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Tunisia216

Good Qiblah website

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I know there is debate amongst some Muslims regarding how to find which direction that you should be praying.. But if you are praying at home and you feel confused ..( my husband did as well - said he felt disoriented - as other Muslim friends that I have here ) I really like this website and I hope that it helps some people.

www.qiblahfinder.com

You can put in your exact address and zoom in to street level of your home and it shows you which way Mecca is, or which general way you should be facing inside of your home.

Qiblah (قبلة, also transliterated as Kiblah) is an Arabic word for the direction that should be faced when a Muslim prays during Salah. Most mosques contain a niche in a wall that indicates the qiblah.

The qiblah has importance to more than just the salaat, and plays an important part in everyday ceremonies. The head of an animal that is slaughtered using Halal methods is aligned with the qiblah. After death, Muslims are buried with their faces in the direction of the qiblah. Thus, archeology can indicate a Muslim necropolis if no other signs are present.

History of the Qiblah

Originally, the direction of the Qiblah was toward Masjid al-Aqsa, Jerusalem (and it is therefore called the First of the Two Qiblahs). At least since Mishnaic times (200 CE), Jews face the temple mount in Jerusalem while praying. The Mishnah speaks about this in Berakhot (Talmud) chapter 4, Mishnahs 5 and 6 and this practice is even found as early as I Kings 8:35-36. In Islam, this only lasted for seventeen months after Muhammad's arrival in Medina, after which the Qiblah became oriented towards the Kaaba in Mecca. According to accounts from the prophet Muhammad's companions, the change happened very suddenly during the noon prayer in Medina, in a mosque known as Masjid al-Qiblatain (Mosque of the Two Qiblahs). Muhammad was leading the prayer when he received revelations from Allah instructing him to take the Kaaba as the Qiblah (literally, "turn your face towards the Masjid al Haram").

“ From whencesoever Thou startest forth, turn Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque; that is indeed the truth from the Lord. And Allah is not unmindful of what ye do.

So from whencesoever Thou startest forth, turn Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque; and wheresoever ye are, Turn your face thither: that there be no ground of dispute against you among the people, except those of them that are bent on wickedness; so fear them not, but fear Me; and that I may complete My favours on you, and ye May (consent to) be guided;

—Qur'an 2:149–250 (Yusuf Ali)

According to the historical accounts, Muhammad, who had been facing Jerusalem, upon receiving this revelation, immediately turned around to face Mecca, and those praying behind him also did so.

The Qiblah, for any point of reference on the Earth, is the direction of the Kaaba. Some Muslims from North America determine this direction using a rhumb line, while most Muslims worldwide use a great circle. In Muslim religious practice, supplicants must face this direction in prayer. Muslims do not worship the Kaaba or its contents; the Kaaba is simply a focal point for prayer. If someone is inside the Kaaba, they are allowed to pray facing any direction.

In ancient times, Muslims traveling abroad used an astrolabe to find the Qiblah.

Two methods in determining the direction of the Qiblah

In the last 1000 years, several Muslim mathematicians and astronomers, such as al-Biruni, have discussed the correct way of determining the Qiblah direction from any point on the Earth's surface. All of them agree that at the two moments in each year when the Sun is directly overhead the Kaaba, the direction of shadows in any sunlit place will point directly away from the Qiblah. This happens on May 27 or May 28 at 9:18 GMT and on July 15 or July 16 at 9:27 GMT.

Of course, at any time, only half of the globe is sunlit. Fortunately, there are two moments in each year when the Sun is directly over the antipodes of the Kaaba. At that time, the direction of shadows in any sunlit place will point directly towards the Qiblah. This happens on January 12 or January 13 at 21:29 GMT and on November 28 at 21:09 GMT.

Because the Earth is almost a sphere, this is almost the same as saying that the Qiblah from a place is the direction in which a bird would start flying in order to get to the Kaaba by the shortest possible way.

North American rules: The traditional and the Mercator map

In recent years, Muslims from North America have used two rules to determine the direction of the Qiblah. A Muslim praying from Anchorage, Alaska should pray almost due North if determining the Qiblah according to the traditional rule. However, when one looks at the world on a Mercator map, Mecca appears to be southeast of Anchorage. The rhumb line from most points in North America to Mecca will point toward the southeast, but the distance to Mecca along this route on the actual surface of the earth is longer than the traditional great circle route.

The vast majority of Muslim communities in North America face toward the northeast, following the great-circle route. A minority faces towards the southeast according to early Islamic methods including sighting the stars, sun, wind, etc.[2]

Muslims consider the direction of Qiblah very important because the fact that all Muslims pray towards the Kaaba is traditionally considered to be symbol of the unity of all Muslims worldwide under the law of God.

Most Qiblah calculating programs use the traditional method and don't mention the Mercator map method.

Substitution of the direction of the Qiblah

If the direction of the Qiblah is unavailable, a Muslim can pray in any desired direction, as long as his/her intent is to perform prayer to God. However, the general direction is towards the west where the sun set.

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Just to highlight something from what you posted

The vast majority of Muslim communities in North America face toward the northeast, following the great-circle route. A minority faces towards the southeast according to early Islamic methods including sighting the stars, sun, wind, etc.

The website gives the minority direction. I haven't ever been in a mosque in the US that faced southeast.

My sheikh wrote a book about the debate, with the conclusion that northeast is the way to go. I've never read it, but looks like I'll have to find it now. There's always something new to learn :innocent:


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It' strange that we are supposed to face the Northeast from the US. I would think it was Southeast if you lived in the north in the US. I figure with the earth being round and all, eventually one would reach Mecca...even taking the long way there. LOL.


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The website is giving the most direct line to Mecca.... But like I said, there are different ways of thought and people doing each way... I read a really long article regarding facing the north east and how it was the "much longer way around" I'll have to go dig and find it as there was a lot of scientific information and islamic scholar studies for both arguments there

But that's what the article I read stated... That North America, being in the north would fast a south (slightly) east direction for the most direct line to Mecca....

:unsure:

It' strange that we are supposed to face the Northeast from the US. I would think it was Southeast if you lived in the north in the US. I figure with the earth being round and all, eventually one would reach Mecca...even taking the long way there. LOL.

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It's the most direct line on a flat map. The most direct line on a globe is northeast.

Some pro northeast readings:

http://www.moonsighting.com/qibla.html

http://patriot.net/~abdali/ftp/qibla.pdf

http://islamicbookstore.com/b6627.html


10/14/05 - married AbuS in the US lovehusband.gif

02/23/08 - Filed for removal of conditions.

Sometime in 2008 - Received 10 year GC. Almost done with USCIS for life inshaAllah! Huzzah!

12/07/08 - Adopted the fuzzy feline love of my life, my Squeaky baby th_catcrazy.gif

02/23/09 - Apply for citizenship

06/15/09 - Citizenship interview

07/15/09 - Citizenship ceremony. Alhamdulilah, the US now has another american muslim!

irhal.jpg

online rihla - on the path of the Beloved with a fat cat as a copilot

These comments, information and photos may not be reused, reposted, or republished anywhere without express written permission from UmmSqueakster.

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:thumbs: Thanks.. that first link is the website I was talking about that I was reading yesterday!

It's the most direct line on a flat map. The most direct line on a globe is northeast.

Some pro northeast readings:

http://www.moonsighting.com/qibla.html

http://patriot.net/~abdali/ftp/qibla.pdf

http://islamicbookstore.com/b6627.html

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