Iraqi PM’s call for making Karbala the new Muslim Qibla stirs controversy

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s statements that the Shiite holy city of Karbala must be the Qibla – the direction to which Muslims pray – has stirred controversy among Islamic scholars.

“Karbala must be the Qibla of the Islamic world because Imam Hussein [the Prophet Mohammad’s second grandson, and an important figure in Shia Islam] is buried there,” Maliki said this week, Iraqi media reported on Friday.

Saudi religious scholars described his statements as incitement to strife and a call to divide Muslims.

“This issue is already agreed upon by all Muslim scholars, both Sunni and Shiite. They all agree that the Qibla is the Ka’bah [the shrine in Mecca towards which Muslims pray],” said Nasser al-Honeini, professor of religion and general supervisor at the Center of Contemporary Thought in Saudi Arabia.

Honeini added that Maliki’s statements distort Islam because the faith does not say that Muslims should pray in the direction of tombs.

Khaled al-Mosleh, professo of jJurisprudence at the University Qassim in Saudi Arabia, described Maliki’s statements as “nonsense” and incompatible with Islamic sharia law.

“The fact that such statements were made by someone as important as the Iraqi prime minister is a catastrophe considering he’s an educated person. If he made such statements, what should we expect from uneducated men?” Mosleh told Al Arabiya News.

Maliki, a Shiite Muslim with close ties to Iran, is often accused of promoting a sectarian agenda in Iraq.

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Read about this yesterday. Why on earth would he suggest such a thing?!


"How many people find fault in what they're reading and the fault is in their own understanding" Al Mutanabbi

Any other verification that this isnt just a rumour?

Feed your soul

its just bizarre.

Feed your soul

I understood the Arabic he spoke and his first few words are exactly what has been translated in the article. The comments on Youtube call him all sorts (eg - the dog of Iraq). It would spark a lot of anger and I understand why everyone's so angry. I wonder what other Shia's think of what he said.

It's so bizarre indeed, but I think we're being ever so linient here. It's so much more than bizarre. Speaking those words is just utter ignorance.Why would anyone want to go against what the Quran explicitly and so blatantly states? And why all of a sudden should the Qiblah be changed?

During the prophet's time, the people prayed towards Baytal-Maqdis and when the Messenger was instructed to face towards the Ka'bah, the Qiblah had changed. This will remain for forever and can't be changed by anyone!


People get angry too easily. Just laugh off the idea is stupid and 99.9% of Muslims (Sunni & Shia) will join you in doing the same.

Feed your soul

They have a reason to be angry over something like this whislt laughing at how ridiculous it is at the same time too.


the proof that iraq has been concered by the shia with the help of amiracan soldier. shia claim that they are the real hero when it come to america. but the truth is they are just inthe same boat. once a munafik they will always be munafik.

I usually pray facing some part or another of Manchester. Anybody else do that?

  • It can never be satisfied, the mind, never. -- Wallace Stevens