Prayers: Towards Ka'aba - started by
Jews or by Muslims?
Q492 :Before the conquest of Makkah, Muslims used to
pray toward Jerusalem and the Jews toward the Kaaba. Why did not
Muslims start this earlier?
A492 : Your statement about the change in the
direction Muslims face in prayer is inaccurate. When the Prophet
received orders from Allah that he and all Muslims should pray in a
particular fashion, he was told to face Jerusalem when he prayed. The
Prophet obeyed this order as did all Muslims. The Jews always faced
Jerusalem in their prayer. They did not turn toward the Kaaba in their
prayer at all. Seventeen months after the Prophet had settled in
Madinah, he was commanded by Allah to change the direction he faced in
the prayer so as to turn toward the Kaaba whenever he prays. Again, he
complied with Allah's order. Wherever Muslims are, they are required to
turn towards the Kaaba when they pray. It should be remembered that the
Kaaba is the first house ever to be dedicated to the worship of Allah
alone. It was built by the prophets Ibraheem and Ismaeel on the
express orders of Allah who defined for them the spot where the Kaaba
should be built. Ever since its building, the Kaaba has remained a
place of worship.
Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )