Urfa, City of Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام

Famous city related to Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام

Şanlıurfa, Turkey

Coordinates: 37.147530, 38.786515

Urfa, officially known as Şanlıurfa, is a city with a population of over 2 million residents in southeastern Turkey, and the capital of Şanlıurfa Province.

Urfa is a multiethnic city with a Turkish, Kurdish and Arab population.

Because of its association with Islamic, Christian, and Jewish history, and a legend according to which it was the hometown of Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام, Urfa is nicknamed as the “City of Prophets.

In everyday conversations, Sanliurfa is shortened to Urfa. The extension of the name happened in 1984 to recognize the part that Sanliurfa played in the Turkish war of independence and Sanli means glorious.

Although not popular as a holiday destination for foreigners, it is popular with Muslims because the town is thought to be the birthplace of Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام.


According to Islamic and Jewish sources, Urfa is Ur Kasdim, the hometown of Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام, the grandfather of Hz. Yaqub عليه اسلام.

This identification was disputed by Leonard Woolley, the excavator of the Sumerian city of Ur in 1927 and scholars remain divided on the issue.

Urfa is also one of several cities that have traditions associated with Hz. Ayyub عليه اسلام.

Armenian history

For the Armenians, Urfa is considered a holy place since it is believed that the Armenian alphabet was invented there.

Islam in Urfa

Although the site of Urfa has been inhabited since prehistoric times, Islam first arrived in Urfa around 638 AD, when the region surrendered to the Rashidun army without resisting, and became a significant presence under the Ayyubids

In 1144, the Crusader state fell to the Turkish Abassid general Zengui and the subsequent Second Crusade failed to recapture the city.

Subsequently, Urfa was ruled by Zengids, Ayyubids, Sultanate of Rum, Ilkhanids, Memluks, Akkoyunlu and Safavids before Ottoman conquest in 1516.

Under the Ottomans Urfa there was a small but ancient Jewish community in Urfa, with a population of about 1,000 by the 19th century.

Most of the Jews emigrated in 1896 and settling mainly in Aleppo, Tiberias and Jerusalem.

Göbeklitepe: The oldest known temple discovered anywhere in the world.

Mevlid-i Halil Mosque: One of the most ancient mosque in the city center of Urfa province, it is believed that Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام was born in the cave next to this mosque

Cave of Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام : Situated within a mosque, The cave of Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام in Sanliurfa (possibly Ur of the Chaldeans) is said to be the place where he was born

Pool of Sacred Fish (Balikli Gol): Place where Hz. Ibrahim عليه اسلام was cast into fire by Emperor Nimrod, Pool of Sacred Fish (Balikli Gol) is a great pool by the mosque and a very nice clean park where people come with their families to hang out.

Cave of Hz. Ayyub عليه اسلام : Also knows as Sabir Makam, Cave of Hz. Ayyub عليه اسلام is where he, while suffering from leprosy, laid in patience with his wife and prayed to Allah to make him healthy, which in due time was granted. Also there is the water which he drank to heal himself

Ulu Camii: One of the oldest mosque of anatolia, Ulu mosque in Sanlıurfa is said to be containing a well in which miraculous handkerchief having a portait of Hz. Isa عليه اسلام was thrown in the well.

Rızvaniye Mosque: It is a more recent Ottoman mosque built in 1716, adjoining the Balıkligöl complex near the Mevlid-i Halil Mosque.

The Temple of Nevali Çori – Neolithic settlement dating back to 8000BCE.