Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan delves into an explicit explanation of verse number 142 from the esteemed Surah Al Baqarah.
سَيَقُوۡلُ السُّفَهَآءُ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَا وَلّٰٮهُمۡ عَنۡ قِبۡلَتِهِمُ الَّتِىۡ كَانُوۡا عَلَيۡهَا ؕ قُل لِّلّٰهِ الۡمَشۡرِقُ وَالۡمَغۡرِبُ ؕ يَهۡدِىۡ مَنۡ يَّشَآءُ اِلٰى صِراطٍ مُّسۡتَقِيۡمٍ
‘So now the foolish people will say, “What has turned the Muslims away from the qiblah (prayer direction) which they formerly observed?”; proclaim, “To Allah only belong the East and the West; He guides whomever He wills upon the Straight Path.”
After his migration to Madina the Prophet ﷺ continued to pray in the direction of Jerusalem for between sixteen and seventeen months. Subsequently, he received the order to pray in the direction of the Ka’bah. This reinstates a point in the narrow minds of the ignorant people and those with limited vision that lend undue attachment to formalities such as the direction and location of Prayer. They presumably conceived Allah to be confined to a particular direction.
In reply to their absurd objection the first thing which was explained was that all directions belong to Allah. Fixing any particular direction for Prayer does not mean that Allah is confined to that direction. All those who have been favored with the true guidance of Allah SWT rise above these conformities and look at the wider aspect of our Deen – Worship of Allah SWT and following the message sent to us through His beloved Prophet ﷺ.