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Al-Qibla Verse

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Al-Qibla Verse (Arabic: آیَة القِبلَة) is the verse number 144 of Qur'an 2 (Sura al-Baqara) in the Qur'an which commands Muslims to change their Qibla from Jerusalem to Masjid al-Haram. After the migration of Muslims to Medina, Jewish residents of the city took the direction of Muslims towards Jerusalem to be evidence that Islam was not an authentic religion. This led the Prophet Muhammad (s) to wish that the Ka'ba were the Qibla for Muslims.

According to exegetes of the Qur'an, this verse was revealed between six to nineteen months after the migration. According to different historical accounts, the verse was revealed in one of the three places: Masjid al-Qiblatayn, the mosque of the Banu Salim b. Awf tribe, and al-Masjid al-Nabawi.

Verses 142, 143, and 150 of Qur'an 2 have also been referred to as verses of Qibla. Some exegetes of the Qur'an take verses 142 through 144 of Qur'an 2 to be Verses of the Qibla.

Text and Translation of the Verse

This verse, which involves the ruling of changing the Qibla, is known as the Verse of Qibla.[1] Verses 142,[2] 143,[3] and 150 of Qur'an 2[4] have also been referred to as verses of Qibla. Some exegetes of the Qur'an take verses 142-144 of Qur'an 2 to be verses of Qibla.[5] After the change of the Qibla, some Jews and superficial Muslims began to object. In response, the following verse was revealed:[6]

Occasion of Revelation

According to sources of exegesis, the Verse of Qibla was revealed in order to change the Qibla of Muslims from al-Aqsa mosque to the Ka'ba. After the migration of Muslims to Medina, Jewish residents of the city took the direction of Muslims towards al-Aqsa mosque to be evidence that Islam was not an authentic religion. They asked, "If Muhammad (s) has brought a new religion, so why does he say prayers towards our Qibla?"[7] According to some hadiths, this and other factors led the Prophet (s) to wish that the Ka'ba were the Qibla for Muslims, but he never expressed his wish to God.[8] The verse points to the Prophet’s (s) expectation for the change of Qibla.[9]

The exegetes have two views concerning the reason why the Prophet (s) was looking at the sky:

  • One is that the Prophet (s) was already promised about the change of Qibla, and thus, he was turning his face towards the sky and waiting for the descend of Jabra'il (Gabriel) to bring the ruling of Qibla.
  • The other is that the Prophet (s) had not expressed his wish for the change of the Qibla and was looking at the sky and waiting, because prophets are not permitted to ask anything from God without God's permission.[10]

Time of Revelation

There is no consensus among exegetes of the Qur'an with regard to the time when the Verse of Qibla was revealed. There is a spectrum of views from six[11] to nineteen months[12] after the migration. Some exegetes have appealed to the date of the change of Qibla, that is, Rajab of 2 (January 624), and take the most accurate view to be seventeen months after the migration.[13] There is also a disagreement about whether the Verse of Qibla was revealed in the middle of the morning prayer or noon prayer or afternoon prayer.[14]

Place of Revelation

There are three views about the place where the Verse of Qibla was revealed:

  • The mosque of the Banu Salim b. Awf tribe, where the Prophet (s) performed his first Friday Prayer,[18]

