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December 2011

1. DEAR ABE: What do Muslims think about Paradise and Heaven?  – SUSAN, IRELAND

DEAR SUSAN: Muslims believe in Heaven, Hell, and the inevitability of Judgment Day [1].  God tells us in the Quran that anyone who 1: believes in God, 2: believes in the Hereafter, and 3: leads a righteous life, will receive their recompense from their Lord; they have nothing to fear, nor will they grieve. [ 2 ]  This leaves the door open for a lot of folks out there who could potentially make it to heaven.  It is an inclusive membership, and not exclusive to just those who call themselves Muslims.  The descriptions of heaven in the Quran are allegorical because our visualization of what to expect must start with quantifications we are familiar with.  For example, some descriptions speak of gardens with flowing streams, mansions, and delicious drinks [3].

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 4:87, 39:68-70;  [2] 2:62, 5:69;  [3] 2:25, 9:7261:12, 76:17;  [4] Appendix 5, and Appendix 11 of the Quran translation by R. Khalifa.


2. DEAR ABE: Do Muslims believe in Purgatory? –JANET, LOS ANGELES

DEAR JANET: Yes, Muslims believe in Purgatory.  We believe that on Judgment Day, all human that passed through this Earth will be brought to stand judgment and subsequently will be stratified into one of four places.  Initially, there will be 4 places: the High Heaven, the Lower Heaven, the Purgatory, and Hell [2].  God will annex the Purgatory into the Lower Heaven.  Thus, the residents of Purgatory will move out of the limbo of the Purgatory and into the lower part of Heaven [3]. [4].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1]  1:439:68-70;  [2] 7:46-48;  [3]  7:49; [4] Appendix 11 of the Quran translation by R. Khalifa.


3. DEAR ABE: What is the angel Gabriel's role with us common folks? – SAMIR, SOUTH CAROLINA

DEAR SAMIR: Gabriel is the angel of revelation [1].  God calls him the Honest Spirit. The Quran does not mention other roles for Gabriel.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1]2:97-98, 26:193, 66:4, 16:101-104, 2:87.

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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.

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