Volume 15-05 No:173
It is obligatory (fard) on Muslims to face Makkah while performing namaz. This is laid down in the Quran (ch. 7 v. 29). We usually take it for granted that facing the west constitutes our Qibla. But it is not so. It is right for the people in Central India as it lies in level with the latitude of Makkah (210.5), but it is not so for the people in South and North India. It will be a sin if we do not try to make an attempt to determine the right Qibla at a place. Here is an opportunity for you to determine the accurate Qibla anywhere in the subcontinent and other countries within a radius of about 5,000 kms (3000 miles) from Makkah.
Remember and note down the dates and the timings:
May 28 at 2-48 pm IST and
July 16 at 2-57 pm IST
May 28 at 2-18 pm PST and
July 16 at 2-27 pm PST
May 28 at 3-18 pm BST and
July 16 at 3-27 pm BST
On these two days each year the sun is situated exactly on the top of Makkah, that means it is exactly midday or noon there. Exactly at this time mark the line of the shadow in the sunlight of any vertical object like a pillar, a tree, a plumb, vertical rods of the window in your house or outside anywhere. The line of the shadow on the floor represents the exact direction of the Qibla at that place. You will know as to how much deviation you have to make from the west to get the exact Qibla. All its parallel lines on any side also show the Qibla direction. This experiment is as per the shariah and Quran (55:5) and at the same time it is purely scientific and reliable. For Bangalore, the deviation is about 19 degrees towards the North from its latitude or West.
Please inform your friends about the simple experiment and especially to the teachers in our madrasas and Muslim institutions so that this simple method of determining the Qibla can be demonstrated to the students as a practical class. This experiment may be done two or three days before or later and one or two minutes before or later as the error will be negligible. The date and the timings are perpetual. The direction of the Qibla may be reconfirmed on July 16th.
Modern science has discovered that in the places where two different seas meet there is a barrier between them. This barrier divides the two seas so that each sea has its own temperature, salinity and density. For example water of the Mediterranean Sea is warm, saline and less dense compared to Atlantic Ocean water. When Mediterranean Sea water enters the Atlantic over the Gibraltar Sill it moves several hundred kilometres into the Atlantic at a depth of about 1,000 meters with its own warm, saline and less dense characteristics. Although there are large waves, strong currents and tides in these seas, they do not mix or transgress this barrier. The human eye cannot see the difference between the two seas that meet. Rather they appear to us as one homogenous sea. This information has been discovered only recently using advanced equipment to measure temperature, salinity, density, oxygen, dissolubility etc.
Mediterranean sea water enters the Atlantic over the Gibraltar sill with its own warm, saline, and less dense characteristics because of the "barrier" that exists between them.
(Diagram from `Marine Geology" Kuenen)
Would you expect someone living in the 6th century AD to know about this? Have a look at the following verse from our Glorious Qur’an.
“He (Allah) has set free the two seas meeting together. There is a barrier between them. They do not transgress.” (Qur’an: 55:19-20)
“ He is the one who has set free the two kinds of water, one sweet and palatable, and the other salty and bitter. And He has made between them a barrier and a forbidding wall.” ( Qur’an: 25:53)
This proves that the Qur’an is the literal word of God, which He revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) through the Angel Gabriel.