa.com.tr). Opinion from Prof Israr Ahmad Khan entitled: ‘Turkye’s Hagia Sophia move VS India’s Babri Mosque demolition ‘(Turkey’s Hagia Sophia move vs destruction Babri Mosque India).
Here is the complete article:
The Hagia Sophia Museum in Istanbul was restored to its original position as a mosque designated by the Honorable President of the Republic of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan on July 10, 2020. The world has witnessed its official opening as a mosque on Friday, July 24, 2020.
Immediately after the return from the museum to the mosque, the worldview lifted its hue and wept over this change. Some of the arguments include that the policy has been the start of a malicious attempt to equate it with the conversion of the Babri Mosque to a Hindu temple in India.
Proponents of this opinion argue that if a church can be converted into a mosque like in the Hagia Sophia in Turkey, then a mosque can also be turned into a temple by a court India and the Indian government.
However, it seems that this argument is nothing more than a camouflage to mislead the masses on the one hand, and on the other hand is a misreading of history. Both historical perspectives must be seen in their entirety. The conversion of the Babri Mosque to a Hindu temple and the return of the Hagia Sophia museum to its original position as a mosque must also be seen with sincerity.
The Babri Masjid Case: An Overview
The Babri Mosque was built by Mir Baqi, a Mughal army commander with the permission of the Mughal Emperor of India, Zahiruddin Babur, on a hilltop in Ayodhya (a city in India) where there were no temples or other construction in 1528-29 AD
This history is written in the mosque above the mihrab. And this writing remains the mosque until 22 December 1949, where Muslims pray five times a day and special prayers every week on Fridays. On the night of December 23, 1949, some evil Hindus placed the idol of Ram near the mosque’s pulpit and announced the next morning that a statue of the god Rama had appeared in the mosque and that it needed to be converted into a Temple of Rama.
This controversy reached the city court which immediately imposed a ban on Muslims and Hindus from using the Babri Mosque as a place of worship. According to court orders, the mosque was locked on the same day.
Furthermore, in 1950 a civil lawsuit was filed by Hindus to allow them to perform ‘puja’ (worship) in mosques, and by Muslims to open mosques for prayers.
On 26 January 1986 the Ayodhya city court allowed the mosque to be opened but only to Hindus. This court order totally prohibits Muslims from entering the mosque premises. The same year the Hindu organization Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) formed a committee for the construction of a Hindu temple on the site of the five-century Babri Mosque.
In 1992 the Babri Mosque was destroyed by the masses with a bomb, despite a Supreme Court order prohibiting it. This mass action at that time was indicated by the protection of the Congress Party and the Hindu nationalist party, the Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP), which is now the ruling party in India.
Despite all these developments, the court case regarding the Babri Mosque continued into 2010 when the Allahabad High Court divided the site of the Babri Mosque into two, one for Hindus and one for Muslims. It must be remembered that the court was unable to cite evidence of the place as a Hindu temple prior to the construction of the Babri Mosque.
Later, Muslims and Hindus filed an appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn this ruling. Then the Supreme Court ruling overturned the High Court decision in 2011. India’s Supreme Court recommended that the plaintiffs settle the dispute out of court in 2017 but with no success.
Then on March 8, 2019, the high court formed a mediation group under the leadership of former Supreme Court Muslim judge, FM Ibrahim Kalifulla. However, the court later declared mediation “failed” on 2 August 2019, and resumed trial of the dispute which was resolved on 16 October 2019.
The last court ruling came on 9 November 2019, during which the court did not say that the Babri Mosque site was originally a temple. The court only ruled that the controversial site should be left to a committee set up to oversee the construction of a Hindu temple and that another plot of land be allocated for Muslims to build a mosque.
The court in its decision did not specify the reasons for the handover of the Babri Mosque site to Hindus. The court ignored disputes over whether the disputed site was originally a mosque or temple and arbitrarily stated that the entire mosque land should be handed over to the Committee to oversee temple construction tasks.
Obviously, the top court’s decision does represent the concept of justice. However, when talking about this, it is more appropriate to see it as political engineering by preferring political masters from the RSS, BJP, and VHP parties.
Overview of the Hagia Sophia Case
The Byzantine emperor Constantius built the Hagia Sophia Basilica in 360 AD It was a wooden building and served as a holy place for Christians of various denominations until the year 404 when it was burned by rioters sparked by political conflict in the royal family during Emperor Arcadius’ reign in (395) – 408 AD).
After about 10 years of ury, there is no building that can be called a church or cathedral. Under Byzantine Emperor Theodosios II (AD 402-450; known as infant emperor because he was only one year old when he was crowned), the Hagia Sophia cathedral was rebuilt in AD 415.
However, Haga Sophia was burned again in 531 AD in an act of rebellion against Emperor Justinian I (527-565 AD) who later rebuilt the Greek Orthodox church Hagia Sophia (Divine Wisdom) back in 532 AD
Furthermore, the church remained intact for about 921 years and remained as a church until 1453 AD when the Ottoman ruler Sultan Mehmed II (1444-1446 AD and 1451 AD -1481 AD) conquered Constantinople (now Istanbul).
In this matter, some historians claim that Sultan Mehmed II immediately after the fall of the city turned the Hagia Sophia church into a mosque in 1453 AD However, the claim after being checked is a claim without documentary evidence or indirect.
Difference between Babri Masjid and Hagia Sophia Case
So, from a historical point of view, it is clear that the two cases have nothing to do with each other. Babri Mosque was a mosque from the beginning of its construction in 1529 AD until it was destroyed by cadres of the RSS, BJP, VHP ‘hooligans’ and the so-called political elite in 1992 AD.
The original Babri Mosque was built on a vacant lot atop the hilltop city of Ayodhya in northern India. In history, there is no record that the Babri Mosque was originally a Hindu temple. The RSS, BJP and VHP failed to provide any evidence that the Babri Mosque was built on top of a temple.
The Hindu side’s advisors kept repeating in trials that people believed that the Babri Mosque was originally Ram’s birthplace. Due to socio-political pressure from Hindu nationalist organizations and organizations, India’s Supreme Court ordered the BJP government to hand over the disputed site to Hindu beliefs to build a temple and allocate a separate plot of land for a mosque.
The Hagia Sophia case is fundamentally different from the Babri Masjid case. Hagia Sophia was originally the Hagia Sophia church which was abandoned by Christians and priests which was purchased by Sultan Mehmed II as his personal property and handed over to the Wakaf foundation in 1462 C. Under the Waqf document the property of Hagia Sophia was declared a mosque and this remains a mosque until 1934 when the Turkish Cabinet turned it into a museum.
On July 10, 2020, a Turkish court overturned a 1934 Cabinet edict turning the Hagia Sophia into a museum. And this paved the way for its use as a mosque.
Now everyone who thinks right and loves justice can consider the position of Masjid Babri and Hagia Sophia. If people still claim equality in the two cases, that is self-interest.