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Mars fatwa: Muslim order not to travel to Mars, Islam cannot justify space trip

A Mars fatwa order has been issued by an Islamic religious leader this week stating that the Muslim faith cannot “justify” the distant space trip. Because the one-way journey to the Red Planet can be compared to suicide and is thusly forbidden, the Khaleej Times says that practicing Muslims cannot attend. News Max confirms this Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014, that the scholarly ruling is absolute, though trip planning organization Mars One has released an official statement on the matter.

A new ban on going to Mars from fatwa order
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The newly issued ban — already being dubbed the Mars fatwa, an erudite ruling or insisting order declared by an Islamic faith official — says that the one-way trip to Mars cannot be pursued by those who practice Islam. The one-way trip is being considered suicide and is therefore being prohibited by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment committee.

"Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam," a formal committee working closely with the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment in the United Arab Emirates affirmed this Tuesday, according to the Khaleej Times. "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."

Under this decree, death would result from the trip to Mars for no “righteous reason,” continued the committee. Such an act, continues the Mars fatwa (or formal order from the Islam faith), would then result in punishment “similar to that of suicide in the Hereafter with Allah,” continued the Times.

While a one-way trip to the distant Red Planet might sound very odd at first, it is in fact a very real thing happening under the direction of Mars One, a Dutch company that is in the works of preparing for such a journey. Over 200,000 people have since applied, and the prospective list is already down to just over 1,000 candidates as of Dec. 2013.

Therefore, such a visit to Mars that has no prospects of return goes against the Muslim faith and the Holy Quran. It is believed that such a pretense would be “killing yourselves or one another,” notes one Islam leader on the Mars fatwa ban.

"Protecting life against all possible dangers and keeping it safe is an issue agreed upon by all religions and is clearly stipulated in verse 4/29 of the Holy Quran: Do not kill yourselves or one another. Indeed, Allah is to you ever merciful," said Professor Dr. Farooq Hamada, the official head of the committee.

Mars One replied with a formal statement of their own, asking the leading authorities to in fact cancel the fatwa. The company said that they are working hard as they can to prevent the risk of death to these travelers, and that the trip to the Red Planet in fact encourages people to go out and see the world (or space). They add that the Quran "encourages Muslims to go out and see the signs of God's creation in the 'heavens and the earth,'" noting the first Martian resident would then "walk in the footsteps of great Muslim explorers like Ibn Battuta, the 14th century Moroccan journeyman whose travels took him across North Africa, the Middle East and Asia."

For more information on the 200,000 applicants and the one-way trip to Mars coming within the decade, a press release article on the Mars trip can be found here.

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