Question 81: Why Do We Pray Facing The Qibla?
Question: Why is it necessary to stand facing the Qibla during Prayer? While the Almighty Allah is present everywhere. And He is not in any one particular direction.
Answer: Facing the Qibla during prayers is not because Allah is in a particular place or direction. Like the Holy Qur’an has specially mentioned twice in the verses regarding the Qibla and said:
'And Allah's is the East and West, therefore, whither you turn, thither is Allah's purpose…”1
and again He says:
“Says: The East and the West belong only to Allah: He guides whom He likes to the right path.”2
It is necessary to stand facing the Qibla during Prayer because man is helpless as he has a body. That he has to face somewhere during Prayer. Even though Islam desires that one should earn as much benefit as possible, because we all know that the Holy Ka'ba is the oldest center of worship of Allah. It is the house whose foundation was laid by the stalwart of Monotheism, Hazrat Ibrahim Khalilullah. And it has always remained the center of attraction for all the holy personalities and divine prophets.
Facing this center of Monotheism during prayer is like facing to Allah. It is correct that Allah is not in a particular place. Even though one who is standing before the center of Monotheism he is more attentive towards Allah than he would have been if he were facing some other direction. And he considers himself present in the Court of Allah.
Apart from this the paying attention of all Muslims around this sanctified center five times a day elevates in their heart the spirit monotheism and Oneness and it helps in the unity of community and Islamic brotherhood. It links the Muslim Communities which are spread to the four corners of the earth and it shows their distinction and grandeur. And lastly it gives the message of the Universal teachings of Islam to the world in the form of the Unity of belief and views.
If a person looks from on outside the earth the arrangement of the rows of Muslims in prayer he would see that all their rows are in form of circles whose center is one and the same and in the heart of those circles is the Ka'ba and it is an indication of the Unity of Muslims.