Question: It is written in the book Endless Bliss: “If a person who does not know the direction of qibla performs namaz without trying to find out, his namaz will not be accepted even if he has found the qibla by chance. But if he finds out after the namâz that he has found the right direction, it will be accepted.” We have difficulty in understanding these statements.
His salat (namaz) is not treated as valid because he offered it without making any efforts to find out the qibla. When he, after the salat, comes to know that he offered the salat in the qibla direction, his salat is rendered valid. However, it will not be treated as valid if he does not find out that he performed it in the correct direction. The reason why it is not valid is that he does not know whether he is facing the qibla or not. When he finds it out after salat, it becomes known where he faced.
Similarly, if a person who is in a state of wudu’ does not know whether he is in a state of wudu’ and then performs salat, his salat will not be valid, for he does not know that he is in a state of wudu’. However, his salat will be valid if he remembers that he was in a state of wudu’.
Question: Suppose that a person does not know qibla direction. Then he does his best to determine it and performs salat. If he realizes after the salat that he got the qibla direction wrong, does he have to repeat that salat?
A person who does not know qibla direction must make a search to determine it. Then he must perform salat facing the direction he is convinced to be the qibla direction. He does not have to repeat his salat even if he finds out afterwards that he got it wrong. The reason for this is that when one finds out qibla direction and salat times based on one’s strong conviction, they will be considered valid. (Al-Ikhtiyar)
Question: If one performs salat without seeking qibla direction, will one’s salat be valid if one comes to know afterwards that one performed it in the correct direction?
If a person who does not know the direction of qibla performs salat without trying to determine it by looking at mosques or the sun or by asking someone who knows or by making a search, his salat will not be accepted even if he has found the qibla by chance. But if he finds out after the salat that he found the right direction, it will be accepted. If he finds out during the salat that he is facing the right direction, it will not be accepted. If he has inquired for the qibla but has not performed the salat in the direction which he has decided to be right, he has to perform it again even if he understands that he found the right direction by chance.
Question: If one does not know the qibla direction, is it permissible for one to inquire a disbeliever or a sinner of it?
At places where there is no mosque and where the qibla cannot be found by calculation or with the help of stars, a compass or the sun, one must consult pious Muslims who know which direction the qibla is. One must not inquire disbelievers, sinners, or children of it, but one can ask them about the directions in which the sun rises and sets in order to determine the four directions. After that, one must search for it oneself and then perform salat toward the direction one has decided to be the qibla. If later one finds out that it was the wrong direction, one does not have to repeat the salat.