The Sacred City

 An 85 minute documentary film









 This website contains the findings of researcher and historian Dan Gibson. He first entered the Middle East in1979 and has spend almost 40 years researching the geography of the Arabian Peninsula. He and his family have lived in the following countries: Jordan, Yemen, and the United Arab Emirates. Dan has visited all of the countries of the Arabian Peninsula, some of them many times.

The focus of this website is on the direction that Muslim mosques faced over the years. This direction is known as the Qibla, and is based on Sura 2 of the Qur'an where announces that he is giving the prophet Muhammad a Qibla or holy direction. This direction is used for daily prayer, pilgrimages to Masjid al-Haraam, and also in the slaughter of halaal food. Dan Gibson has concluded from his data that there have been four different Qiblas since the founding of Islam, but for the last thousand years, only one Qibla has survived, that of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Many people find this very hard to beleive. Despite writing many articles, books and producing a film, there are still those who refuse to accept the data. Dan Gibson hopes that by releasing his data on a website, more people might become interested in this topic, and do their own research to discover if this is actually the case.



Beautifully filmed in the Middle East, The Sacred City is a detective story that investigates the dawn of Islam, uncovering evidence that is shaking the Muslim world. Using satellite imaging and the latest technologies Canadian historian Dan Gibson has uncovered compelling evidence that challenges traditional accounts of how Islam began.

Gibson suggests the Islamic holy city of Mecca came later in history, and that the worlds 1.6 billion Muslims are praying in the wrong direction. The Qur’an commands them to pray towards the ‘forbidden gathering place.’ Gibson provides archeological and historic evidence that this place is not in Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

In this startling and original documentary, writer and historian Dan Gibson demonstrates that descriptions of Mohammed’s original holy city – as detailed in the Qur’an and Islamic histories, do not match that of the Mecca we know today. Then using the Qibla direction of the first ancient mosques, Gibson discovers the location of the original ‘forbidden gathering place.’

This film sets out evidence from within Islamic sources – while also using modern technologies - to track down the biggest secret of the last fifteen hundred years. Gibson not only finds the location of the original Mecca but also provides a convincing argument as to how such a great misunderstanding in Islamic history came about.

While clearly controversial, The Sacred City is respectful of Islam but shows how a deliberate attempt was made to hide secrets that impact every Muslim today. The evidence is compelling and fascinating. In a time when the world’s agenda is being set by Islam, it is important for the origins and history of this world religion to be examined afresh. This is a ground breaking documentary film with world-wide appeal for both religious and secular audiences.


Based on the book: Qur'anic Geography by Dan Gibson.

Available from and


The Independent Scholar's Press




Special Thanks to:

Bibliothèque Nationale - Paris, France

Bilkent University - Ankara, Turkey

The British Library - London, UK

Brooklyn Museum - New York City, USA

Brown University - Rhode Island, USA

Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums - Damascus, Syria

Google Earth Professional

Istituto Veneto per i Beni Culturali - Italy

Istanbul University Library - Istanbul, Turkey

Jordan Productions - Amman Jordan

Jordanian Ministry of Tourism - Amman, Jordan

Jordanian Ministry of Antiquities - Amman, Jordan

Library of Congress - Prints & Photographs Division
Washington, DC., USA

Literary & Philosophical Society Library - Newcastle upon Tyne , UK

Jordan Television - Amman, Jordan

Miners Institute Library - Newcastle upon Tyne , UK

Museum of Fine Arts of Lyon - France

Museum of Islamic Art - Qatar

Princeton University Library - Department of Rare Books and Special Collections
Princeton, New Jersey

Qatar National Library - Qatar

Royal Jordanian Film Commission - Amman, Jordan

Stock Media Provided by Getty Images, USA

Stock Media Provided by Pond5

Stock Media provided by

Sutherland University, UK

The Petra Park Authority - Jordan

The University of Edinburgh - Scotland, UK

Massachusetts Institute of Technology - Rotch Library
Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA - Timbuktu Libraries

The Jordanian Desert Patrol - Jordan

The Walters Art Gallery - Baltimore, Maryland

UNESCO World Heritage Association

www.abudervish.blogspot - United Arab Emirates


Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division - Eric and Edith Matson

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division - matpc.08305, ggbain.18219

Photo: Abdul-Halim Jabr, 1987, - Courtesy of the Aga Khan Visual Archive,
Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT

Photo: (c) 1990 Murat German - courtesy of the Aga Khan Documentation Center at MIT


