Turkish Space Agency celebrates the Islamic holy night
Turkish Space Agency (TUA) on Thursday has celebrated an Islamic holy night via a Twitter post, sharing a video showing the moon arising behind a mosque in Istanbul.
Referring to Allah, “And He is the qibla of prayers,” the agency said. [Qibla is the direction in which Muslims face while praying, the Caaba in Mecca]
Marking Laylat al-Raghaib (Night of Wishes), an Islamic holy night which is also known as the night of the prayers, the post has been criticized by vast number of Turkish Twitter users, saying that the agency should engage in science, not religion.
Laylat al-Raghaib marks the beginning of the "Three holy months" in Hijri calender; Rajab, Sha’ban and Ramazan. It is believed to be the night that the prophet Mohammed was conceived.
Turkish Space Agency on the other hand is a state-run organization in Turkey founded in 2018 for national aerospace research.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan in 2021 said Turkey was aiming to land on the moon by 2023 as part of its national space programme.