Islam and Aliens: How Does Islam Reconcile Extraterrestrial Life?

Against the backdrop of our obsession with , an analysis of the Islamic view requires an examination of the meaning and significance of life itself to determine whether or not such knowledge is essential.

The essence of the theme at hand focuses on the following Quranic issues: Allah the Almighty as the Lord of the worlds, Creator of the unseen or unknown, the world of jinns and angels, the geological question of the seven earths, and the disbursement of creatures throughout the heavens and earth.

Whether aliens exist should not get the better of people since human beings are Allah the Almighty’s vicegerent on earth and the climatic object of His infinite creative powers.

Islam does not offer specific knowledge about the existence of alien life; neither does it mean that Muslims should hasten into the field of its study.

The prospect of alien existence is by no means part of religion. That is why moderately and justifiably talking about it or ignoring it altogether – albeit within the framework of revealed knowledge and guidance – can hardly affect one’s spiritual standing.

Further, Islam is against being overly fixated on the unknown. Life is about setting things right and observing priorities.

People wonder if the truth is out there, but disregard the fact that it is, actually, down here.

Knowledge About Extraterrestrial Life is Inessential

As far as extraterrestrial life is concerned, Islam does not offer clear-cut knowledge about it; neither does it mean that Muslims should hasten into the field of its study.

The open-ended position of Islam on alien life is not an invitation, but a test; further proof that such knowledge is inessential. It does not bring any significant benefit to the earthly purpose of life, nor does being ignorant about it invite any harm.

In a hadith recorded in Saheeh Muslim, Zaid bin Alqam narrated that the Prophet (pbuh) used to supplicate:

Allahumma inni a’udhu bika min ‘ilmin la yanfa’u wa min qalbin la yakhsha’u wa min nafsin la tashba’u wa min da’watin la yustajabu laha.

O Allah, I seek refuge in You from knowledge which does not benefit, from a heart that does not entertain the fear (of Allah), from a soul that is not satisfied and the supplication that is not answered.

Life is too short and valuable to be spent falling into the intellectual and spiritual trap of delving into the question of extraterrestrial life.

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About Dr. Spahic Omer
Dr. Spahic Omer, an award-winning author, is an Associate Professor at the Kulliyyah of Islamic Revealed Knowledge and Human Sciences, International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM). He studied in Bosnia, Egypt and Malaysia. In the year 2000, he obtained his PhD from the University of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur in the field of Islamic history and civilization. His research interests cover Islamic history, culture and civilization, as well as the history and theory of Islamic built environment. He can be reached at: [email protected].