Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
From lecture 1, I understand and accept that one can’t fix a location for Allah, however when we offer our Salah what intention should we have as to who or what we are performing the postures of obedience and submission before (i.e. standing, bowing, prostrating and sitting)? i.e. do we perform these simply in the direction of the Ka’bah or are we actually before Allah? Which one of the following would be the correct intention for when we are performing Salah?
In the Name of Allah, Most Merciful and Compassionate. May His blessings and peace be on His Beloved Prophet, the best of creation, and his family, companions, and followers
First, it is important to understand that it is not required to intend’ the direction of the qibla for one’s prayer to be valid. [Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]
Our intention in prayer is to perform the given prayer for the sake of Allah. Our motive is expression of slavehood, thankfulness, and love of Allah. [ibid, and Dabusi, al-Amad al-Aqsa]
Allah exists beyond time and space. We face the Qibla for the purpose of having an objective direction to face in prayer; to express our unity of purpose and goal; to manifest the honor of this noble direction; and for the believers to be united and not fall into disagreement.
Thinking about Allah in physical or spatial terms is sinful and an innovation in matters of belief.
Allah told us,
لَيْسَ كَمِثْلِهِ شَيْءٌ
“And there is absolutely nothing like unto Him.” [Qur’an, Surat al-Shura: 11]