Setting Sun is not the direction of “Kiblat”

2009/10/08

NST Online

KOTA BARU: It is wrong and inaccurate for Muslims to determine the kiblat (direction of the Kaaba in Mecca) for their daily prayers based on the direction of the setting sun, as there are only two days in a year that this method can be used as a guide.

Director of the Islamic Training Institute of Malaysia (ILIM), Paimuzi Yahya, said this method must also cease for determining prayer times, breaking of fast and Hari Raya, and Muslims should instead use Islamic astronomy as approved by the Islamic Development Department of Malaysia (Jakim).

He said from the study of astronomy, there were only two days (May 28 and July 16) each year where the position of the sun would be right in the middle of the Kaaba, which could be used as a guide for Muslims to determine the ‘kiblat’.

“The institute has been given the responsibility to remove the misperception among Muslims on the matter,” he told Bermana after closing a course on Islamic astronomy pertainig to the ‘kiblat’ here today.
Paimuzi said most mosques, surau, hotels and Muslim homes in the country did not use the proper method in determining the ‘kiblat’ when performing their prayers and this situation must not be allowed to continue.

“For this purpose, we want the course participants to guide other Muslims in determining the ‘kiblat’ correctly,” he added. – BERNAMA

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