Notes

  1. Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 81, p. 33; Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 1, p. 325.
  2. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 1, p. 414; Ṭūsī, al-Tibyān, vol. 2, p. 3-4.
  3. Fakhr al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, vol. 4, p. 107.
  4. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 1, p. 329.
  5. Ṭanṭāwī, Tafsīr al-wasīṭ, vol. 1, p. 294.
  6. Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 1, p. 413.
  7. Ibn Kathīr, Tafsīr al-Qurʾān, vol. 1, p. 198; Ṭabarī, Jāmiʿ al-bayān, vol. 2, p. 29.
  8. Abū l-Futūḥ al-Rāzī, Rawḍ al-Jinān, vol. 2, p. 208; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 1, p. 414; Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 1, p. 490.
  9. See: Majlisī, Biḥār al-anwār, vol. 81, p. 33; Ṭabarī, Jāmiʿ al-bayān, vol. 2, p. 28; Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 1, p. 329.
  10. Fakhr al-Rāzī, al-Tafsīr al-kabīr, vol. 4, p. 122-123; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 1, p. 422.
  11. Ṭabarī, Jāmiʿ al-bayān, vol. 2, p. 28; Ṭabrisī, Majmaʿ al-bayān, vol. 1, p. 414.
  12. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 1, p. 333.
  13. Ṭabāṭabāyī, al-Mīzān, vol. 1, p. 331.
  14. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 1, p. 186-187.
  15. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 1, p. 186; Zamakhshrī, al-Kashshāf, vol. 1, p. 202.
  16. Qāʾidān, Tārikh wa Āthār-i Islāmī, p. 268.
  17. Ibn Syyid al-Nās, ʿUyūn al-athar, vol. 1, p. 269.
  18. Qummī, Tafsīr al-Qummī, vol. 1, p. 63; Ṭabrisī, Iʿlām al-warā, vol. 1, p. 154.
  19. Ibn Saʿd, al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā, vol. 1, p. 186-187.

References

  • Abū l-Futūḥ al-Rāzī, Ḥusayn b. ʿAlī. Rawḍ al-Jinān wa rawḥ al-Janān. Edited by Yāḥaqī & Nāṣiḥ. Mashhad: Āstān-i Quds-i Raḍawī, 1375 Sh.
  • Fakhr al-Rāzī, Muḥammad b. ʿUmar al-. Al-Tafsīr al-kabīr. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1415 AH.
  • Ibn Kathīr al-Dimashqī, Ismāʿīl b. ʿUmar. Tafsīr al-Qurʾān al-ʿaẓīm. Edited by Marʿashlī. Beirut: Dār al-Maʿrifa, 1409 AH.
  • Ibn Saʿd, Muḥammad b. Manīʿ al-Basrī. Al-Ṭabaqāt al-kubrā. Edited by Muḥammad ʿAbd al-Qādir ʿAṭāʾ. Beirut: Dār al-Kutub al- ʿIlmīyya, 1418 AH.
  • Ibn Syyid al-Nās, Muḥammad b. Muḥammad. ʿUyūn al-athar. Edited by Ibrāhīm Muḥammad. Beirut: Dār al-Qalam: 1414 AH.
  • Majlisī, Muḥammad Bāqir al-. Biḥār al-anwār. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1403 AH.
  • Qāʾidān, Aṣghar. Tārikh wa Āthār-i Islāmī Mecca wa Medina. Tehran: Mashʿar, 1386 Sh.
  • Qummī, ʿAlī b. Ibrāhīm al-. Tafsīr al-Qummī. Edited by Jazāʾirī. Qom: Dār al-Kutub, 1404 AH.
  • Ṭabarī, Muḥammad b. Jarīr al-. Jāmiʿ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Edited by Ṣidqī Jamīl. Beirut: Dār al-Fikr, 1415 AH.
  • Ṭabāṭabāyī, Sayyid Muḥammad Ḥusayn al-. Al-Mīzān fī Tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Translated by Mūsawī Hamidānī. Qom: Daftar-i Intishārāt-i Islāmī, 1417 AH.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al. Iʿlām al-warā bi-Iʿlām al-Hudā. Qom: Āl al-Bayt, 1417 AH.
  • Ṭabrisī, Faḍl b. al-Ḥasan al. Majmaʿ al-bayān fī tafsīr al-Qurʾān. Tehran: Nāṣir khusru, 1372 Sh.
  • Ṭanṭāwī, Sayyid Muḥammad. Al-Tafsīr al-wasīṭ. Cairo: Dār al-Maʾārif, 1412 AH.
  • Ṭūsī, Muḥammad b. al-Ḥasan al-. Al-Tibyān. Edited by Aḥmad Ḥabīb Qaṣīr al-ʿĀmulī. Beirut: Dār Iḥyāʾ al-Turāth al-ʿArabī, 1412 AH.
  • Zamakhshrī, Maḥmūd b. ʿUmar al-. Al-Kashshāf ʿan ḥaqāʾiq qwāmiḍ al-Tanzīl. Qom: Nashr al-Balāqa, 1415 AH.