In the sixteenth century, at a time of Ottoman rule and production in modern-day Turkey, qibla indicators were ubiquitous objects, used to assist faithful Muslims in finding the direction to Mecca. A particularly well-preserved qibla indicator in the British Museum allows for an inquiry into how these objects were used, bridging the gap between folk astronomy and scientific geography. Applying contemporary theories of belongingness to the composition and function of the qibla indicator reveals the psychological effect this object may have had on members of the Islamic community. Ultimately, what the qibla indicator may lack in geographical accuracy it more than makes up for in uniting believers across the globe in physical and divine space and time.
"The Whole World in His Hands: What a Qibla Indicator Illuminates About Islamic Community in Sixteenth-Century Ottoman Turkey,"
Global Tides: Vol. 12
, Article 8.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.pepperdine.edu/globaltides/vol12/iss1/8