All mosques have a niche showing the direction of the most sacred Islamic site, the Kaaba, an ancient cube-like building in Mecca's Grand Mosque. But people looking down from recently built high-rises in Mecca found the niches in many older mosques were not pointing directly towards the Kaaba. Some worshippers are said to be anxious about the validity of their prayers.
so um...I guess that everyone who prayed in those building have invalid prayers?Does this mean that Allah will be angry and send earthquakes?
"There are no major errors but corrections have been made for some old mosques, thanks to modern techniques," he said. "In any case, it does not affect the prayers."
Grand entryways and tall towers, or minarets, have long been and continue to be closely associated with mosques. However, the first three mosques were very simple open spaces on the Arabian Peninsula. Mosques evolved significantly over the next 1,000 years, acquiring their now-distinctive features and adapting to cultures around the world.
Beginning in the 1980s, the Saudi Arabian government began to finance the construction of mosques in countries around the world. An estimated US$45 billion has been spent by the Saudi Arabian government financing mosques and Islamic schools in foreign countries.
Well you have choice whether to click on this topic knowing what its about and what its likely to end up as.
I understand why some are tired of anything to do with religion being debated but its a choice to view/read them and a lot of people do enjoy the debate and discussion.
I'll agree direction of prayers in the scheme of things is pretty tiny, its funny, but really not a important dealio. I'd rather pick on the Pope, he's been more fun to mock lately, check out this Onion story on the pope reversing the church's stance on abortions:
Panicked, Sweat-Covered Pope Reverses Longstanding Ban On Abortion
I think it's best to be vague when praying, just to be safe. I think addressing one's prayers to "Whom It May Concern" is a good tactic. So having to face a precise direction when praying is just setting yourself up for failure in the first place. What if the mosque's architect had a sticky compass? You're screwed. Nope, vague is best. And round holy buildings are good too ... no corners for Satan to corner you in. And just to be safe, sacrifice a politician on the alter too just in case the pagans were on to something. Besides, there's no downside to sacrificing a politician.
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Can prayers not be directed through the earth's surface? Wouldn't that be the shortest distance? I guess it would be a little bit awkward to pray into the ground though.
Also, what if you were at the geographic antipode to Mecca, that is to say it was equidistant in all directions to face Mecca. Although considering the earth is not a true sphere I guess such a place may not exist on the surface, but mathematically there must be places where there are more than one directions to face for the shortest distance to Mecca.
Shot down in Flames!
Last edited by icarus; 04-09-2009 at 03:38 AM.
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I'm not a muslim, but I've never heard that you're supposed to find the shorterst route towards Mecca, just that you're supposed to be facing Mecca, which, technically speaking, is propably just about anywhere as long as you keep going around the world long enough
A little more seriously, I think this is one of those occasions where it's the thought that counts.
I'm Mean But I Mean Well
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Because the space station circles the Earth 16 times a day, theoretically a Muslim would have to pray 80 times a day while staying there.
But the guidelines stipulate that the astronaut need only pray five times a day, just as on Earth, and that the times should follow the location where the spacecraft blasted off from -- in this case, Baikonur in Russia.