Ayasofya: The Dagger Removed

‘’Either I will conquer you or you will conquer me”; this sentence, uttered by Fatih Sultan Mehmet, referred to Istanbul. This city has a subtle connection with the sacred Islamic cities of Mecca and Jerusalem; the qibla (direction of prayer) in Istanbul is towards both the Ka’ba and Al-Aqsa. For us Muslims, it is a beautiful blessing to face both the first qibla in Islam … Continue reading Ayasofya: The Dagger Removed

Relics of Triumphalism

Hagia Sophia has a storied heritage, but at no time has she been living in the past. Her walls embellished with marvelous Abrahamic vestiges of the distant past, Hagia Sophia excites aesthetic envy the world over. Strings of naked lightbulbs line the confectionaries and kebab stands that populate her casual vicinity in warm summer evenings—her odd, mismatched minarets visible across the Bosporus from Üsküdar, where … Continue reading Relics of Triumphalism