Islam, Science Fiction and Extraterrestrial Life: The Culture of Astrobiology in the Muslim World
This is a rare excursion into a little-explored region of Islamic culture: Muslim perceptions of life on worlds beyond Earth. This historical study focuses on literature and films from the 19th to 21st century in Muslim countries. The author delves into the writings and media of the Arab and Muslim world, examining authors like Azrul Jaini, Ibne Safi, Muhammed Zafar Iqbal, Nehad Sherif and Eliza Handayani. Most readers of the West will be riveted by the imaginative and futuristic explorations of possible extraterrestrial life in the universe by Muslim writers and filmmakers. The work assesses articles, short stories and novels before moving on to film. It looks at the Islamic perspective on unidentified flying objects, or UFOs. The book also explores Middle Eastern echoes in Western science fiction—such as the 1902 movie by French artist Georges Méliès, A Trip to the Moon, whose moonscapes were influenced by his longstanding interest in the “magical” cultures of Egypt.