Question: If one makes a mistake in determining the Qibla, does one’s ritual prayer still count?
Wa alaykum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,
Thank you for your important question.
Yes, if one makes an educated guess of where the qibla is, and then it seems wrong, the prayer one prayed with the previous judgment is still valid. If you know that the initial educated guess was completely wrong, then such a prayer would have to be made up. (Bushra al-Karim, Ba ‘Ishn)
Normally, this doesn’t happen, and it is merely an issue of one direction being more likely than another. If this is the case, then there is no need to make up the prayer.
Allah Most High says, ‘To Allah belong the east and the west, so wherever you may turn, there is the Face of Allah.’ (Qu’ran, 2: 115) According to many scholars, this verse was revealed concerning those who prayed facing the wrong direction. (Tafsir Tabari)
I pray this helps.
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani
Ustadh Farid Dingle has completed extensive years of study in the sciences of the Arabic language and the various Islamic Sciences. During his studies, he also earned a CIFE Certificate in Islamic Finance. Over the years, he has developed a masterful ability to craft lessons that help non-Arabic speakers gain a deep understanding of the language. He currently teaches courses in the Arabic Language.