Indeed, We observe the turning of your face towards the sky. Let us turn your face in the direction of Masjid Al Haraam, the Sacred House. It is a building that encircles the Ka’ba. So, turn your face in its direction for the prayer ritual, and your soul will be pleased.
The Qiblah is the direction in which the people of the earth turn for prayer. Masjid Al Haraam has many gates from which one turns their face towards that direction.
When Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) migrated to Al-Madinah, most of the people prayed facing Jerusalem, where He prayed facing the sky for several months. G-d changed the Qiblah to the direction of Masjid Al Haram. This was a test of obedience for those who followed the Messenger.
In America, we turn our faces towards the direction that the sun rises for prayer, but if we choose the incorrect direction for prayer, know that our prayers are never lost.
It is not enough to know the importance of turning towards the Ka’ba. You also must understand the meaning, the importance of facing the Sacred House in prayer, and going to that House and saluting it before you begin your Hajj. It is not a home built just for Muslims, but a home representing all of mankind.
This is teaching us to not be racist. Today, Muslim and Non-Muslim need to understand this regarding Al Islam. It is teaching us to be one in the family of humanity and to accept all people as our brothers and sisters in humanity. That tells us that Muslims are obligated, not only to Muslims but to the whole family of humanity. Muslims are obligated to extend kindness, while forming relationships with G-d and the human family.