Qiblah Direction Basics


{jb_quote} You don't need to be a mathematical genius or equipped with expensive technical equipment to find the direction of Qiblah, all you need is familiarisation with some key facts and basic terms which have served humanity as a guide for navigation for thousands of years. {/jb_quote}

Wifaqul Ulama App:


{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} Google Playstore


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} App store


Video Explaination:

{jb_bluebox}There is no disagreement amongst Muslims that Masjidul-Haram should be faced when praying Salah.{/jb_bluebox}

Theory & Calculations:

Kabah sujood

When inside the Masjid itself then the Kaa'bah has to be faced and hence Muslims line up in a circular fashion as shown here.









These circular lines are extended as you move away throughout the rest of the world but the general concept is still the same.






Ease in locating Qiblah

Shaykh (Mufti) Shafi Usmani (HA) explains that the rules of Shariah are based on ease and not on any philosophical technicalities. After giving some examples of this Hadrat Mufti Saheb goes on to explain that the basis of calculating the Qibla is the narration wherein Sayyidina Rasul-ullah (Sallaho Alaihe Wassalam) mentions that whatever is between the east and west is the Qibla. Though this ruling is for the people of Madina Munawwara, but from this we deduce that in looking for the Qibla we need not to go in to any technical issues.

The honourable Sahaba (RA) based the Qibla on some major signs which denoted upon the Qibla, without going into any technicalities, using their discretion stipulated the Qibla. Those who followed the Sahaba (RA) also accepted their discretion. Allama Maqrizi (RA)  mentions that when Ahmed Tulun intended to build a Masjid in Egypt he sent some people to Madina Munawwara to find out the Qibla of Masjid Nabawi (Sallaho Alaihe Wassalam) and thereafter build his Masjid according to that calculation. This differed with the Qibla of the Masjid of Sayyidina Amr ibn Al-Aas (RA). However, the Ulama still preferred the Qibla of Sayyidina Amr ibn Al-Aas (RA) and built new Masjids in Egypt according to it.

There was a group of Sahaba (RA) who used their discretion in stipulating the Qibla of Masjid of Sayyidina Amr ibn Al-Aas (RA) despite the fact that there were astronomers in Egypt.

Thereafter Shaykh (Mufti) Shafi Usmani (HA) explains that in places where there are Masjids already built the Qibla will be based on these Masajid.

Areas where there are no old Masajid  then we will follow the method of the Sahaba (RA) in calculating their Qibla (i.e. using ones discretion and looking at signs stipulate the Qibla.)

It is not permissible to use astronomical calculations in areas were Masajid already exist. Unless there is a strong possibility that the Qibla of those Masajid are wrong. In areas which do not have old Masajid then the Ulama differ regarding the permissibility of using astronomical calculations. Allama Shami (RA) narrates the Hanafi Madhab gives permission to use these calculations.

The most Authentic way to find Qiblah (4 times a year)

On the following two dates/times when you face the Sun you will be facing the Qiblah because the Sun will be directly above the Kaa'ba.


{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} May 28th at 09:18 UT Click to Convert to your local time


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} July 15th at 09:27 UT Click to Convert to your local time


On the following two dates/times when you face your shadow you will be facing the direction of the Qiblah, providing that there is sunlight on your location and if you cannot see the shadow simply turn your back towards the sun and your face will be facing the Qiblah.


{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} November 28th at 21:09 UT Click to Convert to your local time


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} January 13th at 21:29 UT Click to Convert to your local time


Direction Basics

This article will therefore focus on circumstances when someone is travelling and unable to find a Masjid and needs to locate the direction of Qiblah to offer their prayers.

This article is relevant to the Northern Hemisphere which covers:

{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} Entirety of Europe

{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} Entirety of North America,

{jb_bluedisc}3{/jb_bluedisc} Central America

{jb_bluedisc}4{/jb_bluedisc}  Caribbean


Before beginning you will need to know the most basic direction of Qiblah from your country, understand what it is and how to find it using North. You can find the Qiblah direction from your country using Islamic Finder or Qibla Locator or even Google Map

{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} Know the general direction of Qiblah from your country


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} Memorise it


{jb_bluedisc}3{/jb_bluedisc} You don't need to know the exact degrees so knowing SE (South-East) etc would be sufficient.


 compass-1There are four basic directions which are:

{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} North and then moving clockwise


