Originally Posted by theplains
It is very obvious that not everything i said was based off of verse 2:144 only. I was explaining to you that the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saw) was commanded to follow the previous Prophets of Allah. This was one reason for following the previous Qiblah.
Here is a passage about verse 2:144 from Asbab An-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi, which explains the context of revelation of this verse:
(We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven…) [2:144]. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, said once to Gabriel, peace be upon him: “I wish that Allah, exalted is He, directed me away from the qiblah of the Jews to a different qiblah' - he meant to say the Ka'bah because it was the qiblah of Abraham. Gabriel said to him: 'I am a slave like you; nothing is in my power. Do therefore request your Lord to direct you away from it toward the qiblah of Abraham'. Gabriel then rose in the sky while the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, kept looking at heaven in the hope that Gabriel would bring him the news of what he had requested. And so Allah revealed this verse”. Abu Mansur Muhammad ibn Muhammad al-Mansuri informed us> al-Hafiz 'Ali ibn 'Umar> 'Abd al-Wahhab ibn 'Isa> Abu Hisham al-Rifa'i> Abu Bakr ibn 'Iyash> Abu Ishaq> al-Bara' who said: “We prayed with Allah's Messenger, Allah bless him and give him peace, after his arrival to Medina for sixteen months toward Jerusalem. Then Allah knew the wish of His Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and so He revealed (We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven…)”. This is narrated by Muslim from the report of Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah from Abu'l-Ahwas. It was also narrated by Bukhari from the report of Abu Nu'aym from Zuhayr, and both Zuhayr and Abu'l-Ahwas reported this narration from Abu Ishaq.
So obviously, the Holy Prophet (saw) was commanded to pray towards Jerusalem before. He does not do anything except what Allah tells him to do. This is in the Qur'an:
53:2-3: Your Companion is neither astray nor being misled.
Nor does he say (aught) of (his own) Desire.
(Yusuf Ali Translation)
He only does what is commanded to him by Allah. Otherwise, he would not have faced Jerusalem.
And why would you say he was facing heaven and not Jerusalem? The above explanation of the verse makes this very clear. There are also Ahadith which prove this as well if you are still not convinced:
Narrated Al-Bara' (bin 'Azib): When the Prophet came to Medina, he stayed first with his grandfathers or maternal uncles from Ansar. He offered his prayers facing Baitul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) for sixteen or seventeen months, but he wished that he could pray facing the Ka'ba (at Mecca). The first prayer which he offered facing the Ka'ba was the 'Asr prayer in the company of some people. Then one of those who had offered that prayer with him came out and passed by some people in a mosque who were bowing during their prayers (facingJerusalem). He said addressing them, "By Allah, I testify that I have prayed with Allah's Apostle facing Mecca (Ka'ba).' Hearing that, those people changed their direction towards the Ka'ba immediately. Jews and the people of the scriptures used to be pleased to see the Prophet facing Jerusalem in prayers but when he changed his direction towards the Ka'ba, during the prayers, they disapproved of it. Al-Bara' added, "Before we changed our direction towards the Ka'ba (Mecca) in prayers, some Muslims had died or had been killed and we did not know what to say about them (regarding their prayers.) Allah then revealed: And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e. the prayers of those Muslims were valid).' " (2:143). (Book #2, Hadith#39)
Thus, the Holy Prophet (saw) faced Jerusalem, and he turned to Heaven in his plea towards Allah to ask Him to face where he would love to face - which was the Ka'bah in Mecca.
You asked where did Ishmael (as) face according to the Qur'an and the Ahadith. That I can tell you.
2:125 And (remember) when We made the House (the Ka'bah at Makkah) a place of resort for mankind and a place of safety. And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham) [or the stone on which Ibrahim (Abraham) عليه السلام stood while he was building the Ka'bah] as a place of prayer (for some of your prayers, e.g. two Rak'at after the Tawaf of the Ka'bahat Makkah), and We commanded Ibrahim (Abraham) and Isma'il (Ishmael) that they should purify My House (the Ka'bah at Makkah) for those who are circumambulating it, or staying (I'tikaf), or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer).
