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A fatwa was issued by the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment fatwa committee banning Muslims from traveling to Mars.
The fatwa was issued not because of any problems with space exploration, but more because there currently isn't a viable way back - meaning any such trip would be more or less suicide.
"Such a one-way journey poses a real risk to life, and that can never be justified in Islam," the committee announced, according to the Khaleej Times. "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."
Committee head, Professor Dr. Farooq Hamada says that reasoning is from the Quran's 4/29 verse, where it is imperative to protect "life against all possible dangers and keeping it safe is an issue agreed upon by all religions." The verse essentially states: "Do not kill yourselves or one another."
CNET notes the fatwa likely came about because of the Mars One project that aims to send colonists to Mars around 2024. A second group would follow afterwards. The project is essentially a one-way ticket to Mars.
The Mars One project is currently facing funding issues, so the fatwa might not have even been needed. The company is looking to raise an initial amount of $400,000 through crowdfunding, but has yet to reach its goal.
image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons