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ARBNDEENIDTRUR
سَيَقُولُ
Will say
ٱلسُّفَهَآءُ
the foolish ones
مِنَ
from
ٱلنَّاسِ
the people,
مَا
"What
وَلَّىٰهُمْ
(has) turned them
عَن
from
قِبْلَتِهِمُ
their direction of prayer
ٱلَّتِى
which
كَانُوا۟
they were used to
عَلَيْهَاۚ
[on it]."
قُل
Say,
لِّلَّهِ
"For Allah
ٱلْمَشْرِقُ
(is) the east
وَٱلْمَغْرِبُۚ
and the west.
يَهْدِى
He guides
مَن
whom
يَشَآءُ
He wills
إِلَىٰ
to
صِرَٰطٍ
a path
مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
straight."

Sayaqoolus sufahaaa'u minan naasi maa wallaahum 'an Qiblatihimul latee kaanoo 'alaihaa; qulo lillaahil mashriqu walmaghrib; yahdee mai yashaaa'u ilaa Siraatim Mustaqeem

Sahih International:

The foolish among the people will say, "What has turned them away from their qiblah, which they used to face?" Say, "To Allah belongs the east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a straight path."

Ahmed Ali

The foolish will now ask and say: "What has made the faithful turn away from the Qiblah towards which they used to pray?" Say: "To God belong the East and the West. He guides who so wills to the path that is straight."

Ahmed Raza Khan

So now the foolish people will say, “What has turned the Muslims away from the qiblah (prayer direction) which they formerly observed?”; proclaim, “To Allah only belong the East and the West; He guides whomever He wills upon the Straight Path.”

Ali Ünal

The (hypocritical) fools among the people will say, "What has turned them from the direction they were facing in the Prayer?" Say (O Messenger): "To God belong the east and the west (and therefore the whole earth with its easts and wests; in whatever direction He wants us to turn, we turn). He guides whomever He wills to a straight path."

Amatul Rahman Omar

The weak-minded among the people will say, `What has made these (Muslims) turn from their (first) Qiblah (- the direction they were facing in their Prayer, the holy place of worship at Jerusalem) to which they conformed (so far)?´ Say, `To Allâh belongs the east and the west, He guides him who wishes (to be guided) to the right path.´

A. J. Arberry

The fools among the people will say, 'What has turned them from the direction they were facing in their prayers aforetime?' Say: "To God belong the East and the West; He guides whomsoever He will to a straight path.'

Abdul Majid Daryabadi

Anon will the foolish among mankind say: what hath turned them away from their Qiblah whereon they had been? Say thou: unto Allah belongeth the east and the west he guideth whomsoever He listeth unto a straight path.

Faridul Haque

So now the foolish people will say, "What has turned the Muslims away from the qiblah (prayer direction) which they formerly observed?"; proclaim, "To Allah only belong the East and the West; He guides whomever He wills upon the Straight Path."

Hamid S. Aziz

The fools among men will say, "What has turned them from their Qiblah (direction, focus, goal), to which they were used?" Say, "Allah´s is the East and the West, He guides whom He will unto the Straight Way."

Hilali & Khan

The fools (pagans, hypocrites, and Jews) among the people will say, "What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah [prayer direction (towards Jerusalem)] to which they were used to face in prayer." Say, (O Muhammad SAW) "To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a Straight Way."

Talal Itani

The ignorant among the people will say, “What has turned them away from the direction of prayer they once followed?” Say, “To God belong the East and the West. He guides whom He wills to a straight path.”

English Literal

The ignorant/foolish from the people will say: "What turned them away from their (prayer) direction ,which they were on it?" Say: "To God (are) the sunrise/east and the sunset/west, He guides whom He wills/wants to a straight/direct road/way."

Abul Ala Maududi

Of course, the foolish people will say, "What has turned them abruptly away from the giblah towards which they formerly used to turn their faces in prayer?" Tell them, O Messenger, `'East and West all belong to Allah; He shows the Right Way to anyone He wills."

Maulana Mohammad Ali

The fools among the people will say: "What has turned them from their qiblah which they had?" Say: The East and the West belong only to Allah; He guides whom He pleases to the right path.

Safi-ur-Rahman al-Mubarakpuri

The fools (idolators, hypocrites, and Jews) among the people will say: "What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah [prayer direction (towards Jerusalem)] to which they used to face in prayer." Say (O Muhammad): "To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the straight way."

Mohammed Marmaduke William Pickthall

The foolish of the people will say: What hath turned them from the qiblah which they formerly observed? Say: Unto Allah belong the East and the West. He guideth whom He will unto a straight path.

Ali Quli Qarai

The foolish among the people will say, ‘What has turned them away from the qiblah they were following?’ Say, ‘To Allah belong the east and the west. He guides whomever He wishes to a straight path.’

