This completely refutes the position of Patricia Crone, Michael Cook and Christian missionary Joseph Smith. [Source]
Video of Mansoor taking apart Jay Smith’s errors
If this video does not play, please see here
One must have knowledge of the interior of the mosque, Mansoor mentions floor plans and the mihrab (a niche in the interior of the wall of a mosque denoting the direction of prayer for worshippers in the mosque). Let me emphasise the methodology of folk like Jay Smith. If I showed you a Google Earth image of your local mosque would you be able to ascertain the direction the Muslims at that mosque pray towards? No, of course not. Smith would have folk believe he can do this for ancient mosques!
As pointed out in the video,”Dr Theus” even criticises the methodology of Dan Gibson and how arbitrary it was in terms of deciding where each mosque’s qibla was. One could just as easily decided the qibla was the direction of Hawaii rather than Petra using such a method.
At the end of the day this is an excellent example of how folks with agendas in the revisionists community churn out “research” which is essentially manipulated in attempts to support one’s pre-conceived contentions.
Basically Muslims would direct the qibla towards what they observed in the horizon when facing one of the walls of the Kaba. To read about the astronomocal alignments which Muslims were using over the centuries to ascertain the qibla have a read of the relevant section in this article. A couple of take home points here are:
1. As the Kaba has four walls there would have been differences in the way Muslims directed their mosques – you’ll use different astronomical alignments depending on which wall of the Kaba you face to observe the horizon
2. It wasn’t an exact science and thus finding old mosques which aren’t orientated accurately is nothing to write home about. IA do show the most famous mosque outside of Arabia, masjid al aqsa, was oriented correctly towards Mecca.
Another excellent snippet to be alert to would be the leeway the Islamic tradition affords Muslims when it comes to determining the qibla; it doesn’t have to be an exact science:
There are several traditions in the Islamic heritage showing that the determination of the qibla was accomodated with some flexibility except for Makkah owing to the little knowledge in the fields of geography and geometry in the early centuries of Islam. Such traditions can be found in several ḥadīth collections like Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Sunan Ibn Majah and Muwaṭṭaʾ Mālik as stated below.
a. Muwaṭṭaʾ Mālik
Malik narrated to me on the authority of Nafiʿ that ʿUmar ibn al-Khaṭṭāb said: “[Anywhere] between the East and the West is taken as a qibla as long as one heads towards the House”. Source
The Petra conspiracy theory has no evidence to it at all and I’m sure deep down this shamed Christian missionary knows it’s absurd – even if he is unable to comprehend what the scholarly Muslim was saying he will surely ask why there is NOTHING about Petra in early Muslim literature and why there was no upheaval and dispute after this supposed shift to Mecca!
So why does he make outlandish claims like these and try to prop them up with faulty reasoning and misinformation? It’s because of his agenda to “destroy Islam”.