An astronomer at Qatar Calendar House said yesterday the sun will pass directly over the top of the Ka’aba at the Grand Mosque in the holy city of Makkah at 12.18pm local time (9.18 UTC) today - coinciding with the Dhuhr prayer at the mosque - and when it does, the Ka’aba will cast no shadow for a few moments.
Dr Bashir Marzouq said the celestial phenomenon will enable people all over the world who can see the sun at that moment to determine the direction of the Qibla.
The alignment of the sun over the Ka’aba, which happens twice a year in May and July, means the faithful can find the Qibla simply by facing the sun. However, a word of caution here. People should avoid looking directly at the sun even briefly.
Qibla is the fixed direction towards the Ka’aba which all Muslims face when performing their prayers, wherever they are in the world.