Aranyist Islam - commonly known as Araynism - is an offshoot of Islam that developed in response to the stresses of extra-solar travel and colonization. The key differences between conventional Shia-Sunni Islam and Araynist Islam can be boiled down to two essential points:
- Araynist Sharia Law is not recognized as being valid as a complete form of law, and has been the subject of much change.
- The Black Stone replaces Mecca.
Much of Araynist Sharia derives from a melding of Shia-Sunni concepts. It has been influenced by consensus - a practice derived from the majority Sunni population of the Exodus - but also by logic, courtesy of the Shia influences. Some elements of Salafism have also been incorporated over the years, but the most important external influence was made allowable by the consensus of the Imams and Qadis in 2164: Intent versus Practicality.
The 2114 decision allowed for certain major changes. It was deemed entirely acceptable to change a number of extremely impractical laws in order to prevent dissent on board the Exodus fleet. More important was intention - if a woman covered herself and tried, to the utmost, to avoid the presence of non-related males, minor failures did not diminish the effort. Similarly, the adultery laws were entirely relaxed for those individuals who wished to donate eggs and sperm to the genetic archives.
Due to water issues - not, largely, due to gravitational constraints but instead simple conservation - it was decided that rather than continue to use a steadily dwindling supply of religiously pure water, the laws on what water was acceptable would be relaxed. Previously used wudu and ghusl water became permissible, as did reprocessed waste water, providing it undergo at least three cycles of processing. In 2201, the restrictions were further relaxed and it became permissible to wet only the hands and perform masah for Wudu, and in 2206, it became acceptable for both rituals. While no decision has been made to reverse the changes, in areas with sufficient water traditional wudu and ghusl are normally performed.
As water supplies continued to remain tight, and at times, inadequate, the practice of Tayammum became acceptable for all but very specific circumstances - sexual intercourse, childbirth, menstruation and the discharge of pus. Tayammum traditionally required dust and sand - far from a problem on Earth and Nova Terra, but dangerously abrasive aboard the eighteen generation ships. In place of the sand, it became common practice to utilize glass, determined to be sufficiently close thanks to its origin. Glass-Tayammum continues to be a common practice throughout Outlander space.
The issue of Salah prayer was critical to the Exodus, and was partly resolved immediately after launch. Rather than pray five times for every rotation of the generation ships, which would require constant, unceasing prayer, it was considered acceptable to pray five times within a twenty-four hour period measured by a clock. Prayer would be directed towards Earth or Nova Terra, depending on choice, as the Meccas of the two worlds could not be accurately targetted thanks to speed and distance. Women and men remained segregrated in prayer until 2201, at which point the restriction was relaxed so long as no direct sight could be made. In 2241, it was further relaxed. After the Great Folly of the Leap, with Earth and Nova Terra lost, it was quickly deemed acceptably in line with the principle of 2164 to pray inwards and focus it on Terra. This decision has not been reversed, but all those able are now expected to pray to the Black Stone instead.
The requirement that each Muslim able make at least one trip in their lifetime to Mecca was relaxed due to the impossibility. Instead, it became acceptable to dress in the correct garb and undergo certain ritual hardships - humidity and temperature changes, dietary changes, and increased work shifts as well as the already existing Hajj restrictions - in order to represent an ongoing Hadj to a new home. This decision was reversed and now all Muslims, Araynist or otherwise, are expected by Araynist imams to visit the Black Stone or Mecca once in their lives, and all truly pious Muslims are expected to visit all three - The Black Stone and the Two Meccas.
The issue of Zakat, or charity, became an issue when it became effectively impossible to donate to the needy on the communal generation ships. With no private property beyond clothing and the Tayammum glass, there was simply nothing to give and no one to receive it. The issue was settled after the disastrous cargo hold failure of the Al-Ala'a Al-Hadrami, with each ship replacing the lost supplies from their own. Following the disaster, each year the ships donated a portion of their remaining cargos to the others, reshuffling the goods. Zakat was reinstated after the arrival.