Surah Baqarah Ayat 144 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 144
We have certainly seen the turning of your face, [O Muhammad], toward the heaven, and We will surely turn you to a qiblah with which you will be pleased. So turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] are, turn your faces toward it [in prayer]. Indeed, those who have been given the Scripture well know that it is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.
“We see the turning of thy face (for guidance to the heavens: now Shall We turn thee to a Qibla that shall please thee. Turn then Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque: Wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction. The people of the Book know well that that is the truth from their Lord. Nor is Allah unmindful of what they do.
We have seen you (O Muhammad), turning your face over and over again towards Heaven. Now, therefore, We turn you towards the giblah that you like best: so turn your face towards the Masjid Haram. Henceforth, wheresoever you may be, turn your face at prayer towards it. The people who were given the Book know it well that the commandment (about the change of giblah) is in fact from their Lord, and is based on the Truth, but Allah is not unaware of what they are doing (in spite of this)
Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad’s SAW) 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). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. Certainly, the people who were given the Scriptures (i.e. Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka’bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.
We have seen the turning of thy face to heaven (for guidance, O Muhammad). And now verily We shall make thee turn (in prayer) toward a qiblah which is dear to thee. So turn thy face toward the Inviolable Place of Worship, and ye (O Muslims), wheresoever ye may be, turn your faces (when ye pray) toward it. Lo! Those who have received the Scripture know that (this revelation) is the Truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.
We have already seen the turning about of your face to the heaven; so We will indeed definitely turn you towards a Qiblah (Literally: their Qiblah) that shall satisfy you. So turn your face towards the Inviolable Mosque; and wherever you are, then turn your faces towards it. And surely the ones to whom the Book was brought do indeed know that it is the Truth from their Lord; and in no way is Allah ever heedless of whatever they do.
Many a time We have seen you [Prophet] turn your face towards Heaven, so We are turning you towards a prayer direction that pleases you. Turn your face in the direction of the Sacred Mosque: wherever you [believers] may be, turn your faces to it. Those who were given the Scripture know with certainty that this is the Truth from their Lord: God is not unaware of what they do.
Quran 2 Verse 144 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Baqarah ayat 144, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(2:144) We see you oft turning your face towards the sky; now We are turning you to the direction that will satisfy you. Turn your face towards the Holy Mosque, and wherever you are, turn your faces towards it in Prayer.
Those who have been granted the Scripture certainly know that this (injunction to change the direction of Prayer) is right and is from their Lord. Allah is not heedless of what they do.
146. This is the injunction concerning the change in the direction of Prayer and was revealed in Rajab or Sha’ban. 2 A.H. According to a Tradition in the Tabaqat of Ibn Sa’d, the Prophet was at the house of Bishr b. Bara’b. Ma’rur where he had been invited to a meal. When the time of zuhr prayer came, the Prophet rose to lead it. He had completed two rak’ahs and was in the third when this verse was suddenly revealed. Soon after the revelation of this verse everybody, following the leadership of the Prophet, turned the direction of Prayer away from Jerusalem to the Ka’bah. A public proclamation of the new order was then made throughout Madina and in the suburbs. Bara’ b. ‘Azib says that at one place the announcement was heard by people while they were in the state of ruku’ (kneeling). On bearing this order they immediately turned their faces towards the Ka’bah. Anas b. Malik says that the news of the announcement reached Banu Salamah the next day while the morning Prayer was in progress. People had completed one rak’ah when they heard the announcement about the change of direction and the entire congregation immediately faced the new qiblah. (See Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat, vol. 1, pp. 241 f. – Ed.)
It ought to be noted that Jerusalem is to the north of Madina while the Ka’bah is to the south. In order to change direction during congregational Prayer it would have been necessary for the leader of the Prayer to walk several steps beyond what was originally the last row of worshippers. The people in the congregation, too, would have been forced not only to make a right about-turn but also to walk a little to straighten their rows. We find specific mention of this in certain Traditions.
The words, ‘We see you oft turning your face to the heaven’, and ‘Now We are turning your face to the direction that shall satisfy you’, show clearly that even before the revelation of this injunction the Prophet was expecting something of this nature. He had begun to feel, with the termination of the era of Israelite leadership, that the time had come for the central position of Jerusalem to cease and a return to the original centre of the Abrahamic mission to commence.
The ‘Holy Mosque’ refers to the sanctuary invested with holiness and sanctity; the sanctuary in the centre of which the Ka’bah is located.
To turn one’s face in the direction of the Ka’bah does not mean that wherever a man might be he should turn to the Ka’bah with absolute accuracy. It would obviously be extremely difficult for everyone to comply with such an order. Hence the order is to turn one’s face in the direction of the Ka’bah rather than to the Ka’bah itself. According to the Qur’an, we are required to find out the direction of the Ka’bah as accurately as possible. We are not required, however, to locate it with absolute precision. We may pray in the direction which appears correct as a result of our enquiry. However, if a man is either at a place where it is difficult to determine the direction of the Ka’bah or if he is in a position where it is difficult to maintain the correct direction (e.g. when travelling on a train, a boat, or an aeroplane), he may pray in the direction which seems correct, or in whatever direction it is possible for him to face. If he then comes to know the correct direction while he is in the state of Prayer he should turn his face in that direction.
The tafsir of Surah Baqarah verse 143 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Baqarah ayat 142 which provides the complete commentary from verse 142 through 143.
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