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Thread: Praying in Space?

  1. #1

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    Praying in Space?

    Malaysia conference considers how to practice Islam in space
    KUALA LUMPUR, April 19 (AFP) Apr 19, 2006
    How do Muslim astronauts pray in space? Malaysia's National Space Agency is holding a conference to consider such questions as the country prepares to send its first citizen into orbit.
    A nationwide competition in the majority-Muslim country has narrowed the field to four astronaut candidates, three of whom are Muslims.

    Two will eventually be trained and sent into space by Russia, and Malaysia's space agency -- or Angkasa -- said it had been scratching its head over how Muslim rituals could be carried out properly.

    Performing ablutions for Muslim prayers with water rationing in space and preparing food according to Islamic standards will be among issues discussed, said Angkasa's director-general, Mazlan Othman.

    "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 was quoted as saying by the state Bernama news agency.

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

    The astronaut will also visit the International Space Station, which circles the earth 16 times in 24 hours, so another thorny question is how to pray five times a day as required by Islam, she said.

    Muslims also have to turn towards Mecca to pray and working out which direction that will be while hovering above the earth might also be challenging.

    The two-day Islam and Life in Space seminar will begin next Tuesday and brings together 150 scientists, astronauts, religious scholars and academics.

    An offical from the Malaysian Astronomy and Islamic Law Association said the gathering would be the first time the Islamic world mulled life in space.

    The agreement to send the Malaysians aboard Russian spacecraft was part of a billion-dollar deal in which Russia will sell Malaysia 18 Sukhoi 30-MKM fighter jets
    http://www.spacedaily.com/2006/06041....lglobptw.html
    OrdinaryGuy

  2. #2
    The Devil crptcblade's Avatar
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    Re: Praying in Space?

    Maybe they should just realize that there is no god or gods, at least none worth praying to, and the astronauts should be allowed to simply enjoy the experience.

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    Frenzied Member zaza's Avatar
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    Re: Praying in Space?

    In order to address the religious needs of Muslim astronauts, the international community should work to reposition the ISS into a geosynchronous orbit above Mecca. Failure to accommodate this most sensitive of issues would be gravely offensive to all Muslims worldwide and would further entrench the beliefs held by many, particularly our brothers in the occupied Palestinian territories, that this is simply a new Crusade by the decadent and hypocritical Western nations.



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    type Woss is new Grumpy; wossname's Avatar
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    Re: Praying in Space?

    Maybe praying that even if their ship does hold together, the cosmic radiation doesn't kill them once they get back home would be a more profitabe use of their time.
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    Super Moderator Shaggy Hiker's Avatar
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    Re: Praying in Space?

    Isn't the question of direction the simplest one? Wouldn't simply "down" be as accurate an answer as most muslims are able to make now? After all, whether you are directly over Mecca, or directly on the other side of the earth from Mecca, the direction is straight towards the earth. The correct angle is never tangential to the circumphrance of the earth, but is always some angle towards down, so why not always pray towards earth?

    As for the other rituals, they will have to be malleable as all the other rituals that don't work well in space. You can't crack open a beer up there, either, and that's a daily ritual for a whole mess of people.
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    Lively Member Something Else's Avatar
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    Re: Praying in Space?

    Perhaps the key to this issue is best discovered by trying to determine the origins of praying to Mecca.

    During a google, I came across this page, http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1190242 .

    They have to face Qibla.
    Which, according to The Big See, at the bottom of the page:

    is the shortest distance on a Great Circle arc. ...*. The exact direction is calculated using spherical trigonometry
    So, Lets say you are somewhere on the surface of the earth.
    And lets say, you are a Muslim. Versed in the greater Maths, you easily determine qibla.

    Eventually, you find yourself in the WORLDS TALLEST BUILDING. You have to go to the top floor. You enter the elevator, press the "Up, ALL THE WAY" button, then realize its time for prayer. Immediately you face qibla.

    You then start to worry, will Qibla change as you rise perpendicular to the surface of the earth? Or do you face the same direction as you rise, as you would if the earth was a true sphere.


    If the direction you face as you rise on this elevator never changes, ie... if at any spot on the earth there is one direction to face mecca, and that direction does not vary as one rises perpendicularly, then it would seem that a program could be made to, given your coordinates anywhere on the earth, it would indicate qibla. Then, couple that with a program that would indicate the position of the point on the earth's surface that the station is perpendicularly above at any given time, the issue would be resolved.
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    Android OpenGL ES Guru Jacob Roman's Avatar
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    Re: Praying in Space?

    Quote Originally Posted by crptcblade
    Maybe they should just realize that there is no god or gods, at least none worth praying to, and the astronauts should be allowed to simply enjoy the experience.

    How would you know?

    For all you know, by the time you die, God would be sending your atheist butt straight to hell without breaking a sweat just cause you didn't think he existed to begin with.

    Prepare for eternal suffering, and say hi to the cenobites for me.

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    The Devil crptcblade's Avatar
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    Re: Praying in Space?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Roman
    How would you know?

    For all you know, by the time you die, God would be sending your atheist butt straight to hell without breaking a sweat just cause you didn't think he existed to begin with.

    Prepare for eternal suffering, and say hi to the cenobites for me.
    If god were truly merciful and all-loving and all-forgiving and all that, then why should he care? God sounds like a spiteful, jealous little ***** to me.

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    type Woss is new Grumpy; wossname's Avatar
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    Re: Praying in Space?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jacob Roman
    How would you know?

    For all you know, by the time you die, God would be sending your atheist butt straight to hell without breaking a sweat just cause you didn't think he existed to begin with.

    Prepare for eternal suffering, and say hi to the cenobites for me.
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    Fanatic Member damasterjo's Avatar
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    Re: Praying in Space?

    Quote Originally Posted by crptcblade
    If god were truly merciful and all-loving and all-forgiving and all that, then why should he care? God sounds like a spiteful, jealous little ***** to me.

    Thats why he does not send anyone, EVER, and NEVER will to a burning place of torment!
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    Hyperactive Member vbcode1980's Avatar
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    Re: Praying in Space?

    Exactly! Amen!
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    Addicted Member MasterBlaster's Avatar
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    Re: Praying in Space?

    I am of the opinion that if someone is too damn stupid to figure out where the hell mecca is from orbit they have no busisness flying a rocket.
    "And most of the evils of society can, in fact, be cured through information. We have a society that has been disinformed and based on the disinformation has made irrational choices. And that's what I mean by 'ignorance.' People, who ordinarily might be smart, are deprived of the data by which to make a rational decision, don't have the data to do it."
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