Do I Have to Repeat a Prayer after Realizing That I Was Praying in the Wrong Direction?

Answered by Ustadh Sufyan Qufi


When I first started college, I saw someone praying in a building. Some days later, I took the qibla to be the same in another building and prayed. Later on, I found out that the direction for the prayer in my building was very different. Should I repeat this prayer?


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

I pray this finds you in the best of states.

No, you don’t have to repeat your prayers, even if you were mistaken about the direction of the Ka‘ba in Mecca. [Shurunbulali, Nur al-Idah]

This is because you have taken the proper means at the time to determine the direction of the Ka‘ba (namely, trusting the expertise of another Muslim). Thus you are relieved from your duty to perform those prayers.

Allah, Most High, says: “Allah does not require of any soul more than what it can afford.” [Quran, 2:286]

[Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

And Allah knows best.
[Ustadh] Sufyan Qufi
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Sufyan Qufi is an advanced seeker of knowledge, originally from Algeria, who grew up in France. He began searching far and wide for answers to the fundamental questions of life and was disappointed at the answers he found. Then he connected with various traditional teachers and gradually connected with SeekersGuidance. He embarked on his journey of learning through the various teachers at SeekersGuidance, including his mentor Shaykh Faraz Rabbani. He studied numerous texts in Islamic Law, Theology, Hadith, and other areas with Shaykh Faraz Rabbani and other teachers, including Shaykh Abdurrahman al-Sha‘ar, Shaykh Ali Hani, and others. He is an active instructor at SeekersGuidance and answers questions through the SeekersGuidance Answers Service.