The Center of Mosque Studies - As Muslims need to
perform their daily prayers toward Mecca, all mosques need to face the
direction of the holy city. However, the Sugören Village Merkez Mosque's
qibla, which should point to Mecca, had missed the mark by as much as
33 degrees. The head of the mosque's community association, Adem
Apaydın, said they had noticed the misalignment some time ago and had
decided together with the imam to get the proper measurements.
Officials from the Yalova
Provincial Mufti's Office had arrived before surveyors came and found
out that the degree of misalignment was serious indeed.
"The local mufti and the village
head decided to rectify the mistake immediately and we redirected our
qibla 33 degrees to the southeast by using ropes on the carpets." He
said the process of realigning the entire interior of the mosque would
take time. An architect will be assigned the task of redesigning the
interior. The mosque's imam, İsa Kaya, said all relevant officials and
agencies were consulted before the qibla was changed, adding that the
provincial deputy mufti had personally came and delivered a Friday
sermon to inform the locals about the change.
In Islam, unintentionally
committing banned acts like consuming pork or alcohol are not considered
sins. Theologians say prayers performed by the congregation of the
mosque for the past 37 years are as valid as those performed in properly
aligned houses of worship.