How did people determine Qibla before compasses were invented?

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by Mildreond, Apr 5, 2011.

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  1. I've got one of those Qibla compasses, but I wanted to try and do it "old school" :) anyone have any idea how it was done?
  2. Sun rises in the East, sets in the West at noon GMT is due South, it moves West one hand span (at arms length) per it out from there.

    Not really the right board to post the question....then again I can't think of a suitable one.
  3. And if you just happen to be in New Zealand?
  4. Quibla, the direction of the Kaaba toward which Muslims turn for their daily prayers towards the city of Mecca and specifically to the Ka'abah? Oh that old one. From UK Southy East somewhere I'd imagine. Wristwatch, sun, work it out. Have al look here.

    And you must be a WAH
  5. In New Zealand the sun still rises in the east and still sets in the west, muppet!
  6. Can't you arrange sausages on the floor to represent the cardinal points?
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  7. And at noon?

    Especially noon GMT for that matter :)
  8. A wind up not a Wah.
  9. A while ago people where trying to calculate this for a Muslim astronaut. Bloody hilarious, modern knowledge being used for superstitious ignorance.
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  10. Well if the sun rises in the east, sets in the west and you're in New Zealand noon/GMT is most likely to be due north, is it not. If ever you saw the sun to the south, in New Zealand, then we are either all already dead or busy cartwheeling through space to oblivion in some black hole.

    Keep your eyes peeled next year!
  11. BTW, there was no such thing as Qibla before compasses where invented.
  12. That was the whole point as the poster said "Sun rises in the East, sets in the West at noon GMT is due South"

    So that is only true for a very small section of the planet.
  13. That small section being the Northern Hemisphere?

    I made the assumption that the OP was in the Northern hemisphere and that if necessary that anyone with a modicum of sense could adapt the calcs to suit their locale and not attempt to score points.
  14. Well not all of the Northern hemisphere though of course. Noon GMT being a bit darkish in New York for instance and the Artic circle haveing very strange sun directions (due north possible there as well).

    Pedantry 'R' Us is the guiding principle round these parts BTW :)
  15. Nope! You mean at noon, local time - not national or time zone!
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