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 | del.icio.us | 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 ")

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...' - James Blish, 1951.

France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.' - Niven and Pournelle, 1985.

BrainNet Triple Telepathic Gaming Threat
'In the gloomy half-darkness the three idiots sat babbling.' Philip K Dick, 1956.

Project Dylan - Amazon's Voice-Activated Wearable That Recognizes Human Emotions
Life imitates anime art.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

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

China Deploys Robot Traffic Police
'The robot came up smooth and fast as a rocket...'

Better Than Dune Chromoplastic? This Guy Might Have Done It
'But when Old Father Sun departs, the chromoplastic reverts to transparency in the dark.'

Gather, An AI Warehouse Inventory Drone Startup
'It extended three of its tiny arms sideways to lock onto the registration pins...'

China's Artificial Intelligence-Enhanced Education
'The grey gas not only cut off his vision, but also his other senses...'

Orbital Manufacturer 'Made in Space' Gets $73 Million NASA Contract
'Mass-produced in the orbiting factories...'

Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
'I enjoy watching this way, but - He waved his hand and the circuit switched abruptly.'

Uber Eats Pairs Cars With Drones
Fresh grub? Let's hope they aren't delivering grubs.

Space-Based Solar Power Roundup
SF writers popularized and elaborated on this idea a generation before the first patents were filed.

Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning
'The autopilot would need data before it could begin a translation...'

'Aerogel' Sheets For Martian Gardens
'Sealed to the ground along all the sides, Honey, he growled...'

France's 'Red Team' Of Science Fiction Authors
'They're the only experts we have.'

Dim The Sun With Stratospheric Controlled Perturbation Experiment
'Those twin volcanoes; d'ye see them, Mr. Renner?'

Mashambas Skyscraper Farm Design Wins
'...a towering eighty-story structure like the office In-and Out baskets stacked up to the sky.'

Self-Driving Tractors From China Plan Ahead
'Machines that seemingly with full consciousness walked out into the fields to do their daily work.'

Jet-Powered Hoverboard Works!
L'audace, l'audace, toujours l'audace!

Nobe 3-Wheel Electric Vehicle Parking Like I, Robot
Spidercar, Spidercar, does whatever a spidercar does.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.