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.


Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


Where Should One Look During Prayer in the Maliki School?

Answered by Shaykh Rami Nsour

Question: What is the maliki position on where the eyes should be when sitting and standing while praying?

Answer: According to Imam Malik, one has the face towards the Qibla as Allah says, “So turn your faces towards the Sacred Mosque” (Quran 2:144).  So, during sitting and standing, one would face the Qibla. During the Ruku, one looks straight down.

Although there is a sound Hadith saying that one should look at the place of prostration, the reasoning of Imam Malik is that to abrogate or set a condition to an ayah would require a proof as strong as an ayah. You can have a strong Hadith (sahih) but if its chain is single (ahaad), then it cannot abrogate an verse of the Quran which is at the level of mutwattir and thus stronger than ahaad.

Praying Rulings for The Sick, Injured, and Hospitalized

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: After surgery, a relative can barely move, doesn’t have his balance, lost his hearing in one ear, and cannot speak properly because of loss of muscle control in his face. While he is in the hospital, they are having him urinate into a bottle, and he cannot take a bath. What is the ruling on his 5 daily prayers? Can he perform them without the full movements and facing Qiblah? Does he have to make up prayers that he could not properly complete? Also, can he pray even though he is not in a state of Wudu? Some of the medication is so strong, I would think it might fall into a category of being intoxicated (e.g. morphine). Can he pray in that state?


Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

I pray that you are well, insha’Allah.

May Allah give him a full, quick recovery, insha’Allah.

Intoxication and the Prayer

If he is intoxicated such that he is speaking irrationally or if walking he would sway (due to high dosage and the effect of it), it would not be valid to pray.

The Ablution

If he cannot perform the ablution (wudu), he should perform the dry ablution (tayammum). The dry ablution (tayammum) can be performed with a small stone. No dust is required. Please see:


Performing Tayammum if Paralyzed

If he is unable to do this, he can pray without doing either (wudu or tayammum). Though, in such a case, he would simply perform the motions of the prayer (without the recitations) due to the inviolability of the prayer and its time. This is very easy and could be done in less than a minute.

Facing the Qibla

If he cannot face the qibla himself, then the responsibility of this would too be lifted. However, if it is reasonably possible for him to ask someone to turn him towards the qibla, that would be optimal, though not necessary.

The Prayer

If he can pray with head movements — by moving the head slightly for the bowing (ruku’) and slightly more for the prostration (sujud) — it would be obligatory to do so. When lying on the back, this is generally facilitated by having the head propped up with a cushion or the like.

If he cannot pray with such head movements, the prayer will not obligatory upon him, nor will he have to make up the prayers (if they exceed five prayers).

[Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar]

Please also see: The Sunna way of Praying when Injured or Unable to Stand

And Allah alone gives success.


Tabraze Azam

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Facing the General Direction of the Qibla When the Exact Direction is Known

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Question: Can one face the general direction of the qibla when the exact direction is known (such as facing directly East when the exact direction is East of North East, for example)?

Answer: In the Name of Allah, the Benevolent, the Merciful

May Allah’s peace & blessings be upon His Messenger Muhammad, his folk, companions, and followers

Yes, it is valid and permissible to face the general direction of the Qibla even when one knows the exact direction, though facing the latter is (generally) superior and more scrupulous, in the Hanafi school of law.

I asked the great Damascene Hanafi jurist, Shaykh Adib Kallas (Allah have mercy upon him) about this question specifically, and he was clear that there are only two cases in the Hanafi school:

[1] If you can see the Kaaba itself, you have to face it exactly (`ayn al-qibla);

[2] If you can’t see the Kaaba, then you must face its general direction (jihat al-qibla).

In the latter case, you aren’t obligated to face it exactly, even if you know the exact direction.

