Kaaba compass, qibla compass
Kaaba compass
Kaaba compass, qibla direction

Muslim prayer requires facing the holy Kaaba which is in the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The direction to the holy Kaaba from the location of the person who wishes to perform the prayer is called the qibla direction. The «Kaaba Compass» application allows to easily find the qibla direction by taking advantage of an Android mobile device features.

This video shows the «Kaaba Compass» app in action. This app is easy to use even the first time you run it and doesn't need hard setup The authorization of access to the device position requested allow to easily obtaining the accurate qibla direction. This activation and authorization is not required permanently. You may disable it later and «Kaaba Compass» will continue to work well.

If you don't want to authorize access to the device position at all, you may enter your GPS coordinates yourself. You can get the GPS coordinates of your location using any tool, e.g. Google Maps, and enter them. An edit screen is presented to you as soon as you deny the authorization to access the device position.

Earth shape and qibla direction
Kaaba compass, qibla direction

Unlike to the current scientific consensus about the spherical shape of the Earth, some people still believe that the shape of the Earth is flat. The english writer Samuel Birley Rowbotham is considered to be the contemporary father of this idea and still many groups that defend it are spread worldwide and are active mainly via the Internet. Some muslims may believe too that the Earth is flat. This has a direct effect on how the qibla direction is determined in locations that are relatively far from the Makkah city.

The «Kaaba Compass» application works with the assumption that the shape of earth is spherical, as is prevalent among the majority of people and most contemporary Islamic scholars. We asks users that believe the earth shape is flat, don't adopt the application or to seek advice from those they trust who are familiar with islamic juristic issues before adopting it. The application may only help them in locations close to the Kaaba as will be explained later.

Finding qibla direction worldwide
Kaaba compass, qibla direction

In North and East Africa as well as in Western Asia and even most of Europe there is no problem in determining the qibla direction. But when we move away from Mecca, towards the west or south in Africa, for example, the elliptic and uneven surface of the earth imposes a somewhat complicated calculation to know the correct qibla direction. As for places that do not appear in this picture, such as the American continent, because it is located in the back half of the earth, there is a problem.

How can someone who wants to pray in these locations of the earth head towards the Holy Kaaba ?

Kaaba compass, qibla direction

Direct link between the Kaaba location and «Montreal» in Canada as well as «Rio de Janeiro» in Brazil, for example, is not possible. These two cities are located on the other side of the globe relative to the location of Mecca. According to the science of geodesy, there is an imaginary line that represents the shortest distance between two locations on the Earth's surface, the direction of which can be calculated with high accuracy. These two lines connecting the Canadian and Brazilian cities and the Kaaba are shown in this diagram.

This scientific fact was adopted and declared by a large number of contemporary Islamic scholars from all schools of thought (in our opinion the majority of scholars, and we ask every user of the application to investigate himself). «Kaaba Compass» app determines the qibla direction anywhere on the earth by adopting this method and considering the local difference between the magnetic north and the geographical north, meaning with high accuracy.

Kaaba compass, qibla direction

For further clarification, we assume that there is a line that rises vertically at the location of the Kaaba for a very high distance so that can be seen above the ground level in Montreal city (hypothetically, of course). The direction to which we can see this line is the qibla direction in this city.

Kaaba compass, qibla direction

In the side of the residents of Canada, the vertical line extending from the location of the Kaaba will appear like this for the hypothetical vision. In this way, the qibla direction will be to the north-east, in these countries as well as all of North America. Most of the mosques that have been established there, if not all, are facing this direction, and the «Kaaba compass» app will accurately determine this direction for you in North America.