WHAT IS QIBLA?
Qiblah, also spelled qibla or kiblah, is the direction of the sacred shrine of the Kaʿbah in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, toward which Muslims turn five times each day when performing the salah (daily ritual prayer.) Muslims believe this to be a sacred site built by the prophets Abraham and Ishmael. According to the Islamic belief, this was ordained by God in the Quran, revealed to Muhammad in the second Hijri year. Prior to this revelation Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and his followers in Medina faced Jerusalem for prayers.
The Qibla is used not only for prayer but also for burial of deceased, slaughtering of animals and is the recommended direction for making supplications and the avoided direction when relieving nature or spitting.
All Muslims across the world face Qibla while offering prayer, no matter where they are. Most mosques contain a mihrab or a wall niche which indicates the direction of the qibla. The direction of Qibla can be found using various methods as follows-:
1. Know where in the world you are in relation to Makkah (Mecca)
To find the exact location of Qibla, you must know where you are currently located in the world map. There is a common misconception that Muslims always pray facing the east, this is only true if you are in a country which is on the west side of Saudi Arabia. If you are in the United States, the Qibla is almost on your east -south east side. If you are in Japan, you would face west-southwest and if you are in South Africa, the Qibla is on the north-northeast side.
2. Sun Dial
For many year travelers and navigators have relied on the sun to determine the direction, simply by using the formula that the sun rises from the east and sets in the west.
How to determine the direction using a sundial?
3. Using a Wrist Watch
Using any analog watch with an hour and minute hand will allow you to find directions.
In the northern hemisphere.
The direction that lies midway between the hour hand and 12 o'clock on your watch is south. From there, you can easily determine the other directions.
The direction that lies halfway between 12 o'clock and the hour hand will be north.
4. Use a compass
if you know where you are in relation to Makkah, it's far more accurate than a stick in the ground. Get yourself a Qibla compass.
5. Use advanced technology
There are over a dozen different free apps that will use the built-in GPS and compass to point in exactly the correct direction no matter where in the world you are.
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