Saturday, July 21, 2012

Ramadan mubarak

The domes and minarets and the long flat building are the Al-Aqsa mosque up on (what we call) the Temple Mount.
More than 100,000 Muslims prayed there yesterday, the first Friday (and first day) of Ramadan.
I wish my Muslim readers Ramadan kareem. (I think kareem means generous, yes?)
The Atlantic has a new article about religion in space which contains a delightful video of a Muslim trying to pray in the microgravity of the Space Station.

They write
Muslim astronaut Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor had to figure out how, exactly, one faces Mecca during prayers when you are moving at about 17,000 miles per hour and its location relative to you is changing minute to minute, sometimes as much as 180 degrees in the course of one prayer. It was decided that Shukor, who was on the International Space Station during Ramadan, could do no more than the best of his abilities, in trying to face Mecca, kneel, and perform ritual washing.


Dina said...

Readers--if you wonder, as I did, about the man turning his head to each side near the end of the prayer, I think it means he looks over his shoulders to greet his guardian angels.

Anonymous said...

City authorities provided places for many a hundred over here. So far as I know, people wish "Peace be with you" to the community at the end of the prayer.

Please have a good Sunday ahead.

Pat said...

You captured the huge Al-Aqsa mosque complex very well. I didn't realize it covers such a large area.

That was a very interesting video of Sheik Muszaphar Shukor praying.

crystal said...

INice photo - such a big stairway! nteresting about the angels too.

Kay said...

This reminds me of Turkey. I remember the prayers we kept hearing several times a day from loudspeakers. It was such an interesting experience.

Dina said...

Crystal, you refer to the Mughrabi bridge. It leads to the only gate into the Temple Mount for non-Muslims.
The ramp was put up a decade ago, meant to be temporary, and is now structurally unsafe.
See more about it at

Birdman said...

Thanks for the links. Never seen prayer in space before... EVER!

VP said...

With all due respect, this is really funny...

spacedlaw said...

That microgravity prayer must sure have been an ordeal...

mirae said...

hello beautiful Dina. that is a wonderful shot of the temple expansive as our heart view.
and I love the poignant story about the impossibility of an astronaut facing Mecca for prayers during a space shuttle flight. this is an excellent metaphor for what I have been considering catholic and protestant and christian youth are turning rapidly away from the church as is stated by my misalette as I have often discussed and also is apparent from my direct observation.The way I see it youth is not going to change-they are responding to their changing environment and sensitive to the church's responses.It is the church that must change to become more flexible with the times.Just to give one example-many young couples are seeking divorce or living together before marriage and this must be reconciled with the church.They will not change therefore the church must be more flexible to welcome them otherwise the flock will be lost.
Yes if it is not possible to face mecca then the religion must change.
It amazes me the modern readings of the church that are responding to the hear and now rather than stagnant tradition.For me it is a rennaissance a fresh breath for the church.
In my readings today for example art was praised because it cut across all culture nationalities and age groups and how what a beautiful way to approach the needs of youth through listening to them through their art.for example readings related to my misalette.
I don't know if youth is moving away from Judaism also all I can speak about is catholocism and christianity.

this was a very inspiring post!
shalom love and light