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January 2010

1. DEAR ABE: Am I going to Hell if I do not pray?  – FATIMA, FLORIDA

DEAR FATIMA: Worship practices such as the Contact Prayers (Salat), fasting, and the Obligatory Charity (Zakat) develop our soul for the Hereafter [1]. Such acts dedicated to God alone help nourish our soul.  Our soul is thus prepared to be near God (which is Heaven). If our soul is not developed we cannot come near God (which is Hell) [2]. Keep in mind that the definitions of Heaven and Hell in the Quran are allegorical [3].  God has given us examples of insects who go to the light bulb at night and die trying to get to the light. Remember that those who strive, strive for their own good. GOD is in no need for anyone [4]. You question if God will forgive your lack of prayers; but you will have to reach an answer for yourself.

Relevant Quran Verse: [1] 7:156, 2:2-3, 2:177, 13:22, 14:31, 2:277;  [2] Appendix 15 of the Quran translation by R. Khalifa; [3] 2:25,13:35;  [4] 29:6.


2. DEAR ABE: Right now, my life is not going well.  What should I do while facing adversity?  Also, what should I do when facing a difficult decision to make? – RAFI, NEW YORK

DEAR RAFI: If you worship God alone you can get guidance by praying to God [1].  I also recommend for you to look to the Quran and study the subject that is causing you distress. It may help you to understand your situation better.  How about opening the Quran randomly while praying? Your answer might well be on the randomly opened page of the Quran.  Keep in mind that these are suggestions, and that there is not one “right” answer.  God does tell us in the Quran that He creates an exit for anyone who reverences Him [2].  Also, check yourself to make sure you are not sinning.  If you need to correct yourself, remember that God will forgive your sins if you repent and reform [3].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:45, 2:186, 39:53, 13:11; [2]  65:2-3, 34:39; [3] 3:89-90, 4:17-18, 4:146, 25:70.


3. DEAR ABE:   I was reading another website that says that Allah only accepts Islam and non-Muslims will not go to heaven.  But in your top 10 Q&A your answer is different.  So which answer is right?   -- JAN, ROMANIA

DEAR JAN: A Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu, etc. can be a Submitter ( In Arabic: Muslim) if they worship God ALONE [1].  Submission (In Arabic: Islam) is addressed in Quran Verses, which say indeed, anyone who submits themselves absolutely to God alone, while leading a righteous life, will be rewarded [2].  This Quranic commandment to worship God alone is the same as the first commandment given through Moses and the same message of other prophets [3].  It is not exclusive to one group.  On the other hand, some people will be convinced to worship idols [4].  And in the end, God tells us He will not forgive idol worship if it is maintained until death, no matter what the idolaters call themselves [5].

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 3:19, 2:62,3:150, 4:36;  [2] 2:256, 2:62, 2:112, 5:69;   [3] 3:18, 2:83-85, 2:135, 3:51, 4:172, 5:116-117;  [4] 39:45, 39:66, 40:12; [5]  40:14, 4:48, 4:116.

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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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