Praying to the wrong direction

Lest a reader think we are singling out Islam for ridicule, we are not, because all religions are by very definition, nuts.

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesia’s Muslims learned on Friday they have been praying in the wrong direction, after the country’s highest Islamic authority said its directive on the direction of Mecca actually had people facing Africa.

Muslims are supposed to face the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia during prayer and the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI) issued an edict in March stipulating westward was the correct direction from the world’s most populous Muslim country.

“But it has been decided that actually the mosques are facing Somalia or Kenya, so we are now suggesting people shift the direction slightly to the north-west,” the head of the MUI, Cholil Ridwan, told Reuters. “There’s no need to knock down mosques, just shift your direction slightly during prayer.”

Ridwan said Muslims need not fear that their prayers have been wasted because they were facing the wrong way.

“Their prayers will still be heard by Allah,” he said.

(click to continue reading Indonesian Muslims told to change prayer direction | Oddly Enough | Reuters.)

This logic1 makes me giggle – if an Indonesian Muslim is facing the wrong direction while praying, the prayers apparently don’t count. Except Mr. Ridwan reassures the faithful that their prayers were still received by Allah, but if the prayer was still heard, why go to all the trouble of figuring out the precise direction to pray in?

  1. illogic? []

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