And in the Ahadith:
Narrated Ibn Abbas: The first lady to use a girdle was the mother of Ishmael. She used a girdle so that she might hide her tracks from Sarah. Abraham brought her and her son Ishmael while she was suckling him, to a place near the Ka'ba under a tree on the spot of Zam-zam, at the highest place in the mosque. During those days there was nobody in Mecca, nor was there any water So he made them sit over there and placed near them a leather bag containing some dates, and a small water-skin containing some water, and set out homeward. Ishmael's mother followed him saying, "O Abraham! Where are you going, leaving us in this valley where there is no person whose company we may enjoy, nor is there anything (to enjoy)?" She repeated that to him many times, but he did not look back at her Then she asked him, "Has Allah ordered you to do so?" He said, "Yes." She said, "Then He will not neglect us," and returned while Abraham proceeded onwards, and on reaching the Thaniya where they could not see him, he faced the Ka'ba, and raising both hands, invoked Allah saying the following prayers: 'O our Lord! I have made some of my offspring dwell in a valley without cultivation, by Your Sacred House (Kaba at Mecca) in order, O our Lord, that they may offer prayer perfectly. So fill some hearts among men with love towards them, and (O Allah) provide them with fruits, so that they may give thanks.' (14.37) Ishmael's mother went on suckling Ishmael and drinking from the water (she had). When the water in the water-skin had all been used up, she became thirsty and her child also became thirsty. She started looking at him (i.e. Ishmael) tossing in agony; She left him, for she could not endure looking at him, and found that the mountain of Safa was the nearest mountain to her on that land. She stood on it and started looking at the valley keenly so that she might see somebody, but she could not see anybody. Then she descended from Safa and when she reached the valley, she tucked up her robe and ran in the valley like a person in distress and trouble, till she crossed the valley and reached the Marwa mountain where she stood and started looking, expecting to see somebody, but she could not see anybody. She repeated that (running between Safa and Marwa) seven times." The Prophet said, "This is the source of the tradition of the walking of people between them (i.e. Safa and Marwa). When she reached the Marwa (for the last time) she heard a voice and she asked herself to be quiet and listened attentively. She heard the voice again and said, 'O, (whoever you may be)! You have made me hear your voice; have you got something to help me?" And behold! She saw an angel at the place of Zam-zam, digging the earth with his heel (or his wing), till water flowed from that place. She started to make something like a basin around it, using her hand in this way, and started filling her water-skin with water with her hands, and the water was flowing out after she had scooped some of it." The Prophet added, "May Allah bestow Mercy on Ishmael's mother! Had she let the Zam-zam (flow without trying to control it) (or had she not scooped from that water) (to fill her water-skin), Zam-zam would have been a stream flowing on the surface of the earth." The Prophet further added, "Then she drank (water) and suckled her child. The angel said to her, 'Don't be afraid of being neglected, for this is the House of Allah which will be built by this boy and his father, and Allah never neglects His people.' The House (i.e. Kaba) at that time was on a high place resembling a hillock, and when torrents came, they flowed to its right and left. She lived in that way till some people from the tribe of Jurhum or a family from Jurhum passed by her and her child, as they (i.e. the Jurhum people) were coming through the way of Kada'. They landed in the lower part of Mecca where they saw a bird that had the habit of flying around water and not leaving it. They said, 'This bird must be flying around water, though we know that there is no water in this valley.' They sent one or two messengers who discovered the source of water, and returned to inform them of the water. So, they all came (towards the water)." The Prophet added, "Ishmael's mother was sitting near the water. They asked her, 'Do you allow us to stay with you?" She replied, 'Yes, but you will have no right to possess the water.' They agreed to that." The Prophet further said, "Ishmael's mother was pleased with the whole situation as she used to love to enjoy the company of the people. So, they settled there, and later on they sent for their families who came and settled with them so that some families became permanent residents there. The child (i.e. Ishmael) grew up and learnt Arabic from them and (his virtues) caused them to love and admire him as he grew up, and when he reached the age of puberty they