Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Wudu in Space...

Ah! The Perils of being a Muslimnaut.

How do you pray facing Mecca five times a day when you are circling the Earth 16 times every 24 hours? This is one of the problems facing Malaysian authorities as they prepare to send their first man into space.

There are others: how to hold the prayer position in zero gravity, ensure that only halal freeze-dried food makes it into your space cupboard and perform your ritual ablutions before worship? They have all been answered by a team of Islamic scholars and scientists that has spent more than a year
(!) working on guidelines for the astronaut.

Listen to this craziness "...Islamic beliefs "mandatory in every situation, time and place."

Oh, but there is no compulsion in Islam:

Malaysia insists, however, that maintaining Islamic beliefs “is mandatory for Muslims in every situation, time and place”. Mustafa Abdul Rahman, the head of its Department of Islamic Development said: “Circumstances on the ISS that are different from circumstance on Earth are not an obstacle for an astronaut to fulfil a Muslim’s obligations.”