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Old Ottoman Method of Tarawih Prayer Makes Comeback in Turkey

Old Ottoman Method of Tarawih Prayer Makes Comeback in Turkey

Tuesday, 5 April, 2022 - 05:00
This aerial picture shows Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey, April 25, 2020. (AFP Photo)

Turkey saw a comeback for an old tradition that was common in Ottoman palaces during the holy month of Ramadan. It’s the ‘Enderûn’ Tarawih prayer which will be held every week on Saturdays and Sundays in 34 mosques, including the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque, announced the Directorate of Religious Affairs.

This type of prayer was practiced in the Ottoman Caliphate Palace, and then in mosques on special days. The prayers will be performed using the Isfahan and Saba makams, while muezzins recite chants, supplications, and Islamic honorifics. The makams will be maintained throughout the whole prayer, and then will be followed by dua, and Dhikr.

After two years of postponement due to the covid-19 restrictions, the Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque saw the first Tarawih prayer in 88 years on April 2.

The ‘Enderûn’ Tarawih prayer debuted in Ramadan 1831, under the rule of Sultan Mahmud II. At the time, prestigious Turkish composer Hammamizade İsmail Dede Efendi was the senior muezzin, and Zain Al Abidin Efendi was the palace’s Imam.

Hagia Sophia was reopened as a mosque and witnessed the Friday prayer on July 24, 2020, for the first time in 86 years.

The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque is located in the Sultanahmet district, close to the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii) also known as the Blue Mosque, in Istanbul. It served as a mosque for 481 years, then it was turned into a museum in 1934.

Hagia Sophia among other mosques in Istanbul will be hosting various Ramadan related activities during the holy month, including Quran recitation, dua, and religious lectures.

As part of the “Ramadan and Truth Program’ overseen by Istanbul Ifta Authority, 158 mosques will be open 24/7 across the city.

The holy Quran will be read in 93 mosques and interpreted in 63. In addition, 209 Istanbul mosques will host worshipers seeking isolation, an activity that was banned in the past two years due to the pandemic. During the isolation, precautionary measures will be applied, and each mosque will host only five worshipers.

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