direction a Muslim faces when praying.
Originally, the qibla is towards Jerusalem, just as the Arabian Jews did.
However, when the Jews rejected the message of Muhammad, the qibla was
changed to Mecca.
- change in Qibla,
* 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 (facing Jerusalem). 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).' " (al-Baqarah 2:143).
(Sahih Bukhari 1.39)
- old direction,
- Muhammad used to pray on his mount, sometimes facing directions
other than Qibla (for non compulsory prayer).
Sahih Bukhari 2.201,
Sahih Bukhari 2.202,
Sahih Bukhari 2.203
- new direction,
Muhammad's Changing of the Qiblah
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