The fools among men will say, ‘ What has turned them from their qiblah, on which they were agreed ?’
Say, ‘ God’s is the east and the west, He guides whom He will unto the right path.’ Thus have we made you a middle nation, to be witnesses against men, and that the Apostle may be a witness against you.
We have not appointed the qiblah on which thou wert agreed, save that we might know who follows the Apostle from him who turns upon his heels ; although it is a great thing save to those whom God doth guide. But God will not waste your faith, for verily, God with men is kind and merciful.
We see thee often turn about thy face in the heavens, but we will surely turn thee to a qiblah thou shalt like. Turn then thy face towards the Sacred Mosque; wherever ye be, turn your faces towards it; for verily, those who have the Book know that it is the truth from their Lord ; — God is not careless of that which ye do.
140 And if thou shouldst bring to those who have been given the Book every sign, they would not follow your qiblah; and thou art not to follow their qiblah; nor do some of them follow the qiblah of the others : and if thou followest their lusts after the knowledge that has come to thee then art thou of the evildoers.
- The point to which they turn in prayer, from qabala, ‘ to be before.’
- At first Mohammed and his followers adopted no point of adoration. After the higrah, or flight from Mecca to Medina, however, he bade them turn their face, as did the Jews, to the temple at Jerusalem; but in the second year of the higrah he resumed the ancient Arab plan, and turned to the Kaabah at Mecca when he prayed.
- I. e. at Mecca.