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August 2013

1. DEAR ABE: I am fasting for Ramadan, but when I woke up this morning I felt queasy with a fever.  I think it’s the flu.  I should be allowed to stop fasting while I am sick.  What are the rules for fasting and breaking the fast?  –MAHMUD, CANADA

DEAR MAHMUD: Fasting is decreed for God’s believers [1], however, God does not wish to make the religion difficult for us [2] .  An individual is authorized to modify their fast if it becomes a hardship.  If one is ill or traveling, an equal number of other days may be substituted. Other modification choices for those who can fast, but with great difficulty;  they may substitute feeding one poor person for each day of breaking the fast.  Additional righteous works are also accepted.  But God does state that fasting is the best for us  [3].  Thus, if you have the flu and it is a hardship on you to fast, you are permitted to modify your Ramadan fast  [4].

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 2:183;  [2]  2:185, 5:6;  [3] 2:184-185;  [4] 2:183-187 .


2. DEAR ABE: Someone told me that the Night of Power is special only because that was when the Quran was revealed which was a one-time event, and it is equivalent to idol-worship if one observes commemoration during that night.  I thought the Night of Power is reoccurring each year, what are your thoughts on this? –FARIDAH, CALIFORNIA

DEAR FARIDAH: We disagree with what that person stated.  In the Quran, Sura 97 Destiny, says the following: …The Night of Destiny is better than a thousand months; The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by their Lord's leave, to carry out every command; Peaceful it is until the advent of the dawn [1].  The verses are self explanatory; it is evident that the angels and the Spirit did not just descend on one occasion. Rashad Khalifa, the translator of these Quran verses, had led the believers in commemoration of God every year on that 27th night of Ramadan.  In addition, the Night of Power falls within the last ten days.  God swears by the last ten days and sets them aside as special for commemoration [2].  We believe the Night of Destiny is reoccurring, and we strongly disagree with discouraging anyone from spending extra effort commemorating God.

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 97:0-5;  [2] 89:2, 2:187 .


3. DEAR ABE: I was a Muslim but then I left the faith. I always believed in God, but I didn't have a religion. Now I realize what I have done and I regret it. I started back with the daily Salat Prayers, and I need to know, did God forgive me?  –FEROZ, NEW YORK

DEAR FEROZ: God accepts all sincere repentance. We encourage you to study a translation of the Quran so that you know what God says in His Scripture  [1].  God guarantees in the Quran that if you reverence God, He will enlighten you, remit your sins, and forgive you [ 2].   He is Most Merciful, the Forgiver and the acceptor of repentance [3].

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 26:198; [2] 8:29, 4:31, 39:35; [3] 3:90, 4:17-18, 9:104, 40:3 .

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writers, and should not be taken as the only acceptable approach. The reader is encouraged to research the topics further using the Quran.

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