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February 2008

1. DEAR ABE: I have a serious problem which is breaking my heart.  I love a girl who is a non–Muslim, a Christian girl.   I love her character.  She is so kind hearted and merciful, and beautiful too.  My problem is that the Quran says in Chapter 2, Verse 221 not to marry a non-Muslim until they believe.  So, what should I do now?   I am confused and cannot console my heart.  I want to be a good Muslim and I want to make her a Muslim too, so she will be mine.  Although I know I cannot do anything without God’s will.  Please tell me; is there any way to do this?   --ATUF, ANDHRA PRADESH

DEAR ATUF:   The Quran informs us that as long as a person believes and leads a righteous life, regardless of what they call themselves, we are allowed to marry them [1].  So if we want to please and obey God then we will keep those criteria in mind when deciding to marry.  A good starting point could be to introduce her to the words of God in the Quran.  In the end, I invite you to examine something important, the meaning of the name Muslim.  The definition of the word “Muslim” (in English:  Submitter) is one who devotes their worship or “Submits” to God alone independent of messengers and saints [2]. The word is descriptive rather than a name. Thus, Muslims (Submitters) could be found in any religion, including Islam (Submission) [3].

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 2:62, 2:177, 5:5, 24:3, 4:24; [2] 55:26-27, 2:112, 42:21;  [3] Appendix 8, Appendix 12, Appendix 13, and Appendix 19 of the Quran translation by R. Khalif.


2. DEAR ABE: My mum needs a heart bypass, and for this doctors have suggested using a pig’s valve.  What does Islam say to this? --POURAN, THE UK

DEAR POURAN:   We are sorry to hear about your mother's hardship. The pig restriction is specifically a dietary restriction [1]. The restriction is very specific to the “meat” of the pig. Also, we can not make up prohibitions that God has not made [2].  Thus, the pig valve replacement is not forbidden by God.

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1]  2:173, 5:3, 6:145-146, 16:115;  [2] 5:87, 7:32, 3:94.


3. DEAR ABE: I am very interested in Islam.  I am considering converting for a better way of life. The problem is my family is Christian and my grandfather is a minister. My parents know I am interested in Islam but they want me to read the Bible first because I am not educated in Christianity. How should I go about handling this situation? What are the differences between Islam and Christianity? -- FELICIA, BRITISH COLUMBIA

DEAR FELICIA:   Studying God's scriptures is the intelligent thing to do.  This includes both the Quran and Bible [1]. There is no substitute to studying God's scriptures. In Islam we believe in all the prophets including Jesus, and in God's scriptures [2].  The message delivered by all of God's prophets has always been the same, worship God Alone and do not associate any partners with God.  Thus, the disputes between today’s main monotheistic religions are due to human innovations like idolizing Jesus and Muhammad, and following manmade rules [3].  The major difference between Islam and Christianity is with regard to the status of Jesus. God teaches us in the Quran that Jesus was a human prophet; Jesus was neither God nor God’s son [4].

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 17:36; [2] 2:136, 3:3; [3] 9:31, 2:62, 6:163, 10:18, 16:36, Deuteronomy 5:1-7, Deuteronomy 6:4-5; [4]  19:34-36, 3:59, 4:171.

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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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