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July 2011

1. DEAR ABE: What would happen if a Muslim decides to leave his or her faith while living in an Islamic state where the laws of Islam are applied? Would that person be sentenced to death?  –GEORGE, TEXAS?

DEAR GEORGE : What you are saying could happen, but the legal basis would be man-made laws which have nothing to do with God, the Quran or Islam.  Apostasy has no basis in the Quran [1]. Freedom is God's great gift to humans.  Laws such as you describe come from religious leaders who do not follow the Quran and clearly contradict God’s teachings therein [2].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:256, 109:1; [2] 9:31 .


2. DEAR ABE: Exactly how many days does a widow have to wait before remarrying?  In the Quran it says 4 months and 10 days, but I would like to know exactly how many days? – AREZOW, UK

DEAR AREZOW: The Quran states four months and 10 days [1]. We should follow the Quran as closely as possible, and trust that God has provided us with the necessary information [2].  You should calculate the number of days based on the relevant months.  The exact number of days will vary depending on the situation.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1]  2:234;  [2] 6:114, 7:52, 9:54.


3. DEAR ABE: Am I allowed to seek a loan from a commercial bank, even though they charge interest? –KARIM, INDIA

DEAR KARIM: The Quran forbids usury, not interest [1].  Usury is defined as excessive interest andt there is nothing wrong with taking or giving interest according to the Quran.  The Arabic language also makes distinction between interest (Fa'eda) and usury (Reba). In practical terms as long as we are dealing with a state-licensed institution, we should be dealing with interest and not usury. Borrowing money and thus paying interest for loans is an essential component for people, businesses and organizations. Thus paying interest, as long as it is not considered excessive by the standard of the day and community is allowed and perfectly legal from a Quranic point of view.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:275-280, 3:130, 4:161, 30:39.

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The answers provided by Abe and friends represent the understanding of the
writers, and should not be taken as the only acceptable approach. The reader is encouraged to research the topics further using the Quran.

Disclaimer: Abe and friends condemn all acts of violence, suicide bombings, and terrorism enacted under the banner of Islam.

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