As Muslims in western society, a social construct of professional education, jobs, living; in other words a busy world where we focus more on Dunya than Akhirah, we tend to especially neglect the importance or significance of the Qiblah. We pray in the direction of Mecca and some of us may know the extensive history of how Qiblah came to be. But do we know why or what makes it so beautiful to collectively pray towards one sole place?

The Qiblah is fixed as the direction of Ka’bah in Mecca. Praying towards a single direction is one of the most prominent ways we unite as Muslims. No matter what color our skin is, what our ethnicity is or where we are in the world, whether we’re in Beijing, Texas, Moscow or Karachi: we all pray our obligatory prayers towards the Qiblah. 

This sense of great unification is especially apparent in Mecca, the homeland of Prophets and present-day Islam, during the holy month of Dhul-Hijjah. Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam and isn’t compulsory on everyone. However, those who are blessed to have experienced this journey of a lifetime know how fulfilling, purified and complete this holy pilgrimage is for one’s faith. 

Omar Suleiman beautifully referenced one of history’s greatest human rights activists and Muslim, in a video called Islam, Judaism, and Christianity – The Conversation Continued. “When Malcolm X went for Hajj in 1964, he recognized something very powerful: you cannot experience true unity as a people until you experience a sense of unity of purpose.” 

As long as we all share the same purpose and understanding of prayer, as well as acceptance of each other we have reached true unity. Like said before, being from a different country or culture than another Muslim doesn’t matter because we are all a part of Prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) Ummah. Our final destination is with Allah and until we reach that destination, we must continue to bow down to the sacred Qiblah. 

He further explains the profoundness of having a single place to face, gather and worship. “The idea of circling around the Ka’bah, placing God at the centre of your life – not believing that God is constrained to that place of worship, but rather people of all races, white,, black, yellow, brown circling around, praying in one direction, wearing the same clothes, treating each other as human beings all as the creation of God fosters a great sense of unity…”

For those who feel lost or in need of belonging, know that there is no discrimination in the eyes of Allah or in Islam. Face the Qiblah, towards the Ka’bah and pray, for you now know that you are a part of the Muslim Ummah.