Which way is it to Mecca again?

One of the inherent risks in getting overly specific in how your religious ceremonies are performed is the chance that someone will screw it up and call everything into question. For example you probably shouldn’t get too specific about things like which direction to face while praying:

Mecca mosques ‘wrongly aligned’

Some 200 mosques in Islam’s holiest city, Mecca, point the wrong way for prayers, reports from Saudi Arabia say.

All mosques have a niche showing the direction of the most sacred Islamic site, the Kaaba, an ancient cube-like building in Mecca’s Grand Mosque.

But people looking down from recently built high-rises in Mecca found the niches in many older mosques were not pointing directly towards the Kaaba.

Some worshippers are said to be anxious about the validity of their prayers.


It says something about how deep the delusion among some Muslims goes that some were worried that their prayers would be invalid because they were facing the wrong direction when saying them. Think of how silly you’d think someone was being if they said that they had to dress in all blue robes and wear a bee bonnet and stand on one foot while praying otherwise God wouldn’t consider their prayers.

Naturally the religious leaders are trying to reassure everyone:

Tawfik al-Sudairy, Islamic affairs ministry deputy secretary, downplayed the problem in remarks quoted by the pan-Arab newspaper al-Hayat.

“There are no major errors but corrections have been made for some old mosques, thanks to modern techniques,” he said.

“In any case, it does not affect the prayers.”

Of course it doesn’t affect the prayers. Praying to a non-existent being isn’t affected by which direction you’re facing or what clothes you’re wearing or how you prostrate yourself because there’s nothing there to pray to. If it makes you feel better to beseech your invisible sky friend then by all means do so, but don’t sweat the details cause it isn’t going to matter.