Wednesday, March 4, 2015

5 ways to find Qibla Direction for Prayers in Unknown Places

From centuries Qibla is an observational fact. It is the direction in which the Muslims worldwide face while offering prayers who are far away from Makkah. The direction corresponds to Kabah in Makkah, Saudi Arabia. It shows uniformity and discipline and has its importance not only in Salaah but also various ceremonies and on different occasions. There are various methods to determine the correct direction of Qibla. Following are some of them.

First of all know your country’s direction
It is obvious and common sense that if the country lies south of Makkah, the Qibla will be in the Northern direction. It is a misconception that Muslims are found to face towards the east every time everywhere but in reality that would be correct only if the country is west to Makkah. For example you need to face north-northeast if you are in South Africa.

Method 1: Using Sun
From centuries and stone age, when there were no maps or compass, people used to follow the sun direction and the shadows, similarly keeping a track of from where the sun rises and sets will give you an idea about the location or direction of Makkah.

Method 2: Making Sundial
  1. On a leveled surface (ground) place a vertical stick or object before noon which should be about 1 meter high.
  2. Locate the shadow’s tip and mark that point
  3. Consider the shadow length as radius; make a complete circle around that stick
  4. As the day passes the shadow will reduce in size. As more time passes it again increases in size touching the circle once again. Mark that point on the circle and join the two marks with a line.
  5. The first mark is the West and the second one is east.
  6. The perpendicular line to it is the north-south direction.

Method 3: Using watch
When in North, take a clock horizontally, keeping the hour hand facing sun. The midway point between this hour hand and 12 o’clock is the south.
When in South, point 12 o’clock towards the sun, and mark midway between this and hour hand which is north.

Method 4: Compass
This method doesn’t locate the Qibla exactly but gives a far better idea about the direction if you know your position in relation to Makkah. Find and use a Qibla compass then locate your direction by placing it on a flat surface and using its dial hand to settle in a direction.

Method 5: Modern Technology
There are numerous iphone, android and ipad apps that help you determine the Qibla direction very easily by using the GPS tool. It is helpful for anyone and everyone across the whole wide world.
  1. 21°25′21.15″N 39°49′34.1″E are the coordinates of Kaabah to be exact.
  2. Compass attached to prayers mats are also easily available.
  3. Visiting a nearby mosque and seeing the rows their will also help you locate Qibla in proper direction.
  4. When moving too an unknown location, do make sure about your position and use these methods to find Qibla.

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