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Archive One

Parallels Judaism[edit]

Would it be appropriate to add on this page that at least since Mishnaic times (200 CE), the Jewish people pray facing the temple mount in Jerusalem? The mishnah speaks about this in tractate Berachot chapter 4 mishnahs 5 and 6 and this practice is even found as early as KingsI 8:35-36.Gavhathehunchback 05:10, 17 October 2007 (UTC)


Please move the page title to Qiblah. It is the more correct transliteration from the Arabic. Cuñado Bahaitemplatestar.png - Talk 00:53, 16 March 2006 (UTC)


To direct themselves towards the Qibla, Muslims must face the direction of the Kaaba, and not take the shortest path or the path which is taken by airplanes or any other direction which is decided by a modern day formula or calculation... people in North America pray towards the East with a slight southern inclination

That is completely incorrect very rarely accepted as the direction of prayer. Perhaps I'll fix it later, but this article is of poor quality anyway. joturner 04:19, 24 April 2006 (UTC)

The Qibla is along a great circle. I read in an issue of National Geographic that Muslims orient themselves in ever-enlarging concentric circles centred at the Kaaba when praying, and as those circles spread out from the Kaaba, they spread down the globe like lines of latitude, eventually converging at the Kaaba's antipode in the South Pacific, and the orthogonal lines to those circles, or "transformed meridians", are the lines that Muslims orient themselves on to face the Kaaba when praying. The same National Geographic article shows a map of the world with a "Kaaba grid" overlaid on it, and it shows that in North America, the Qibla is oriented slightly northeast. Denelson83 01:45, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
The vast majority of North American mosques and individual Muslims - as well as the major national organizations - use the Northeastern qibla. The methods of calculating the qibla based on the great circle have been in use amongst Muslims since early Medieval times. The history as well as the fiqh of this issue were chronicled by Nuh Ha Mim Keller in Port in a Storm: A Fiqh Solution to the Qibla of North America (ISBN: 9957230042). IQAG1060 00:29, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

Isn't the direction of Kabba both the shortest distance, the great circle route, and the likely direction of airplanes? Or is the first writer saying that to face Kabba, if you are on the other side of the earth, you must face straight down, or perhaps face toward the direction indicated by a straight line drawn on a Mercator projection? If not, then it seems to me all the authors in this conversation are already in agreement, and there is no dispute. 23:15, 23 July 2006 (UTC)

Besides, a Mercator projection map is not a true representation of the Earth. If the Earth was flat, then Muslims in North America would definitely face east-southeast to look toward Mecca. Of course, that is not the case in reality. The Earth is an oblate spheroid, and only a globe can show the Earth as it truly is. -- Denelson83 10:28, 19 October 2006 (UTC)

There have been some recent additions to the article claiming that some conservative islamic scholars say that prayers cannot pass through certain minerals in the earth's crust. The reference given does not back up this claim; the only references on the google-discovered web that I have found are themselves referencing the quote in this article. The claim in itself is not too barmy to be something said by an Islamic scholar, but it does not seem to be easily verifiable. MarkHudson (talk) 11:56, 13 April 2009 (UTC)


I know that I've seen mentions in science fiction of the qibla-related difficulty that would be encountered by Muslims who travel to other planets - although since my Usenet access has been temporarily abrogated, I can't ask on rec.arts.sf.written until I get things fixed up. DS 16:02, 7 June 2006 (UTC)

The direction is not so important for people in outer space, because 1) it is very rare, 2) the intention (niya) is what counts (for exemple if someone is lost or in the dark, the direction could be anywhere, the important is the faith, not the technical details) and 3) there are rules for people on a camel or on a boat (they direct themselves toward the head of the ship). HC 16:52, 7 July 2006 (UTC)
Those rules should be mentioned in the article. --Error 20:30, 22 August 2006 (UTC)
In 1985, a Saudi Arabian astronaut travelled aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery. Does anyone know how he prayed in space? --Wechselstrom 21:23, 24 September 2006 (UTC)
in an interview he said that he could pray and fast but he couldn't determine the qibla or prostrate properly during his prayer, I also read that you can try to face the Earth itself when in outerspace since that would be facing the kaaba logically, of course that is not always available since the Earth could be beneath you or simply invisible Habibko (talk) 13:36, 6 March 2008 (UTC)


