That was a nation who has passed away. They shall receive the reward of what they earned, and you of what you earn. And you will not be asked of what they used to do.
The fools (pagans, hypocrites, and Jews) among the people will say,"What has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah [prayer direction (towards Jerusalem)] to which they were used to face in prayer." Say, (O Muhammad SAW)"To Allah belong both, east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a Straight Way."
Thus We have made you [true Muslims - real believers of Islamic Monotheism, true followers of Prophet Muhammad SAW and his Sunnah (legal ways)], a Wasat (just) (and the best) nation, that you be witnesses over mankind and the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) be a witness over you. And We made the Qiblah (prayer direction towards Jerusalem) which you used to face, only to test those who followed the Messenger (Muhammad SAW) from those who would turn on their heels (i.e. disobey the Messenger). Indeed it was great (heavy) except for those whom Allah guided. And Allah would never make your faith (prayers) to be lost (i.e. your prayers offered towards Jerusalem). Truly, Allah is full of kindness, the Most Merciful towards mankind.
Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad"s SAW) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid- al-Haram (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. Certainly, the people who were given the Scriptures (i.e. Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka"bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do.
And even if you were to bring to the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) all the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.), they would not follow your Qiblah (prayer direction), nor are you going to follow their Qiblah (prayer direction). And they will not follow each other"s Qiblah (prayer direction). Verily, if you follow their desires after that which you have received of knowledge (from Allah), then indeed you will be one of the Zalimun (polytheists, wrong-doers, etc.).
Those to whom We gave the Scripture (Jews and Christians) recognise him (Muhammad SAW or the Ka"bah at Makkah) as they recongise their sons. But verily, a party of them conceal the truth while they know it - [i.e. the qualities of Muhammad SAW which are written in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injeel (Gospel)].
(This is) the truth from your Lord. So be you not one of those who doubt.
For every nation there is a direction to which they face (in their prayers). So hasten towards all that is good. Wheresoever you may be, Allah will bring you together (on the Day of Resurrection). Truly, Allah is Able to do all things.
And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah), that is indeed the truth from your Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.
And from wheresoever you start forth (for prayers), turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah), and wheresoever you are, turn your faces towards, it (when you pray) so that men may have no argument against you except those of them that are wrong-doers, so fear them not, but fear Me! - And so that I may complete My Blessings on you and that you may be guided.
Similarly (to complete My Blessings on you) We have sent among you a Messenger (Muhammad SAW) of your own, reciting to you Our Verses (the Quran) and sanctifying you, and teaching you the Book (the Quran) and the Hikmah (i.e. Sunnah, Islamic laws and Fiqh - jurisprudence), and teaching you that which you used not to know.
Therefore remember Me (by praying, glorifying, etc.). I will remember you, and be grateful to Me (for My countless Favours on you) and never be ungrateful to Me.
O you who believe! Seek help in patience and As-Salat (the prayer). Truly! Allah is with As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).
And say not of those who are killed in the Way of Allah,"They are dead." Nay, they are living, but you perceive (it) not.
And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits, but give glad tidings to As-Sabirin (the patient ones, etc.).
Who, when afflicted with calamity, say:"Truly! To Allah we belong and truly, to Him we shall return."
They are those on whom are the Salawat (i.e. blessings, etc.) (i.e. who are blessed and will be forgiven) from their Lord, and (they are those who) receive His Mercy, and it is they who are the guided-ones.
Verily! As-Safa and Al-Marwah (two mountains in Makkah) are of the Symbols of Allah. So it is not a sin on him who perform Hajj or"Umrah (pilgrimage) of the House (the Ka"bah at Makkah) to perform the going (Tawaf) between them (As-Safa and Al-Marwah). And whoever does good voluntarily, then verily, Allah is All-Recogniser, All-Knower.
Verily, those who conceal the clear proofs, evidences and the guidance, which We have sent down, after We have made it clear for the people in the Book, they are the ones cursed by Allah and cursed by the cursers.
Except those who repent and do righteous deeds, and openly declare (the truth which they concealed). These, I will accept their repentance. And I am the One Who accepts repentance, the Most Merciful.