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Offline Reader Questions

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The Qibla Change
« on: November 13, 2011, 06:08:13 AM »
Dear Brother,
I recently come across your website and started reading your articles. I should thank you for great analysis.
Just today, I read your article on  "The  Qibla Change". It is good analysis, but I have one question.
The part of verse (in purple), mentions that they (possibly here they means Jews and Christian) will not follow each others' Qibla. In other words, we talking about three Qiblas. one that is followed by Muslims, Second that is followed by Jews and Third that is followed by Christians. Do I have valid observation, If yes, will you address it? I am just learner, so not disputing anything in your article.
002.144 -45
"Indeed, We see the turning of your face (for guidance) to the heavens. So We shall surely turn you to a direction of devotion / prayer (Arabic: Qiblatan) that you will be pleased with. So turn your face in the direction of the sacred Mosque and wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction. And indeed, the people of the Book know well that it is the truth from their Lord and God is not unmindful of what they do.  Even if you were to bring to the people of the Book all the Signs (together), they would not follow your direction of devotion / prayer (Arabic: Qibla); nor are you going to follow their Qibla; nor indeed will they follow each other's Qibla. If you after the knowledge has reached you, were you to follow their (vain) desires, indeed, you (would) then (be) surely among the wrongdoers"
Note: I am just learner, so not disputing anything in your article.

Offline Joseph Islam

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Re: The Qibla Change
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2011, 06:10:28 AM »
Salamun Alaikum,

Thank you for your email.
I think it is a perfectly valid observation in light of the Arabic text of the Quran. 'wa ma ba'duhum bitabi'in qiblata ba'din' which you have highlighted in purple certainly seems to suggest that between the People of the Book there were different Qiblas. Whether there were differences between Jews and Jews or Christians and Christians ('intra' differences), the text does not elucidate. However, this also cannot be ruled out. It does seem likely though that this is a reference between Jews and Christians generally.
With regards the differences between Christians, I am aware of comprehensive studies in the west of Christian churches that though aligned towards the East (possibly towards Jerusalem), they are better understood aligned towards the rising of the sun on the saint's day associated with the church's dedication. I also find from the studies that churches are not aligned similarly. I read a paper some time ago in the British Archaeology site which I would like to share with you.
A comprehensive study of ancient churches around the world would possibly prove more insightful. However, to my knowledge, all churches do not necessarily face in the same direction which would support the 'intra' differences argument.
On the other hand, as far as I know, Jewish direction has always predominantly remained towards Jerusalem.
So yes, I would support your observation as a valid cogent observation based on the text. But I would also humbly allow for possible 'intra' differences in which case there could be 'many' Qiblas.
Your brother in faith.
'During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act' 
George Orwell