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} East


{jb_bluedisc}3{/jb_bluedisc} South (directly opposite to North)


{jb_bluedisc}4{/jb_bluedisc} West (directly opposite to East)




Compass-4A compass is a simple navigational equipment in use for over 2000 years. Whether you use a digital compass (on your iphone) or a traditional compass with a needle; as long as it's working and free from interference it will point to "Magnetic North" which is the Earth's Magnetic Pole. For simplicity, assume that the compass always points to North.






compass-2As stated earlier that there are actually four directions and each of them are then subdivided as shown which looks a little complicated but the picture is being given for illustration only.







 compass-3In fact your task is a lot simpler. If we draw the four directions on a paper with the north point up (and assign it degree 0) as we move clockwise we will get to East (90), South (270) and West (270) and then back to North (360). If you are looking for 120 degrees which is roughly the direction of Qiblah from London see how it pans out in the figure shown:






All you need to know is to figure our “North” and armed with your knowledge of Qiblah direction you can Insha’Allah pray. You don’t even need to know the exact degrees a rough idea (SE etc) would also be sufficient for this purpose.

Using an ordinary Compass to find North

 Compass-4There is no need to buy a specialised Qiblah compass etc as a normal and ordinary compass will point North. Just remember that it’s not a good idea to use a compass indoors due to magnetic interference so always use a compass outdoors.Once you know North then you are up and away with finding the direction of the Qiblah.








Using an ordinary Compass Watch to find North

Compass-5There is no need to buy a specialised Qiblah compass watch etc as a normal and ordinary compass watch will point North. Just remember that it’s not a good idea to use a compass indoors due to magnetic interference so always use a compass outdoors.Once you know North then you are up and away with finding the direction of the Qiblah.




Using the sun at Noon to find North

In the Northern Hemisphere the sun always rises from the east and sets in the west and at noon it is in the middle of the horizon so when you face the sun and walk towards it you will be walking South and your back will be towards North. 

Using the sun and an analgoue watch outside of Noon to find North

watch2{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} Place your watch flat on the floor


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} Point the Hour hand at the Sun


{jb_bluedisc}3{/jb_bluedisc} Imagine an angle created between your hour hand and the 12 o/clock position


{jb_bluedisc}4{/jb_bluedisc} Then draw an imaginary line bisecting that angle and the line will represent “South” with “North” in the opposite direction.

Using the sun and and a stick outside of Noon to find North

true-north-illustration-1{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} Place a stick into the ground (or use an existing object) like a Pole


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} Mark its shadow with a stone and this is West


{jb_bluedisc}3{/jb_bluedisc} Wait 15 minutes


{jb_bluedisc}4{/jb_bluedisc} Now mark the shadow with a stone and this is East


{jb_bluedisc}5{/jb_bluedisc} Draw a line between the first mark (3) and the second mark (4) and this is your West-East Line


{jb_bluedisc}6{/jb_bluedisc} Draw a straight line between the two markings and that is North

Using Stars to find North

big-dipperOn a normal night it is fairly easy to find the "Big Dipper" it is shaped like a question mark and may appear in various forms of a question mark ( straight, upside down, backwards) in your night sky, depending on your location. In UK it is called a Plough.

Once you have spotted it you need to start drawing an imaginary line starting from Merak which is the second star at the tip of your question mark and join in to Dubhe which is the tip of the question mark and then extend that line until it is about 4-5 times the distance between Merak and Dubhe to spot Polaris (North Star).


true-north-illustration-2Polaris (North Star) points to North.









Qiblah direction using Google

You can find the direction of Qiblah from your location by using the website below. Zoom the map and orient yourself using landmarks e.g. Trees, Roads, School, Buildings etc.

