Monday, April 6, 2009

200 Masjids face wrong direction in Mecca


Assalaam'aaleykum!!!


RIYADH, April 5, 2009 (AFP) - Muslim worshippers at about 200 old mosques in Mecca have been praying in the wrong direction for decades because the mosques were not built correctly, a Saudi newspaper said on Sunday.

The mosques were not built precisely based on the qibla, the official alignment with the holy Kaaba shrine at the centre of Mecca's Al-Haram mosque, according to the report in the Saudi Gazette.

Hundreds of millions of Muslims around the world are bound to orient their daily prayers toward the ancient Kaaba, and mosques everywhere are built to face the black-shrouded cubic building, or have indicators of its direction.

The discrepancy was only realised after looking at the old mosques, some built more than 50 years ago, from atop the new skyscrapers being constructed in Islam's holiest city in western Saudi Arabia, the report said.

According to the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper, Islamic affairs ministry deputy secretary Tawfik al-Sudairy downplayed the problem.

'There are no major errors, but corrections have been made for some old mosques, thanks to modern techniques. In any case, it does not affect the prayers,' the newspaper quoted Sudairy as saying in its Saturday edition.

Mecca residents and experts have suggested that the errant mosques install inside a correct indicator of the qibla, or orient their prayer rugs more exactly in the direction of the Kaaba, the Saudi Gazette said.

Another suggestion is that laser beams be installed in the tall minarets of the Al-Haram mosque built around the Kaaba to help mosques and worshippers establish the correct qibla direction.

Source:Arabtimesonline

This is so starnge and also thought provoking at the very same time. If such errs can be done in Mecca then how can I be sure of the direction towards which I have been praying.

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