قَدْ نَرَىٰ تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاءِ ۖ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا ۚ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ ۚ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ ۗ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْكِتَابَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ ۗ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَافِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ
We have certainly seen the turning of your face, [O Muhammad], toward the heaven, and We will surely turn you to a qiblah with which you will be pleased. So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]. Indeed, those who have been given the Scripture well know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.
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(We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven…) [2:144]. The Prophet, Allah bless him and give himpeace, said once to Gabriel, peace be upon him: “I wish that Allah, exalted is He, directed me away from theqiblah of the Jews to a different qiblah' - he meant to say the Ka'bah because it was the qiblah of Abraham.Gabriel said to him: 'I am a slave like you; nothing is in my power. Do therefore request your Lord to directyou away from it toward the qiblah of Abraham'. Gabriel then rose in the sky while the Messenger of Allah,Allah bless him and give him peace, kept looking at heaven in the hope that Gabriel would bring him thenews of what he had requested. And so Allah revealed this verse”. Abu Mansur Muhammad ibn Muhammadal-Mansuri informed us> al-Hafiz 'Ali ibn 'Umar> 'Abd al-Wahhab ibn 'Isa> Abu Hisham al-Rifa'i> Abu Bakribn 'Iyash> Abu Ishaq> al-Bara' who said: “We prayed with Allah's Messenger, Allah bless him and give himpeace, after his arrival to Medina for sixteen months toward Jerusalem. Then Allah knew the wish of HisProphet, Allah bless him and give him peace, and so He revealed (We have seen the turning of thy face toheaven…)”. This is narrated by Muslim from the report of Abu Bakr ibn Abi Shaybah from Abu'l-Ahwas. Itwas also narrated by Bukhari from the report of Abu Nu'aym from Zuhayr, and both Zuhayr and Abu'l-Ahwasreported this narration from Abu Ishaq.
قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَآءِ فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ
(144. Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad's) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. Certainly, the people who were given the Scripture (i.e., Jews and Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka
bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do).
`Ali bin Abu Talhah related that Ibn `Abbas narrated: The first abrogated part in the Qur'an was about the Qiblah. When Allah's Messenger migrated to Al-Madinah, the majority of its people were Jews, and Allah commanded him to face Bayt Al-Maqdis. The Jews were delighted then. Allah's Messenger faced it for ten and some months, but he liked to face the Qiblah of Ibrahim (Ka`bah in Makkah). He used to supplicate to Allah and look up to the sky (awaiting Allah's command). Allah then revealed:
قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَآءِ
(Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad's) face towards the heaven), until,
فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ
(turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction.) The Jews did not like this ruling and said:
مَا وَلَّـهُمْ عَن قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِى كَانُواْ عَلَيْهَا قُل لّلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ
("What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah (prayer direction) to which they used to face in prayer.'' Say (O Muhammad), "To Allah belong both, east and the west.'') (2:142) Allah said:
فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّواْ فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ
(. ..so wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah) (2:115), and:
وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِى كُنتَ عَلَيْهَآ إِلاَّ لِنَعْلَمَ مَن يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّن يَنقَلِبُ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ
(And We made the Qiblah (prayer direction towards Jerusalem) which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad ) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e., disobey the Messenger).) (2:143)
Al-Hakim related that `Ali bin Abu Talib said:
فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ
(...so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah).) means its direction.'' Al-Hakim then commented that the chain of this narration is authentic and that they (i.e., Al-Bukhari and Muslim) did not include it in their collections. This ruling concerning the Qiblah is also the opinion of Abu Al-`Aliyah, Mujahid, `Ikrimah, Sa`id bin Jubayr, Qatadah, Ar-Rabi` bin Anas and others. Allah's Statement:
وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنتُمْ فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ
(And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction) is a command from Allah to face the Ka`bah from wherever one is on the earth: the east, west, north or south. The exception is of the voluntary prayer (Nafl) while one is traveling, for one is allowed to offer it in any direction his body is facing, while his heart is intending the Ka`bah. Also, when the battle is raging, one is allowed to offer prayer, however he is able. Also, included are those who are not sure of the direction and offer prayer in the wrong direction, thinking that it is the direction of the Qiblah, because Allah does not burden a soul beyond what it can bear.
Allah stated that:
وَإِنَّ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَـبَ لَيَعْلَمُونَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِن رَّبِّهِمْ
(Certainly, the people who were given the Scripture (i.e., Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka`bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord.) This Ayah means: The Jews, who did not like that you change your Qiblah from Bayt Al-Maqdis, already knew that Allah will command you (O Muhammad) to face the Ka`bah. The Jews read in their Books their Prophets' description of Allah's Messenger and his Ummah, and that Allah has endowed and honored him with the complete and honorable legislation. Yet, the People of the Book deny these facts because of their envy, disbelief and rebellion. This is why Allah threatened them when He said:
وَمَا اللَّهُ بِغَـفِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُونَ
(And Allah is not unaware of what they do.)