Let us begin with this inspiring individual’s main motto in life:

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Introducing Malaysia’s first commercial astronaut Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor!

I came across Dr. Sheikh while I was going through my newsfeed in Facebook and happened upon this amazing video of a man PRAYING IN SPACE:

I got goosebumps watching it because.. praying in SPACE! How unbelievably cool is that??!

Dr. Sheikh also happens to be the FIRST MUSLIM to fast and pray in space since his mission coincided with the month of Ramadan.

Isn’t that simply a monumental step for all Muslims? I think so, and I’m sure you do too.

He was chosen to be launched into space under the Angkasawan program among 11,435 (!!) other contenders.

You can read about his entire experience in his book “JOURNEY TO SPACE: A sheikh 6MEMOIR OF MALAYSIA’S FIRST ANGKASAWAN”

Journey to Space details his personal account of the rollercoaster emotions of excitement and tribulations throughout his experience in the Angkasawan program – starting from when he made his application, the arduous training and medical examinations that followed and when he was selected to undergo a one-year training stint in Star City, Russia, and finally being chosen as the prime crew member on the Soyuz 11. Journey to Space is a memoir that will be an inspiring read to others who may wish to tread in the footsteps of Sheikh Muszaphar and shows that with enough determination, faith and belief in yourself, no dream is impossible. 

Since the mission coincided with Ramadan, Dr.Sheikh detailed a guidebook on how to fast and pray in space titled “Guidelines for Performing Islamic Rites at the International Space Station”. I’m sure young Muslims inspired by this amazing individual will find it useful when they have to learn to pray in zero gravity! (InshaAllah!).

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His motivational speeches have created a social change, with many young Malaysian students wanting to become astronauts when they grow up. What better role model could you wish for? Am I right?!

Internationally,  “Sheikh Muszapahar’s motivational talks have recently been heard in California, USA, Jakarta and Bandung, Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Saudi Arabia , Jordan and Holland. He is an Ambassador to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, U.N. Ambassador for Global Peace, and recipient of the Shurah Islamic Council, California Peace Award among many other distinctions.” So far, he has done various motivational talks in over 500 educational facilities!

He is also a researcher who worked on “experiments on board the International Space Station relating to the characteristics and growth of liver cancer and leukemia cells, the crystallization of various proteins and microbes in space”.

You may have heard of the MARS ONE program, and as an astronaut who is passionate about his work and experience in space, he is a global ambassador for the program. He would love to go live in Mars if he could, except..:

“Seeing how tiny and insignificant Earth is from space changed my perspective on life, on global issues, human suffering, pollution,” he says. “I dream about space all the time. I would die for a chance to go to Mars, even on a one-way ticket. Except now I am married … ”. 

I’m sure he doesn’t mind. Not when he’s with his two ADORABLE children! You can follow his wife, Dr.Halina Mohd Younus on her fun and interesting blog BARELY SUPERMOMMY. 🙂

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Not only is he Malaysia’a first commercial astronaut, he is an orthopedic surgeon who earned his degree in medicine and surgery at India’s Kasturba medical college and an advanced degree in orthopedic surgery from Malaysia’s University Kebangsaan.

“His humanitarian side saw him undertaking a hazardous trip for voluntary services in a war-ravaged Afghanistan of 2002, and to flood-stricken Cambodia in 2003, under the auspices of the Malaysian Medical Relief Society (MERCY). Recently in Jan 2009 humanitarian aid to Gaza Palestine working at the Shifa Hospital treating war victims of the Palestinians.”

There is SO MUCH we can learn from people like Dr. Sheikh Muszapahar Shukoor. I hope we can all be as awesome as him some day!

Though he has been so monumentally successful with his various achievements in life, Dr. Sheikh continues to be humble and continues to inspire everyone he meets. So if you want to be as awesome as him, follow his advice:

“I am just like you, nothing extraordinary. But mental strength plays a key role in achieving success. If I can do this you can too . There’s nothing impossible in life. Dreams are possible”

Want to learn more from this awesome person?

Facebook –

Join his fanclub! –

Thank you for your permission to write about you! It was truly an honour.



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