Noth-east from north america?? Huh? Surely south east?
Yes, for this experiment you need a piece of string and a globe!! and then it's easier to see it! There's an interesting app that can help you do this here: http://moonsighting.com/qibla.html
In other interesting, but weird tidbits, in the 1960s there was this cultlike-muslimish group that insisted on praying south east and said everyone who didn't wasn't muslim etc!!
Question: What is correct Qibla direction from North America, North-East or South-East? Some people show on the flat map that Qibla should be South-East.
Answer: Earth is NOT flat as some people still believe. No one can give them knowledge except Allah. But those who ponder on this have clearly seen that the earth is approximately round. Earth's shadow on moon is visible at Moon Eclipse, and it is always round. Other proofs of roundness are observations; when a sailing- away ship is seen on the horizon for a distance it vanishes slowly going below horizon, etc.
For Qibla direction, when people debate the direction for North America as being North-East or South-East, the problem is lack of understanding that the earth is not flat so you should not look at flat map. The round earth gives a different perspective. If you look at the globe then may be you will see that the direction from Alaska to Makkah is due North, although Makkah is South of Alaska. If there were a minaret over Ka'bah that was so high that it reaches the sky, then you could see it from Nova Scotia and it would be in North-East direction. In fact the sun comes approximately overhead above Ka'bah on two dates every year. That is like a minaret over ka'bah. Read about it on my Qibla direction page
And you will understand the correct direction of Qibla, from North America in general is North-East, except on North-west corner of USA and Alaska where Qibla is almost North.
Question: Some people talk about shortest distance concept about Qibla. What do you have to say about that?
Answer: If you go to Masjid-al-Haram in Makkah, you will see that people make circles around Ka'bah when they pray. These circles continue to grow as you go farther and farther from Ka'bah. Every person on these circles is facing toward the shortest distance from Ka'bah. Imagine this circle growing and growing on the surface of the globe. Every person on these circles is actually located on another circle called Great Circle defined by the largest circle you get if you cut the globe by a knife in two equal halves, such that the knife cuts through the location of that person and Makkah. The plane of this Great Circle makes an angle from True North. This is the angle you should turn to face Ka'bah. Renouned Muslim astronomers like al-Biruni, al-Battani, and others in the last 1000 years have described this concept.
Question: If we keep going west from Makkah we pass over Africa then the Atlantic ocean then we arrive at Florida. Doesn't it make sense in this case for Qibla to be EAST. (Dec 5,1997)
Answer: No, my dear brother. If you keep on going exactly west, you will also eventually come to India. Would you still face East? No because from India, Muslims face West. So, Qibla can not be deduced from how you travel. The best way to understand is, that we know that two times a year, the sun comes exactly over Ka'bah at Makkah noon time on May 28, and July 16. If you can see the sun at those two dates at Makkah noon time converted to your local time, you will actually be seeing a very high minaret, if there were any, over Ka'bah. Wouldn't you face towards it? This observation has been made by Muslims all over the world and that is the correct direction of Qibla. Observation like this from Nova Scotia has been made and confirmed that Qibla from there is North-East. May Allah help you understand and search for the truth, without any bias.