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Al-Quiblaglossary

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Al-Quibla means simply the “direction”, the “end station” or the “way”. To know Al-Quibla is to know your way, your goal and your direction. Al Ka'baglossary was chosen to symbolize that direction or that way. This choice conveys a message that reveals itself partly and gradually for people who took it as their direction.

A Unified Direction

 

In the Holy Qur’an, the guidance to The Prophet (PBUH) came as follows:

We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Quibla that shall please thee. Turns then thy face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction. The people of the Book know well that that is the truth from their Lord, nor is Allah unmindful of what they do. (HQ 2:144).

Reflecting upon this verse, al-Quibla seemed to be “the direction” that provided security and serenity for The Prophet (PBUH) who was turning his face to Heaven, trying to found base for attachment with Allah. The Divine guidance came to support The Prophet (PBUH) in his search. The sacred mosque was the chosen symbol that points to that direction.

That choice must have been for wisdom, and conveyed several messages to The Prophet (PBUH) and to his followers. Some of these messages can be seen and observed directly. For example, the direction Quibla, when is defined, stresses the meaning of unity among The Prophet's followers. Al-Quibla, symbolically points also to the one direction which seekers of Truth search for. There is then an underlying message here that is sent to the followers of Muhammad (PBUH), as well as to the whole world. That is, regardless of their different affiliations, those who seek the truth have one goal and one direction.

Al-Quibla is the symbol
of the One Primordial Religion

 

The choice of al-Ka'ba is significant.

"The first Home appointed for humankind was that at Bakka; full of blessing and of guidance for all kinds of beings. In it are Signs manifest; the Station of Abraham; whoever enters it attains security; pilgrimage thereto is a duty people owe to Allah, those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of His creatures (HQ 3:96-97).glossary

Remember We made the House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; and take ye the Station of Abraham as a place of prayer; and We covenanted with Abraham and Isma'il, that they should sanctify My House for those who compass it round, or use it as a retreat, or bow, or prostrate themselves (therein in Prayer). (HQ 2:125)

And remember Abraham and Isma'il raised the foundations of the House (with this prayer): "Our Lord! Accept (this service) from us: for Thou art the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing. (HQ 2:127).

From these verses, we know that this House is related to Abraham (PBUH) who was commanded by the Divine to raise its foundations, and purify it. Because Muhammad's Call is the revival of Abraham’s, to take this House as Quibla is a symbolic way for linking between the one Call of the Primordial Religion that Muhammad (PBUH) carried and that which had appeared with Abraham (PBUH), reviving the Path of Adam and Noah. Certainly, the House here does not mean the building; rather it was used metaphorically to point to the message of Abraham (PBUH)or the Primordial Religion. Abraham (PBUH) represents the authentic Call out of which Moses (PBUH) and Jesus (PBUH) came with their messages. Reviving the path of Abraham (PBUH) through Muhammad (PBUH) was meant to remind people of this authentic path.glossary The Quibla is a symbol that stands to represent a continuous reminder of that Path.glossary

Baytu'llah is an abstract concept that emphasizes the impersonalized Divine guidance. For Muhammad's followers, Baytu'llah is a symbol of Muhammad's message. Yet that message did not come exclusively to those who follow the rites as they were revealed to Muhammad (PBUH), this message is a universal one in the sense that it reveals the authentic unity between the messengers of Allah. As we mentioned in the previous point (al-Shahada), "the messenger of God" is an abstract concept that is connected to the Divine message on earth, which was carried out by all spiritual Teachers. The emphasis of directing oneself to the Quibla, Baytullah is to be always sure that the Divine message is on earth, and that there are Master guides who carry that message.

Al-Quibla is then an abstract concept that is expressed symbolically by Baytullah, it is the common term that can gather the whole world, and turn it to a big family. Expressing the Divine Call through Baytullah, provides the seekers of Truth worldwide with sense of intimacy and attachment. Al-Quibla, as introduced in Islam as revealed to Muhammad (PBUH), addresses not only those who are following his creed, but the whole world to unify their direction, by making the Truth their goal. At the same time, the choice of certain place to represent that direction, does not give that place a scared dimension as a concrete building, but it is the underlying message which is sacred. That is, the seekers of Truth should search for a Divine source of light through following Master guides that appear in different places on earth and in different cultures to serve the same Primordial message. Even if a person does not meet one of the teachers of humanity, s/he should be assured that the source of light on earth would reach her/him. Having a metaphorical place for this spiritual force conveys that message permanently.

To say it briefly, followers of Muhammad (PBUH) are unifying their direction by taking al Ka’ba their focus, that is, their Quibla. The believers also can interact with this symbol by taking The Prophet (PBUH) as her/his Master guide and observe him as manifest within those spiritual teachers who represent his continuous existence. By giving her/himself the chance to the knowledge of the heart, s/he revives her/his very inner being, and knows that within her/his small existence lays the ultimate reality. As such, they have one direction Quibla as a symbol of the Divine Truth. This Quibla, metaphorically, is a central point on earth that identifies the permanent existence of the Divine Light. By introducing the concept of Quibla, the teachings of The Prophet (PBUH) brought to the attention that there is one goal for all revelations.

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