made him marry a woman from amongst them. After Ishmael's mother had died, Abraham came after Ishmael's marriage in order to see his family that he had left before, but he did not find Ishmael there. When he asked Ishmael's wife about him, she replied, 'He has gone in search of our livelihood.' Then he asked her about their way of living and their condition, and she replied, 'We are living in misery; we are living in hardship and destitution,' complaining to him. He said, 'When your husband returns, convey my salutation to him and tell him to change the threshold of the gate (of his house).' When Ishmaelcame, he seemed to have felt something unusual, so he asked his wife, 'Has anyone visited you?' She replied, 'Yes, an old man of so-and-so description came and asked me about you and I informed him, and he asked about our state of living, and I told him that we were living in a hardship and poverty.' On that Ishmael said, 'Did he advise you anything?' She replied, 'Yes, he told me to convey his salutation to you and to tell you to change the threshold of your gate.' Ishmael said, 'It was my father, and he has ordered me to divorce you. Go back to your family.' So, Ishmael divorced her and married another woman from amongst them (i.e. Jurhum). Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished and called on them again but did not find Ishmael. So he came to Ishmael's wife and asked her about Ishmael. She said, 'He has gone in search of our livelihood.' Abraham asked her, 'How are you getting on?' asking her about their sustenance and living. She replied, 'We are prosperous and well-off (i.e. we have everything in abundance).' Then she thanked Allah' Abraham said, 'What kind of food do you eat?' She said. 'Meat.' He said, 'What do you drink?' She said, 'Water." He said, "O Allah! Bless their meat and water." The Prophet added, "At that time they did not have grain, and if they had grain, he would have also invoked Allah to bless it." The Prophet added, "If somebody has only these two things as his sustenance, his health and disposition will be badly affected, unless he lives in Mecca." The Prophet added," Then Abraham said Ishmael's wife, "When your husband comes, give my regards to him and tell him that he should keep firm the threshold of his gate.' When Ishmael came back, he asked his wife, 'Did anyone call on you?' She replied, 'Yes, a good-looking old man came to me,' so she praised him and added. 'He asked about you, and I informed him, and he asked about our livelihood and I told him that we were in a good condition.' Ishmael asked her, 'Did he give you any piece of advice?' She said, 'Yes, he told me to give his regards to you and ordered that you should keep firm the threshold of your gate.' On that Ishmael said, 'It was my father, and you are the threshold (of the gate). He has ordered me to keep you with me.' Then Abraham stayed away from them for a period as long as Allah wished, and called on them afterwards. He sawIshmael under a tree near Zamzam, sharpening his arrows. When he saw Abraham, he rose up to welcome him (and they greeted each other as a father does with his son or a son does with his father). Abraham said, 'OIshmael! Allah has given me an order.' Ishmael said, 'Do what your Lord has ordered you to do.' Abraham asked, 'Will you help me?' Ishmael said, 'I will help you.' Abraham said, Allah has ordered me to build a house here,' pointing to a hillock higher than the land surrounding it." The Prophet added, "Then they raised the foundations of the House (i.e. the Ka'ba). Ishmael brought the stones and Abraham was building, and when the walls became high, Ishmael brought this stone and put it for Abraham who stood over it and carried on building, while Ishmael was handing him the stones, and both of them were saying, 'O our Lord! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.' The Prophet added, "Then both of them went on building and going round the Ka'ba saying: O our Lord ! Accept (this service) from us, Verily, You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing." (2.127) (Book #55, Hadith #583)
As for whether this was based on their like or their love, the answer is in the verses of the Holy Qur'an following verse 2:125:
2:126 And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) said, "My Lord, make this city (Makkah) a place of security and provide its people with fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day." He (Allah) answered: "As for him who disbelieves, I shall leave him in contentment for a while, then I shall compel him to the torment of the Fire, and worst indeed is that destination!"
2:127 And (remember) when Ibrahim (Abraham) and (his son) Isma'il (Ishmael) were raising the foundations of the House (the Ka'bah at Makkah), (saying), "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us. Verily! You are the All-Hearer, the All-Knower."
