The College of Arts and Humanities at Al Falah University hosted through Microsoft Teams Dr. Ahmed bin Abdulaziz Al Haddad, Grand Mufti, Director of the Ifta Department of the Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities Department in Dubai (IACAD) for a lecture entitled: “Prayer Times in Space”.
Dr. Ahmed Abdel Aziz began the meeting by saying, "Within the course of development and the foresight of the future witnessed by the United Arab Emirates in all fields, particularly in the field of space, the Department of Islamic Affairs and Charitable Activities in Dubai sought to achieve the aspirations and ambitions of the rational leadership, and to keep our Muslim community updated with all the latest and important development.”
With the importance of prayer and fasting in the Islamic religion and for Muslims to adhere to it in any place and time, even if it is in space. It was necessary to conduct an integrated study to clarify the legal ruling in this. Planet Earth with high fixed altitudes estimated at 400 km and at high speeds of up to 28 thousand km per hour, differs with the International Space Station with the times of night and day.
During the meeting, Dr. Ahmed spoke that astronauts will see in our normal day estimated at 24 hours, 16 sunrises and 16 sunsets because the spacecraft orbits the Earth every 46 minutes. If this is to be followed, a Muslim astronaut onboard the ISS must pray the 5 prayers every 90 minutes which equals to 80 prayers during our typical 24 hours in a day.
Dr. Ahmed added that he recommends praying according to the prayer times in the country from which the spacecraft was launched and fasting during the month of Ramadan following the number of fasting hours in the same country.
He also emphasized that Islamic religion is flexible and embodies well-being and not hardship. In addition, one of the characteristics of Islamic Sharia is its appropriateness for every time and place and readiness to keep pace with developments.