Film Credits 

Written and Presented by Dan Gibson

Producer and Director - David Taylor

Director of Photography - David Scott

Narrator - Matt Jamie

Arab Commentator - Adel Shemari

Arab Reader - Ranj Nagra

Cultural Commentator - David Taylor


Unit 1

Camera - Ivan Greyling

Camera - Jonny Binks

Sound - Sean Taylor

DIT - Calum Waites

Ronan Operator - Luke Wallace

Local Fixer - Jehad F. Hamadeen


Unit 2

Camera - Chris Tritschler

Sound - Mike Riley


Unit 3

Camera & Lighting - Ian Mccann

Assistant Director - Nehir Glean

Camera Assistant - Calum Waites

Sound - Michael Johnson

DIT - Neville Glean

Runner - Glen Harris

Runner - Will Edwick


VFX & Colourist - David Scott

Music - Audio Network

Audio Post & Music - The East Wing


Photographers and Artists

Abbas Al-Musavi, Abraham, Abu Dervish, Abdul-Halim Jabr, Adolf Schreyer
Aiman Titi, Amerrycan Muslim, Andrew Watson, Andrew Petcher
Anwar Ahmed, Aryan Sogd, Auguste-Adolphe-Leon Belly
Bernard Gagnon, Berthold Werner, Bjørn Christian Tørrissen
Brett Wallach, Camille Corot, Carl Schleicher, Charles Théodore Frère
David Roberts, David Scott, David Shankbone, Dennis Jarvis
Etan J. Tal, Fabrizio Castello, Fadi Abu Jaber, Fadi El Benni
Frank Schulenburg, Georges Jansoone, George Montbard, Godot13
Guillaume Piolle, Gustav Bauernfeind, Helvetiker, Imam Khairul Annas
Ingo Mehling, Murat Germen, J. Daryl Byler, Jononmac46, Laura Grai
Linda Carroll, Louis Haghe, Hedwig Storch, Henry Walter
Heretiq, Moshtakmoshtak, Mohammed Moussa, Murat German
Nacizane, Phgcom, Richard Beavis, Rick McCharles, Sage Ross
Seier+Seier , Seth J. Frantzman, Zachi Evenor, Zairon

Thanks to:

Dan McReady Camera Rental

Picture Canning North, Camera Equip Hire

Hotel Petra by Night

Vehicle Rentals - KutKut Rent a Car

Panoramic Hotel, Wadi Musa, Jordan

Mariam Hotel, Madaba, Jordan


Technical Stuff

The Sacred City was shot and edited in 4K to the highest broadcast standards

Shooting Kit
2 Blackmagic 4K Cinema Cameras
Canon 14mm CNe 4K Prime lens
Canon 24mm CNe 4K Prime lens
Canon 35mm CNe 4K Prime lens
Canon 50mm CNe 4K Prime lens
Canon 85mm CNe 4K Prime lens
Canon 70 – 200mm f2.8 Zoom lens
Canon 2 x Extender
5 Satchler Video 20 Tripod with 2 Stage Carbon Fibre lens
6 F&V 1x1 Bi Colour LED
Litepanel x 2 No S/N 0 x 0 x 0 20kg 2500 China
4 Kingston Hyper X 240GB SSD
LanParte LPT-VB-150 10.1AH V-Lock Battery
2 Sony BP-L40A 3.0AH V-Lock Batteries
Sony BC-L50 Dual Ni-MH/Li Ion Battery
LanParte VBP-01 Pro V-Mount Power Distrib
Panasonic GH4 WE4FB001249
DMW-BGGH3 Battery Grip 2L5A
2 DMW-BLF19E Batteries
DMW-BTC10E Panasonic Battery Charge
Fhugen Honu Cage for Panasonic
Camidox EF to Micro 4/3 Focal Reducer
6 Sandisk Extreme Pro 32GB SD Cards
Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8
Carl Zeiss Planar T* 50mm
Carl Zeiss Sonnar T* 85mm
Samyang 14mm T3.1 Cine Lens
Kamerar PSL-40 Slider AL
Manfrotto Kit Video Telescopic Twin Leg
12x 4TB WesternDigital RED SATA drives
2x SATA docking stations
1x Red Giant Shooter suite for data verification
1x power inverter 600w
Macbook Pro 15inch
Macbook Pro 13 inch

Sound Kit
Rode NTG3 Microphone
Oktava MC012 Microphone w/Joly mod
Sanken COS-11D Lavalier Microphone
2 Sony ECM-88BC Lavalier Microphone3
AKG K271 Studio Headphones
Sound Devices 552 Production Mixer
Sony WRR-862 Dual Diversity Receiver
2 Sony WRT-8B Transmitter
Sony WRT-8B Transmitter
Rode Boom Pole
Rode Blimp
Rycote Baby Ball Gag Wind Shield

7 DJI Ronin 3 Axis Gimbal
8 TV Logic 9” Monitor
LVM-095W-M Monitor
9 IDX VL-4S Battery charger
K2-08055 44x25x35 13kg 1800
5 IDX Endura HL9
10 Arri MB19 Production Matte
Arri MFF-2 Follow Focus kit
11 Case includes: Tbc Kg
Tiffen ND IR 4 x 4 Filters
Tiffen ND Grads S/E 4 x 4
Filters 450 UK
Tiffen ND Grads H/E 4 x 4
Filters 450 UK
12 BNC Drum & Cables
Sennheiser G3 IFB Kits:
Lastolight Green Screeb

Edited with Adobe Premiere Pro CC
Some concept gaphics created in CorelDraw X7
Finished graphics created in Adobe Photoshop CC and Adobe Illustrator CC
Grading in Davinci Resolve 12
Outputting files via Adobe Media Encoder

 Dan Gibson's Research into Islamic Qiblas
Copyright 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Dan R. Gibson