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February 2006:

1. DEAR ABE: Do new converts have to change their name or go through any rights of passage like a statement of faith or religious classes? --ADAM, INDIANA

DEAR ADAM: No, there are no required rituals for converts, nor are they required to change to an Arabic name [1].  The procedures followed by a new convert would be to take guidance and instruction through the Quran [2], and so they would put an effort to study the Quran and learn how to apply it to their own life [3].  A convert would also obey God’s commands outlined in the Quran and perform the religious practices faithfully [4].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 33:5; [2] 6:114-115; [3] 2:2, 6:155, 4:105; [4] 2:177, 21:73, 22:78, 16:123.


2. DEAR ABE: Do Muslim women let their kids associate with other kids from different religions?  Can Muslim kids go to regular school? --MICHELLE A. IN ATLANTA, GEORGIA

DEAR MICHELLE: Yes, Muslim kids should be mingling with their peers. Muslim kids do not need to be removed and separated from others in their society, nor live in seclusion; thus they may attend regular school [1].  The practicing Submitter to God alone should not feel hardship in fulfilling their religious duties, and segregation would provoke hardships [2]. However, it is the individual family’s responsibility to exhort the children to practice and they must decide if, and what kind of Islamic schooling will play a role in that respect [3].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 60:8-9, 57:27; [2] 22:78, 2:185; [3] 20:132, 2:132, 14:40, 46:15, 103:3, 19:55.


3. DEAR ABE: God is Love, so why can’t the Muslims just love their enemy if they are approaching their issues in the name of their religion and God? --JOSE FROM SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

DEAR JOSE: Upon careful study of the Quran, we find that many struggles that are pursued in the name of Islam could be avoided if God’s recommendations to disregard certain issues were followed.  God advises that insults, betrayal, ignorance, and even some warping of God’s words (fabrications) may be disregarded [1],  and the action to be taken would be to remind using the Quran [2].   However, it is not against God’s laws to stand up against an aggressor or attacker if one deems it to be the appropriate response [3].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 33:48, 4:81, 5:13, 5:42, 6:106, 6:112, 6:137, 7:180, 7:199, 9:95, 15:94, 28:55, 37:174, 43:89, 53:29, 73:10; [2] 6:69-70, 7:2, 20:2-3, 38:87, 50:45, 73:19, 74:54-55, 87:9; [3] Top Ten, rules of war, Q&A#5 and #6.

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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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