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Islamic Heritage – Mystery of Istanbul’s Arab Mosque

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Lauren Booth

Channel: Lauren Booth

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Salam Alaikum welcome to the latest episode of Islamic heritage with me Lauren booth and today we're going to be looking at a very small but very important mosque in a quite ugly back street of Istanbul. But its history is disputed by Orientalist and Muslims. Was this the place where the Yvan was called? Just 100 years after Hijra in ancient Constantinople, welcome to the Arab Chami.

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So this current building is based on what was put up in 1325 as a Roman Catholic Church, and there's no doubt the feeling is not it's not automatically it's not that kind of vaulted high design of me Marcin, and it's definitely got a feel of a Catholic church inside. But the dispute arises on whether or not there was something here before and where does the name Arab Chami come from? Because that's what it's always been known around these parts. According to many historians, this was the site where the call to prayer Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar shadow Allah ilaha illallah shadow and Muhammad Rasulullah was pulled for the first time in Constantinople under Christian rule in 717,

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common error Subhan Allah just 100 years after the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him, made hijra to Medina, that's a really close timespan did it happen? And if so, how did it happen? Let's find out. So Constantinople couldn't be taken by that army. But the latter, the area, the latter, famous and Byzantines in history was taken. And it's true to say that that really shook Emperor Leon. It shook him into making an agreement, a truce agreement with the Muslim army, and that included this area. So historian site being a place of worship for a battalion or a garrison of Muslim troops included in the agreement was that this area was going to be a place of a masjid for the Arab army, the

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Muslim army where they would pray because they were going to be based here permanently under that agreement. Problem was just seven years later, the Christian emperor relayed on that agreement, and in an uprising, the Arabs and Muslims were driven out and ended up going back to Damascus.

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Subhanallah is just about to walk out when I noticed this Hazrat Muslimah bin Abdul Malik the great commander, now unchecking this is not actually where his body is interred that is in Damascus, but it is commemorated that he and his troops were here Subhana Allah, that seems to give more credibility to the fact that the Muslims had a masjid here.

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So I'm here at Galata Tower, one of the oldest, if not the oldest, surviving tower, watch tower in the world.

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It's right around the corner from the Arab Masjid SubhanAllah. Towards the end of the century, Sultan Bay is at the second made the decision to give the Arab Masjid to all of those survivors of the Inquisition. They fled, and he sent boats. And when they arrived, they needed their own place to live. And what's really interesting is that a great number of those are from the Jewish community, who are also being persecuted by the Spanish Inquisition. By the 16th century, the largest Jewish community in the world is in the Ottoman Empire. And a lot of them settled here in Galatia.

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I hope you've enjoyed this video and discovering all about out of Masjid here in Culatta in Istanbul plenty more to come. If you want to find out more about how the Jews are welcomed in the Ottoman Empire watch this video. And for more about Solomon the magnificent watch this one. Don't forget to subscribe, like and share. See you next time