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Qibla Direction using the Sun

June 4th, 2006

The most reliable method to determine the direction of the Qibla is by looking at the Sun. Every year, because of the revolution of the Earth around the Sun and the inclination of the axis of rotation to the Ecliptic, the Sun is directly ABOVE THE KABAH only two times.

  1. May 28 at 9:18 am (GMT) [12:18 pm local Makkah time], and
  2. Jul 15 at 9:27 am (GMT) [12:27 pm local Makkah time].

Similarly, the Sun is BELOW THE KABAH (in Makkah) only two times.

  1. Jan 13 at 9:29 pm (GMT) [00:29 am local Makkah time], and
  2. Nov 28 at 9:09 pm (GMT) [00:09 am local Makkah time].

The direction toward the Kabah can be easily determined by finding the direction towards (or away from) the Sun at the instants when the Sun is ABOVE (or BELOW) the KABAH.

The Qibla direction would be TOWARDS THE SUN, at the instant WHEN THE SUN IS ABOVE THE KABAH. The Qibla direction would be AWAY FROM THE SUN, (in the direction of the SHADOW of a vertical rod) at the instant WHEN THE SUN IS BELOW THE KABAH.

The only obvious requirement is that the Sun should be visible at that instant. Nearly half of the world would be able to see the Sun at these times. The other countries would not be able to see the Sun, because the Sun would be below their local horizon, at those times.

For more details you can visit Dr. Mohib N. Durrani’s website who details his findings of over 8 years on this matter. Dr. Durrani is the National Coordinator (Since 1987), for Astronomical Information for the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), Islamic Shura Council of North America, Shariah Scholars Association of North America (SSANA). The algorithms used in most of the qibla direction programs found on the net including the one used in Qiblalocator.com use Dr Durrani’s mathematical formula.

  1. Mohammed
    October 11th, 2006 at 07:53 | #1

    Sallaam oea allaikoem warrahmatoe allahi wa barrakatoe,

    Since a few days I’m intensively looking to the right direction of the Qibla. Could you please tell me how reliable the qibla locator is? Because I find it very important that the source of these kind of information reliable is. I found out that we (my famliy) have been praying to the wrong direction (astagfiroe Allah). The qibla we have in our mosque is almost similar as the locator says. Oe Allahoe A3lam.

    Soekran in advance

    Allaikoem assallaam,

  2. October 12th, 2007 at 00:55 | #2

    i love this idea of a website! however, i was using my manual compass and chart and it does not coincide with what the qiblah locator says by a long shot.

    i live in palo alto, california and i’ve been praying east of north-east approximately, but your website points towards north of north-west. a glitch?

    i am going to stick with my old directions for now, but i think this idea of using google overlayed with the direction toward qiblah is great. good luck in fixing all the bugs, and if you have any suggestions, feel free to email me!

    assalaamu alaikum,

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