(ANSAMD) – Naples, April 12 – The entire month of Ramadan in space, on the International Space Station. This is the experience of the Emirati astronaut Al Neyadi, who spends the holy month for Muslims on board a spacecraft. Ramadan imposes strict rules for Muslims from sunrise to sunset, but they are not compulsory while traveling. Al Neyadi, who will be in space for six months, left in early March and has already confirmed that he will respect the Ramadan rules, which end on April 23, and which also apply to astronauts.
“In these six months, we will spend some beautiful events such as Eid al-Fitr,” al-Neyadi said, in remarks reported by the Emirati newspaper, “The National,” referring to the holiday that celebrates the end of the month of Ramadan on earth. “I can identify as a traveler – I added the Emirati astronaut – and therefore know that we can break the fast which is not obligatory. In the same way, I also remember that fasting is not obligatory if a person does not feel well. It is allowed to eat part of the food if there is a lack of nutrition or fluids It could jeopardize the mission you’re doing or put a crew member in danger.” The astronaut observes the fast and said he will share some meals with colleagues on the space station. To fast and pray, the Muslim astronaut watches the timing of the space station or can decide to follow the timing of Mecca.
Al Neyadi is not the first Muslim to spend Ramadan in space. In fact, before him was Prince Sultan bin Salman Al Saud of Saudi Arabia who traveled on the American shuttle in 1985 and fasted on the day of the space launch, which was the last month of Ramadan of that year. The prince also wrote a book called “Seven Days in Space” in which he spoke at length about what it means to respect Islamic duties away from Earth and during training exercises before leaving. The first Muslim in space described his pre-dawn meal on liftoff day, prayer on the launch tower before boarding the shuttle, and then a fast in space where he also read the Quran. “I was almost exhausted from the lack of sleep, the weight loss and the loss of bodily fluids,” she recounts in the book. “I was dehydrated and still had an hour before I broke my fast. The rest of the crew could have already been asleep but decided to stay up to keep me company so I could eat. It was a very good feeling.” Bin Salman Al Saud also celebrated the end of Ramadan at Space on a day he described as “euphoria”. His food supplies at the place were very plentiful and consisted of sweets, chicken, boiled corn, cheese, tuna salad, pasta, shrimp, salmon, fried chicken, hot cocoa, fruits and vegetables as well as decaffeinated coffee. tea. The astronaut also took pictures of himself praying in space.
Malaysian astronaut Sheikh Muzaffar Shukar also spent a few days of Ramadan in space in 2007 while aboard a Russian Soyuz rocket. “Islam—as he later described it—is very tolerant. If I can’t fast in space, I can practice it when I come back to Earth at a later time.” Shukur also described the end-of-Ramadan party that the astronauts threw with him food he had brought on board.
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