A fatwa committee in the United Arab Emirates has forbidden Muslims from moving to Mars.
The General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE) has ruled that traveling to Mars poses an unjustified risk to the lives of Muslims and to do so would be akin to suicide.
The ruling coming after the private Dutch space company Mars One began accepting applications as part of a campaign to send crews of four to Mars every two years, beginning in 2024. These are one-way trips, while the company establishes a permanent human colony on the Red Planet.
GAIAE says any Muslim who takes the “hazardous” journey will die for no “righteous reason,” leaving them to suffer “punishment similar to that of suicide in the Hereafter.”
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“Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam,” the committee said. “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.”
“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,” the committee said.
The committee believes the Mars One trips might be used by those who wish to escape punishment or the judgment of Allah, but they warn this is impossuble.
“Man’s life is not his or her own property; it is God’s creation, and therefore suicide is prohibited in all religions, and of course by law,” said Sheikh Mohammed Yusuf, Imam of the Amena mosque.