The sun will position in line with the Holy Ka’aba at the Grand Mosque today (Thursday) at 12:18 local time, which makes it 2:18pm PST.
The Holy Ka’aba – the house of Allah – is Qibla for Muslims around the world as they face it to offer their five daily prayers.
At the given time, Muslims can determine the direction of the Qibla simply by facing the sun.
The sun will positon itself exactly above the Holy Ka’aba in Masjidul Haram, said Engineer Majid Abu Zahra, president of the Astronomical Society in Jeddah. “For a brief period, there will be no shadow of the Ka’aba,” he said.
The celestial phenomenon is commonly known as “zero shadow,” according to astronomers. The zero shadow phenomenon takes place twice a year at the Grand Mosque mainly owing to its location between the Equator and the Tropic of Cancer.
Abu Zahra said people can determine the exact direction of the Holy Ka’aba by placing a wooden stick vertically in the ground at the given time. The direction of the Qibla will be the exact opposite of the stick’s shadow, he said.
People living in Arab countries and neighbouring regions of the Arctic, Africa, Europe, China, Russia and East Asia can use this simple method to ascertain the direction of the Qibla.
The sun passes directly over the Ka’aba twice a year- on May 27 and July 15.