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What is Qibla


3 weeks ago

Qibla means direction and orientation in Arabic. In Islam, it refers to the direction of Ka’ba, which Muslims turn towards when praying. In other words, it means praying against the Kaaba. In addition, the call to prayer, the burial of a dead body, the slaughtering of animals and prayers all involve turning in the direction of the Kaaba. The Qibla is not the building of the Ka’bah, but its land. That is, from the ground to the Throne, that space is the qibla. Therefore, one can pray in this direction in a well, at the bottom of the sea, on top of high mountains, or on an airplane.

In case of sighting, the Ka’bah directly determines the qiblah. Islamic scholars are unanimous on this issue. There are three main views on how to determine the qiblah if the Ka’bah is not visible. According to Imam Abu Hanifa, the direction in which the Ka’bah is located is the main one. It is sufficient for a Muslim who is praying to stand in the direction of the Ka’bah. This is because it may not be possible to turn in the direction of the Ka’bah, especially at great distances. Imam Shafi’i and Ahmad b. Hanbal argue that the Qiblah is the Ka’bah itself, not its direction, and therefore one should face the Ka’bah wherever one is. According to these scholars, if one does not turn fully towards the Ka’bah, the prayer will not be valid. The third view advocated by Imam Maalik is basically the same as that of Imam Abu Hanifa. According to this view, the Qiblah of those who are in Masjid al-Haram is the Ka’bah, the Qiblah of those who are in the Haram area is Masjid al-Haram, and the Qiblah of Muslims in other places is the Haram area.

Turning towards the Qiblah is one of the obligatory parts of prayer. Prayer performed in any other direction is not valid. If a person starts the prayer facing the Qiblah and then changes his direction, his prayer will be invalidated. Turning the face away from the qiblah alone is makrooh, but does not invalidate the prayer. If a person does not know the direction of the qibla, he should first inquire from his surroundings which way the qibla is. If he does not have the means to find out from someone else, he should do his own research and pray in the direction that he is convinced is the qibla. If he finds out after the prayer that it is not the qibla, he does not have to return the prayer. However, if he finds out during the prayer that his direction is wrong, he should turn towards the qiblah. In prayers that are offered without research, if it is realized that the prayer was offered in the wrong direction, the prayer should be offered again. In transportation vehicles such as cars, ferries, trains and airplanes, one should turn towards the qiblah at the beginning of the prayer; deviation from the qiblah due to the movement of the vehicle does not invalidate the prayer. It is no longer obligatory to turn towards the qiblah when there is a danger to life, such as in war. In such cases, prayers in any direction are valid. (According to the Hanafi madhhab)

Some acts of worship other than prayer also require turning towards the qiblah. When entering ihraam, which is one of the requirements of Hajj, one should turn towards the qiblah when throwing stones at the jamaraat. When funerals are buried, they are laid on their right side and their faces are turned towards the qiblah. Animals are also slaughtered facing towards the qiblah. All these symbolize the believer’s turning towards Allah and seeking His pleasure in worship and actions. On the other hand, turning towards the qibla should be avoided in some inappropriate situations. For example, it is makrooh to turn one’s front and back to the qiblah in the toilet. It is also makrooh to stretch one’s feet towards the Qiblah, both while lying down and while awake. One should not spit against the qibla.

Question: Is the prayer valid if it is not facing towards the qibla?
A prayer that is intentionally performed in a direction other than the Qiblah is invalid. If a person does not know the direction of the Qiblah, he should do some research and pray according to his knowledge or conviction. If he realizes his mistake after completing the prayer, his prayer will be valid. He does not need to pray it again. If he realizes during the prayer that he has turned to the wrong side, he should turn to the correct side during the prayer and continue his prayer. If he turns to a random direction and prays without doing any research or asking anyone, if that direction is not the direction of the qibla, he must repeat his prayer (Ibn ‘Abidin, Redd al-muhtâr, 1/435).



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