Why do Muslims face the Qibla when praying?
21 May 2022, 12:07 pm
Most of us are not clear why Muslims have to offer prayer facing the Qibla when Almighty Allah is present everywhere.
Here in the article, the question will be addressed with references from the Holy Quran.
First of all, it is important to note that facing Qibla has nothing to do with the presence of Allah in a particular place or direction.
It is explicitly mentioned twice in the Holy Quran when Allah said:
وَلِلَّهِ ٱلْمَشْرِقُ وَٱلْمَغْرِبُ ۚ فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّوا۟ فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ ٱللَّهِ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ وَٰسِعٌ عَلِيمٌ
Meaning: And Allah belongs to the east and the west, so wherever you look, you turn your face towards Allah. Surely, Allah is All-Encompassing, All-Knowing. Al-Baqarah: 115
It is stated yet again in another verse:
سَيَقُولُ ٱلسُّفَهَآءُ مِنَ ٱلنَّاسِ مَا وَلَّىٰهُمْ عَن قِبْلَتِهِمُ ٱلَّتِى كَانُوا۟ عَلَيْهَا ۚ قُل لِّلَّهِ ٱلْمَشْرِقُ وَٱلْمَغْرِبُ ۚ يَهْدِى مَن يَشَآءُ إِلَىٰ صِرَٰطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
Meaning: The foolish among the people will ask, ‘Why did they turn away from the direction of prayer they used to do?’ Say, O Prophet, ‘East and West belong only to Allah.’ He guides who he does on a straight path. Al-Baqarah: 142
Nevertheless, Muslims are still compelled to take guidance from the Holy Quran in every aspect of their lives.
وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ ٱلْمَسْجِدِ ٱلْحَرَامِ ۖ وَإِنَّهُۥ لَلْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّكَ ۗ وَمَا ٱللَّهُ بِغَـٰفِلٍ عَمَّا تَعْمَلُونَ
Meaning: So, wherever you go for prayer, turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram, and certainly it is the truth from your Lord. And Allah is never unaware of your activities. Al-Baqarah: 149
All words mentioned in the Quran are chosen only by Allah himself. And this verse clearly states that Muslims must face Masjid al-Haram as they continue their prayers.
Isn’t the reason is good enough for Muslims to face Qibla while performing their prayer five times a day? After all, we are commanded to do so directly by the Almighty.
Not to mention, if we do not follow Allah’s instructions, we will be responsible not only for this life but also on the Day of Judgment.
We hope that the reference from the Holy Quran provided in this article will help you understand the importance and significance of this act.