Updated on August 26, 1998
Question 1: What is correct Qibla direction from North America, North-east or South-east? Some people show on the flat map that Qibla should be South-east.
Answer 1: Earth is NOT flat as some people still believe. Those people are
ignorant. No one can give them knowledge except Allah. But
those who ponder on observations have clearly seen that the earth is approximately
round. Earth's shadow on moon is visible at Moon Eclipse, and it is
always round. Other proofs of roundness are observations when a sailing
away ship is seen on the horizon for a distance and then vanishes slowly
going below horizon, etc.
For Qibla direction, when people debate the direction for North America as being North-east or South-east, the answer is simple that let us forget for a moment, whether the earth is round or flat, and let us put any calculations aside also. It is a fact that the sun comes approximately overhead above Ka'bah on two dates every year. Read about it on my Qibla direction page
And you will understand the correct direction of Qibla, without going into the debate of round or flat earth, and whatever method of calculations are used. In short, Qibla from North America in general is North-east, except on North-west corner of USA and Alaska where Qibla is almost North.
Answer 2: AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND Latitude=36:55S Longitude=174:47E QIBLA FROM TRUE NORTH = 98:54 W QIBLA FROM MAGNETIC NORTH =118:28 W CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND Latitude=43:33S Longitude=172:40E QIBLA FROM TRUE NORTH =104:07 W QIBLA FROM MAGNETIC NORTH =127:30 W DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALND Latitude=45:52S Longitude=170:30E QIBLA FROM TRUE NORTH =104:24 W QIBLA FROM MAGNETIC NORTH =129:04 W HAMILTON, NEW ZEALAND Latitude=37:46S Longitude=175:18E QIBLA FROM TRUE NORTH =100:14 W QIBLA FROM MAGNETIC NORTH =120:12 W PALMERSTON, NEW ZEALAND Latitude=45:30S Longitude=170:42E QIBLA FROM TRUE NORTH =104:15 W QIBLA FROM MAGNETIC NORTH =128:43 W PALMERSTON NORTH, NEW ZEALAND Latitude=40:20S Longitude=175:39E QIBLA FROM TRUE NORTH =103:21 W QIBLA FROM MAGNETIC NORTH =124:57 W WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND Latitude=41:17S Longitude=174:47E QIBLA FROM TRUE NORTH =103:38 W QIBLA FROM MAGNETIC NORTH =125:46 W
Answer 3: No, my dear brother. If you keep on going exactly west, you will eventually come to India. Would you still face East? No because from India, Muslims face West. So, Qibla can not be deduced from how you travel. The best way to understand is, that we know that two times a year, the sun comes exactly over Ka'aba at Makkah noon time on May 28, and July 16. If you can see the sun at those two dates at Makkah noon time converted to your local time, you will actually be seeing a very high minaret if there were any, over kabah. Wouldn't you face towards it? This observation has been made by Muslims all over the world and that is the correct direction of Qibla. Observation like this from Nova Scotia has been made and confirmed that Qibla from there is North-East. May Allah help you understand and search for the truth, without any bias.
Answer 4: True North Pole is the top of the Globe. Magnetic North is the direction where a magnetic needle would point if it is pivotted freely, because it aligns with magnetic field inside the earth. This pole of magnetic field differs from True North by several degrees at some locations (e.g. in Alaska it differs by 16 to 34 degrees)
Answer 5: The line straight through the earth is not the line, we are looking for Qibla. When you want to face East, you are not facing a line, but you are facing a vertical plane that contains a straight line inside the earth to Ka'bah. So, for a direction, you never face a line, you face a plane. Now the plane that would contain the line that you defined, inside the earth, is the plane that has a direction of 16:41East from True North (North Pole of the Globe) for Vancouver to Mecca. However, if you measure the angle from magnetic compass, it should be 3:09East from Magnetic North.
Answer 6: Qibla from Montreal is at 320grad (From True North about 58 Degrees East) or (From Magnetic North about 74 Degrees East). 320grad is the correct direction for Montreal, which puts it in North-East direction. Looking at a flat map one gets the impression that it should be South-East or 270grad, but the earth is not flat, so a flat map gives a distorted picture for the direction. You can resolve this fallacy by looking on a globe, and see where the qibla should be from Alaska. Put one finger at Alaska, and another finger of the other hand on Makkah, You will see that Qibla will be in the direction of North Pole, meaning Qibla from Alaska is due North. While on the flat map, it would appear to be South-East. Also consider eastern edges of Russia; if you look on a flat map, Qibla from there would appear to be South-West, but on the globe you can see it again that Makkah would be in the direction of North Pole, meaning Qibla from Eastern edges of Russia is approximately due North. Both Alaska and Eastern edges of Russia are very close to each other, and the direction of Qibla has to be approximately same, but the flat map gives two opposite directions. You can read more on this subject on my Qibla Direction Page: