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homelandThe Emirati astronaut, Sultan Al Neyadi, arrived on the third of this month at the International Space Station, and among the dozens of questions he was asked to answer during the press conferences that were held with him remotely, how will he fast during the month of Ramadan?
Sultan Al Neyadi talks about fasting Ramadan
During one of the virtual meetings with a number of journalists, “Al-Neyadi” confirmed that, as an astronaut, he falls under the definition of “traveler”, which exempts him from the obligation of fasting, as he said: “We can actually break the fast … this is not obligatory.”
He continued, “Fasting is not compulsory if you feel unwell. So in that regard – anything that could jeopardize the mission or possibly endanger the crew – we are actually allowed to eat enough food to prevent any fallout from lack of food, nutrition or water.”
Before boarding the International Space Station, Al-Neyadi told reporters during a press conference in Dubai last February that he could fast according to Greenwich Mean Time, or Coordinated Universal Time, which is used as the official time zone on the space station.
And before him at another conference last January, Al-Neyadi told reporters: “If we have the opportunity, it is certain that Ramadan is a good occasion for fasting, and it is actually healthy.. We will wait and see how things go,” according to what was reported by “CNN.” that CNN“American.”
Do Muslims fast and pray in space?
Emirati Sultan Al Neyadi is not the first Arab or even Muslim astronaut to ascend to the International Space Station, and faces the same question about whether or not to fast Ramadan.
On May 19, 1985, corresponding to Ramadan 29, 1405, the space shuttle “Discovery” was launched, carrying Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, the first Arab Muslim astronaut.
The Saudi prince prayed dawn on the planet before the flight, and then launched into space while he was fasting.
After the space shuttle settled into orbit, astronaut John Fabian presented Prince Sultan with apples and dates. Prince Sultan looked at his watch and replied, “No, my dear. I still have six or seven hours.”
As the fatwa stressed that he must continue his fast in space according to the region in which he was caught on the planet, which was the state of Florida.
In Ramadan 2007, in September, the Malaysian Muslim astronaut Sheikh Muzaffar Shakur launched into space from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to spend ten days at the International Space Station.
It is noteworthy at that time that the National Fatwa Council in Malaysia provided Shakur with a fatwa booklet that includes instructions related to prayer in a zero-gravity environment, how to determine the direction of the qiblah, and the times of prayer and fasting in space.
Shakur’s condition was not like that of Prince Sultan, because he decided to break the fast, and to spend the fasting days at a later time. However, they shared together seeing the sunrise and sunset about 16 times a day, as the day and night follow every ninety minutes.
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