BOOKING DEADLINE 31ST MAY 2016
CHILD SHARING BED: £250.00
ISLAMIC TOUR OF ISTANBUL 2015 FEEDBACK & REVEIWS
My family and I enjoyed the trip very much and gained a lot of knowledge about the empire. Truly awesome.
Adam Vohra & Family
This is the second time I travelled with Zaytoon Academy this year and I look forward to travel with them again and again. Travelling with them has made it stress free for me especially travelling with an extended family (seven in our family) all of different ages, a mix of male and female and personal requirements including a vegetarian.
The trip was planned very well, from start to end with all promises met and in fact getting more than we expected.
The daily seminars on the rise and fall of the Ottoman Empire supplemented by the daily tours put everything into perspective, the tour guide used was excellent having very good knowledge of what he was talking about but was also Islamically educated, he also had a very good level of English which made us understand much easier.
A number of trips all inclusive of course, included many museums, palaces, masjids etc and a cruise on the Bosphorus, shopping trips to the Grand/Spice Bazaar, visit to Hazrat Abu Ayub Al Ansari's tomb and to top it all a very exquisite meal at the Haskral Hatay Sofrasi Aksaray restaurant (read the reviews on trip advisor for yourself).
All transfers including to and from Birmingham, direct flights using British Airways all travel in Istanbul, hotel (Alcohol Free) breakfast and evening dinner included in the price. Our room was spacious and clean. There was also a great view from the roof top terrace of the and restaurant of the Bosphorus. All hotel staff were very friendly and accommodating.
All of the above just for £750 and cheaper if you were under 12 or child sharing a bed, this price in the middle of school holidays is excellent value for money.
Me and my family enjoyed the whole experience, we got more than we expected and enjoyed the family type atmosphere that you created.
I would recommend the trip to everyone. I may even go on the same trip again, it was great.
Zia Din & Family
We would like to thank Zaytoon tours for a great opportunity to experience a very spiritual, educational, beneficial and enjoyable tour to Istanbul.
Everything was well prepared and organised from start to finish.
We are already looking forward to the next tour with Zaytoon Tours InshaAllah!
May Allah bless and accept Zaytoon Tours and give them the tawfeeq to continue doing their tours.
Jazakallah once again.
Imran & Tanjima
AssalamuAlaykum Wa Rahmatullah
Istanbul is the only transcontinental city in the world located on two continents, Europe and Asia. It is the city where east meets west. A city layered with rich history and of great legacy. It is brimming with remarkable religious, cultural and architectural heritage. Travelling alongside Zaytoon Tours for this Islamic Tour of Istanbul August 2015 was awe inspiring and proved significantly beneficial as we were in the company of scholars, who had travelled previously to Istanbul and who had a vast in depth knowledge of the city, together along with its’ history.
Regular messages were given via text beforehand discussing various matters such as; luggage, weather, currency, point of pick up and drop off, visa (which Zaytoon Tours obtained on behalf of the group), a pre-travel seminar and its’ itinerary. The pre-travel seminar was organised at the academy and an evening meal as well as refreshments were provided during this seminar. The purpose of the seminar was to help introduce ourselves to group members, review intentions and to discuss any questions we had. Zaytoon suitcase tags were distributed amongst the group. This was a great idea as it would easily help identify group members’ luggage and make processes more efficient. The seminar proved vital in attending as we all had a better understanding and matters were clear to all. Even after the seminar, the points discussed were summarised and sent via text to the group to help remind us and for those who did not attend to be kept informed.
The carefully chosen four star hotel within the old city walls that we resided in throughout our stay in Istanbul was comfortable and welcoming. Staff were friendly and accommodating. Zaytoon Tours worked hard to find such a great hotel as it met our needs. No alcohol permitted in the premises (as many hotels in Istanbul do). The hotel provided a daily buffet breakfast on the terrace with a wide range of food. We also had a daily evening meal for the whole group and different Turkish dishes were made for us.
Many significant Masajid, museums, bazaars and places were within walking distance from our hotel. The local Masjid was minutes away to pray our daily Salah. These were shown to us by Mufti Sahib and Qari Sahib during our walks.
Zaytoon Tours organised daily excursions for us to visit places of significance and of rich history. The most significant part for me was visiting the Topkapi Palace/museum. It used to be the main residence for the Sultans. It is now a museum which contains the blessed and sacred relics of the prophets Alayhimus Salam and of the companions Radhiyallahu Anhum. Within the museum there is an artillery room which contains war booty from the time of the Sultans. Also the sword of Sayyiduna Mu’awiyah Radhiyallahu Anhu and various swords of the Sultans’ are kept. We visited an area called Eyup wherein the blessed grave of Sayyiduna Abu Ayyub Ansari Radhiyallahu Anhu rests. There is a Masjid opposite which we visited and prayed Salah.
We had a three hour private Bosphorus Cruise which allowed us to view the historical heart of the city and see the palaces and pavilions along the shore, whilst enjoying the company of the group. A local guide was able to assist and discuss the history as we cruised across the Golden Horn.
A local guide took us to various places, as well as the Topkapi Palace/museum, we visited the Aya sofya (Hagia Sophia), its’ history was discussed with the group and the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) built in 1669 was shown. We prayed Jumu’ah Salah there.
A visit to the spice Bazaar and to the Grand Bazaar led by Mufti Sahib allowed us to see the oldest and largest covered market place in the world.
