Wednesday, 28 May 2014


Buzz and Hajah Kamariah Sulaiman told me that today is one of two days where Muslims can re-adjust the location of the Qiblat (direction facing the Kabbah) as the sun is shining directly above the Kabbah at this time. Of course, the ever curious Miss Cheah was ever ready to join in the activity.
Yeah. So engrossed was I in locating the direction at 5.16 p.m. that I forgot to clock out from work this evening.  
Buzz is using a ruler to help determine the direction of the Qibla. The time was 5.16 p.m. In Malaysia on 28 May at 5.16 p.m., the 'Shadow' the sun casts on the ruler will be the direction of the Qiblat or the Qibla.  
I used my compass App to determine the direction of the Qibla by placing my handphone on the line made by the shadow.  We made the measurements in a few locations to be extra sure.  
I also readjusted the Qiblat direction in the library so that my Muslim colleagues can carry out their prayers.

Here is some information on setting the correct Qibla direction
It is not advisable to determine the Qibla using an ordinary compass. The following method which uses the sun is more reliable and accurate. It has been observed for centuries and reported in many books by Muslims around the world that two times a year the sun comes overhead above Ka'bah. This is observational fact for centuries, and is used to set the correct Qibla direction in places far from Makkah by Muslims for last so many centuries.
In South Africa on July 16 at 11:27 am or on May 28 at 11:18 am,the 'SHADOW' the sun casts on an object('stick') will be in the direction of the Qibla.

The two moments in each year when the sun is directly overhead the Kaaba, the direction of shadows in any sunlit place will point directly away from the Qiblah. This happens on May 27 or May 28 at 9:18 GMT and on July 15 or July 16 at 9:27 GMT. Likewise there are two moments in each year when the Sun is directly over the antipodes of the Kaaba. This happens on January 12 or January 13 at 21:29 GMT and on November 28 at 21:09 GMT. Because the Earth is almost a sphere, this is almost the same as saying that the Qiblah from a place is the direction in which a bird would start flying in order to get to the Kaaba by the shortest possible way.

I learnt something new today about my friends' religion.  Actually we should not be afraid to learn about other religions and cultures. Some may be afraid that they might be influenced but then then if they can be that easily influenced then their belief in their own faith should be questioned.   Knowing more helps us to be more tolerant and understanding.  And of course, we become cleverer.

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