Hazzaa Al Mansouri – the first-ever astronaut from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) has been issued with a set of Islamic guidelines which tell him how to practise his faith in the space, reports Dailymail.
Reportedly, Dubai’s Islamic Affairs Authority has issued a set of Islamic guidelines to the UAE astronaut, who will be now praying and fasting in the International Space Station.
Mansouri is set to take off for space on Wednesday from Kazakhstan. Once in space, he will be witnessing sunrise and sunset 16 times a day, making it difficult for him to do Namaz as Muslims are bound to fast and pray according to the time of the day.
To help the astronaut, the Islamic Affairs Authority has advised him to do Namaz by matching the time of the day as per Mecca in Saudi Arabia, which is considered to be the holiest place for Muslims on Earth.
Muslims are expected to face towards Mecca when they pray, posing another difficulty for astronauts in zero gravity who are rapidly orbiting the Earth. However, the UAE astronaut has been advised to face Earth if he can while he prays instead of turning towards Mecca.
The guidelines issued also preach that Mansouri must clean himself before each of the prayers and if there is a scarcity of water at the ISS then he should use a grain of sand or stone.
Al Mansouri will be spending eight days in space. Al Mansouri will join Russian cosmonaut Oleg Skripochka and US astronaut Jessica Meir on the ISS when the rocket launches from Kazakhstan on Wednesday. The UAE astronaut will return on October 3 while his two colleagues will return in spring next year, according to NASA.