Ive always wondered, why do we pray towards Mecca?
We're praying to God right? And God is everywhere. So why pray towards a certain direction?
Does our prayer not count if we dont pray towards Mecca?
Ive heard the reason that its to unite the Muslims and whatnot because its in the center of the universe. I still dont get it. Muslims used to pray towards Jerusalem. But ii guess its becuz they dont wanna b like the Jews and Christians, so they changed it to Mecca.
I dont see the reason to pray towards Mecca, would it not b like the Christians praying towards the cross? Is it symbolic?
This is what Allah says in the Qur'an:
"We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now We shall turn thee to a Qiblah (direction of prayer) that shall please thee. Turn then thy face in the direction of Masjidul Haraam: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction." (Al-Qur'an 2:144)
Evidence from Qur'an and hadeeth:
"Do you feel secure that He, Who is fis-sama (above the heavens), will not cause the earth to sink…Or do you feel secure that He, Who is fis-sama (above the heavens) will not send against you a violent whirlwind?" [67:16-17]
Abdullah ibn Amr ibn Al-As related that the Messenger said, "Allah grants mercy to the merciful. Be merciful to those who are on the earth, (then) He Who is fis-Sama (above the heavens) will be merciful to you." [Abu Dawood & At-Tirmidhi]
Muawiyah bin Al-Hakam As-Salmi said:
"I had a slave-girl who used to herd sheep for me. One day I discovered that a wolf had killed one of her sheep, and I'm a man from the children of Adam, I get upset like they get upset, and I slapped her in the face. Then I went to the Prophet who impressed upon me the seriousness of my act. I said, 'O Messenger of Allah, should I not set her free?' He said, 'Bring her to me.' He asked her, 'Where is Allah', She said, 'He is above the heavens.' He said, 'Who am I?' She said, 'You are the Messenger of Allah.' He said, 'Free her, for she is a believer.' (Muslim and Abu Dawud)
Allah mentions in ayah 143 of Surah al-Baqarah, "....And We appointed the Qiblah which you formerly observed only that We might know him who follows the Messenger from him who turns on his heels...".
Concerning the revelation of the ayaat about the qiblah change:
- The original appointment of Jerusalem as the qiblah for Muslim was a test for the Arabs who could not easily give up the Ka'bah they held dear. They were tried first. It was a hard test but the sincere believers passed.
- Some people thought that Allah resided in Jerusalem and that a change of qiblah meant turning away from Him. Allah made clear in ayah 142 that "To Allah belong the East and the West". All belongs to Him, He does not reside in a particular city, and thus they were not turning away from him.
- Some of the Jews and Christians who had embraced Islam at the time of the Prophet were put to the test. It was very difficult for them to accept any other qiblah than that of their forefathers. This test of qiblah change separated out the sincere Muslims.
- The last Prophet before Rasoolullah was an Israelite, and as the Muslims qiblah had been Jerusalem, the Jews thought they were still superior and leaders of the people. The change of qiblah showed and emphasised that the leadership was no longer theirs, but that of the followers of Muhammad
So there were many reasons for the change historically at that time.
Also, when Prophet Ibrahim alayhissalaam and his son Ismaa'eel alayhissalaam built the Ka'bah in response to Allah's command, Ibrahim consecrated the House for the worship of the One True God and invited humanity to visit it for that purpose. Even today, Muslims who are physically and financially able have to make pilgrimage to it once in a lifetime.
The Ka'bah has remained at the centre of a continuous tradition of worship and devotion, up to the present day. Amongst the ancient religious rites particular to the Ka'bah is circumambulation (walking around it - tawaaf). We now know that creation is in fact always in a state of circumambulation: whether at the micro level, with the electrons that go round the nucleus of an atom, or at the mega level with the Earth and the other planets orbiting the Sun. As the nucleus is central to the functioning of the cell, as there would be complete darkness without the Sun, so Allah has appointed for us a central point, to go around when directly in front of it, and to face in prayer, when we are not. It symbolises the centrality of Allah to a Muslim's life. It suggests the integrating and unifying power of monotheism in human life and how a Muslim's life should revolve around a pure devotion to Allah. The Ka'bah symbolises the unity of all true religion, the brotherhood of all the prophets, and the essential consistency of their message.
