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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter February 1, 2018

Geodetic analysis of disputed accurate qibla direction

Tono Saksono, Mohamad Ali Fulazzaky and Zamah Sari


Muslims perform the prayers facing towards the correct qibla direction would be the only one of the practical issues in linking theoretical studies with practice. The concept of facing towards the Kaaba in Mecca during the prayers has long been the source of controversy among the muslim communities to not only in poor and developing countries but also in developed countries. The aims of this study were to analyse the geodetic azimuths of qibla calculated using three different models of the Earth. The use of ellipsoidal model of the Earth could be the best method for determining the accurate direction of Kaaba from anywhere on the Earth’s surface. A muslim cannot direct himself towards the qibla correctly if he cannot see the Kaaba due to setting out process and certain motions during the prayer this can significantly shift the qibla direction from the actual position of the Kaaba. The requirement of muslim prayed facing towards the Kaaba is more as spiritual prerequisite rather than physical evidence.

Funding statement: The authors gratefully acknowledge financial support from the University of Muhammadiyah Prof. Dr Hamka for Research Grant No. 230/F.03.07/2017.


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Received: 2017-10-2
Accepted: 2018-1-10
Published Online: 2018-2-1
Published in Print: 2018-4-25

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