Qibla is an Arabic word meaning "direction". As it pertains to Muslims, it refers to the direction in which Muslim face when performing salat. It is also the direction one points an animal when slaughtering it. Lovemaking is also preferred to be done facing the Qibla.

Masajid are oriented with a wall with a niche called a mihrab which indicates the Qibla so that no one has to pull out the compass when attending Jumah or going there for other prayers.

The Qibla was pointed towards Jerusalem during the early days of Islam. On February 11, 624 A.D., it was changed to Makkah. The Qur'an says this regarding the change:

The foolish will now ask and say:
"What has made the faithful turn away
from the Qibla towards which they used to pray?"
Say: "To God belong the East and West.
He guides who so wills to the path that is straight."
Orientalists have theorized that the change was the result of Muhammad giving up on designs to convert the Jews of the area to the fledging religion, deciding rather to concentrate on the Arabs. The Muslim POV is obviously that God ordered that the change occur and his slave, Muhammad (SAW) obeyed.