2:128 Our Lord! And make us submissive unto You and of our offspring a nation submissive unto You, and show us our Manasik (all the ceremonies of pilgrimage - Hajjand 'Umrah), and accept our repentance. Truly, You are the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.
2:129 Our Lord! Send amongst them a Messenger of their own (and indeed Allah answered their invocation by sending Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (this Qur'an) and Al-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islamic laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood), and purify them. Verily! You are the All-Mighty, the All-Wise."
2:130 And who turns away from the religion of Ibrahim (Abraham) (i.e. Islamic Monotheism) except him who befools himself? Truly, We chose him in this world and verily, in the Hereafter he will be among the righteous.
Thus, why would Hazrat Ishmael (as) and Hazrat Ibrahim (as) pray for the people of the city of Makkah, and pray that they do rituals to this House in the future generations if they did not love it so much? It was a House of Allah to them, and it was dear to them because they wished for a Prophet to be raised amongst them. Otherwise, Allah would not have made such an important reference to it. Namely, it being in the Qur'an.
And you asked what is the perfect law? Islamic Shari'a is the perfect law. The Holy Qur'an says:
5:3 "This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion."
The Ahadith on this verse make it clear that even the Jews wish they had such a revelation from Allah for their religion:
Narrated 'Umar bin Al-Khattab: Once a Jew said to me, "O the chief of believers! There is a verse in your Holy Book Which is read by all of you (Muslims), and had it been revealed to us, we would have taken that day (on which it was revealed as a day of celebration." 'Umar bin Al-Khattab asked, "Which is that verse?" The Jew replied, "This day I have perfected your religion For you, completed My favor upon you, And have chosen for you Islam as your religion." (5:3) 'Umar replied,"No doubt, we know when and where this verse was revealed to the Prophet. It was Friday and the Prophet was standing at 'Arafat (i.e. the Day of Hajj)" (Book #2, Hadith#43)
Islam is the complete law for mankind from Allah. It is the only law which is meant to be until the Day of Judgment for all of humanity. Its laws have abrogated all other religious laws before it.
And yes, the Holy Prophet (saw) was prophesied to face Jerusalem in previous texts. I do not know where it is mentioned in the previous texts, but the explanation of this verse shows this:
Tafsir Al Jalalayn on verse 2:144:
We have indeed (qad, ‘indeed’, is for affirmation) seen you turning your face about in the, direction of the, heaven, looking around for the Revelation and longing for the command to face the Ka‘ba: he [the Prophet] wished for this because it was the prayer-direction of Abraham and would be more conducive to the submission of the Arabs [to Islam]; now We will surely turn you to a direction that shall satisfy you, that you will love. Turn your face, in prayer, towards the Sacred Mosque, that is, the Ka‘ba, and wherever you are (addressing the [Muslim] community) turn your faces, in prayer, towards it. Those who have been given the Scripture know that it, the change towards the Ka‘ba, is the, fixed, truth from their Lord, on account of the description in their Scripture of how the Prophet (s) would re-orient himself to it; God is not heedless of what you do, O believers, when you obey His command (alternatively, ta‘malūna, ‘you do’, can be read ya‘malūna, ‘they do’, in other words [it would be referring to] the Jews’ denial of the matter concerning the direction of prayer).
And you said:
"I know that most Jews rejected Jesus as their Messiah and others accepted him. They
would go on and become the Christians (the followers of Christ). But why do you
think the Jews (which are very stringent on matters of lineage), would ever accept a
The fact is, Ibrahim (as) prayed for a Prophet to be raised amongst the Arabs, as the prayer of him and Ishmael (as) in the above verses in Surah Al Baqarah I quoted show.
You asked a lot of questions, and I gave some long answers. But you wanted references so I gave them to you. I hope you took the time to read them since I tried to make sure that you understood this matter properly. It seems you were unaware of the meaning behind the changing of the Qiblah for the Muslims. Should you still be unclear about anything feel free to ask and I will try to answer and so will anyone else here. Allah knows best in the end.