Rules For Muslim Astronauts in Space

Mohammed was a poor excuse of a prophet if he couldn’t foresee this predicament:

“In difficult conditions, Islam has conveniences to ensure that religious worship can still be performed.”

Because the space station circles the Earth 16 times a day, theoretically a Muslim would have to pray 80 times a day while staying there.

But the guidelines stipulate that the astronaut need only pray five times a day, just as on Earth, and that the times should follow the location where the spacecraft blasted off from — in this case, Baikonur in Russia.

In the unlikely event the Muslim astronaut dies in space, the religious directives said his body should be brought back to Earth for the usual burial rituals. If that’s not possible, he should be “interred” in Space after a brief ceremony, though the guidelines failed to explain how that should be done.

The booklet covers Islamic washing rituals required before prayer, saying that if water is not available the astronaut can symbolically “sweep holy dust” onto the face and hands “even if there is no dust” in the space station.

There are also suggestions on how to pray in a zero-gravity environment.

“During the prayer ritual, if you can’t stand up straight, you can hunch. If you can’t stand, you can sit. If you can’t sit, you should lie down,” according to the booklet.

(via J-Walk)