Heavenly stones preserved in Istanbul’s Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosque

Heavenly stones preserved in Istanbul’s Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosque

ISTANBUL (AA): Four pieces of the sacred Black Stone from the southeastern corner of the Kaaba have been preserved in the Sokullu Mehmed Pasha Mosque in Istanbul for about five centuries.

The pieces of the stone were brought to Istanbul by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I, also known as Suleiman the Magnificent, and placed in the mosque built in the Kadırga district on behalf of the then-grand vizier, Sokullu Mehmet Pasha, in 1571.

The pieces are framed in gold and have been fitted in the middle of the marble at the entrance of the mosque, on the upper part of the mihrab (prayer niche), above the entrance door to the minbar (pulpit) and under the minbar dome.

One of the four pieces of the Black Stone is seen at Sokullu Mehmed Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey, April 4, 2022. (AA Photo)
One of the four pieces of the Black Stone is seen at Sokullu Mehmed Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey, April 4, 2022. (AA Photo)
One of the four pieces of the Black Stone is seen at Sokullu Mehmed Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey, April 4, 2022. (AA Photo)
One of the four pieces of the Black Stone is seen at Sokullu Mehmed Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey, April 4, 2022. (AA Photo)

Deputy Mufti of Istanbul Hüseyin Demirhan told Anadolu Agency (AA) that the Black Stone is a rock considered sacred by Muslims and rumored to have descended from heaven. “This stone, which was mounted on the southeast corner of the Kaaba after it was first built, was accepted as the beginning of the hajj. The Kaaba was sometimes destroyed by fire, floods, or human attacks at different times throughout history, especially during the time of Prophet Abraham. It was repaired and rebuilt, and the Black Stone has been preserved to this day,” he said.

Noting that parts of the Black Stone have been damaged on occasion but they have been meticulously preserved, Demirhan added: “This mosque is one of the most important masterworks of Ottoman architect Sinan during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. The four pieces broken from the Black Stone were installed by Mimar Sinan in different parts of the mosque. These stones are not places in the spots where people can reach, instead, they were mounted at higher places so that people do not touch them.”

Adding that the largest piece of this stone was mounted above the entrance to the tomb of Suleiman the Magnificent in the Süleymaniye Mosque, Demirhan said that citizens can visit the Sokullu Mehmed Pasha Mosque and Sultan Suleiman’s tomb during Ramadan and see the Black Stone firsthand.

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