Bismillaah Al-Hamdulillaah wa salatu wa salaamu ‘ala rasulullaah
Question: What is the wisdom behind facing the Ka`bah in Salah (Prayer)?
Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ answered:
It is known that the duty of a Muslim is to carry out Allaah’s commands as much as possible and refrain from committing what He has prohibited.
Whether one grasps its wisdom or not, one must believe that Allaah commands only that which is of benefit, and prohibits that which is harmful. All of His legislations contain wisdom which He knows; He reveals of this wisdom what He wishes so that believers may increase their Eeman, (Faith), and witholds what He wishes so that believers may increase their submission to Him.
The Muslims have taken the Ka`bah as a Qiblah (direction faced for Prayer) in obedience to Allaah’s order in His statement: Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s, salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) 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-Haraam (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. (Surah Al-Baqarah, ayah 144)
The wisdom behind this is perhaps that it is the Qiblah of our father Ibrahim (‘alaihi salaam), as mentioned regarding the event when the Ayah was revealed. The Prophet (peace be upon him) had hoped to be ordered to face the Ka`bah during Salah instead of Jerusalem. Thus, Allah granted his wish. It might also be a refutation of the claim made by the Jews that we share their Qiblah. It may be for another reason and only Allah knows.
May Allah grant us success! May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions!
Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta’ (Chairman ‘Abdul-‘Aziz ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Baz)