Qaribullah & Darwish

The fools among the people will say: 'What has made them turn away from the direction they were facing' Say: 'The east and the west belong to Allah. He guides whom He will to the Straight Path'

Muhammad Sarwar

Fools will soon say, "What has made them (Muslims) change the direction to which they had been facing during their prayers (the qibla)?" (Muhammad), tell them, "Both the East and West belong to God and He guides (whomever He wants), to the right direction."

Mohammad Habib Shakir

The fools among the people will say: What has turned them from their qiblah which they had? Say: The East and the West belong only to Allah; He guides whom He likes to the right path.

Wahiduddin Khan

The foolish will ask, "What has made them turn away from their direction of prayer which they used to face?" Say, "The East and the West belong to God. He guides whom He pleases to the right path."

Abdullah Yusuf Ali

The fools among the people will say; "What hath turned them from the Qibla to which they were used?" Say; To Allah belong both east and West; He guideth whom He will to a Way that is straight.

Tafsir jalalayn

The fools, the ignorant, among the people, that is, the Jews and the idolaters, will say, `What, matter, has turned them, the Prophet (s) and the believers, from the direction they were facing in their prayers formerly?', this being the Holy House (bayt al-maqdis, sc. Jerusalem); the sn [of sa-yaqlu, `they will say'] denotes the future tense and informs of the Unseen. Say; `To God belong the East and the West, that is, all directions. Thus He commands that they face whichever direction He wills, and there can be no objection. He guides whomever He will, His guidance being, to a straight path', that is, the religion of Islam, and you are among these [guided ones].

Tafseer Ibn Kathir

Changing the Qiblah ـ Direction of the Prayer

Allah says;

سَيَقُولُ السُّفَهَاء مِنَ النَّاسِ مَا وَلاَّهُمْ عَن قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِي كَانُواْ عَلَيْهَا قُل لِّلّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ



The fools (idolators, hypocrites, and Jews) among the people will say;"What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah (prayer direction (towards Jerusalem)) to which they used to face in prayer." Say (O Muhammad);"To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the straight way."

Imam Al-Bukhari reported that Al-Bara bin Azib narrated;

"Allah's Messenger offered his prayers facing Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem) for sixteen or seventeen months, but he wished that he could pray facing the Ka`bah (at Makkah).

The first prayer which he offered (facing the Ka`bah) was the Asr (Afternoon) prayer in the company of some people.

Then one of those who had offered that prayer with him, went out and passed by some people in a mosque who were in the bowing position (in Ruku) during their prayers (facing Jerusalem). He addressed them saying, `By Allah, I bear witness that I have offered prayer with the Prophet facing Makkah (Ka`bah).'

Hearing that, those people immediately changed their direction towards the House (Ka`bah) while still as they were (i.e., in the same bowing position). Some Muslims who offered prayer towards the previous Qiblah (Jerusalem) before it was changed towards the House (the Ka`bah in Makkah) had died or had been martyred, and we did not know what to say about them (regarding their prayers towards Jerusalem). Allah then revealed;
وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَوُوفٌ رَّحِيمٌ
(And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e., the prayers of those Muslims were valid)), (2;143)."

Al-Bukhari collected this narration, while Muslim collected it using another chain of narrators.

Muhammad bin Ishaq reported that Al-Bara narrated;

Allah's Messenger used to offer prayers towards Bayt Al-Maqdis (in Jerusalem), but would keep looking at the sky awaiting Allah's command (to change the Qiblah). Then Allah revealed;
قَدْ نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِي السَّمَاء فَلَنُوَلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ
(Verily, We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad's) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid Al-Haram (at Makkah). (2;144)

A man from among the Muslims then said, "We wish we could know about those among us who died before the Qiblah was changed (i.e., towards Makkah) and also about our own prayers, that we had performed towards Bayt Al-Maqdis."

Allah then revealed;
وَمَا كَانَ اللّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ
(And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost), (2;143).

The fools among the people, meaning the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), said, "What made them change the former Qiblah that they used to face" Allah then revealed;
سَيَقُولُ السُّفَهَاء مِنَ النَّاسِ
(The fools (idolators, hypocrites, and Jews) among the people will say...) until the end of the Ayah.

Ali bin Abu Talhah related that Ibn Abbas said;

When Allah's Messenger migrated to Al-Madinah, Allah commanded him to face Bayt Al-Maqdis (Jerusalem). The Jews were delighted then. Allah's Messenger faced Jerusalem for over ten months. However, he liked (to offer prayer in the direction of) Prophet Ibrahim's Qiblah (the Ka`bah in Makkah) and used to supplicate to Allah and kept looking up to the sky (awaiting Allah's command in this regard). Allah then revealed;
فَوَلُّواْ وُجُوِهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ
(turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction), (2;144) meaning, its direction.

