How Muslim Astronauts Pray

As it prepares to send its first astronaut to space next October, Muslim heavyweight Malaysia is seeking answers to important questions on determining prayer times and the qiblah (direction Muslims take during prayers).

How Muslim Astronauts Pray

Some 150 astronauts, scholars, academicians and professionals will come together on Tuesday, April 25, to find answers to these and other questions, the official Bernama news agency reported on Wednesday, April 19.

The two-day conference will be organized by Malaysia's National Space Agency (Angkasa).

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, 34, Dr Faiz Khaleed, 26, Eng. S. Vanajah, 35, and pilot Mohammed Faiz Kamaluddin, 34, have been short-listed to select the Malaysia's first astronaut.

Two of the four, who include three Muslims, will be trained by Russia before one is chosen to participate in the expedition of its spaceship to the International Space Station (ISS) next October.

Angkasa Director-General Mazlan Othman said the ISS would circle the earth 16 times in 24 hours (which means there will be 16 daylights and 16 nights a day).

"And under the circumstances, it would affect Muslim astronauts in performing their prayers and so on."

Muslims must face the Ka`bah in the holy city of Makkah while praying and determining which direction that will be while hovering above the earth is challenging.

Preparations

Malaysian Astronomy and Islamic Law Association vice-president Syed Kamarulzaman Syed Kabeer, also chairman of the coordinating committee, said the seminar would be the first-ever in the Muslim world to discuss the question of living in space for Muslim astronauts.

The two-day meeting will also mull how Muslim astronauts perform ablutions with water rationing in space and prepare food according to Islamic standards.

"So far, Angkasa has not discussed these matters with Russia because the candidates have not been decided and the needs of Malaysian astronauts have not been determined," Mazlan said.

"We have to make preparations to discuss with Russia when the time comes," she added.

Muslim Malays comprise about 60 percent of Malaysia's 26 million people, while ethnic Chinese and Indians - most of them Buddhists, Hindus and Christians - make up about 35 percent. The rest are indigenous people and Eurasians.

The agreement to send a Malaysian aboard Russian spacecraft was part of a billion-dollar deal to buy 18 Sukhoi 30-MKM fighter jets.

Malaysia has said it was planning to send its first astronaut to the Moon by 2020.
Ýslam Online

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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