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Here is a list of 5 mosques that were built after demolishing holy shrines of other religions

The Temple Mount complex is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. the Western Wall, and the Dome of the Rock (an Islamic shrine that is instantly recognizable because of its gold-plated dome).

The destruction of temples and religious sites of other Faiths by aggressive Islamists has long been an unfortunate part of world history. In India, the Islamic invaders entered India and began the process of ‘Islamisation’ of the country nearly a thousand years ago.

The easiest way for them to achieve the set goal was by destroying the Hindu structures and prominent Hindu places of worship in India. As a result, the Babri Masjid was built in 1527 on the birthplace of Lord Ram under the rule of the Mughal emperor Babur.

Many more Hindu structures and temples were demolished and converted into Islamic places of worship in India. One such mosque is the Deval Masjid which is located in the Bodhan area of Telangana’s Nizamabad district.

Conversion of Hindu temple into Deval Masjid

According to the reports, the structure of Deval Masjid was originally a Hindu-Jain temple that was built around the 10th century CE by the Rashtrakuta King Indravallabha (Indra III).

The temple was renovated during the period of Kalyani Chalukya ruler Someswara who had then named it ‘Indranarayan Swamy Temple’. The conversion of the Indranarayan Swamy temple into a Mosque dated back to the year 1323 when Muhammad Bin Tughlaq encroached on the Bodhan fort, which was under the protection of warrior Kakatiya commander Sitaramachandra Sastri.

Shastri protected the 100-pillared structure for many years but was forced to surrender by the army of Tughlaq. Shastri was forcefully converted to Islam, was made to accept the suzerainty of Tughlaq, and was named Alam Khan.

But he reconverted to Hinduism as soon as the Tughlaq’s army left. The next time Tughlaq’s army invaded Bodhan, they took no prisoners, and instead surrounded the Podana (Bodhan) fort and destroyed it.

They beheaded the Kakatiya commander Sitaramachandra Shastri and converted the Indranarayan Swamy temple to Deval Masjid.

Gyanvapi mosque in Varanasi

The Gyanvapi Mosque complex is a disputed structure built over the ruins of the old Kashi Vishwanath Temple by Mughal emperor Aurangzeb after it was desecrated multiple times by Islamic monarchs such as Qutb al-Din Aibak and Aurangzeb.

To this day, parts of this ancient temple are clearly visible on the outer walls of the mosque, especially the western wall which has been kept intact. Moreover, there is enough historical evidence of the demolition of the temple, the building of the mosque, and the rebuilding of the temple at the current adjacent site.

The Kashi Vishwanath Temple complex, which is adjacent to the disputed mosque complex and where devotees can do puja and prayers, was built by Ahilya Bai Holkar of Indore in 1780.

Gyanvapi mosque was built by destroying the Kashi Vishweshwar Temple

A Varanasi court on May 12 this year allowed a videographic survey of the disputed structure. Varanasi’s Civil Judge (Senior Division) Ravi Kumar Diwakar issued guidelines for the same and added that a report of the survey must be submitted by May 17.

A 54-member team, led by advocate commissioner Ajay Kumar Mishra, surveyed the Gyanvapi complex basement and the western wall on Saturday (May 14). According to the reports, the survey team opened eight vaults of the disputed structure of Gyanvapi mosque.

Hagia Sophia in Istanbul

Hagia Sophia was a Church for the most part of its history, but it is now a mosque. It was built in the sixth century in the Turkish capital Istanbul, at the site of an earlier church destroyed by fire, which in turn was built after the first church was also destroyed by fire.

The current structure was completed in the year 537 as the Church of Justinian I (named after the Emperor who started its construction). It remained a church for hundreds of years, till the time the Ottoman forces invaded the city.

After capturing the city, Ottomans converted the Church into a mosque in 1453. Invader Sultan Mehmed II had ordered to stop all Christian rites and prayers at the Church and had ordered to immediately convert it into a mosque.

It remained a mosque till 1935 when it was converted into a museum by the first president and founder of the Republic of Turkey, after the fall of the Ottoman empire.

Initially, religious rituals were banned in the museum, but later in 1991 a pavilion was allowed to be used as a prayer room and minarets were allowed to use for voicing the Islamic prayer Azan.

In 2018, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan announced his intention to convert Hagia Sophia into a mosque, and it was officially declared a mosque in 2020. Thus, it is a mosque now, where regular Islamic prayers and rituals are held.

While non-Muslims can visit the site as tourists, they are not allowed entry into prayer rooms and have to follow the usual rules enforced at Islamic sites.

Al Aqsa masjid in Jerusalem

A source of major resentment in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is the religious divide between the Israeli Jewish people and the Palestinian Muslims. The Temple Mount, the holiest site in Judaism where Jews turn during prayer is in the Old City of Jerusalem.

The Temple Mount complex is home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. the Western Wall, and the Dome of the Rock (an Islamic shrine that is instantly recognizable because of its gold-plated dome).

However, before the construction of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock, there was a grand Jewish temple in the same location on the Temple Mount.

This Jewish Holy Temple, called the Second Temple, was the holiest Jewish site of worship until it was destroyed by the Roman Empire in the 70 A.D. as punishment for a Jewish revolt.

The Second Temple was constructed in 516 BCE after the First Temple or Solomon’s temple was destroyed by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in 586 BCE. The Foundation Stone, the holiest site for the Jews at present, is located on the floor of the Dome of the Rock.

However, the Jews are not allowed to visit it as it is located inside the Islamic shrine.

Kaaba & the surrounding mosque in Mecca

According to Islamic historians, prophet Mohammed was banished from Mecca in 620 CE. Upon his return in 629/630 CE, he ‘cleansed‘ the Kaaba of idols.

Abdullah bin Masud noted, as per the website Wiki Daiyah, “Allah’s Apostle entered Makkah (in the year of the Conquest) and there were three-hundred and sixty idols around the Ka’ba.

He then started hitting them with a stick in his hand and say: ‘Truth (i.e. Islam) has come and falsehood (disbelief) vanished. Truly falsehood (disbelief) is ever bound to vanish.’” [Quran 17: 81]

In October last year, Bangladeshi author in exile, Taslima Nasreen, had raked up the issue in the backdrop of the concerted attacks against minority Hindus in Bangladesh on the occasion of Durga Puja.

She said that Prophet Mohammed had himself destroyed 360 idols of pre-Islamic Arab Gods at Kaaba and that the Bangladeshi Muslims were just following his footsteps.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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