Should this be capitalized...? I don't see why it should be. Comments? Answers? gren グレン 02:14, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

It's capitalized to indicate respect, because it's a religious concept. DS 18:52, 16 June 2006 (UTC)
Capitalization does not matter in this case, because it's not a proper name. Furthermore it is an Arabic word and the capital Q may represent that it is not actually a Q but a letter "qaf" which does not actually sound like a q. In any case, it is fine either way.


I heard somewhere that the mosques of Al Andalus had their mirhabs pointing to the south instead of southeast because Muslims arrived from the South. Is it true? --Error 20:37, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

At least the mihrab of the Mezquita of Córdoba points South. I read in Spanish wikipedia that there are several proposals to explain it. --Error 20:44, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

Inside the Kaaba?[edit]

I have heard that sometimes, the authorities of Mecca invited certain people to pray inside the Kaaba itself. What is the orientation of the Qibla in that case? -- 23:12, 6 March 2007 (UTC)

They prey out towards the walls of the Kaaba. -- Denelson83 05:38, 5 April 2007 (UTC)

Different rhumb lines pass through the same pair of points[edit]

Given any pair of different points on the Earth's surface that aren't antipodal, there is exactly one great circle that passes through both. Such is not the case for rhumb lines; in fact, given any pair of points at different latitudes, there are infinitely many rhumb lines that pass through them both. I'm not sure the article should mention this, but I'm saying it here in case anyone is wondering. —Keenan Pepper 01:25, 31 March 2007 (UTC)

Antipodal direction?[edit]

The article seems to indicate that the orientation of shadows is the only widely accepted method of determining the direction to Mecca. If the sun is directly over the antipodal point of Mecca, the shadow goes straight down toward the ground. So which direction should Muslims face if they are at that location? Obviously, straight through the Earth is the shortest and most direct line to Mecca, but it seems inherently sacrilegious to pray directly at the ground. JCub 13:32, 13 April 2007 (UTC)

Since there is no land in this place (it's in the middle of the Pacific ocean), this questions seems to be of little practical significance. Also, the qibla is of course calculated along the surface of the earth, not *through* the earth. -- 00:37, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Qibla from a voyage to Alpha Centauri[edit]

In Abdul Ahad's novel First Ark to Alpha Centauri (publish in US, 2005) there is a reference to the Qibla and the celestial direction that Muslims will face on a long voyage to the star Alpha Centauri. It is the first known reference to Makkah from an interstellar vantage point by any muslim author that has been precisely calculated using celestial navigation. See the article in The Daily Star —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:21, 13 August 2008 (UTC)

You are referring to qibla in popular culture. Thanks for the notice. -- fayssal / Wiki me up® 13:17, 13 August 2008 (UTC)


I think that it would be interesting if someone could provide a map of the world with the qibla direction every 15 degrees or so (that is, create some lines of longitude except with Mecca as the pole). Just a suggestion, (talk) 12:04, 12 March 2009 (UTC)

Done. Best regards, -- JCIV (talk) 17:19, 8 October 2009 (UTC)
What this azimuthal equidistant map actually depicts is the direction FROM Mecca! For directions TO Mecca one can use a retro-azimuthal map but these are only useful for a limited part of the terrestrial globe. For examples, see Waldo Tobler's Qibla Maps AstroLynx (talk) 08:02, 12 October 2009 (UTC)
Fixed with File:Craig projection SW.jpg. cmɢʟeeτaʟκ 13:58, 6 November 2015 (UTC)

removed this from kabaa article as it's already here apparently[edit]

Like Jews, the earliest Muslims prayed facing Jerusalem. According to Islamic tradition, when Muhammad was praying in the Qiblatain Mosque (in Medina), he was ordered by God to change the qibla from Jerusalem to Mecca and the Kaaba. Various theories are advanced as to the reason for the change.

