Dr Waleed Hakeem, popularly known as the travelling imam, on Tuesday shared his experience in Turkey.
Here is his narration as compiled by iWitness’ Taofeeq Ogundele
Subhanallah, last night while in Istanbul, Turkey, I witnessed the commemoration of the failed military coup in Turkey. Let me tell you how the day went, and the lessons we could learn from such incident!
First, I went out at 9 in the morning and tried to use my istanbulkart for public transportation, only to find that all buses, trains, and even boats are free for the entire day, as to encourage people to come from everywhere to attend this massive gathering!
Usually in most Muslim countries, people are very disorganized when they are using public facilities in such large numbers, trying to push to get ahead of you, shoving you with their elbows, or disrespecting any queue, but Turkish people were very organized and respectful. It wasn’t like that in the 1980’s and early 90’s, until Erdogan, then mayor of Istanbul, took charge and cleaned up the mega-city of 20 million. That shows that you could teach one generation to act in a civilized way through education and enforcement, a valuable lesson for other Muslim countries and their leadership!
The day started by doing Khatm of Quran in one of the local mosques, Millet Mosque, for the families of the martyrs (a practice which has no evidence from the Sunnah, but insha’Allah they are rewarded for their intentions), followed by Duhr prayers.
After that, there was a large dinner with the families of the martyrs (we ask Allah to accept them as such), sharing with the public and the poor people, an emotional moment that brings everyone together to share the pain and sorrow of losing a loved member of the family who sacrificed their life to keep the country safe.
Then after this, everyone started to move towards the old Istanbul airport, which was replaced by the largest airport in the world a few months ago. The train rides were so full that there was barely a place to stand, but fortunately, trains were coming literally every 30 seconds to move people to the gathering place.
As you came out the airport station, red Turkish flags were being mass distributed to people as they lined up in front of a large podium and screen, waiting for Erdogan to land with his plane in the same airport that the traitors of the military tried to take control of.
Finally, at 8:15pm, the plane of president Erdogan landed, with the tune of Ertugrul playing in the field 🙂 Erdogan came out hand in hand with his wife, followed by a sad moment were the names of all 258 martyrs was announced in alphabetical order, along with their photos displaying on large screens, and to my amazement, there were many brave women who also died in standing against a group who tried to terrorize the peacefulness of this country.
After the speech, the president proceeded to the bosphorus bridge, which connects Europe with Asia, and where the coup happened, and opened the new “15 July museum,” which will be a teaching moment for future generations of Turkish people on how to stand United against people who try to destroy a country’s unity and stability.
Turkish people have taught the rest of the world and specifically the Arab world, that even if some members of the public don’t like a leader, they would still stand behind them and behind the truth, as using violence and power to change the status of a country will only backfire and bring the country down economically, safety, and subsequently in all other areas! Turkey has learned this lesson every time the military did a coup against their leader in the past, as their currency plummeted to 150,000 liras against 1 dollar! The question is, did other Muslim countries learn this lesson with their militaries?
I congratulate Turkey on how they turned a horrible event into a positive learning moment for current and future generations. President Erdogan in his speech thanked all the imams around the world who prayed for Turkey while the coup was happening. Allah wanted to protect Turkey because of how they have helped 4 million Syrian refugees and housed many of the oppressed individuals from the rest of the Muslim world!
As for those who lost their lives for the fear of this country going back to extreme secularism, we ask Allah to reward those who had the correct intention among them, and to forgive the others, and accept them among the shaheeds. Ameen. May the rest of the world learn from this history-defining event!