“Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam,” the committee said. “There is a possibility that an individual who travels to planet Mars may not be able to remain alive there, and is more vulnerable to death.”
Whoever opts for this “hazardous trip”, the committee said, is likely to perish for no “righteous reason”, and thus will be liable to a “punishment similar to that of suicide in the Hereafter”.
Prince Sultan's historic space flight on the Discovery shuttle in 1985 marked many firsts for the shuttle program. The Saudi prince was the first Arab, Muslim, and member of royalty to travel into space. The mission was also unique because its crew came from three different countries on three different continents. They faced the challenge of carrying out cultural norms while in outer space. But Prince Sultan found a way to do everything, including fasting during Ramadan and praying three times a day. (Travelers often pray three times a day using a condensed version of the usual five sets of prayers.) He is now the President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism and Antiquities.
The Fatwa Centre provides the following services:
1. The Fatwa toll free number 8002422 is available from 8 am to 8 pm during working days. Muftis answer queries regarding matters relative to worship and creed, social relations, business transactions, family relations, and women issues. The service is available in Arabic, English and Urdu. More than 1000 calls are received daily. In Ramadan, calls tend to exceed 3000 a day.
Pope Paul told Armstrong that he was right on the mark in describing the mission as "one giant leap for mankind."
"Man has a natural urge to explore the unknown, to know the unknown; yet man has also a fear of the unknown," Pope Paul told the three men. "Your bravery has transcended this fear and through your intrepid adventure man has taken another step toward knowing more of the universe."
Pope Paul told the men that the time, energy, talents, resources and teamwork behind their successful trip "pay tribute to the capacity of modern man to reach beyond himself, to reach beyond human nature, to attain the perfection of achievement made possible by his God-given talent."
The pope also prayed that people's knowledge of God's creation would continue to grow and that it would lead them to see more clearly God's power, infinity and perfection.
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