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February 2010

1. DEAR ABE: There is a challenge in the Quran that we cannot produce a sura (chapter) like one in the Quran.  But, the smallest sura in Quran is of only few words.  My question is: why can't we write a sura like one in the Quran?  – KAREEM, ASIA

DEAR KAREEM: The challenge in the Quran is to produce a sura as you state [1]. The Quran is mathematically composed as well as a literary book [2]. Even the shorter suras, such as the one you mention, are woven into the overall mathematical composition.  Details such as the frequency of certain words and letters conform to this pattern. Additionally, they begin with the opening verse, the "Basmalah", which on its own contains an astounding mathematical composition [3].   Attempting to add an additional sura to the Quran that is coherent from a literary stand point, incorporates the intricies of the mathematical composition, and does not disrupt it in some way is impossible for us as humans.

Relevant Quran Verse: [1] 2:23;  [2] 4:82, 10:1, 13:1, 74:30-36, Appendices 1 and 29 of the Quran translation by R. Khalifa; [3] Beyond Probabilityby A. Arik.


2. DEAR ABE: Verse 4:6 in the Quran provides guidelines for giving property to an orphan, and says that a wage might be charged, but I do not understand whos property is it and who is charging what to whom? – OMAR, NEW YORK

DEAR OMAR: The Quran has several verses concerning the protection of orphans [1].  There are many circumstances under which someone might care for an orphan.  In this case, the property is the property of the orphan and the verse refers to those who adopt orphans who have property. The property should be returned to the orphan(s) when they (orphans) reach maturity. A poor guardian may charge a fee for taking care of this property.  Presumably, this fee would be charged against the value of the property.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:220, 4:2-10, 6:152, 17:34, 89:14-19, 93:6-9, 107:1-2.


3. DEAR ABE:   Is there a set time in Hell if you believe and try to submit to God, but sometimes sin anyway?   -- SARAH, USA

DEAR SARAH: Mercifully, God forgives all sins (if one sincerely repents) except for the sin of idol worship [1].  It is clearly stated in the Quran that Hell is eternal [2]. Thus anyone destined for Hell will be there for eternity. The same applies for anyone destined for Heaven [3].  In the Quran, God provides us with several examples of idols so that we can avoid them [4].  These can include: personal ego, other people, wealth etc…  In general, these examples boil down to believing that something other than God can help you in your life.  To avoid this, all of us should attempt to keep God foremost in our minds during our lives so that we can appreciate his blessings and remember him in our thoughts and actions.

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 4:17-18, 4:116, 39:3, 42:25;  [2] 2:257, 5:37, 18:102, 19:86, 41:28; [3] 2:25, 2:82, 3:185, 10:26, 11:108, 40:39;  [4] 6:137, 9:31, 12:106.

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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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