What sacrifices does Mars require?

Inventions Hussein Al-Bahir
Today's Focus
Mars
Planet Mars with its moons Phobos and Deimos. Photo : Dreamstime

Whenever pivotal innovations appear in society, they tend to evoke an array of emotions, followed by a split of standpoints in the general population. Among the first to come, we notice fear, contempt, disdain, and other negative feelings related to the advent of something unstudied and unknown. These, however, are often quickly overcome by the use of reason and enlightening ourselves on the issue.

Of such a nature is the program and the associate procedures that might be necessary for the eventual terraforming of Mars. With Elon Musk’s outstanding input on the issue, there can be little doubt that in the soonest of times, we will begin to see small colonies popping up here and there on the surface of the crimson planet.

For such a planetary relocation, however, physicists and biologists have tightly cooperated on the logistics, revealing a nearly inevitable obstacle that humanity must overcome in order to achieve its venturous dream of interstellar colonialism.

The issue in question is that certain ‘modifications’ must be made to the human body for it to effectively be able to cope with the living conditions on the surface of Mars, such as low gravity and atmospheric pressure. Indubitably, this idea quickly evokes a significant amount of dissonance with the laws of Sharia.

Indeed biological modification of DNA in humans underpins the creation of a new, man-altered being and hence, modification of the creation of Allah (SWT). Multiple Hadiths hurry to point out that any alteration of the body is considered haram, let alone changing the genetic code with which you were born.

As such, it is necessary that in order to avoid straying off the righteous path, a good Muslim will have to wait for science to invent the necessary tools for humans to walk the face of Mars without resorting to genetic augmentation.

Nonetheless, the project of terraforming Mars is already well on its way and there is little doubt as to the nearing development and installment of the aforementioned modification procedures in humans who are already alive today. Hence a new and ambivalent question arises.

Despite the numerous achievements, the scientific community of the secular western world remains incapable of offering the world an opportunity of approaching the question of terraforming Mars in an ethical, pious way, and there is little hope of convincing them to take the longer route. As such, in the soonest time and seemingly in spite of God’s (SWT) will, a new generation of modified human beings will come into existence.

More particularly, a soon-to-be population, born as a product of sinful, human genetic intervention; however free of conscious sin upon birth. These new beings, possibly something different from what we now call humans, will undoubtedly become a prominent theological point of discussion very soon. If these new beings are pious, will Allah (SWT) consider them as his children as well, or nonetheless an aberration that should never have come to life?

In such a situation, there is little in the Quran and Hadiths to specify the standpoint of Allah (SWT) or Muhammed (PBS) on this novelty, and the relevant course of action that must be taken. Albeit, one thing shines clearly among the rest in such a situation, and that is the duty that we should take as good Muslims to steer the course of worldwide science along the moral guidelines of God Almighty (SWT).