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January 2013

1. DEAR ABE: Can muslims donate to a church, monastery, monks, or other non-muslims?  – ARAN, THAILAND

DEAR ARAN: The answer is yes. There is no prohibition in the Quran.  However, not all donations will count toward zakat (obligatory charity).  Zakat only applies to donations that help the poor [1].  These donations can be directed toward individuals or organizations that carry out this type of work.  Religious belief of the recipient(s) is not a factor.  There is no specification that these or other donations can only be directed toward muslims.

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 2:215, 9:60 .


2. DEAR ABE: What type of prayer does Allah (GOD) hate? –FAARIH, INDIA

DEAR FAARIH: God does not like prayers that are directed toward entities other than God [1]. We should direct our prayers to God and not to others such as prophets, messengers, angels, saints, and spirits.  These entities have no power of their own.  All power and knowledge ultimately rest with God [2]. God also does not like prayers which ask Him to violate His own laws.  For example, we should not pray for forgiveness for idolators, only guidance [3].  Idol worship is an unforgivable offense if maintained until death.

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 2:165, 4:36, 5:72-76, 6:39-46, 22:31, 39:64-66; [2] 2:106, 2:115, 2:259, 2:284, 4:26, 10:3;  [3] 4:48, 4:116, 60:4 .


3. DEAR ABE: I was told recently that I cannot have pictures on my wall of my family or anyone else.  Please explain, why is this prohibited? – JUDITH, USA

DEAR JUDITH: There is absolutely nothing wrong with having any pictures of anyone, including family, on the walls. There is no such prohibition in the Quran.  The person who told you this is not basing this on the Quran, but is basing this on an opinion of a religious scholar [1]. The Quran does not look upon religious scholars kindly [2].

Relevant Quran Verse: [1] 6:19, 6:38, 6:114, 7:185, 31:6, 32:15; [2] 9:31.

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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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