Religion In Space

An interesting story surfaced this week about Malaysia's National Space Agency, which had held a nationwide competition to determine which of its citizens would go into space. The competition came down to picking two astronauts from four candidates. Of the four, three are Muslims. So the question arises: How do Muslims pray in space?

Some of the practical matters:

  • Prayer should begin with ablutions - water rationing in space makes this difficult as well as time-consuming.
  • How will astronauts know how to face Mecca?
  • Since their destination is the International Space Station, which circles the Earth sixteen times per day, how will Muslims know when to pray five times per day?

A two-day Islam and Life in Space seminar starts on April 25th; according to an offical from the Malaysian Astronomy and Islamic Law Association, this would be the first time the Islamic world had addressed this issue.

I can think of a few references in science fiction about religion in space. Frank Herbert's 1965 novel Dune addressed the collective pain of a people who were forcibly relocated to another planet, and thus denied their right to the Hajj. This religious pilgrimage to Mecca is required at least once of each able-bodied Muslim who can afford it.

In the same novel, Herbert addresses the needs of religious space travelers who need to carry their holy book, despite drastic weight restrictions. The filament paper book is presented as a technology that allows holy books on spacecraft.

In his 1959 novel A Case of Conscience, science fiction author James Blish examines the case of how it is possible that the creatures of a distant planet obey every precept of Christian values, yet are without religion.

Read more at Malaysia Conference Considers How To Practice Islam In Space.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 4/23/2006)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 1 )

Related News Stories - (" Culture ")

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.' - John Brunner, 1975.

We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It
'It was cheaper to pay the refugees to go without up-to-the-minute equipment.' - John Brunner, 1976.

The Neuroon Open Sleep Tracker For Lucid Dreaming
'Leads trail away from insertion points on her face and wrist... to a lucid dreamer on the bedside shelf.' - Peter Watts, 1999.

'Do Not Pay' Chatbots To Replace Law Firm Associates?
'I want my lawyer program.' - David Brin, 1990.



Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.






Current News

Dune Fans! Metal-Organic Frameworks Make Science Fiction Real
'Dew collectors,' he muttered, enchanted by the simple beauty of such a scheme.

Manned Maneuvering Unit From 1984
'The glittering little rocket bolted to the black iron behind him.'

Astronaut Gets Younger In Space
'So what we're looking for now is not an antibiotic - an anti-life drug - but an anti-agathic, an anti-death drug...'

Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
'Any adult could punch into the phone his or her code, followed by a yes or no.'

IJOP Integrated Joint Operations Platform China's Minority Report?
'All day long the idiots babbled, imprisoned in their special high-backed chairs...'

HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
'Talking into a hush-a-phone which he had plugged into the telephone jack...'

Ultrathin Brain Needle Developed At MIT
Putting drugs into a selected cubic millimeter within the living brain.

Tesla Semi Truck Now At Work
Why wait? Tesla Semi now hard at work.

Illustris: The Next Generation Of Universe Simulation
'This digital device was ... A machine able literally to contain the Universe Itself...'

Scaly Yet Soft Robotic Snake
Love those robotic sneks.

Cool Tinsley Lunar Unicycle Update
Great update of a timeless classic.

NASA's 'Armstrong' Soft Wearable Upper Extremity Garment
'Exact same articulation as your shoulder joint, and it holds your muscles out of the way...'

Kuri Robot Roams Your Home, Taking Pictures
'Small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely...'

Tiny Rubbery Robot To Take 'Fantastic Voyage'
I think that I will wait for other volunteers for this one.

Svalbard Seed Vault (aka Doomsday Vault) Gets Upgrades
'But they existed in the Life Bank, as did virtually every plant and animal that existed on Old Earth.'

Disney Vyloo Robots With Personality
'Let's build robots with Genuine People Personalities...'

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.