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yond all doubt. And Shafií also lays this down as an indisputable point of doctrine, in his final opinions on the Korán. Another says seventeen months and three days; and that the change took place on the middle day of the month Shabán. Another says the third day, as the time of the descent of the verses. Some say that the verses which prescribed the change descended between the two prayers; so that the Evening prayer was offered before the Kaaba. Others say that they came down before noon; so that the noontide prayer was the first offered towards the Kaaba. A third opinion is that they descended whilst Muhammad was praying the noontide Rakás in the Mosque of the sons of Salmah, who were then going the sacred circuit, when the precept of the prayer drew near to them; therefore that was named the Mosque of the two Kiblahs. The same commentator observes, When I came to this passage, it struck me that Muhammad, when he prayed with the whole company of prophets on the night of his journey to Heaven, prayed towards the Baitu-l-Mukaddas. But then this does not admit of the meaning which Zabarí would attribute to it; for all the prophets assembled and associated themselves to Muhammad on that night, he being their Imám and leader; and this took place before the Hijra, and consequently before the alteration.
To which conclusion arrive the arguments of Ibn-
the first opinion, and verify the accurate interval between the first of the altered Kiblahs.
A tradition asserts that Al-Bára-Ibn-Azib said, We prayed behind Muhammad, in Medina, towards the Baitu-l-Mukaddas for sixteen months. God, however, made it known that he chose rather that Muhammad should turn his face towards the Kaaba; which he doing, all the people turned their faces with him. After this, several people who were of the number of the aiders came to Medina, who began to make the Rakás towards the Holy Abode. Upon this the above Bára-IbnAzib said, whilst they were performing the Raká, I testify that the Apostle of God turned his face towards the Kaaba. Upon this they wheeled round, still going on with the Raká, and made the Kaaba their Kiblah. Another tradition from the same person asserts, that the first
after the change was the twilight prayer: also, that the Jews and the people of the Book (Christians) were much surprised whence he prayed before the Baitu-l-Mukaddas; but that when he turned his face towards the House (Mecca) they refused, and opposed him; but that he died, still using the latter Kiblah, before he had prevailed upon the people to do the same; therefore they began to
fight; but we possess no great abundance of their different arguments. Then God sent down some verses :-“God hath not designed the verses to overthrow your faith.”
All the learned men, therefore, agreed that Muhammad first, whilst at Medina, used the Baitu-l-Mukaddas as his Kiblah, but afterwards altered it to the Kaaba. To these facts most first-rate authorities assent; one almost contemporary with Muhammad. Nay, others besides say, that after the Hijra he prayed towards Jerusalem sixteen months, but, wishing to change and turn towards the Kaaba, he said unto Gabriel, I wish exceedingly that God would alter the turning of my face from the Jewish Kiblah. Gabriel however said, I am but a servant; but I will pray to thy Lord, and beseech him. When, then, the Prophet was praying towards the Holy Abode, it happened that he lifted his head towards Heaven; upon which a voice came down : We have seen that you have turned your face away; we have seen it in Heaven. It is a verse-" Turn thy face towards the Kaaba.” Then he commanded them to turn the faces towards the Baitu-1Haram : they wheeled round it, and the people of the Moslems went round with him, towards the Kaaba, towards the Aqueduct. He then said, The angels are praying before me.
The same commentator says, Did not Muhammad visit the
mother of Bashr-Ibn-Al-Baruah, a nobleman of the sons of Salmah, who prepared meat for him; but that, the noontide prayer drawing nigb, he prayed the Rakás among his companions. Then he commanded them to turn their faces towards the Kaaba, and made the Aqueduct his Kiblah. Therefore the Mosque is called the Mosque of the two Kiblahs. A certain commentator, in his work upon Changes and Abrogated Laws,' quotes the mighty word of these verses :-“ Foolish men will say, Wherefore hath he removed the Kiblah, which they had ?”
Ibn-Abbás says, moreover, The first abrogation made in the Korán was the change of the Kiblah. On the night of Muhammad's journey, God gave him the divine precept of the three prayers. He then prayed towards the Kaaba, but with his face turning towards the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, (i. e. in front of the Kaaba, but inclining a little.) After this in Medina, when his face had been changed, and turned towards the Kaaba, two more prayers were superadded, pursuant to his wish.
Muhammad (he again says) and his companions first prayed towards the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, and did so in Mecca one year.
But after the Hijra he felt a zealous wish to pray in front of the Kaaba, inasmuch as it was the Kiblah of his father Abraham and Ismaël. Yet he continued to pray towards
the Holy Abode for sixteen months; and whilst praying he lifted up his head to Heaven, expecting perhaps that the Kiblah would be altered, and said to Gabriel, I desire very much that thou shouldst beseech God to transfer my Kiblah to the Kaaba. Gabriel, however, said, It is impossible that I should originate any matter before God; for he is the governor of every request. And it happened that whilst Muhammad was praying, he turned his face to Heaven, and saw Gabriel coming down to him. He was then praying the noontide prayer, towards the Baitu-l-Mukaddas, with the Raká; but God then transferred the Kiblah to the Kaaba. Some dissension arose upon this; and the hypocrites said, Why hath he turned them from the Kiblah, which they before had ? Many believers also said, What becomes of all our prayers, prayed towards Jerusalem? What becomes of those of our brethren who have died, praying towards Jerusalem ? Hath God reversed their hope and ours ? So said obedient Musalmáns. But the Jews said, Muhammad longs after the land of his father, and wishes to satisfy the people thereof: he would resolve to embrace our Kiblah, if he could make us hope that he was the prophet for whom we look, that he shall come. The Pagans of the Koraish said, Muhammad is ashamed of his religion, and only made your Kib