It is not right righteousness that you turn your faces to the East or West; but the righteous is he who believes in Allah and the Last Day and the Angels, and the Scripture and the Ambiya and gives his wealth for the love of Him to
kinsfolk and to orphans and the destitute and the wayfarer and to those who ask (in need) and to set slaves free;
and observes Salaat properly; and pays Zakaat. (These are worthwhile attainments). (al-baqarah: 177)
Note: Qatadah Rahmathullah alaihe says that the Jews used to turn their faces to the West while offering their
prayers and the Christians faced the East; so this Ayat was sent down concerning their practise. Several other Ulama have expressed the same opinion (Durre Manthur). Imaam Jassaas Rahmathullah alaihe has said that this Ayaat was sent down to refute the objection of the Jews and the Christians against the change of ‘Qiblah’ i.e. from Bait-ul-Muqaddas to Ka’bah. Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’ala has, in this Ayat stressed the fact that virtue lies in
obedience to Allah Ta’ala, without which the turning to the East or West is meaningless (Ahlamul-Quran).