Interplanetary fiqh – Khilafa releases Mars report

Details discuss Arkan al Islam beyond earth with
particular focus on mars mission

The Council of Islamic Scholars (CIS), in conjunction with the Ministry of Religious Affairs, has released a detailed report on how to conduct Islamic affairs on other planets. The report comes exactly 12 months after a combined panel of multi-disciplinary experts was tasked with exploring religious issues that future Mars inhabitants may face. While a small community of scientists are currently living on Mars, the population is expected to rise with the arrival of three more teams who will experience the month of Ramadan during their 18 month stay.

Some of the most influential Islamic scholars from around the region were tasked with outlining an approach to worship on Mars

Major rulings

There is no change. The Shahadah is still the central tenet of Islamic identity regardless of location.

The average day on Mars lasts for 40 minutes longer than on Earth and consequently Salat times will be performed as usual, based on the suns position. Inhabitants will not be able to shorten their prayers while living on base, but any travel between bases or from base to space station will be permissible. Wudu will be performed as usual unless the water purification and filtration system is damaged, in which case Tayammum with Mars soil will be acceptable. Friday Jumuah will also be conducted on the day that aligns with Friday on earth. With 687 Mars days per year, The CIS also issued a fatwa ruling that the Islamic month on Mars will be based on the month currently on Earth.

Many acts of worship on Mars depend on the water filtration system which will under constant monitoring to ensure appropriate function

There is no change. Zakat still must be paid regardless of location.

While the days on Mars are slightly longer, the CIS ruled that they’re not sufficiently different to warrant changes to how fasting is conducted. Consequently, inhabitants on Mars will fast from local sunrise to local sunset unless they have a suitable Fiqh based justification not to. Inhabitants however will have to wait for conformation from Earth as to when Ramadan starts and finishes and will not be able to sight the moon themselves.

Inhabitants on Mars are still required to perform Hajj if they are able to do so.

The Qiblah on Mars will be based on the first landing site that brought Muslims to Mars. Hoda Hashmi, one of the leading specialists on the Fiqh of Salat, explains the contentious issue:

Assigning a Qiblah on Mars was probably one of the most contentious issues we had to discuss. As it stands, there is no Ka’bah on Mars and so there isn’t a unified direction to pray in unlike on Earth. Furthermore, previous scholars have never had to consider how to establish prayer in a region with no Qiblah. In the end, the decision was to establish a Qiblah at the site where the first Muslims landed on Mars. The reason being simply because that is first time and place the Qu’ran, owned by senior scientist Fatimah Jahan, ever touched Mars. The Fiqh justification might seem tenuous to some, but we’re living in a world now that requires bold decisions. InshaAllah we’ve decided correctly. Please make dua and ask Allah to help us in these times.

In the event of a death, the Khilafa Space Program (KSP) has always made clear that bodies will be brought back to Earth for an appropriate Janazah unless they are irretrievable. Because of the interplanetary travel time and the availability of soil on Mars however, the CIS and KSP have agreed that the Janazah can be conducted, and bodies buried, on mars. All duties will be carried out as normal, including ritual purification and washing, unless the water purification and filtration system is damaged.

Individuals on Mars are exempt from duty in the event that the Khalifa initiates Jihad, due to the cost and time required in getting back to Earth. However, in the unlikely event that individuals on Mars come under attack or are threatened they are still required to defend their lives and those within the Martian community even if it results in them becoming shaheed.  This is a shared obligation and applies to male and female inhabitants equally.

Sunrises and sunsets on Mars can seem unusual at first, due to the extra distance from the sun,, but are still important for determining prayer times.

For the small number of Muslim scientists currently on Mars these rulings bring much needed clarity to what has become a difficult and testing time. In particular, the Qiblah on Mars became an unexpectedly passionate topic which was only solved when the KSP issued a mandate to clarify the issue. Akram Doot, a senior scientist on Mars, hopes this will help future Muslims on Mars:

We’ve been here now for six months trying to get the bases prepared and fully functional before the arrival of the long-stay crew. Alhamdulillah while the work has been progressing well, we were unprepared for how difficult simple things were such as recollecting used wudu water for re-filtration and purification. I’m hopeful that we’ve sorted out most of the issues but I’m also curious to see how the next crew go. They will be the first people to ever fast during Ramadan while on a different planet and I imagine it will bring up a range of unexpected issues that will need to be considered. InshaAllah they will be fine though. They have a good team behind them and the whole Khilafa supporting them.

Do you think these findings will make it easier for Muslims on Mars.  Should we even be leaving Earth? Join us on our twitter and facebook page and have your say.

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