Living on Mars 'Prohibited in Islam'
Living on Mars is prohibited in Islam, according to committee of clerics in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE) has ruled that a proposed one-way mission to Mars is equivalent to suicide and will therefore lead to damnation in the afterlife for any astronaut who takes part in it.
In April 2013, the Dutch company Mars One invited applicants to join a project to set up a permanent human colony on the Red Planet, with the first trip planned for March 2023. As the technology does not yet exist to return humans from Mars, the settlers will have to spend the rest of their lives there.
The GAIAE has condemned this project, saying that there is no “righteous reason” to travel to Mars. Given the impossibility of returning to Earth, the committee has ruled that joining the project is morally equivalent to committing suicide.
Khaleejtimes.com quotes the clerics as saying, “Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam. 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.”
The GAIAE are also concerned that people may join the project in order to try to evade judgement from Allah. They warn against this, however, saying, “This is an absolutely baseless and unacceptable belief because not even an atom falls outside the purview of Allah, the Creator of everything.”
Mars One say that over 200,000 people have applied to take part in the mission so far, including an estimated 500 Saudis and other Arabs. After their first trip in March 2023, they plan to return every two years with more volunteers to gradually building a permanent human colony on the planet.