The Qibla

The Sahih Collection of al-Bukhari

by Imam Bukhari
Translated by: Ustadha Aisha Bewley

Chapter 10: The Qibla

I: The excellence of facing the qibla with the toes also facing qibla

Abu Humayd mentioned that from the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace.

384. It is related that Anas ibn Malik said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Whoever prays our prayer and faces our qibla and eats what we slaughter, he is a Muslim and is under the protection of Allah and the protection of His Messenger. Do not act treacherously against Allah with respect to those under His protection."

385. It is related that Anas ibn Malik said that the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "I am commanded to fight people until they say, 'There is no god but Allah.' When they say this and pray our prayer, face our qibla and slaughter as we slaughter, then their blood and property are forbidden to us unless we have a right to them and their reckoning is up to Allah."

Related with a different isnad from Anas.

Maymun ibn Siyah related that he asked Anas ibn Malik, "Abu Hamza, what makes people's blood and property unlawful?" He replied, "Anyone who testifies that there is no god but Allah, faces our qibla, prays our prayer and eats what we slaughter is a Muslim. He is owed what is owed to any Muslim and has the same obligations as any other Muslim."

II: The qibla of the people of Madina, the people of Syria and the East

There is no qibla to the east or west based on the statement of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, "Do not face the qibla while defecating or urinating, but face east or west."

386. It is related from Abu Ayyub al-Ansari that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "When you defecate, do not face the qibla nor turn your back to it. Rather face the west or the east." Abu Ayyub said, "We went to Syria and found lavatories which had been built facing the qibla. We turned at an angle and asked Allah's forgiveness."

It is related that 'Ata' heard the same from Abu Ayyub from the Prophet.

III: The words of Allah, "Take the Maqam of Ibrahim as a place of prayer." (2:125)

387. It is related from 'Amr ibn Dinar, "We asked Ibn 'Umar whether a man who does tawaf around the Ka'ba for 'umra but has not done tawaf between Safa and Marwa can have sexual intercourse with his wife. He said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, came and did tawaf of the House seven times and prayed two rak'ats behind the Maqam and then did tawaf between Safa and Marwa. "You have an excellent example in the Messenger of Allah".' We asked Jabir ibn 'Abdullah and he said, 'He should not approach her until he has done tawaf between Safa and Marwa."

388. It is related that Mujahid said, "Someone came to Ibn 'Umar and told him, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, has just entered the Ka'ba.' Ibn 'Umar said, 'I arrived to find that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, had already left, but I found Bilal standing between the two doors. I asked Bilal saying, "Did the Prophet pray in the Ka'ba?" He said, "Yes, two rak'ats between the two pillars on the left as you enter. Then he came out and prayed two rak'ats facing the Ka'ba."'"

389. Ibn 'Abbas was heard to say, "When the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, entered the House, he made supplication in each of its corners and did not pray until he had come out of it. When he came out, he did two rak'ats facing the Ka'ba and stated, 'This is the qibla.'"

IV: Facing the qibla wherever you are

Abu Hurayra said that Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, "Face the qibla and say, 'Allah is greater.'"

390. It is related that al-Bara' ibn 'Azib said, "The Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed towards Jerusalem for sixteen or seventeen months although the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, would have liked to face the Ka'ba. Then Allah revealed, 'We have seen you looking up into heaven, turning this way and that...' (2:144) so he turned to face towards the Ka'ba and the foolish people - in other words the Jews - said,  'What has made them turn around from the direction they used to face?' Say:"Both East and West belong to Allah. He guides whoever He wills to a straight path."' A man prayed with the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and then went out after he had prayed and passed by some of the Ansar who were doing the 'Asr prayer facing Jerusalem. He said that he testified that he had prayed with the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, facing towards the Ka'ba. So the people turned right round so that they were facing towards the Ka'ba."

391. It is related that Jabir said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, used to pray on his mount whichever way it turned but when he wanted to do the obligatory prayer, he would dismount and face the qibla."

392. It is related that 'Abdullah said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, prayed. - (Ibrahim said, "I do not know whether he added to it or did less.") - After he had said the salam, someone asked, 'Messenger of Allah, is there something new in the prayer?' He said, 'What new thing?' They said, 'You prayed such-and-such.' He turned his feet, faced the qibla, did two prostrations and then said the salam. When he turned to face us, he said, 'If there had been something new in the prayer, I would have informed you about it, but I am a human being like yourselves and I forget as you forget. So if I forget, remind me. If anyone has any doubt about his prayer, he should build on what he knows to be right and complete it on that basis. Then he should say the salam and then do two prostrations.'"

V: What has come about the qibla. Someone who did not think that the prayer should be repeated if a person inadvertantly prays to other than to the qibla.

The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, gave the salam after two rak'ats of Dhuhr and turned to face the people and then completed the rest.

393. It is related that 'Umar said, "My Lord agreed with me regarding three things. I said, 'Messenger of Allah, if only we could take the Maqam of Ibrahim as a place of prayer,' and it was revealed, "Take the Station of Ibrahim as a place of prayer." Regarding the ayat of the veil, I said, 'Messenger of Allah, I wish you would order your wives to veil themselves because both pious and corrupt men speak to them,' and the ayat of veiling (33:59) was revealed. The wives of the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, once banded together against him and I said to them, 'Perhaps his Lord will give him better wives than you if he divorces you,' and the verse regarding this was revealed." (66:5)

394. Anas was heard to relate this.

395. It is related that 'Abdullah ibn 'Umar said, "While the people were performing the Subh prayer at Quba', someone came to them and said, 'In the night some Qur'an was revealed to the Messenger of Allah, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, and he was commanded to face the Ka'ba, so face it.' They had been facing Syria and so they turned around towards the Ka'ba."  (Muwatta, Book 14, 6)

396. It is related that 'Abdullah said, "The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, once prayed five rak'ats for Dhuhr and they said, 'Has there been an increase in the prayer?' He said, 'What increase?' They said, 'You prayed five rak'ats.' He turned his feet and performed two prostrations."