CAIRO – Seeking to guarantee hundreds of its Muslim fans, the company planning the first manned mission to Mars has assured Muslims that the noble Qur’an encourages exploration, urging scholars to allow Muslims ‘to witness God’s creation in heaven’.
“The Muslim world has a rich tradition of exploration,” Mars One said in a statement quoted by The Telegraph.
“The verse from the Quran ['and among His Signs is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and the variations in your languages and your colors: verily in that are Signs for those who know (Quran 30: 22)'] encourages Muslims to go out and see the signs of God’s creation in the "heavens and the earth",” it added.
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Mars One, a Dutch company, which invited volunteers to fly and live on the Red Planet, without offering a technology so far that would enable a return trip from Mars to Earth.
The company is planning the first such trip to Mars in 2023 and another crew every two years afterwards with the goal of establishing a permanent human colony.
It allows applicants aged between 18 and 40 years who are in good physical condition.
With only $38 for the trip, thousands of volunteers, including some 500 Saudis and other Arabs, have reportedly applied for the mission which costs $6 billion.
In December Mars One short-listed 1,058 people to take part in trials for the ambitious project.
The trip got a setback after a fatwa by an Emirati religious authority has warned that such a trip is prohibited according to Islam, as it threatens lives for no righteous reason.
In a bid to assure its Muslim fans, the company cited examples of Muslim travelers who explored the world hundreds of years ago.
“The most influential example of this was the Moroccan Muslim traveler Ibn Battuta, who from 1325 to 1355 travelled 73,000 miles, visiting the equivalent of 44 modern countries,” Mars One said.
Mars One also disputed that the mission was tantamount to suicide.
“Space exploration, just like Earth exploration, will come with risks and rewards. It may seem extremely dangerous to send humans to Mars today, but the humans will be preceded by at least eight cargo missions,” the organization said.
“Robotic unmanned vehicles will prepare the habitable settlement. Water and a breathable atmosphere will be produced inside the habitat and the settlement will be operational for two years, even before the first crew leaves Earth.
“If we may be so bold: the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE) should not analyze the risk as they perceive it today. The GAIAE should assess the potential risk for humans as if an unmanned habitable outpost is ready and waiting on Mars. Any progress requires taking risks, but in this case the reward is "the next giant leap for mankind". That reward is certainly worth the risks involved in this mission.”
It added: “Mars One respectfully requests GAIAE to cancel the Fatwa and make the greatest Rihla, or journey, of all times open for Muslims, too.
“They can be the first Muslims to witness the signs of God’s creation in heaven, drawing upon the rich culture of travel and exploration of early Islam.
Mars lies on average 141.6million miles from the Sun and has an average temperature of -85F (-65C).
Its atmosphere is desperately thin - one per cent of Earth”s pressure - and is 95 per cent carbon dioxide.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net - Read full article here
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