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What if they pray South East at an event in North America. Can I pray and then repeat?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Qibla.com

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

There is an institute of Islamic study where the people pray to the southeast qibla. Quite often, I want to go seek knowledge there, but the congregation  is praying southeast when it comes time for the prayer. What should I do? I don’t want to offend anyone.

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

Do not pray with them. Pray, alone if necessary, towards the correct qibla.

The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Allah is more deserving of one’s shame than people.” [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi, and Ibn Maja]

I asked Shaykh Nuh Keller and other scholars about this and they firmly concur that it would not be permitted to pray in such a congregation [especially if it deviates more than 45 degrees from the right qibla direction], as:

a) it entails willfully performing an invalid act of worship, which is haram and highly sinful;

b) it entails silent consent to a matter that is wrong, and will split the greater unity of Muslims (thus, not participating in such a congregation is falling into lesser harm to avoid greater harm);

c) going against what the command of Allah is regarding the Qibla, the symbol of Muslim unity, as established by the clear proofs and conclusions of the absolute majority of contemporary Islamic scholarship, is a greater affront than ‘offending’ a few people.

This is not a matter of difference of opinion. Imam Ghazali (Allah have mercy on him) cautioned in his Ihya Ulum al-Din that:


فاعلم أن من عرف الحق بالرجال حار في متاهات الضلال فاعرف الحق تعرف أهله

“Whoever seeks to know the truth by its people will be bewildered in the plains of confusion. Rather, know the truth, and you will know its people.” [Ihya Ulum al-Din, ‘Kitab al-`Ilm’]

For more details, please check Shaykh Nuh Keller’s Port in a Storm: A Fiqh Solution to the North American Qibla. (see: http://www.sunnipath.com/bookstore/ ). It has clear proofs, and decisive fatwas from the top scholars of Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Morocco, Egypt, and elsewhere, establishing without doubt that the North American qibla is towards the North East.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

This answer was indexed from Qibla.com, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.