Muslims all over the world will be able to spot the Qibla on Saturday by simply facing the sun.
Astronomers say that the sun will be directly over the Kaaba at the Grand Mosque in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, 28 May, at 12:18 PM Makkah time.
The Kaaba’s structure will cast no shadow at the specified time, and anyone facing the sun then will be directed toward the Qibla with 100 percent accuracy.
The alignment of the sun over the Kaaba in the Grand Mosque occurs biannually in May and July because of its location between the equator and the Tropic of Cancer, according to astronomers. This month, the sun’s first direct passage over the Kaaba will occur tomorrow at approximately 2:18 PM Pakistan Standard Time (PKT).
The earth’s naturally tilted axis allows the sun to pass over various geographical areas at 23.5°N (north) of the equator (the Tropic of Cancer), and 23.5°S (south) of the equator (the Tropic of Capricorn). However, it passes directly over the places, one of which is the Kaaba, on the equator during the equinox.
Interestingly, people living near the Grand Mosque will find it difficult to determine the direction in which the sun is ‘traveling’ but can determine the direction of the Qibla with the shadows of objects. For instance, if a pen is placed vertically, the Qibla’s direction will in be the exact opposite of its shadow.