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Qiblah direction: exact or slight change?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Darulifta-Deoband.com
We have masjid in our Mohalla; due to shortage of space we build a new masjid twice the size of the old masjid. But some of our masjid member is asking for the exact Qiblah, but for making the exact Qiblah in new masjid there is a huge wastage of space which shall result in less increase of people count when compare to the old masjid. We need to clarify whether if it is very much necessary to stand at the exact Qiblah or the slight change of direction is acceptable. The specifications of area Anjumane Soukath Islam masjid Demand 1st street,Tirupur-641604.Tamil Nadu.
The direction of masjid is 268�
The exact Qiblah direction is 291.050970�, there is cross of 23�
We want to know whether the cross of 23� must be corrected or can we arrange the Qiblah at the masjid direction, so that there is a possible of 700 men can stand at the same time, if we corrected Qiblah there is a possibility for only 350 to 380 men for a Jamat.

بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

(Fatwa: 71/77/N=01/1435)

If the direction of your mosque is according to the old mosques of your locality then there is no need of any change. As the appliances used to fix the Qiblah direction such as observatory, astronomy, geometry and other things are just evaluative and sometimes the experts have drastic variation in their rules and regulations. Moreover, as per them the Qiblah direction of the Masjid Nabawi is not completely accurate rather it is towards south in 10 degree, whereas Maqrezi has written in Kitab Al-Khatat (2:256) that when Emir of Egypt Ahmad Tulun intended to build his Jama Masjid he sent some experts to Madinah to check the direction of Masjid Nabawi by observatory instruments they found it 10 degree towards south in contrary to the direction observed by astronomy. (Jawahir Al-Fiqh 2:382-383 published by Maktaba Darul Uloom Karachi). Yet, the direction of Masjid Nabawi is quite accurate as per the Ummah as it was fixed by revelation and inspiration of the holy Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم). Almighty Allah presented Ka’ba in front of the holy Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) as miracle. And the holy Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) established the Qiblah direction of Masjid Nabawi. (Jawahir al-Fiqh 2:382 with the reference of Al-bahr al-Raiq and Rud al-Muhtar)
And if the direction of the mosque is slightly diverted from the other old mosques i.e. less than 45 degree then too salah shall be valid in the same mosque and there is no need to change the old direction. (For detail see Fatwa Khairiya 1:6-10 & Jawahir al-Fiqh 2:325-421).

Allah knows Best!

Darul Ifta,
Darul Uloom Deoband

This answer was collected from the official ifta website of Darul Uloom Deoband in India.

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