Qiblah and valuable information about it


There are many types of people in the world. All people are servants of Allah. And indeed, He loves only the believing servants among His servants because they obey his every command without hesitation. Allah Ta’ala has sent down various rules for His believing servants. One of Allah’s rulings is to perform the prayers facing the Masjid Al Haram. And another name for this is to perform Salah facing the Qiblah. It is a significant issue in Islam. Allah Ta’ala included with it many important matters of Salah. 

So I will present to you Qibla and some important matters related to it, which will help you know many vital things. At the same time, I will highlight its necessity and importance. So let’s first know its identity. 

Qiblah and what is it?

Qibla is the direction in which Muslims face to perform their prayers. Many religions have specific aspects of worship. Similarly, the direction of qibla for Muslims is the Masjid al-Haram in Makkah, In the middle of which is the Ka’bah, the house of Allah.

Verily, one of the duties of Muslims is to perform the obligatory prayers five times a day. And whether it is compulsory or nafl (optional), the precondition for performing any prayer is facing the Qibla and starting Salah. The direction of the Ka’bah is called the direction of the Qibla.

Qiblah and its importance and necessity

The Ka’bah, the qibla of Muslims, is one of the most significant symbols of Islam in the world. From the earliest creation times, Allah Ta’ala has accepted the Ka’bah as a gathering place for His chosen servants. He has made many acts of worship in Islam centring on the Ka’bah, which makes the need for Ka’bah clear to Muslims. They perform centring on the Ka’bah such as prayers, Hajj, sacrifice, the slaughter of animals, burial of the dead, and many more acts of Islam. Ka’bah is the Qiblah of Muslims.

Ka’bah is the first, most ancient and dignified house in the world. In this regard, Allah Ta’ala said:

“Indeed, the first House (of worship) established for humankind was that at Bakkah (i.e., Makkah) – blessed and a guidance for the worlds. In it are clear signs (such as) the standing place of Abraham. And whoever enters it (i.e., the Ḥaram) shall be safe. And for Allah, Pilgrimage to this House is an obligation upon whoever can find a way towards it. But whoever disbelieves (i.e., refuses) – then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.” [Surah Ali ‘Imran, verse 96 – 97]

Considering the unique dignity and greatness of Ka’bah, Islam has imposed a ban on urinating and defecating with face or back towards Ka’bah.

In this regard,

Narrated Abu Aiyub Al-Ansari (R): The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “While defecating, neither face nor turn your back to the Qibla. But (O people of Madina!) face either east or west.”

Abu Aiyub (R) also said, When we arrived in Sham (Region in Asia), we came across some lavatories facing the Qibla; therefore, we turned ourselves while using them and asked for Allah’s forgiveness. [Sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 394]

How is the importance of facing the direction of Ka’bah in prayer?

Facing the Ka’bah in the prayer is a condition for the Salah to be valid. If you do not face it, the prayer will not be correct. For those who cannot see the Kaaba directly, it is necessary to face the direction of Masjid al-Haram. Therefore, it is important to correct the direction of Qibla while praying. All Imams and Muqtadis need to face the Qibla. Whose direction of Ka’bah will not be correct; his prayer will not be correct. If the direction of Qibla of the Muqtadis is wrong while the Imam’s direction of Qibla is right, then the Salah of the Muqtadis will not be correct.

On the contrary, If the direction of Ka’bah of the Imam is not correct while the Muqtadis direction of Qibla is correct, then the Salah of Imam and Muqtadis each will not be correct. The reason why the prayer of the Muqtadis is not correct is that they have followed an Imam whose direction of Qiblah is wrong. So everyone has to start the prayer by correcting the direction of Ka’bah. In this regard, Allah Ta’ala said:

“And from wherever you go out (for prayer), turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Ḥaram. And wherever you (believers) may be, turn your faces toward it so that the people will not have any argument against you, except for those of them who commit wrong; so fear them not but fear Me. And (it is) so I may complete My favour upon you and that you may be guided.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 150]

When is it not obligatory to face the Qibla?

