The qiblah is about 14 degrees off from the correct qiblah
Dear Imam Mohsen,
We pray in one mosque, but the qiblah is about 14 degrees off from the correct qiblah, we discovered it later few years after establishing the mosque, so, my question is: What we have to do is this situation?
Wa alaikum assalam,
Praise be to Allah.
Facing the qiblah is one of the conditions of prayer being valid, because Allah says:
“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-Haraam (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction”
According to the view of the majority of scholars except al-Shaafa’I (may Allah have mercy on him), there view is: the one who is close to the Ka’bah is required to face it head on, but the one who is far away from it must face its direction, as for the one who is far away from Makkah must seek the direction of the Ka’bah, without having to face it head on.
Imam Ahmad (may Allah have mercy on him) said: Whatever is between the east and the west is qiblah, and a small deviation from the qiblah does not matter, but he has to try to get it right as much as possible.
Imam Abu Haneefah (may Allah have mercy on him) also on this view.
Imam Maalik (may Allah have mercy on him) in al-Muwatta’ said, it is narrated that ‘Umar ibn al-Khattaab (may Allah be pleased with him) said: “Whatever is between the east and the west is qiblah if you face the direction of the House (Ka’bah).”
This view is based on the hadeeth in which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whatever is between the east and the west is qiblah.” Narrated by al-Tirmidhi, who said it is a saheeh hasan hadeeth. End quote.
However, Imam al-Shaafa’i (may Allah have mercy on him) was of the view that it is essential to face the Ka’bah head on even for the one who is far away, and prayer is invalidated in his view if there is a deviation of this type from the qiblah.
According to the view of the majority of scholars, if the deviation from the qiblah is less than 45 degrees, then the prayer is valid, because what you have to do is face the right direction, not face the Ka’bah or Makkah precisely.
This deviation does not mean that you have deviated from the general direction.
Nevertheless, it is better to correct the qiblah of the mosque if it is not difficult.
May Allah unite us in righteousness and piety.
And Allah knows best.
Mohsen Shaker Bayoumy
Imam of Osaka Ibaraki Mosque