The reasoning for this is that:

(1) Even a slight deviation–which is, practically, inevitable–would mean that you’re not facing the Kaaba “exactly”;

(2) The primary texts only require “facing” the direction of the qibla–such as in 2.144 and 2.149 in the Qur’an. [See: Jassas, Tafsir Ahkam al-Qur’an];

(3) There can be hardship (haraj) in the requirement of facing the exact direction.

[Ref: Ibn Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Ibn al-Humam/Marghinani, Fath al-Qadir `ala al-Hidaya; Jassas, Tafsir Ahkam al-Qur’an]

Thus, the prayer of someone facing the general direction ) of the qibla is valid, even if the exact direction is known. It is normally superior and more scrupulous to face the exact direction–but this is not an obligation or condition for the validity of prayer.

I confirmed this with one of the foremost Hanafi jurists alive from the Indo-Pak Subcontinent, Mufti Mahmoud Ashraf Usmani, and his answer was similar to the above.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani

فتح‭ ‬القدير‭ ‬شرح‭ ‬الهداية‭ – (‬2‭ / ‬13‭)‬

قَالَ‭ ( ‬وَيَسْتَقْبِلُ‭ ‬الْقِبْلَةَ‭ ) ‬لِقَوْلِهِ‭ ‬تَعَالَى‭ {  ‬فَوَلُّوا‭ ‬وُجُوهَكُمْ‭ ‬شَطْرَهُ‭ }  ‬ثُمَّ‭ ‬مَنْ‭ ‬كَانَ‭ ‬بِمَكَّةَ‭ ‬فَفَرْضُهُ‭ ‬إصَابَةُ‭ ‬عَيْنِهَا‭ ‬،‭ ‬وَمَنْ‭ ‬كَانَ‭ ‬غَائِبًا‭ ‬فَفَرْضُهُ‭ ‬إصَابَةُ‭ ‬جِهَتِهَا‭ ‬هُوَ‭ ‬الصَّحِيحُ‭ ‬لِأَنَّ‭ ‬التَّكْلِيفَ‭ ‬بِحَسَبِ‭ ‬الْوُسْعِ‭ .‬

الدر‭ ‬المختار‭ – (‬1‭ / ‬461‭)‬

‭(‬فللمكي‭) ‬وكذا‭ ‬المدني‭ ‬لثبوت‭ ‬قبلتها‭ ‬بالوحي‭ (‬إصابة‭ ‬عينها‭) ‬يعم‭ ‬المعاين‭ ‬وغيره‭ ‬لكن‭ ‬في‭ ‬البحر‭ ‬أنه‭  ‬

والاصح‭ ‬أن‭ ‬من‭ ‬بينه‭ ‬وبينها‭ ‬حائل‭ ‬كالغائب،‭ ‬وأقره‭ ‬المصنف‭ ‬قائلا‭: ‬والمراد‭ ‬بقولي‭ ‬فللمكي‭ ‬مكي‭ ‬يعاين‭ ‬الكعبة‭ (‬ولغيره‭) ‬أي‭ ‬غير‭ ‬معاينها‭ (‬إصابة‭ ‬جهتها‭) ‬بأن‭ ‬يبقى‭ ‬شئ‭ ‬من‭ ‬سطح

الوجه‭ ‬مسامتا‭ ‬للكعبة‭ ‬أو‭ ‬لهوائها،‭ ‬بأن‭ ‬يفرض‭ ‬من‭ ‬تلقاء‭ ‬وجه‭ ‬مستقبلها‭ ‬حقيقة‭ ‬في‭ ‬بعض‭ ‬البلاد‭ ‬خط‭ ‬على‭ ‬زاوية‭ ‬قائمة‭ ‬إلى‭ ‬الافق‭ ‬مارا‭ ‬على‭ ‬الكعبة،‭ ‬وخط‭ ‬آخر‭ ‬يقطعه‭ ‬على‭ ‬زاويتين‭ ‬قائمتين‭ ‬يمنة‭ ‬ويسرة‭.‬