Changing the Qiblah direction and the uniqueness of the Muslim nation Short synopsis about that event:
The Prophet (peace be upon him) was performing Salah to the Baytul-Maqdis (Jerusalem) and he was wishing to direct his face in Salah to Ka`bah, therefore he said to Gabriel: "I like that Allah would turn away my face from the qiblah of the Jews. He (Gabriel) said: I am a mere servant, so invoke your lord and ask Him. So, he kept looking at the sky hoping that Allah would respond to his invocation until Allah revealed: "Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid- al-Haram (at Makkah)." [Surat Al Baqarah: 144] after sixteen months from his arrival at Medina two months before the battle of Badr took place."
Muhammad ibn Sa`d said: Hashim ibn Al Qasim told us: Abu Ma`shar told us on the authority of Muhammad ibn Ka`b Al Qurazhy he said: "No Prophet disagreed with another Prophet regarding the Qiblah or any other Sunnah, however, the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) turned his face to Bayt Al-Maqdis (Palestine) when he came to Medina for sixteen month, then he recited the Ayah: "He (Allah) has ordained for you the same religion (Islam) which He ordained for Nuh (Noah), and that which We have inspired in you (O Muhammad peace be upon him)." [Surat Ash-Shura: 13]."
The wisdom behind changing the Qiblah direction:
There were great benefits in changing the Qiblah direction, of which:
1- A trial for Muslims, polytheists, the Jews, and hypocrites:
As for Muslims, they said: "We had listened and obeyed." They also said: "We believe in it; the whole of it (clear and unclear Verses) are from our Lord." [Surat Al `Imran: 7].
They are the people whom Allah guided and it was not difficult for them to accept and believe.
As for polytheists, they said: As he returned into our Qiblah, soon he shall go back to our religion because it is the truth.
As for the Jews, they said: He disagreed with the Qiblah of previous Prophets, and if he had been a Prophet, he would have performed Salah to the Qiblah of Prophets.
As for hypocrites, they said: Muhammad does not know where to turn his face to. If the first Qiblah was true, he had left it; and if the second was true, he has been mistaken. The fool spoke lengthy about it and what Allah had told happened: "Indeed it was great (heavy) except for those whom Allâh guided." [Surat Al Baqarah: 143].
It was a trial from Allah to His Servants to see who of them would follow the Messenger and who will turn back.
B- Changing the Qiblah had many dimensions:
Changing the Qiblah had many dimensions, of which: The political, the military, the religious, and the historical.
As for its political dimension, it made the Arabian Peninsula the center of events.
As for its historical dimension, it connected this world with the heritage of Abraham (peace be upon him).
As for its military dimension, it paved the way for opening Makkah and end up the unsuitable situation of Al Masjid Al Haram (the Sacred Mosque in Makkah); where the center of monotheism became the center for worshipping idols.
As for its religious dimension, it connected the heart with true monotheism and distinguished the Muslim nation form others and the worship of the Muslim nation from other religions.
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