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December 2009

1. DEAR ABE: What should I do when facing adversity and I have a difficult decision to make?  – STEVE, USA

DEAR STEVE: First and foremost you must trust God and pray to God for help and guidance [1].  Remember that God has full knowledge of all things and is in full control [2].  God provides for everything in the heavens and on Earth [3].  Given this knowledge, the best path through adversity can only come from God.  If you worship God alone you can get "instant guidance" by praying to God.  Additionally you should read from the Quran [4], your answer might well be on a “randomly” opened page.

Relevant Verses:  [1] 3:160, 5:11, 6:42-3, 8:45, 9:51;  [2] 4:126, 31:22;  [3] 29:60, 65:2-3;  [4] 17:9, 36:2, 39:27-9.


2. DEAR ABE: I know that God prohibits holding suspicions, but does this apply to all things, or just personal relationships. What if I suspect that the meat I buy in a market or eat at a restaurant falls into one of the forbidden categories, such as dieing of itself?  – AISHA, USA.

DEAR AISHA:  Suspicion is when we believe or imagine something without conclusive evidence.  Usually this is something negative.  You can imagine how a harbored suspicion could eventually lead to an unfounded rumor.  In the Quran, God warns us of both suspicion and rumor and that these should be avoided whenever possible [1].  Now common sense dictates that if you have a valid reason or some evidence that causes you to believe that the meat is not proper, then you can certainly question and investigate.  This should allow you to draw a solid conclusion and avoid any unfounded accusations.

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1]  49:6, 49:12.


3. DEAR ABE: What is the proper way to observe voluntary night prayers (Qiyam-ul-Layl), should they be offered as part of the Contact Prayers (Salat) at night and at dawn?  – SADEED, ASIA

DEAR SADEED:  We must understand the difference between the Contact Prayers (Salat), and simple prayers and commemoration.  A simple prayer can be offered at any time for any blessing.  Commemoration, involves remembering and appreciating God and his blessings.  The Quran dictates that we should commemorate God as much as we can all the time [1].  In contrast, Salat is dictated upon all believers at five specific times each day - dawn, noon, afternoon, sunset, and night. All five contact-prayers are mentioned in the Quran [2].  We should keep in mind that prayers not mentioned in the Quran originate from a source other than God.  In addition to observing Salat during the night, God recommends that we commemorate him and read from the Quran [3].  

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 8:45, 26:227, 33:35, 73:8, 76:25;  [2] 11:114, 24:58, 17:78, 2:238, 62:9;  [3] 73:2-8, 73:20.

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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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