With our local guide we visited the Sulaymaniye Masjid (the largest Masjid in the city), the garden behind includes the tombs of Sultan Sulaiman, his wife and the famous architect Sinaan (the chief Ottomon architect who was responsible for major constructions under some the Sultans). The local guide was able to explain the history of the places we visited, he was very approachable and was able to answer any questions we had.
‘Miniaturk a miniature park is one of the world's largest miniature parks. The park contains many models and structures from in and around Turkey, as well as audio interpretations of historic structures.
The Panorama Museum is yet another sight for sore eyes. Events from 29th May 1453 in which Sultan Muhammad the Second conquered the city and which he fulfilled the prophecy of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam. As you go up the spiral staircase leading to the domed ceiling (that looks like the sky), you can hear sounds of artillery, chants of war. This helps recreate the events from the day.
We visited Buyukada, the largest of the Princes' Islands in the Sea of Marmara, one and a half hours away by boat cruise from Istanbul. We had a horse and cart ride around the island. The unique aspect of this Island is that everything is ridden by horses and carts. There are no motor vehicles. During an evening, we had a spectacular view on the Pier Loti Hill located in Eyup, overseeing the Golden Horn.
Independent time was allowed for us to do activities and visit places ourselves. The museum of the History of Science and Technology in Islam which is located in the Gulhane Park displays replicas of 9th and 16th century scientific instruments of Muslim scholars. Also the Basilca Cistern built in the sixth century is the largest of several hundred cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul.
Through the thorough detailed descriptions from respected Mufti Sahib enabled us to have a better understanding of these magnificent places. Without these significant explanations from Mufti Sahib, it would have been merely a sightseeing exercise and we would have simply only marvelled at the architectural design.
Mufti Sahib conducted daily morning study circles on the terrace of the hotel. He organised for the hotel to provide drinks, tea and coffee as the study circles took place for the group. The study circles were of most significance as the 624 year rule of the Ottomans was discussed in such detail.
The study circles were not just merely about facts, lists and names. Rather Mufti sahib made the sessions interactive with the group members and made it relevant for us to take back and implement aspects into our own lives. Mufti Sahib recommended books to go back and read; particularly the Seerah of Rasulullah Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam.
The daily outings would have proven less beneficial if it was not for the daily study circles provided by Mufti Sahib himself. Through the study circles we were able to match names studied with places, the pieces came together in our minds and the historical timeline was brought to life.
An example is that of the conquering of Constantinople discussed by Mufti Sahib before the visit to the Panorama Museum. With his discussion prior to the visit helped us have a better understanding.
There is a much to write about this Islamic Tour of Istanbul, however words cannot do justice about this visit. It is worth visiting! Zaytoon Tours continues to fulfil their aims of spiritually uplifting, educating and inspiring us through their beneficial tours. I hope to have inspired you to visit this city and understand the legacy left behind from our rich and deep history.
Hafiz Abul Busher
Alhamdulillah the journey to Istanbul was indeed a very spiritual one filled with inspiring, wonderful and spectacular experiences. Everything was all we expected and much more. The hotel, the food, the service, the coaches and all that was included within the tour was more than what we expected.
The daily seminars were most informative and inspiring.
The weather was nice and hot all week.
What we will miss more than anything, is the view of the golden horn from the rooftop terrace of our hotel, with the cool breeze from the sea, as the ships and boats are sailing in and out.
We definitely recommend this tour, and InshaAllah will be planning to go again.
Salim Bangi & family
I would like to say big Thank You for making it a successful Trip. Alhamdulillah this was my first experience travelling with Zaytoon Tours and I enjoyed every moment.
Jazakallah for giving me the opportunity to travel with a wonderful group and making us feel like a family throughout the journey.
Due to it being my first travel experience with Zaytoon, naturally I was nervous as I was travelling individually (without family) and joining such a large group of 56 people I didn’t know what to expect. However, prior to the Pre-Travel Seminar which removed any fears, help was always at hand to answer any queries and the constant updates provided via text messages were very helpful and answered all questions.
I appreciate the systematic approach provided by Zaytoon during the whole process from the Pre-travel seminar which allowed us to get to know the rest of the group and gave us an opportunity to raise any concerns, to the organisation of the daily activities that took place on tour. The Pre-travel Seminar gave us an insight to what to expect from our journey and made clear our Spiritual Intentions. This was very important to me because I previously planned to travel to Istanbul as a holiday with friends but Zaytoon Academy provided that spiritual edge which appealed to me.
The daily activities and events that took place on tour were scheduled in such a manner that allowed us to have the best possible experience.
The daily Study Circles we had every morning helped us to understand about the Ottoman Empire; the core of Islamic significance in the region, and an insight to what we were going to visit. The study circles took us back in time and gave meaning to our Tour and made it all the more inspiring.
During the daily excursions I was impressed by the organisation and systematic approach taken by Zaytoon Academy. Everything was well timed and Mufti Sahib gave a detailed explanation during all excursions and made reference to the Major Historical Sites throughout all the Tours and nothing was missed out. We also had our own private time to relax, visit other places of our choice and shopping etc which was easily fitted in our schedule and I enjoyed every moment.
Once again Thank You Mufti Sahib, Qari Sahib and all staff at Zaytoon Tours for making this an unforgettable adventure. It was a truly Inspiring journey which would not have been possible without your dedicated efforts and the Grace and Mercy of Allah. I pray Allah bless Zaytoon Academy with ability and ease to undertake more such Tours and I look forward to travelling in the future with Zaytoon Academy.