The story goes that the Messenger and his followers used to pray towards Jerusalem and then wahi came to change this to the Kaaba.
Why would he be praying towards Jerusalem? Were the pagan Arabs in the habit of doing so?
Did the Messenger have ‘wahi’ saying do this which was later abrogated or ‘removed’ from the Quran?
If we look in detail at 10:87 which mentions Qibla we see a Messenger of Allah delivering the truth and some opposing him. Moses did not reveal the truth and then do a runner out of Egypt but stayed there and built up a group of followers who followed the truth. The idea was to get these followers to educate themselves and others, put into practice and become an example of the truth they had, showing the difference between this and what pharaoh had to offer. With this in place, they would turn their homes into a place where they AND OTHERS WOULD AND COULD TURN TO to learn, know and put into practice the truth. In other words, the ‘direction’ they needed guidance from is each home where the followers of Moses lived.
It makes no sense to think that Qibla in this case means a direction to pray in.
10:75 Then, after them, We sent Moses and Aaron to Pharaoh and his chiefs, with Our messages. But they were a people arrogant and they were used to thriving on the fruit of others’ toil.
10:76 When the truth from Us came to them, they said, "This is clearly nothing but magic.”
10:77 Moses said, “Is this what you say about the truth when it has come to you! Is this magic? Those who deceive people with lies and claims of magic, never prosper.”
10:78 They said, "Have you come to turn us away from what we found our fathers doing, so that you two become prominent in the country? We will not believe in you two."
10:79 Pharaoh said, "Bring all eloquent debaters to me."
10:80 And when they came, Moses said to them, “Begin with your presentation."
10:81 When they finished with their arguments, Moses said, “Your reasoning is totally flawed. God proves it false through His laws. God will annihilate the political and social systems that promote corruption, disorder and bloody feuds.
10:82 God will always vindicate the truth by His laws, even though the guilty may hate it. [Societies will flourish only when they embrace the Permanent Value System. The guilty that are used to thriving on the toil of others, will hate equity]
10:83 Only a few of the Egyptians, some youngsters, could proclaim belief in Moses because of the fear of Pharaoh and his chiefs. Pharaoh was a most arrogant tyrant on earth. He used to exceed the limits.
10:84 Moses said, “O My people! If you do believe in God, then place your trust in Him – if you have truly surrendered to Him.
10:85 They responded, "In God we have put our trust. Our Lord! Make us not a temptation for the oppressors.”
10:86 “Save us by Your grace from people who oppose the truth.”
10:87 We revealed to Moses and his brother, “Tell your people: Maintain your homes in Egypt, and turn them into centers of devotion and training. Establish the commandments in your lives and give good news to the believers.”
Going back to Surah 2, I posted this as the beginning verse to start our understanding of Qibla:
2:120 Yet, never will the Jews be pleased with you, nor will the Christians, unless you follow their form of religion. Say, “God’s Guidance - it is the only Guidance.” And if you follow their wishes and errant views after the Knowledge that has come to you, then you will find no ally or helper against God. [7:3, 10:109, 13:37. It is not a matter of my religion or your religion. Al-Qur’an is the updated, unadulterated Message from the same Creator Who revealed the previous Scriptures]
We again have people denying the Message and if we move on we have this verse which
2:144 We have seen your eagerness (O Messenger), therefore, We now make you turn to the Qiblah that is dear to you (for its Sublime objective). Hence, keep your Purpose focused on the Masjid of Security, and all of you believers, wherever you are, keep your Purpose focused toward it. And indeed, those who have been given the Scripture before know that this (Revelation) is the Truth from their Lord. And God is not unaware of what they do.
[The verse is not commanding people to turn their faces, as usually misunderstood. See 2:177. Wajh = Face = Countenance = Whole being = Purpose. Qiblah = Direction = Center of devotion = Masjid of Security = Source of peace and security for all humanity = The Symbol of a uniform Ideology = Symbol of pure Monotheism = Source of the unity of mankind. 2:142, 2:213, 3:96, 4:170, 6:91-92, 7:158, 10:19, 12:104, 21:107, 22:49, 34:28, 38:87, 57:25, 114:1]
You continually dismiss the understanding of the Quran Dr Saab has given us which makes much more practical sense than the pointless, repeat the Quran verses back to Allah, ritual namaz prayers you seem to advocate. The Jews may still bow towards Jerusalem in prayer, no ‘Temple’, and they discard a portion of their food which is meant to be given to the high priests, both rituals which have no meaning.
Salat means following closely the commands of Allah.
Qibla means the direction we should turn to in order to get our ideology, Islam, as and when we need. The Qibla of justice is the courtroom, the Qibla of making laws is the parliament, the Qibla of international relations is the UN; BUT NOBODY BOWS DOWN TO THESE IN ORDER TO GET THESE THINGS DONE!
We have made the Qibla a compass point rather than a centre for devotion, training and establishing the commands of Allah for humanity. An elevating idea turned in to another senseless ritual of bowing down towards the Kaaba!