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['Aalim Network QR] Direction of Prayer in Space

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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\

Salamun Alaykum,

The question below was kindly answered by  Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi.


Abbas Jaffer
Moderator - 'Aalim Network



I was recently reading a book about the mysteries of the cosmos, and a
question came up.  Lets say the human race is still around when the sun
theoretically disintegrates the Earth in five billion years, or if we find a
way to travel to other worlds in short  time (wormholes); if these things
happened before the day of judgement, to which direction would we be
praying?  Also, we as Muslims believe in other lifeforms, which worship
Allah similar to us, as said in the Holy Qur'an.  Is there any insight as to
how they would pray and to what direction?  Is there a "Mecca", or great
holy city in each of these worlds?
Thank you.



You have asked hypothetical questions. I will attempt to answer what has
been discussed by our `ulama.

1. In the light of the Islamic belief of the end of this world and the death
of all living beings, the question of human beings surviving the
disintergration of the earth does not arise at all.

2. It is true that the Qur'an talks about "praying/worship" by non-human
creatures. However, as far as the concept of "worship -- ibadat" by other
beings is concerned, their "worship" is not same as that done by human
beings. "Ibadat" is more broader in meaning than the term "salat/namaz".
"Ibadat" means the act of submission to the Almighty whereas "salat" means
the ritual prayers done by Muslims. It is in salat that one has to face
towards the direction of the Mecca as required by the specific order of the
Qur'an (2:144). But for other prayers (du`as) you can face any direction you
want. Wherever you turn, you will find Allah in that direction.

3. Our mujtahidin have also discussed the issue of qiblah for those who
travel in space-crafts or visit other planets (e.g. the Moon). They say that
when you are on the earth, your qiblah for salat is Mecca; but when you are
in the space, your qiblah for salat is the planet earth.


Sayyid M. Rizvi

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