Narrated Bara’ bin `Azib: Allah’s Apostle prayed facing Baitul−Maqdis for sixteen or seventeen months but he loved to face the Ka`ba (at Mecca) so Allah revealed:
“Verily, We have seen the turning of your face to the heaven!” (2:144)
So the Prophet faced the Ka`ba and the fools amongst the people namely “the Jews” said, “What has turned them from their Qibla (Baitul−Maqdis) which they formerly observed”” (Allah revealed): “Say:
‘To Allah belongs the East and the West. He guides whom he will to a straight path’.” (2:142)
A man prayed with the Prophet (facing the Ka`ba) and went out. He saw some of the Ansar praying the `Asr prayer with their faces towards Baitul−Maqdis, he said, “I bear witness that I prayed with Allah’s Apostle facing the Ka`ba.” So all the people turned their faces towards the Ka`ba.