Urfa

Jens Helmstedt

Joined December 2008

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Artist's Description

Rizvaniye Mosque and Halil-Ur Rahman Gölü, the Pond of Ibrahim in Şanlıurfa, Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey.

An important religious place for Muslim pilgrims from Turkey and other islamic countries is the Pond of Ibrahim (Abraham) in Urfa with holy carp, a complex of different mosques, the Mausoleum of Job and the cave, where the prophet Ibrahim was born.

According to Islamic belief the King Nimrod wants to burn Ibrahim on a pyre, because he didn´t accept the old belief to different gods. In the Holy Koran is written: “They said: Burn him and protect your gods, if you are going to do anything.” (21:68) and “We said: Oh fire, be cold and peace (safe) for Ibrahim.” (21:69)

Since many hundreds of years people in Urfa and muslim pilgrims from others regions and countries believe, that Allah changed the fire into water and the burning firewood into fish (carp), so Ibrahim was saved.

Şanlıurfa, usually known as “Urfa” is the ancient city Edessa and located in Southeastern Anatolia, Turkey. The population in Urfa is mainly Kurdish, even Arabs and Turks live in the region. Most of them are Muslim, but also followers of other religions can be found like Jewish, Armenian, Zaza and Yezids. The region of Urfa has a very old history, archaeologists found various cult places from neolithic ages.

© Photo by Jens Helmstedt

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