This is page lists the most frequently asked questions. It’s a work in progress so you may not find all the answers to your questions.
Which way is North?
North is always pointing UP on the map.
Is the North you refer to the magnetic North or true North?
I live in Canada/USA. The QiblaLocator shows the Qibla in the North/North-East whereas I can clearly see on a map that it is in the South-East. Is the QiblaLocator incorrect?
Absolutely not, and here’s why. Let’s take a look at a map of the world in a format we’re most familiar with.
Let’s imagine you are at pt A. Looking at this map, if you drew a line from pt A to Mecca, one would assume you’re absolutely correct in determining the direction of the Qibla to be SouthEast . But wait a second! The world isn’t flat as shown in the map! We figured this out a couple of thousand years ago. Let’s look at the map of the world as its supposed to be, spherical.
Now let’s look at pt A and the Qibla from there. If we were to trace the shortest path from pt A to Mecca, It would not point towards the SouthEast but towards the North as the Qiblalocator shows. The same can be shown for all other locations as well.
How can you prove this?
You can test this on your own. Get a globe, a piece of string and some tape. Tape one end of the string to Mecca, and stretch the string along the globe to the point where you want to find the Qibla from. You will find that for locations close to Mecca, the direction is almost the same as looking at a flat map. But, for locations further away, a flat map doesn’t work at all. Keep in mind that the globe and string method is an approximation (not 100% accurate; The Earth is actually wider at the equator that it is pole to pole). The direction the QiblaLocator shows is far more accurate.
…more to be added inshAllah