Please ask if you have any other questions.
Last edited by Insaanah; 05-11-2012 at 03:38 PM. Reason: Added part about cells, and moon, earth, sun
2. We listen to the Prophet's orders because we believe in his Prophethood.
Thirdly, I hope you haven't got prayer in this sense confused with dua (supplication/asking Allah for help), which is not restricted to the five times a day salah (prayer) and can be done at any time/place.
No. It does not. There is something called fiqh which you need to learn.We're praying to God right? And God is everywhere. So why pray towards a certain direction?
Does our prayer not count if we dont pray towards Mecca?
Why was the Qiblah changed from Bayt al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) to the Ka’bah (Makkah)?
Praise be to Allaah.
When the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) came from Makkah to Madeenah, he used to face Bayt al-Maqdis when he prayed, and that remained the case for sixteen or seventeen months, as is proven in the two Saheehs (al-Bukhaari and Muslim), in the hadeeth of al-Baraa’ ibn ‘Aazib (may Allaah be pleased with him and his father), who said: “The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) prayed towards Bayt al-Maqdis for sixteen or seventeen months, and he was hoping that the Qiblah would be towards the House (i.e., the Ka’bah)…”
Then after that Allaah commanded him to face the direction of the Ka’bah (the Sacred House), in the aayah (interpretation of the meaning): “… so turn your face in the direction of al-Masjid al-Haraam (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction…” [al-Baqarah 2:144].
Before we answer the question about the wisdom behind this change, we must note the following points:
When we Muslims hear of a command from Allaah, we must accept it and submit to it, even if the wisdom behind it is not clear to us, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “It is not for a believer, man or woman, when Allaah and His Messenger have decreed a matter, that they should have any option in their decision…” [al-Ahzaab 33:36]
Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, does not give any command without there being great wisdom behind it – even if we do not understand it – as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “… That is the judgement of Allaah. He judges between you. And Allaah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.” [al-Mumtahinah 60:10]
Allaah, may He be glorified and exalted, does not abrogate any rule except to replace it with something better or similar to it, as He says (interpretation of the meaning): “Whatever Verse (revelation) do We abrogate or cause to be forgotten, We bring a better one or similar to it. Know you not that Allaah is able to do all things?” [al-Baqarah 2:106]
Having understood this, we may note that the wisdom behind the changing of the Qiblah has several aspects, including:
It is a test for the true believer, because the true believer, unlike others, accepts the commands of Allaah. Allaah has spoken of this in the Qur’aan (interpretation of the meaning): “… And We made the Qiblah which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger from those who would turn on their heels. Indeed it was great (heavy) except for those whom Allaah guided…” [al-Baqarah 2:143]
This ummah is the best of nations, as Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind…” [Aal ‘Imraan 3:110]. Confirming the aayat about the Qiblah, Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “Thus We have made of you (true Muslims) a Wasat (just) (and the best) nation…” [al-Baqarah 2:143]. “Wasat” conveys meanings of justice and of being chosen. So Allaah has chosen for this ummah goodness in all things and the best commands and rules, and thus He chose for them the Qiblah of Ibraaheem, upon whom be peace.
Imaam Ahmad reported in his Musnad (6/134-135) from ‘Aa’ishah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said about the People of the Book (Jews and Christians): “They do not envy us for anything as much as they envy us for Yawm al-Jumu’ah (Friday), to which Allaah has guided us and from which they have gone astray, and for the Qiblah to which Allaah has guided us and from which they have gone astray, and for our saying ‘Aameen’ behind the imaam.” (For more information on this subject, please refer to Bada’i’ al-Fawaa’id by Ibn al-Qayyim, may Allaah have mercy on him, 4/157-174).
And Allaah knows best.
Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid
is this argument used by non muslims to point out the 'deviation' of Islam?
Jazakallah very useful information
yeah its the focal point of worship
I just returned from hajj and I experienced that unity first hand. To be in Masjid Al-Haram and to pray with thousands of other Muslims performing exactly the same thing at exactly the same time was a most powerful experience of unity that can't be expressed in words.It is true that this does unite the Muslim ummah in their direction of worship. When we pray we know that all other Muslims all over the world from whatever country are praying facing the same direction. That is a great feeling of unity.
It's just symbolic and a show of unity, we only pray to Allah(swt).
There's a Hadith I remember reading, where the Prophet(pbuh) said how it would be better for the Ka'ba to fall than the blood of a Muslim be spilt.
Edit, this is it; "Demolishing the Kaaba completely is much more preferred to Allah Almighty than shedding the blood of a Believing Muslim."
When asked, how to pray, Hazrat Muhammad- peace be upon him- said, "pray as I do".
Hazrat Muhammad- peace be upon him- used to pray while facing towards Kaaba, as commanded by almighty Al
Therefore, no question of why.
Please don't be critical to every thing, at least where there are clear orders. Do ponder and question where it is required.
One question, though. What direction does a Muslim astronaut pray in while in space?
^ a muslim should try his best to find Qiblah direction. But if it's impossible for him, e.g. a man lost in the sea or in the desert, traped in a prison, or even out of this planet, he can pray in any direction. Because prayer is addressed to Allah, and wherever you turn you can find Allah's direction.
Quran, Chapter 2, verse 115 :
Unto Allah belong the East and the West, and whithersoever ye turn, there is Allah's Countenance. Lo! Allah is All-Embracing, All-Knowing. (115)
وَلِلَّهِ ٱلۡمَشۡرِقُ وَٱلۡمَغۡرِبُ*ۚ فَأَيۡنَمَا تُوَلُّواْ فَثَمَّ وَجۡهُ ٱللَّهِ*ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَٲسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ۬
Last edited by marwen; 05-11-2012 at 04:24 PM.
If I ask you, why are we perform salah (prayer)? I think you will surly answer because Allah ordered us. Allah no need our worship but we need worship to Him. Allah ordered us to pray towards mecca. so it is obligatory for us. Allah say details in the holy Quran in Sura Bakara (143)
One reason may be to make everything organized. imagine everyone praying in a different direction. It wouldn't be very impressive would it? It would also be a cause for fighting and arguments. For example, in a mosque, one person would say, 'we pray toward south' and another would say 'no, we will pray toward the north.' So by having one direction to pray in removes all those problems.
There's something a guide told us when we, my family and I, did the umrah many years ago. We visited the mosque where the prophet performed his prayer and if I remember the story correctly, he was directed to change the qibla mid prayer. I believe the first 2 rakaah were facing Jerusalem but the next 2 were towards Kaabah. He went on to say, albeit in a joking manner, that we are not allowed to do that, even at that mosque.
He went on to say how it was divine knowledge that now we Muslims are not fighting with the Christians and the Jews for the sacred land. Imagine if Jerusalem was our qibla in this day and age. It would be an even worse situation there.
Last edited by greenhill; 11-24-2014 at 01:43 PM.
When people pray together, they pray in the same direction. Doesn't matter what their religion is. Go to a Buddhist temple and you will see the monks chanting facing the same direction. Go to a church and you will see the congregation facing the same direction. So to pray together facing the right direction is nothing unique. Now why face the Qiblat? That's simple. Allah said so and the Holy Prophet did so.
We Pray towards Mecca because Our beloved Prophet (P.B.U.H) said to us. He had desired to pray Namaz towards Mecca. So all Muslims follow him. Alhamdulillah. For more information join our Online Islamic Classes.
From Abdullah bin Amir, from his father he said "I saw the Prophet Shalallohu alaihi wa sallam performed salah over his vehicle, regardless of the direction the vehicle was facing." (HR: Bukhari)
By the way, this is a video of a Muslim astronaut when he performed salah in outer space. Sheik Muszaphar Shukor Al Masrie, from Malaysia.