(It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces to the East and the West…) [2:177]. Said Qatadah: “It was mentioned to us that a man asked the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, about righteousness, and as an answer Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”. He continued: “Before the obligatory duties were prescribed, a man could enter Paradise by his mere utterance of the formula of testification: 'There is no god save Allah and Muhammad is His slave and messenger', if he died believing in it. And so Allah, exalted is He, revealed this verse”.
Asbab Al-Nuzul by Al-Wahidi , trans. Mokrane Guezzou