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Deviation From The Direction Of Qiblah

Question

Alhamdulillah, with the mercy of Allah, recently we managed to build a Musalla and Madrasah. Prior to building, we enquired regarding the direction of Qiblah. Various professionals, including an architect, building contractor and engineer, all showed us the direction. About 7 different people showed us the direction and we therefore proceeded with the project. The Musalla is completed with the mihrab, and carpets have also been installed.

However, recently a Musalli brought it to our attention that the direction of Qiblah is incorrect. We rechecked and waited for Thursday, the 27th of May, where the sun was in such a position that if we faced it then we were facing the direction of Qiblah. We then realized that according to the sun calculation, we were 32 degrees off Qiblah. We immediately called in the same engineer who showed us the Qiblah initially. He brought 2 compasses with him and showed us that both compasses are pointing to the direction of Qiblah that we built the Musalla facing. What do we do in this situation as some Musallis are no longer comfortable in attending Salaah as they are saying that the Qiblah is not in the correct direction? One point to bear in mind is that we have a mix of Shafi and Hanafi Musallis.

Answer

Facing the Qiblah is amongst the conditions for validity of Salaah. It is incumbent for those who find the Ka’ba in their direct line-of-sight, to face it precisely without any deviation. For the rest however, the requirement is simply to face the general direction of the Ka’ba. Consequently, for the latter group, a minor deviation to the right or left from the precise direction of the Ka’ba is therefore acceptable and tolerable.

The Ulema have determined the tolerable deviation to be 90 degrees (45 degrees to the right or left when facing the precise direction of the Ka’bah). Regarding the case you describe, the deviation of 32 degrees falls within the accepted tolerance of 45 degrees and consequently the Salaah previously performed in that direction will be valid and will not have to be repeated .

However, now that you have been apprised of the error and are cognisant of the correct direction, it will be necessary to adjust the Sufoof (rows in the congregational Salaah) to face the correct direction. This could easily be achieved by marking the Musallah (carpet) or floor with new lines, or changing the direction of Musalla (carpet) itself .

We advise that the Shafi’ee Musallees consult with a Darul-Ifta specializing in Shafi’ee Fiqh to acquire an appropriate ruling for them.

Checked and Approved By:

Mufti Muhammed Saeed Motara Saheb D.B.

References

  ففي القهستاني: ولا بأس بالانحراف انحرافا لا تزول به المقابلة بالكلية، بأن يبقى شيء من سطح الوجه مسامتا للكعبة. اهـ رد المحتار عل الدر المختار(1/429)

وتعتبر الجهة دون العين كذا ذكر الكرخي والرازي وهو قول عامة مشايخنا بما وراء النهر بدائع الصنائع – (1/118) 

وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ لِئَلاَّ يَكُونَ لِلنَّاسِ عَلَيْكُمْ حُجَّةٌ إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنْهُمْ فَلاَ تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِي وَلأُتِمَّ نِعْمَتِي عَلَيْكُمْ وَلَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ البقرة:150

حَدَّثَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ أَبِي مَعْشَرٍ، حَدَّثَنَا أَبِي، عَنْ مُحَمَّدِ بْنِ عَمْرٍو، عَنْ أَبِي سَلَمَةَ، عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، قَالَ قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم ‏ “‏ مَا بَيْنَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ قِبْلَةٌ ‏” ‏(جامع الترمذي) ‎

 فتاوى محمودية (5/540) 

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