The Unique History of Qiblatain Mosque

Front-of-Masjid-Qiblatain
Image: http://www.islamiclandmarks.com/

“Ladies and gentlemen, look to the right, please.” All eyes are fixed on the white squared building known as the Qiblatain Mosque. The building, also known as Banu Salamah Mosque, is similar to the Quba Mosque, but the former have two floors to pray while the tower only two. Several years ago i stopped at the mosque which interior is furnished by white ivory paint, supported by strong pilars and arches, and equipped with red carpets. In general , hajj and umra agency does not include this mosque in their agenda; The bus did not stop and the pilgrims only watching through the window. There is no sacred thing in the building which lies about five kilometers northwest of The Nabawi Mosque. So  what makes it special?

Since the Prophet settled in Medina, he prayed towards the Baitul Maqdis in Jerusalem for 16 or 17 months because Kaaba was surrounded by idols. So the Jews made this as an excuse to make fun of Islam. They assume their way of worship is true while in the Muslims fall into error. From that time the prophet often raised his face to the sky, ask his Lord to returned the kibla (a certain place to face during the prayer) to Kaaba in Mecca. After a long wait, Allah granted his request through surah Al-Baqarah verse 144,

قَد نَرَى تَقَلُّبَ وَجْهِكَ فِس السَمَّاءِ فَلَوُلِّيَنَّكَ قِبْلَةً تَرْضَاهَا فَوَّلِ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ لْمَسِجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَ حَيْسُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّوْا وُجُهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ وَ إِنَّ الَّذِيْنَ أُتُوْا الْكِتٰبَ لَيَعْلَمُوْنَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّهِمْ وَ مَا اللهُ بِغٰفِلٍ عَمَّا يَعْمَلُوْنَ

“We see the turning of your face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn you to a Qibla that shall please you. Turn then your face in the direction of the sacred Mosque: wherever you are, turn your face in that direction. The people of the Book now well that that is the truth from their Lord. Nor is Allah unmindful of what they do.”

When the verse was sent, a group of companions living in the Banu Salamah region were performing the ashar (afternoon) prayer. Suddenly one of companion who had just performed the ashar prayer with the Prophet announced the news. He informed that he and the prophet was pray by facing Ka’ba in Mecca. Suddenly the group that turned the direction from Baitul Maqdis to the Ka’bah.

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