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Koopa39

Is participating in the Search for ExtraTerrestrial Intelligences (SETI) permitted in Islam?

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Assalamu Alaykum,

 

I have two questions.

 

Is believing in the existence of technologically superior extraterrestrial intelligences permitted in Islam?

 

Is trying to find and contact technologically superior extraterrestrial intelligences (e.g. by working at the SETI Institute) permitted in Islam?

 

These “technologically superior extraterrestrial intelligences” would not be like the aliens in all of the Hollywood movies, they would be far more powerful.

 

They would be technologically so far ahead of us that they could potentially do some or all of the following things (sorted from most likely to least likely):

- Completely blow up a planet or a star with one single bomb (e.g. antimatter bomb).

- Create stars and planets and perhaps also seed life on planets.

- Have armies of trillions of extremely intelligent and powerful robots.

- Engineer structures bigger than our planet (e.g. Jupiter brains) and bigger than our Sun (e.g. Dyson spheres, matrioshka brains).

- Have uploaded their consciousness/soul into machines (e.g. super-advanced computers, Jupiter brains, matrioshka brains) to achieve immortality.

- Teleport instantly anywhere in the universe by using wormholes.

- Travel in the past and change the timeline.

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Assalamu Alaykum,

 

I have two questions.

 

Is believing in the existence of technologically superior extraterrestrial intelligences permitted in Islam?

The existence of Allah (SWT) blows any such being out the water so we technically do believe in such an intelligence.

But other than Allah (SWT), the Qur'an is clear in stating that mankind was created perfectly and has the capacity to be more knowledgeable than the angels should Allah (SWT) permit it.

 

Is trying to find and contact technologically superior extraterrestrial intelligences (e.g. by working at the SETI Institute) permitted in Islam?

 

These “technologically superior extraterrestrial intelligences” would not be like the aliens in all of the Hollywood movies, they would be far more powerful.

That probably depends on who you ask. People who follow 'ilm al Kalam search for all kinds of things, whilst generally speaking Atharis don't.

 

They would be technologically so far ahead of us that they could potentially do some or all of the following things (sorted from most likely to least likely):

- Completely blow up a planet or a star with one single bomb (e.g. antimatter bomb).

- Create stars and planets and perhaps also seed life on planets.

- Have armies of trillions of extremely intelligent and powerful robots.

- Engineer structures bigger than our planet (e.g. Jupiter brains) and bigger than our Sun (e.g. Dyson spheres, matrioshka brains).

- Have uploaded their consciousness/soul into machines (e.g. super-advanced computers, Jupiter brains, matrioshka brains) to achieve immortality.

- Teleport instantly anywhere in the universe by using wormholes.

- Travel in the past and change the timeline.

These are all things mankind could probably achieve (except the last three), with technology advancements in the next 100 years.

But most of these things are also incredible impractical and useless so they aren't really researched. Take the example of the antimatter bomb: it would be a) far more expensive than nukes, even with technological advances, and far less replicable, b ) useless due to the fact there is no point going to war for something that ceases to exist and c) far more dangerous than nukes to even possess in the first place.

 

On the last three:

1. it isn't technologically feasible to upload a mind to a machine. maybe have a machine replicate the thought patterns and upload someones memories as part of the machines decision making process, but that won't really be true immortality.

2. well Suleiman (AS) had a man in his court who could teleport/move extremely fast, but I doubt mankind will reach that kind of knowledge again because of Suleiman (AS) prayer.

3. the idea of a timeline itself isn't yet considered to be solid theory. due to the ever changing nature of time, aside from quantifying relative changes based on our own perception we can't do much with it. Even if someone was capable of reversing time, what is to say their memories (or even existence) won't go back with it? What is to say a new timeline won't emerge? Most scientists have ruled out time travel as highly improbable because we are yet to meet a time traveler yet.

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I know I fed the troll but I think its good to provide an answer to the question in case a kid decides to google: extraterrestrials in Islam.

 

But it is in my own opinion that there doesn't really need to be an Islamic answer for cases such as these, given that they don't really affect Fiqh or Aqeedah.

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