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Question:

Assalamu alaykum, which way is the Qiblah in north America? I noticed some mosques pray Northeast and some mosques pray Southeast. Should I follow shortest distance, or the direct line towards the Qiblah?

 

Answer:

بسم الله والحمد لله وصلى الله على رسول الله

We received many questions about Qiblah in USA and Canada, and so in answering all questions about this topic we say:

The direction should remain as it was when Muslims first came to it, East South East and this is because North America is Northwest of Makkah, one must face the opposite of North west which is Southeast. This is based on a scholarly consensnus (Ijma^) as mentioned by Imam Abu Hanifah and others that "the Qiblah of the people in the West is East, and the Qiblah of the people in the North is South..

 

Furthermore, we refer you to the fatwa answered previously by Azhar of Egypt affirming that correct direction is East South East and not the new northeast direction that was introduced un-Islamically in 1974 by a mathematician who claimed that the method to find the Qiblah should be based on shortest distance and not direction:

 

Praise be to Allah, may Allah raise the rank of our master Muhammad, his family members and companions, and protect his nation from that which he fears for it. Thereafter;

جهة القبلة بالنسبة لأمريكا الشمالية هي جنوب شرق
Qiblah Direction for North America is East South East

جهة القبلة بالنسبة لأمريكا الشمالية هي جنوب شرق

قدم المسلمون إلى أمريكا الشمالية في أوائل القرن الهجري المنصرم أفراداًَ و جماعات٬ و ما زال عددهم ينمو و يتزايد حتى صار لهم جاليات كبيرة في كل من الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية و كندا. فكان من الطبيعيّ أن يسعَوْا في بناء مساجد و مصليات يجتمعون فيها لتأدية الجماعات و استماع الخير و ذكر الله. و قد كانت كلّ هذه المصليات و المساجد تتوجه محاريبها إلى الجنوب الشرقي من غير استثناء بناء على فتاوى علماء بلاد الإسلام حتى قام عبد الله العبدليّ منذ نحو عشرين عاما و بالتحديد بين سنتى 1973 ر و 1974ر بنشر كتاب يذكر فيه أن جهة القبلة هي الشمال الشرقي في كلّ من الولايات المتحدة الأمريكية و كندا.


فتلقف كتابَهُ نفاةُ التوسل و أعضاءٌ من الحزب المسمى بحزب الإخوان المسلمين في شمال أمريكا معجبين به كإعجابهم المعتاد بالشاذِ، وقاموا بنشره و الترويج له كدأبهم مع ما فيه تشتيت الصف و تفريق الكلمة و تحريف الدين تحت اسم الإسلام. و قد تحدث بعضنا شخصيا مع مؤلف الكتاب فقال له: أنت عَلاَمَ اعتمدتَ من الأدلة الشرعية في نشر كتابك؟ فقال: أنا ما درستُ علوم الدين الشرعية لكنني اعتمدت على حساب المثلثات الكروية. فإِنَّا لله و إِنَّا إليه راجعون، صار أمر تحديد القبلة في هذه الأيام مَلعَبَةً بيد من لا يعرف علوم الدين و يريد التسلي !! بل يجد له مع ذلك أعواناً و أنصاراً!! هذا مع العلم بأن مساجد عديدة ما زالت محافظة على جهة القبلة الصحيحة، ومقابر المسلمين القديمة كمقبرة ((سكرامنتو)) كليفورنيا القديمة التى يرجع دفن موتى المسلمين فيها إلى ما قبل عام 1937ر ومقبرة ((تورو)) في مقاطعة نوفاسكوتيا الكندية التى يرجع دفنهم فيها إلى ما قبل خمسين سنة شاهدعلى أن المسلمين كانوا يتوجهون إلى الجنوب الشرقي.

وقد أصدر الأزهر فتوى جديدة (يوليو 2015) تنص على أن اتجاه القبلة هو الجنوب الشرقي، وكان قد أصدر فتوى قبلها سنة 1994

 

The proof to the issue of al-Qiblah in America is the consensus of the scholars of Islam in that the people of the east face to west and the people of the north face the south and the people of the south face to north, due to that Makkah is at the center of the earth, i.e., it is not at its edges. Hence, the saying that the people of the North America should face the northeast is invalid, and rather the people of North America should face the southeast. He who deviates from that has deviated from the unanimous agreement and consensus of the scholars of ‘Islam, the khalaf and the Salaf. He who wishes, let him look in shuruh al Minhaj and the book of ‘Anwar ^Amal al-‘Abrar by al-Ardabiliyy and the book of Nihayat al-Matlab by Imam of al-Haramayn and others, among the books of ash-Shafi^iyy school. Also in al-Mabsut by as-Sarakhsiyy al-Hanafiyy among the early scholars and Ibn ^Abidin among the late scholars along with others among the scholars and knowledgeable persons of the four schools.  And Allah, subhanahu wa ta^ala knows best. (see it from google)

 

 

The actual Fatwa from al-Azhar that Qiblah to North America is Southeast issued in 1994, and Azhar issued a new fatwa in July 2015 below:



جهة القبلة بالنسبة لأمريكا الشمالية هي جنوب شرق  Qiblah Direction for North America is East South East

 

New Azhar Fatwa July 2015:

جهة القبلة بالنسبة لأمريكا الشمالية هي جنوب شرق  Qiblah Direction for North America is East South East

 

Translation of the Ruling of the President of the Honorable al-‘Azhar University,

Dr.^Abdul-Fattah al-Husayniyy ash-Shaykh

 

In the name of Allah, the Merciful to the believers and non-believers in this world, the Merciful to the believers only in the next world

 

University of al-‘Azhar

Office of the President of the University

Mr. Muhammad Hammadi

 

As-Salamu ^alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh

 

Thereafter, in reference to the request that was sent to us in which you requested guiding you to the correct direction of al-Qiblah in the city of Montreal, Kindly note that your request was transferred to Dr. Jamal-ud–Din Al-Fandi Professor of Astronomy and member of the Islamic Research Convention, and he advised us with the following:

1. The mathematical formulas for the triangular spherical computations are all sound.

2. The application that appeared in your request is wrong, since it was necessary to subtract the resulting figure from 180 degrees in compliance with the mathematical rules.

3. The reasoning shown in your request in scientifically wrong and is discarded. Accordingly, the direction of al-Qiblah in the city of Montreal is at an angle of 180 degrees minus 58 degrees, which is 122 degrees from due north, and it is southeast.

 

Please accept ample salutations and as-salamu alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

President of al-‘Azhar University

 

A.D. Abdul-Fattah 1413 AH

Dated 9/9/92

SRLNO of letter 859

8 September 1992 RC

 

 

Translation of the Response of the Chairman of the Fatwa Committee,

Shaykh ^Atiyyah Saqr.

North America

 

As-salamu^alaykum wa rahmatullah wa barakatuh.

 

Thereafter, in reply to your letter that we received on November 28,1993, we advise you that the direction of al-Qiblah for the people of the United States of America and Canada is the southeast. This is due to that North America falls in the northwestern quarter with respect to Makkah; he who prays toward northeast, his direction is incorrect and his prayers likewise.

 

Verily, the Qiblah for prayer for the Muslims in Canada and the United States of America is the direction of southeast, as it is shown in the previous word.

 

The Chairman of the Fatwa committee at al-‘Azhar

Shaykh ^Atiyyah Saqr

28/11/93