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The idea of traveling the cosmos and universe has captured the imagination of people for centuries. The vast expanse of the cosmos, with its billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars, planets, and other celestial objects, presents an endless frontier of exploration and discovery. I too, am one of those people who are fascinated by the thought of exploring the Universe but as a Muslim, we have a better chance of exploring than the Disbelievers with all their technology and resources in their respective Space Agencies. Let me explain why I say this from a simple, concise and Islamic point of view.

The Quran contains numerous verses that describe the Heavens and the Earth, The cycles of Day and Night and the diverse forms of life that exists within them. We are encouraged to read and reflect on those verses and to seek knowledge as a means of understanding and appreciating Allah's creation. Contemplating the creation of Allah is very important as it's a means of deepening one's faith and connection with Allah. We all know the Importance and title Ibrahim(AS) has in our religion, how he is the Khalil( Friend) of Allah. One of the reasons why Ibrahim(AS) has that title and importance is because he used to contemplate the creation of Allah. Observing and reflecting on the natural world, the beauty,order and complexity of creation as evidence of Allah's existence and Power. You can also start doing this and drawing closer to Allah.

Contemplating the creation of Allah can inspire a Muslim's desire to explore and discover more about the world around him/her.This sense of wonder and awe not only draws you close to your Lord, humble yourself in front of Him but instill this burning desire to explore. inquire about knowledge pertaining to the inner workings of the universe, the laws that hold it together and your love for Allah will grow thus your understanding and intellect. Now I share with you my belief and opinion regarding how its easier for a Muslim to explore the universe than the Disbeliever at NASA or The European Space Agency or any other space program.

I will share a Hadith of the prophet(SAW) about when a believer is about to depart this world and you might ask yourself how exploring the Universe and Death have anything to do with each other. The explanation will come naturally if you are a Muslim and if not, I will explain it at the end In Shaa Allah.

"When the believer is about to depart from this world and go forward into the next world, angels with faces as bright as the sun descend from the heavens and sit around him/her in throngs stretching as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits at his/her head and says,"Good soul, come out to forgiveness and pleasure from Allah!" Then his/her soul emerges like a drop of water flows from a water-skin and the angel takes hold of it. When he has grasped it, the other angels do not leave it in his hands even for the twinkling of an eye. They take it and place it in a perfumed shroud and a fragrance issues from it like the sweetest scent of musk found on the face on the earth. Then they bear it upwards and whenever they take it past a company of angels, they ask "Who is this good soul?" and the angels with the soul reply , "So and so the son of so-and-so," using the best names by which people used to call him/her in this world. They bring him/her to the lowest heaven and ask for the gate to be opened for him/her. It is opened for him/her and angels who are near Allah from each subsequent heavens accompany the soul to the subsequent heaven until they reach the heaven where Allah the Great is. Allah the Mighty and Majestic says, 'Register the book of my slave in 'Illiyun' and take him/her back to earth. I created them from it and I return them to it and I will bring them forth from it again."

Then the questioning of the grave happens and after he/she has passed that test(May Allah make it easy for us the Questioning of the Grave) a companion comes to the believer and says he/she is their good deeds and the believer wishes for the Hour to be established so that they may join their family and property. The same thing happens to the disbeliever when they are about to depart from this world but for them it plays out in a more darker and painful fashion;

"When an unbeliever is about to depart this world and go forward into the Next World, angels with black faces descend from the heavens carrying rough hair-cloth and sit around him/her in throngs stretching as far as the eye can see. Then the Angel of Death comes and sits at their head and says,"Foul soul, come out to the wrath and anger of Allah"! Then his/her soul divides up in his body and is dragged out like a skewer is pulled out of wet wool. Then the angel takes hold of it . When he has grasped it, the other angels do not leave it in his hands for the twinkle of an eye. They take it and wrap it in the rough hair-cloth and a stench comes out of it like the worst stench of a corpse on the face of the earth. Then they take it up and whenever they take it past a company of angels, they ask " who is this foul soul?"and the angels reply, "soul of so-and-so the son of so-and-so", using the worst names by which people used to call him/her in this world. They bring him/her to the lowest heaven and ask for the gate to be opened for him/her. It does not get opened. The Messenger of Allah then recited the following verse,' The gates of heaven will not be opened to them nor will they enter the Garden until the camel passes through the eye of the needle." Then Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, will say.

"Register his/her book in Sijjin in the lowest earth", then their soul is flung down.

The Hadith is long but you get the idea and I hope I took you on a little trip the way our souls will take a trip when we die In Shaa Allah. We will all take that trip but some will not make it past the first heaven. Its your duty as a Muslim to do your best and pray to Allah to be among those He is pleased with and those whose books will be wriiten in 'Illiyun'. May Allah make us among those people In Shaa Allah.

At present, human technology is not advanced enough to allow for interstellar travel. However, as Muslims, we have a better shot than the disbelievers in travelling through the cosmos while we go to meet our Lord on the Highest Heaven. For now, we are stuck will satelites that bring us images of the Observable Universe which is small compared to what's out there. There are 7 Heavens, the first heaven compared to the second heaven is like a grain of sand compared to the Sahara Desert and it goes on increasing like that. This is what makes me excited and hopeful for the meeting with my Lord In Shaa Allah. Our Lord is the Owner of Great Bounty and I ask for His Mercy and Forgiveness . Ameen

In summary, the idea of traveling the cosmos and universe is a tantalizing prospect that has captured the imagination of mankind for centuries and will do so for as long as the Horn of the Hour isn't blown. Although current technology is not yet advanced enough to make interstellar travel a reality, it's an easier thing for a believer if he/she puts their trust in Allah and contemplates His Greatness and majesty. Elon Musk should read this as his 'rocket' exploded the other day(Sarcasm Alert!)

Abdirahman Yusuf


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