Practicing Islam in Space

I just found out that as far back as 1985 there was a an Arab, Muslim astronaut, Saudi prince Sultan bin Salman, who was on board the fifth flight of the space shuttle Discovery. He spent a week in space. Regarding observance of Muslim prayers, he said he was able to pray and fast, but not to face Mecca.

This is Sultan Bin-Salman.

For those wondering how a Muslim prays in space, Malaysia has just released a guidebook.

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) – Malaysia has come up with the world’s first comprehensive guidebook for Muslims in space as its first astronaut prepares to go into orbit next week.

The book, entitled Guidelines for Performing Islamic Rites at the International Space Station, teaches the Muslim astronaut how to perform ablutions, determine the location of Mecca when praying, prayer times, and how to fast in space, the Star newspaper reported on Saturday.

Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, an orthopedic surgeon and university lecturer from Kuala Lumpur, will leave Earth from Kazakhstan’s Baikonur launchpad for Russia’s International Space Station (ISS) on Wednesday.

The 34-year-old Malaysian has said he will try to observe as much of the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan in orbit as possible. The lunar month, during which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk, is due to end around October 13.

This is Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. I presume that Sheikh is his first name.

Another famous Arab to travel in fake space is ‘Abdallah of Jordan, prince at the time, king now. He appeared in one episode of Star Trek, Voyager, in 1995 (“Investigatons”). He had no lines as he was not a member of the screen actors’ guild.



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