Posts filed under 'The Direction of al-Qiblah 2'

How to Determine the Direction of al-Qiblah (2)

we start citing some of these signs:

1. Allah said in the Qur’an in Suratul-’An^am, ‘Ayah 97:

وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ لَكُمُ النُّجُومَ لِتَهْتَدُواْ بِهَا فِي ظُلُمَاتِ الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ

It means: {it is He who makes the stars as beacons for you that you my guide yourselves with them through the darkness of land and sea.}

Guidance is but for goals that are to be met, and prayers are among the most important goals. The context of this ‘Ayah includes that to be guided by the stars is a grace from Allah. Hence, this means it is a religious order.

2. Allah said in Surat an-Nahl, ‘Ayah 16:

وَعَلامَاتٍ وَبِالنَّجْمِ هُمْ يَهْتَدُونَ

It means: {and marks and by the stars they guide themselves.}

Al-’Imam ash-Shafi^iyy explained the marks in his book, Al-’Umm, as being: “The mountains, the position of which is known on earth; the sun, moon, and stars among the celestial planets, and the winds, the blowing direction of which is known.”

3. At-Tabaraniyy related that the Messenger of Allah, sallallahu ^alayhi wa sallam, said: “The best of the worshippers of Allah are those who consider the sun, the moon, the stars, and the shadows for thikrullah.” Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar in his book, Al-Amaliyy, classified this hadith as sahih . The meaning of thikrullah in the hadith of the Prophet is prayers.

4. As it is well known, the Companions, may Allah reward them, had al-’ijma^ (unanimous agreement) to look at the position of the country in relation to Makkah when they wanted to place a mihrab in it. Hence, if the position of the country was north of Makkah, they directed the mihrab toward south, and if it was south of Makkah, the direct the mihrab toward north, and if the country was east, they direct the mihrab toward the west and vice-versa. These maharib still exist in the Muslim countries, and the sayings of the Companions are documented in the books of the scholars.

The aforementioned verses, hadith of the Prophet, and doings of the Companions signify that determining the direction of al-Qiblah relies on knowing the position of the country from Makkah based on the sun, moon, stars, and the like. As you see, it is not mentioned in any text that the reliance is on the shortest distance, or on the statement of mathematical calculations, or that of spherical triangles as some intelligence-claimers voice today. Rather, the scholar have al-’ijma^ that to determine the maharib of the mosques, one looks at the position of the country from Makkah, relying on the stars and the like.

Add comment July 16th, 2005


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