Question

Reference number: 160679 | Mosques | July 19, 2020

What is the acceptable skew angel which deviates from Ka’bah? In the mosque in our town, the Qiblah (destination) is deviated thirty degrees from Ka’bah taking into account that the mosque was built almost forty years ago. Is this acceptable?

Answer

Praise Be to Allah and Peace Be Upon His Messenger.

Referring to your question, to face the Qiblah accurately is a duty that Allah had prescribed. If one knows that there is a deviation in the Qiblah in the mosque where they pray, they must inform those who are competent and specialized in such a field in the Ministry of Endowment as fixing this issue requires knowledge and expertise.

Shaikh Muhammad Ahmad Hussain, the General Mufti (Muslim Legal Scholar), in the Palestinian Legal Verdict Council, was once told that those who pray in a mosque have dispute regarding the exact Qiblah, thus, the professionals in the Endowment Section went to the mosque to solve the problem. The result of their visit was referring the case to the Ifta’ House. Then he was asked about his opinion.

He answered: “referring to the decisions taken by the Verdict Council (items 1/8 and 3/46), Qiblah is one thing which unites the Islamic nation. It is something that Muslims are proud of. To keep the unity of Muslims via having one destination is a priority. Moreover, facing Qibla is a condition to get your prayer complete. Proofs are many. Allah says: “Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your face (in prayer) in the direction.” Al-Baqarah: 144.

There is also another proof mentioned in the following prophetic hadith. Abu Hurairah RAA narrated that the prophet said: “When you get up to pray, perform the ablution completely, and then turn towards the Qiblah and recite takbir (Allah o Akbar = Allah is the Most Great).” Related by Muslim.

The destination is known throughout many signs. Some of which are recognizing the east and the west, as the prophet (PBUH) said: “Any direction that is between east and west can be taken as a Qiblah.” Tirmidhi

This hadith proves that it is not necessary to face the exact destination of Ka’ba if you are not in the Sacred Mosques and thus can see it directly as this is a sort of hardship. Therefore, facing Ka’ba means facing its direction only to facilitate performing prayers and to remove hardship.

Muslims are asked to pay an effort to know the exact destination of Qibla by asking professionals. It is also preferred to use technology and technical tools that help in deciding the exact destination.

Referring to your question in specific, what the professionals and specialists in the Ministry of Endowment decided is that if the mosque you are describing deviates 42 degrees from Ka’ba, it means that the Imam is not facing the Qiblah. Thus, the Qiblah could be at the right or the left of the Imam, and this is not allowed. If the result they get is final and certain, they should fix the error in the destination quickly by getting the sanctum in the right place. Finally, we call Muslims to be united and to cast away schism and dispute. They are also called to obey the guidelines of the Ministry of Endowment. However, and to sum up, the deviation in the destination few degrees does not have a serious impact.

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