It is not obligatory to face the Qibla in the prayers in three situations. (1) Being unable to face Ka’bah. Such as a sick person or a prisoner in such a state that he cannot face the Qiblah. His provision to face the Ka’bah will not obligate in this case. In this regard, Allah Ta’ala said:

“Allah does not impose responsibilities on a soul except (with that within) its capacity.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 286]

And Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “So if I forbid you to do something, keep away from it. And if I order you to do something, then do it as much as you can.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 7288]

(2) If anyone is in intense fear. For example, a person is running away from his enemy, escaping from a ferocious animal, or swimming from drowning. In this case, he will pray to the side where his face is. Allah Ta’ala said:

“And if you fear (then pray) on foot or riding. But when you are secure, remember Allah (in prayer), as He has taught you that which you did not (previously) know.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, verse 239]

(3) In case of performing Nafl prayers inside the transport while on tour

Be it on a plane or in a car, or on the back of a camel. In this case, he doesn’t need to perform Nafl prayer facing the Ka’bah while on tour. In this regard, Narrated Jabir (R): Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) used to pray (optional, non-obligatory prayer) while riding on his Camel mount (Rahila) wherever it turned, and whenever he wanted to pray the compulsory prayer, he dismounted and faced the Qiblah. [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 400]

However, some scholars have said that he must face the Qibla in the Nafl prayers, even during the tour in the transport.

What to do if you do not know the direction of Ka’bah?

If one does not know the direction of Qibla, then he must search for the direction of Qibla as per his ability, then perform the prayer. And if he tries his best to determine the direction of Ka’bah, and if he can know his mistake after performing Salah, he will not have to repeat that prayer. If he knows the correct direction of Ka’bah during the prayer, he will immediately turn his face towards Ka’bah. In this regard,

Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (R): While the people were offering the Fajr prayer at Quba’ (near Medina), someone came to them and said: “It has been revealed to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) tonight, and he has been ordered to pray to face the Ka’bah.” So turn your faces to the Ka’bah. Those people were facing Sham (Jerusalem), so they turned their faces towards Ka’bah (during Salah). [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 403]

Performing obligatory prayers in public transport or Boat

If a person is riding in public transport and he cannot get out from it due to fear of loss to himself or due to fear of loss of wealth or any other loss which may come to him due to separation from the caravan, Or if he gets out from his vehicle, he will not be able to return to there, etc., then he will perform the obligatory prayers on transport in all these situations and turn his face toward wherever possible if he is unable to turn his face to the Qibla. All those obligatory matters of prayers will be abolished from him, which he cannot do, and it is not necessary to perform the prayers again. 

But the provision of performing the obligatory prayers on the vehicle at the time of safety and ability is that if the performer does not fulfill all the conditions and obligatory matters of the prayer, the prayer will not be valid. He will perform Salah in transport like praying on the ground. So if he can perform the prayer properly in the vehicle, then his Salah will be correct. Even he stay in a moving transport.

If one wants to perform the prayer in the boat, whether obligatory or Nafl, he must face toward the Qibla if he can do so. So there is no chance for him to pray on the other side except in the direction of Ka’bah. Therefore, if the boat turns from the direction of Ka’bah to the other while performing the prayer, then he must turn towards the qiblah whenever it turns.

So if he is unable to face the Qiblah,

he will turn his face towards wherever he can and perform the prayer. If he cannot prostrate, then prostration will also be abolished from him (But he will prostrate by the gesture). All these rulings will be applicable when he fears that the time for prayer will end before he prays in the boat or fears that the time for prayer will end before he reaches the place where he will be able to perform the prayer properly. And it is not necessary to pray on him again (after completing the prayers in that situation). This ruling also applies to large ships, airships, etc. [Kitab-ul-Fiqh Ala-al-Madahibe-al-Arba’ah, Volume 1, page: 187]

Our Dua

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the grace to perform the prayers at the appointed time properly, keeping in view all the aspects of the prayers. And give Tawfiq to respect Qiblah properly. Ameen.


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