Gulf Imams Issue Fatwa Against Muslims Travelling To Mars

Gulf imams have issued a Fatwa against Muslims travelling to Mars.

Likening attempts to send astronauts on a one way trip to the Red Planet to suicide, the clerics said no good Muslim could agree to go knowing he would not return.

The ruling was issued by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE), a group of imams in the United Arab Emirates.

It came after more than 500 people from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries were said to have signed up for a spot on the Mars One mission to the planet - a technically dubious attempt to send explorers to our nearest neighbour in space by 2025.

The Mars One mission would use a worldwide reality TV show to raise more than $6 billion, enough to send its selected team to the planet and give them a reasonable attempt at survival... it claims.

More than 200,000 from around the world have paid various amounts of money to sign up for one of the spots on the missions. Mars One insists that 1058 people will take part in trials - though how any would ever step foot on Mars is unknown.

Experts point to the lack of solutions to problems such as radiation poisoning, fuel, landing and even waste disposal as evidence that the Mars One plan is not likely to succeed.

But just in case, the GAIAE issued its ruling to try and dissuade others from signing up. They said that according to the Quran suicide is forbidden and leaving on the mission would be akin to choosing death over life.

The report by KhaleejTimes said that the committee, led by Professor Dr Farooq Hamada, believed:

"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."

Mars, as you may recall, is a poisoning, irradiated death planet, 141.6 miles from the Sun, with an average temperature on the equator roughly equivalent to the poles on Earth, no breathable atmosphere, and almost no water.