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Mohamed & his followers praying towards Jerusalem - Evidence from Quran

Reader comment on item: The Muslim Claim to Jerusalem
in response to reader comment: Is that from hadith? Not all the hadith are reliable. Muhammed only claimed the Koran as the message.

Submitted by Mohamed Khan (United States), Feb 5, 2011 at 23:06

The fools among the people (pagans, hypocrites, and Jews) will say, "What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah [prayer direction (towards Jerusalem)] to which they were used to face in prayer." Say, (O Muhammad SAW) "To Allâh belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a Straight Way." (142) Thus We have made you [true Muslims - real believers of Islâmic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW and his Sunnah (legal ways)], a (just) (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind[] and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) be a witness over you. And We made the Qiblah (prayer direction towards Jerusalem) which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e. disobey the Messenger). Indeed it was great (heavy) except for those whom Allâh guided. And Allâh would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e. your prayers offered towards Jerusalem). Truly, Allâh is full of kindness, the Most Merciful towards mankind. (143) Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad's SAW) 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-Harâm (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. Certainly, the people who were given the Scriptures (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. And Allâh is not unaware of what they do. (144) And even if you were to bring to the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) all the Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they would not follow your Qiblah (prayer direction), nor are you going to follow their Qiblah (prayer direction). And they will not follow each other's Qiblah (prayer direction). Verily, if you follow their desires after that which you have received of knowledge (from Allâh), then indeed you will be one of the Zâlimûn (polytheists, wrong-doers.) (145) (chapter 2)

People used to pray towards Jerusalem when the Prophet came to Medina, and for sixteen to seventeen months after his Emigration. He used to raise his head to heaven when he prayed, to see what he would be commanded, he used to pray towards Jerusalem, and then this was abrogated in favour of the Ka'bah. The Prophet used to like to pray towards the Ka'bah, and God revealed the verse: "We have seen the turning of your face to Heaven…"

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