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Why to Face the Qibla in Prayers?

By: Ayatullah al-Uzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi
& Ayatullah Ja'far Subhani

Question: Why it is necessary to stand towards Qibla while praying, while Allah is everywhere and doesn't have a specific direction?
Answer: To pray in a specific direction doesn't mean that Allah is in a specific direction. The glorious Qur’an says about Qibla and explains its reality: And Allah's is the East and the West, therefore, whither you turn, thither is Allah's purpose…[10]
And in another ayah Allah says: The East and the West belong only to Allah.[11]
It means east and west belongs to Allah (and all places are similar for Him).
In fact to pray facing the Qibla is due to that since a person has physical body, while praying he has to face some direction and Islam desires that for the perfection of this worship, he should take as much benefit as possible. The reason to face the holy Ka'ba is, as we all know, the holy Ka'ba is the oldest center of monotheism. It is the house built by the hands of the Pillar of Monotheism, Hazrat Ibrahim (a.s.) and was the center of attention of all the Prophets and guides of Monotheism, which is why turning towards this center of Monotheism means turning towards Allah.
It is correct that Allah is not confined by space, but when a person stands towards such a center, because of many reasons he is nearer to Allah and feels himself in Allah's proximity. The turning of the Muslims of the world towards this holy center five times a day creates the inspiration of oneness and unity and this creates the similarity between the Muslims of the world and connection between them who are spread from East to West and shows their magnanimity and greatness and after all represents to the world the purpose and faith of Islamic teachings.
Notes:
[10] Surah Baqarah 2:115
[11] Surah Baqarah 2:142

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