Artist’s conception of a base on Mars, with a cutaway showing interior
MAN ASCENDING INTO THE HEAVENS
A Muslim website claims Quran verse 14:15 revealed the fact that “Man will someday conquer the universe“.
It gives as evidence Quran verses 15:12-15.
The Pickthall translation of these verses is “Thus do We make it traverse the hearts of the guilty: They believe not therein, though the example of the men of old hath gone before. And even if We opened unto them a gate of heaven and they kept mounting through it, They would say: Our sight is wrong – nay, but we are folk bewitched.”
I interpret the Quran verse the same way I interpret a love poem written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe in the 18th century. When Goethe wrote “Wenn ich ein vogel wäre …” (If I were a bird …) I would fly up to your window, he was not predicting that someday man would fly.
Nuri & Hoque translated “gateway to heaven” in Quran verse 15:14 as “entrance in space”, and in their footnote mention “new vistas of other worlds”.
Quran verse 55:33 might merely be saying people and jinn cannot get into heaven unless Allah permits them to enter, but Nuri & Hoque in 1964 in their footnote interpreted it as predicting the early space missions of the United States and the Soviet Union.
COLONIES ON OTHER PLANETS
Nuri & Hoque, in their footnote to Quran verse 7:25, interpreted “there [the earth] will you live and there will you die” as forbidding the establishment of settlements on the moon or planets.
The Dutch wind energy entrepreneur Bas Lansdorp seeks investors in his highly risky Mars One program of hiring technology companies to build a multi-national permanent human colony on Mars. In the UAE, the General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE) has issued a fatwa against Muslims living in such a colony, claiming it is a suicide mission, and that suicide is forbidden in the Quran.
Image by NASA, via Wikimedia Commons.
Image is public domain in the United States.