Muslim groups in the United States differ as to how the qibla should be oriented - some believe that the direction should be calculated as a straight line drawn on a flat map, like the familiar Mercator projection of the globe; others say that the direction is determined by the shortest line on the globe of the earth, or a great circle. At times this controversy has led to heated disputes. Flat-map Muslims in the United States pray east and slightly south; great-circle Muslims face in a north-easterly direction. In both cases, the exact orientation will vary from city to city.[1]

Qibla compasses are available that tell Muslims which direction to face no matter where they are. This method requires one to align the north arrow with a particular point on the compass corresponding to one's location. Once so aligned, one simply turns toward the direction indicated by the compass's qibla pointer, which is often in the shape of a minaret. "Qibla numbers" for various locations are listed in an accompanying booklet and also indexed online.[2]

Pbhj (talk) 12:58, 28 September 2009 (UTC)

Please correct!!![edit]

About the joined photo, you commented: Dome of the rock: former Qibla of Islam.. and this is wrong, please correct it! Please note that: the former qibla of Islam is al-Aqsa mosque. The dome of the rock was just been built decades after the life of Muhammad, the prophet of muslims.

Thank you! (talk) 21:03, 8 March 2010 (UTC)

First Qibla: citation please[edit]

Please can the full citation for the following...

"In Islam, this qiblat was used for over 13 years, from 610 CE until 623 CE. Seventeen months after the Islamic prophet Muhammad's 622 CE arrival in Medina, the Qiblah became oriented towards the Kaaba in Mecca." reproduced here as the source given (In the Lands of the Prophet, Time-Life, p. 29) is unaccessable. Chesdovi (talk) 16:26, 5 October 2010 (UTC)

It has been said, and not denied by educated British Imams, that the earliest mosques were not aligned to Jerusalem or Mecca but to Petra. These include mosques to the north in Palestine and Damascus and to the east in China. Only from the year AD 700 were new mosques built with a Qibla towards the Kaabah. Moreover some of the early descriptions of events relating to Mohammed are said to relate much more easily to Petra, which had long been a powerful and well defended city, than to Mecca which was small and little known. Logical Analyst (talk) 16:24, 19 June 2015 (UTC)
Without a verifiable source, such claims can not be added. AstroLynx (talk) 17:14, 19 June 2015 (UTC)

Astronomical determinations[edit]

As the Kaaba itself is astronomically aligned [1], the earliest qibla determinations from the 7th and 8th centuries were made using the rising and setting of the sun and fixed stars [2]. The "Qibla determinations" section should have an Astronomy subsection. I'm surprised its not at all mentioned here right now. Tiamuttalk 21:09, 17 August 2011 (UTC)

Merge with Qiblih[edit]

Or, probably more accurate would be merge Qiblih with this, or merge them both into a different transliteration if there's one we can agree is more encyclopedic. Point is, the word in Arabic is the same, the concept is the same (like Messiah -> Masih, etc.) I can't think of a reason they need to or ought to be separate articles. Any objections? Peter Deer (talk) 04:53, 6 May 2012 (UTC)

Meaning of Qibla[edit]

The original meaning of Qibla قبلة‎ is kiss, not direction. You can proof it with translator and with google pictures.

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Qibla to Petra[edit]

Asking why there are no islamic sources for the earlier qiblas pointing to Petra is absurd. First, there is actual physical evidence in the form of mosques and qiblas. Mosques are islamic architectural sources. But more than that, it is by an analysis of the text of the Quran that Dan Gibson found the city mentioned. For instance, there was a sanctuary with a black stone dedicated to the deities Uzzat, Allat and Manat in Petra (the deities described in the city of the Prophet before the hegira), so it makes sense that qiblas pointed to it before az-Zubayr stole the black stone. As far as I understand the Quran is an islamic source. Leocomix (talk) 16:35, 24 October 2016 (UTC)

Gibson's Qur'anic Geography is not a reliable source. Nor is the Qur'an a reliable source on history. And if Mecca was Petra, where does Medina fit in this picture? AstroLynx (talk) 08:14, 25 October 2016 (UTC)