Qibla Direction and Prayer Validity
Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about coming to realize that one has given others the wrong qibla direction.
Insha Allah this finds you very well.
I wanted to ask about a situation related to the prayer validity and the qibla. Some months ago we had friends visit our home to which we had recently shifted. The guests needed to pray and when asked about the Qibla, by complete accident I told them the wrong direction, not even realizing my error until later on.
When I realized, though it was a mistake, I felt really bad, but I also realized, to my relief, that the direction I had told them, alhamduliLlah, was not completely off. (It was within the 45 degrees of the exact Qibla direction, to the best of my knowledge, that I had learned would not affect the validity of prayer.) And so I thought insha Allah, it’s nothing to worry about and I didn’t say anything. I didn’t want to alarm anyone either if it was not a problem.
I have been thinking about it now though and wondering if I did the right thing then? Where I live people do refer to Hanafi scholars but there is also a general confusion about whether or not to follow one madhab (people take other rulings as well), and I was thinking in that case should I have mentioned it?
May Allah reward and bless the SHG team, amin.
Jazak Allah khayr.
The basis is that you would give a guest the exact direction of the qibla. If you mistakenly gave a direction which was less than forty-five degrees away from the qibla, this would also suffice because the Hanafi school allows for such digression, with or without intent.
In times of religious confusion and unclarity, if an act of worship is valid and acceptable according to one of the legal schools (madhahib), this is usually going to be sufficient for most. This is particularly the case when a certain community or people are effectively ascribed to a given school.
Please also see Facing the General Direction of the Qibla When the Exact Direction is Known.
And Allah Most High knows best.
Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.