Qiblah with Google

Qiblah direction using Maths

This is calculated using the Havesine Formula and it uses the great-circle distance between two points – that is, the shortest distance over the earth’s surface. Your input will be as follows:


{jb_bluedisc}1{/jb_bluedisc} DESTINATION (Kabah): 21.4225, 39.8261 and you will always put this as a second input into any formula because this is your DESTINATION


{jb_bluedisc}2{/jb_bluedisc} Your City, try this for 8 cities

Anchorage (61.21806, -149.90028)

Buenos Aires (-34.61315, -58.37723)

Glasgow (55.86515, -4.25763)

Hyderabad (17.38405, 78.45636)

Johannesburg (-26.20227, 28.04363)

London (51.50853, -0.12574)

Miami (25.77427, -80.19366)

Reykjavík (64.13548, -21.89541)




Latitude & Longitude

  1. Get it from here.
  2. Always enter in decimal


Convert Degrees, Minutes & Seconds to Decimals:

Degrees to Decimal Calculator


Havesine Formula causes problems when the distances are really really close together but most of us don't have any real issues with that. It also does not take Magnetic declination into account but that is also not an issue for Muslims while facing Qiblah

Qiblah direction in Degrees

Countries Cities Qibla (Degrees)
Algeria Algiers 105.39° N
Australia Sydney NSW 277.50° N
Austria Vienna 136.71° N
Bahrain Manama 246.28° N
Belgium Brussels 123.48° N
Bosnia Sarajevo 134.66° N
Brazil Brasilia 69.55° N
Bulgaria Sofia 141.86° N
Canada Montreal 58.70° N
Canada Otawa 57.17° N
Canada Toronto 54.58° N
Canada Vancouver 16.67° N
China Beijing 278.89° N
Denmark Copenhagen 138.24° N
Egypt Cairo 136.26° N
Egypt Alexandria 135.56° N
Finland Helsinki 158.23° N
France Paris 119.16° N
Germany Franfurt 128.07° N
Germany Berlin 136.70° N
Germany Munich 129.80° N
Germany Bonn 126.70° N
Greece Athens 135.46° N
Grenada Grenada 66.52° N
HongKong Hongkong 285.09° N
Hungary Budapest 140.09° N
Iceland Reykjavik 106.16° N
India Bombay 280.17° N
India Delhi 266.57° N
Indonesia Jakarta 295.15° N
Iran Tehran 218.48° N
Iraq Baghdad 199.92° N
Ireland Dublin 114.09° N
Italy Rome 123.25° N
Italy Milan 123.56° N
Italy Florence 124.13° N
Japan Tokyo 293.02° N
Jordan Amman 160.82° N
Korea Seoul 285.70° N
Kuwait Kuwait 222.96° N
Lebanon Beirut 161.85° N
Malaysia Kuala Lampur 292.54° N
Mexico Mexico 42.04° N
Marocco Casablanca 93.64° N
Holland Amsterdam 125.59° N
Norway Oslo 139.01° N
Oman Masqat 266.48° N
Pakistan Islamabad 255.87° N
Pakistan Karachi 267.69° N
Palestine Al-Quds 157.31° N
Poland Warsaw 147.59° N
Qatar Doha 252.63° N
Romania Bucharest 149.33° N
Russia Moscow 176.36° N
Saudi Arabia Makkah 180
Saudi Arabia Jeddah 101.14° N
Saudi Arabia Dammam 65523 313.41° N
Saudi Arabia Riyadh 244.15° N
Saudi Arabia Madina 63.90° N
Singapore Singapore 293.02° N
South Africa Cape Town 23.35° N
Spain Madird 103.97° N
Spain Barcelona 110.55° N
Sri Lanka Colombo 294.80° N
Sudan Khartoum 48.56° N
Sweden Stockholm 148.23° N
Switzerland Geneva 120.68° N
Syria Damascus 164.61° N
Thiland Bangkok 286.90° N
Turkey Istanbul 151.61° N
Turkey Ankara 160.14° N
UAE Dubai 258.10° N
UAE Abu Dhabi 260.11° N
U.K. London 118.98° N
U.K. Manchester 118.46° N
U.K. Birmingham 117.95° N
U.K. Glasgow 118.29° N
U.S.A. New York 58.48° N
U.S.A. Washington 56.56° N
U.S.A. Los Angeles 23.86° N
U.S.A. Miami 56.60° N
U.S.A. Boston 60.43° N
U.S.A. Chicago 48.66° N
U.S.A. San Francisco 18.84° N
U.S.A. Atlanta 52.32° N
U.S.A. Dallas 43.53° N
U.S.A. Houston 45.48° N
Yemen Aden 330.74° N
Yemen Sana'a 326.26° N
Zambia Lusaka 17.39° N

May Allah (SWT) reward Br Abu Mohammed for his assistance in creating his article and his research at Muftisays.

When inside the Masjid itself then the Kaa’bah has to be faced and hence Muslims line up in a circular fashion as shown below.