Salah is the most basic responsibility of a believer towards his Deen. It is something that keeps him connected towards his Rabb, no matter how much he has gone astray. It is a thread between the Creator and the creation which must not be cut out at any cost. However, many of us today miss out on this basic.
Because we are not always home and praying outside of home is not always convenient. First you have to find a place to make ablution, then you are unaware of the Qibla and have no idea h. ow to look for it and then you are worried about people’s perceptions.
However, when Allah made the Salah obligatory upon every Muslim, He was pretty much aware of all the difficulties His believers will face across each era. Hence, He showed us ways and simplified our problems for us because He only intended ease. From giving us the ease of Tayammum (dry ablution where water is not available) to reducing the number of rakaat in travel, Allah made it easy for us to pray.
Here, we are focussing on easy ways to find the Qibla. Once we get the direction right, we come a step closer to our true purpose – worship. In the age of technology, locating the Qibla is not a gargantuan task. Here’s a way few ways of how we can get it right:
Understand The Concept of Qibla
Where are you located in the world in reference to Mecca?
If you are located towards the west of Mecca, your Qibla direction will be eastwards. If you are located towards the east of Mecca, your Qibla will be west.
Follow the Sun for Qibla
Before technology advanced, people would rely upon the sun to get their prayer directions. You can learn it too. Infact, the sun is an asset that’ll never run out of battery (unlike your mobile phones). If you know your relative direction towards Mecca and you observe where the directions of sunrise and sunset, you’ll never lose your Qibla.
In fact, the sun hovers directly above the Ka’bah twice a year:
• May 28 at 9:18 UT
• July 16 at 9:27 UT
If you face the sun on these exact dates and times, you will be facing the Ka’bah itself. The drawback however is that it can be done only twice a year.
Sundial the Qibla
Now this one is like a real scientific experiment which we used to do back in school. You stick a 1 meter stick to the ground and make a circle around the shadow that is the length of its radius. As the day progresses, the shadow will first shorten away from the circle and then it will lengthen and progress towards the circle again. When the shadow comes back, you make one more mark on the ground and draw a line between the two marks. The line shows a west to east direction where the first point is west while the second is east. By drawing a line perpendicular to it, you can find your Qibla.
Use An App
Compasses, sundials and watches – all are rather complicated. By the time you understand which way the Qibla is, the prayer time would have passed. Imagine being in a shopping mall and trying to figure out the Qibla with a sundial – it’s rather impossible. Hence we come to the last and most convenient way to find our direction – mobile apps. What’s amazing about a Qibla finding app is that they have a built in GPS that tracks your location, relates it with the direction of Mecca and then gives you the right direction for praying. These apps also have features like prayer timings and alarm and no matter where you are, they can ease your prayer for you.