The Jews did not like this change and said, "What made them change the Qiblah that they used to face (meaning Jerusalem)"

Allah revealed;
قُل لِّلّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ
(Say (O Muhammad);"To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the straight way").

There are several other Hadiths on this subject.

In summary, Allah's Messenger was commanded to face Bayt Al-Maqdis(during the prayer) and he used to offer prayer towards it in Makkah between the two corners (of Ka`bah), so that the Ka`bah would be between him and Bayt Al-Maqdis. When the Prophet migrated to Al-Madinah, this practice was no longer possible; then Allah commanded him to offer prayer towards Bayt Al-Maqdis, as Ibn Abbas and the majority of the scholars have stated.

Al-Bukhari reported in his Sahih that;

the news (of the change of Qiblah) was conveyed to some of the Ansar while they were performing the Asr (Afternoon) prayer towards Bayt Al-Maqdis, upon hearing that, they immediately changed their direction and faced the Ka`bah.

It is reported in the Sahihayn (Al-Bukhari Muslim) that Ibn Umar narrated;

While the people were in Quba (Mosque) performing the Fajr (Dawn) prayer, a man came and said, "A (part of the) Qur'an was revealed tonight to Allah's Messenger and he was commanded to face the Ka`bah. Therefore, face the Ka`bah. They were facing Ash-Sham, so they turned towards the Ka`bah.

These Hadiths prove that;

the Nasikh (a Text that abrogates a previous Text) only applies after one acquires knowledge of it, even if the Nasikh had already been revealed and announced. This is why the Companions mentioned above were not commanded to repeat the previous Asr, Maghrib and Isha prayers (although they had prayed them towards Jerusalem after Allah had changed the Qiblah). Allah knows best.

When the change of Qiblah (to Ka`bah in Makkah) occurred, those inflicted with hypocrisy and mistrust, and the disbelieving Jews, both were led astray from the right guidance and fell into confusion. They said;
مَا وَلاَّهُمْ عَن قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِي كَانُواْ عَلَيْهَا
(What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah to which they used to face in prayer).

They asked, "What is the matter with these people (Muslims) who one time face this direction (Jerusalem), and then face that direction (Makkah)"

Allah answered their questions when He stated;
قُل لِّلّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ
(Say (O Muhammad);"To Allah belong both, east and the west), meaning, the command, the decision and the authority are for Allah Alone. Hence;

فَأَيْنَمَا تُوَلُّواْ فَثَمَّ وَجْهُ اللَّهِ
so wherever you turn (yourselves or your faces) there is the Face of Allah (and He is High above, over His Throne). (2;115)

and;

لَّيْسَ الْبِرَّ أَن تُوَلُّواْ وُجُوهَكُمْ قِبَلَ الْمَشْرِقِ وَالْمَغْرِبِ وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنْ ءَامَنَ بِاللَّهِ

It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness) that you turn your faces towards east and (or) west (in prayers); but Al-Birr is the one who believes in Allah. (2;177)

This statement means, the best act is to adhere to Allah's commands. Hence, wherever He commands us to face, we should face.

Also, since obedience requires implementing Allah's commands, if He commands us every day to face different places, we are His servants and under His disposal, and we face whatever He orders us to face. Certainly, Allah's care and kindness towards His servant and Messenger, Muhammad, and certainly, his Ummah (Muslim nation) is profoundly great. Allah has guided them to the Qiblah of (Prophet) Ibrahim -- Allah's Khalil (intimate friend). He has commanded them to face the Ka`bah, the most honorable house (of worship) on the face of the earth, which was built by Ibrahim Al-Khalil in the Name of Allah, the One without a partner. This is why Allah said afterwards;

قُل لِّلّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ يَهْدِي مَن يَشَاء إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ


Say (O Muhammad );"To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to the straight way."

Imam Ahmad reported that Aishah (the Prophet's wife) said that Allah's Messenger said about the People of the Scripture (Jews and Christians);

إنَّهُم لا يَحْسِدونَنَا عَلَى شَيْء كَمَا يَحْسِدونَنا عَلَى يَوْمِ الْجُمُعَةِ الَّتِي هَدَانَا اللهُ لَهَا وَضَلُوا عَنْهَا وَعَلَى الْقِبْلَةِ الَّتِي هَدَانَا اللهُ لَهَا وَضَلُّوا عَنْهَا وَعَلَى قَوْلِنَا خَلْفَ الاِمَامِ امِين

They do not envy us for a matter more than they envy us for Jumuah (Friday) to which Allah has guided us and from which they were led astray; for the (true) Qiblah to which Allah has directed us and from which they were led astray; and for our saying `Amin' behind the Imam (leader of the prayer).
The Virtues of Muhammad's Nation

Allah said