Translation of the Response of the President of the Association of as-Sadat-ul-‘Ashraf (the descendents of the Prophet, sallallahu^alayi wa salam,) in Lebanon, his Eminence Shaykh Nabil Ibn ash-Shaykh, al-Qadi al-Mustashar Muhammad ash-Sharif
al-Husayniyy al-‘Azhariyy ash-Shafi^iyy Ar-Rifa^iyy, may Allah protect them
Praise be to the Lord of the Worlds, may Allah raise the rank of our master Muhammad and his Al and Companions, and protect his nation from that which he fears for it.
The Honorable President of the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects in North America, Hajj/Engineer Riad Nachef, may Allah strengthen him,
As-salamu ^alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh,
Thereafter, we received your questions regarding the direction of al-Qiblah for the one who is praying in North America and whether to face southeast or northeast while in prayers. The answer is: Allah ta^ala ordered with facing “ash-shatr,” of the Holy Mosque in His sayings:
(فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ(
Which means: “Turn your face in the direction of the sacred Mosque, wherever you are turn your face in this direction.”
Ash-shatr is the direction as it is well known. Since North America falls in the north-western quarter in relation to Makkah al-Mukarramah, it is a must for he who is praying while in the United States of America and Canada to face southeast so that he would be facing al-Qiblah. And the prayers of he who faces northeast or northwest are definitely invalid.
This is what the statements of the scholars show and with what their books testify.
And Allah knows best.
President of the as-Sadat-ul-‘Ashraf in Lebanon
Shaykh Nabil Muhammad ash-Sharif.
Add comment July 16th, 2005