Friday, September 08, 2006

The Importance of the Qiblah

I was reading something online about the Qiblah and I never really saw it put in a really beautiful sense. I, myself have wondered why does it exist and why Mecca? After reading this piece of info, it as clear to me...

When we begin our prayer, we not only face the House of Allah in Makkah, but we also connect ourselves along an invisible line, forming an axis that proceeds from every point on earth, to the spiritual centre of Islam. Whether we pray alone, or as recommended, we pray in a group, we do so as a part of the great Ummah. Standing and facing the qiblah in our prayers connects us along an invisible line, to every other Muslim on the planet. We become an important link in the huge chain of worshippers who face Makkah at least 5 times each day. If we could go up into space, and look down upon the earth and see all the Muslims praying, we would see a huge flower the size of the earth, opening and closing its millions of petals. Each of those petals represents a Muslim engaged in worship. As well as this, those of us who have been blessed with the invitation from Allah to perform pilgrimage will remember that remarkable sight inside the holy Mosque. There, at prayer times, it is as if a giant flower opens and closes its petals, as Muslims prostrate as one body, in neat and orderly rows, around the Ka`bah.

So, the qiblah is not only about degrees of latitude or longitude on the compass. It is about bringing together every nation, language, race and tribe on this planet, in regular acts of worship linked to a common centre. The qiblah lies at the very heart of the great Ummah of Islam it is the navigational axis that connects every Muslim through the Ka`bah and again to every other Muslim. This is the physical expression of monotheism and unity, the belief in AllahÂ’s oneness; AllahÂ’s Unity. Allah is One, so His Ummah is also one, and our qiblah; our direction for worship, is one.

Excerpted, with slight modifications, from:

A question may arise, why is the Ka`bah appointed as the qiblah? The answer should be that the Ka`bah is the place of the first Muslim community; it is the abode that witnessed the early days of Islam and the footsteps of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). In addition, it is the centre of the earth and it is the place wherein the first verses of the Qur'an were received.
Jurists have commented that the Ka`bah, although seen to a certain height, reaches up to the heavens and right down to the bottom of the earth.

Furthermore, the secret in facing toward the direction of the Ka`bah is the spirit of `ibadah (worship), and contentment and serenity of the heart. Without this contentment there would exist no spirit (ruh), which is the reason we are instructed to focus our sight on the place of prostration in prayer so that we may be able to concentrate with both heart and soul.

Taken from Islam Online

What I loved about this is the comparison of the prayer unity, facing the same direction to a flower closing and opening. It's quite romantic... There are a lot of things in Islam that seem very romantic to me. The relationship between the Prophet (PBUH) and his wife Ayesha is probably the most amazing love story ever... Forget Romeo and Juliet... It's not even comparable. Then of course, the relationship we choose with our creator can be the mosaffectionatete and loving of all relationships.

No comments: