posted on Nov, 19 2016 @ 02:12 PM
Another post reminded me of this story...
At work there is a young gal of the Muslim faith who works in a shop on the floor below my offices. Because there are no dedicated Muslim prayer
rooms nearby (we actually do have some), she often comes up to our floor to perform her daily prayer. It's also a lot quieter and there are far less
people there as well. Because I have a little alcove in the wall just outside my office she will often select that spot as the spot to place her
prayer rug. It is quite common to see people of Muslim faith do similar things throughout the facility.
The long axis of our building sits exactly on an east-west axis. This makes it relatively easy to decide what way to point to conduct prayer (as they
always face Mecca for prayer).
Anyway, I'm always coming and going out of my office so I see her frequently. She's very cordial, and of course I leave her in silence when she is in
prayer. She's also quite well educated and very open to speak about her faith and any others a person may want to discuss with her.
So the other day I took notice of the fact that she didn't set her prayer rug facing due east, but in a north-easterly fashion. She's done this all
along, but I never really paid much attention. So, as I'm walking back to my office she's busy rolling/folding up her prayer rug having finished
prayer. I said hello and shared with her my observation about her orientation being different than most. Her reply was epic (I thought anyway). She
"Yes, it is slightly different and there is a reason. You see many people of my faith in this country do not understand about a "great circle".
The shortest path to Mecca is achieved by facing slightly north east, rather than due east. In many eastern countries there are arrows painted on the
ceiling to point the correct direction, but not everyplace is like this so sometimes we have to figure it out, and not everyone gets it right".
By the time she got done I had an ear to ear grin on my face. She asked why I was grinning, and I said because she was exactly right and that I
exclaimed how surprised I was to hear this! I went on to tell her I had often wondered why more did not do this same thing (I'd wondered it for years
actually). As it turns out, even though Mecca is seemingly due east on a map, the shortest path to Mecca is actually north-east via a "great circle"
I just thought some might enjoy this story so I thought I'd share.
edit on 11/19/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)