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July 2012

1. DEAR ABE:   If I want to convert to Islam what are the requirements or rules?  –JOSEPH, DUBUI

DEAR JOSEPH: There is no set path to become Muslim.  The main requirement is that you worship God alone and do not allow idols to rival God in your life.  There are many things in the Quran that God instructs us to do to help accomplish this, and one of the most important is to read the Quran from cover to cover [1].  Reading does not need to be in the original Arabic [2], it should be in the language that you best understand.  You should also work toward establishing the 5 daily contact prayers in your life [3], giving regularly to charity [3], and observe fasting during Ramadan [4].  All of these practices help to strengthen our souls and raise our awareness of God in our daily lives.

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 17:106, 73:4, 73:20, 96:1-3, ; [2] 26:198-199, 41:44, ; [3] 2:3, 2:110, 5:12, 29:45, ; [4] 2:183-187.


2. DEAR ABE: What are the signs of the arrival of Imam Mahadi? Is there any fixed year given in the Quran about his arrival? – ANIKA, INDIA

DEAR ANIKA: Imam Mahdi has no basis in the Quran. Imam Mahdi is a fabrication of the religious scholars.  There are statements about other future events in the Quran.  For example, the splitting of the moon has already happened, when Astronauts brought back rocks from the moon [1].  There is also mention of the smoke, however this event has not happened yet happened and there is no date specified in the Quran [2].   .

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 54:1;  [2] 44:10-15.


3. DEAR ABE: Does God only watch over the faith of Islam? I mean, we have no right to choose when or where we were born.  Now, I am a Muslim because my parents were also Muslims.  If my parents were Christians, I would be a Christian. Why do we have no say in how we are born? –NASIRAH, FRANCE

DEAR NASIRAH: God watches over and guides people within all faiths.  Regardless of where we begin, we can become submitters to God, or stray into idol worship [1].  Anyone who believes in God and the last days while leading a righteous life is a submitter to God, regardless of their affiliation with a particular religious group [2].  God offers guidance to anyone who is willing to accept it [3].  Therefore, God provides an opportunity to redeem our souls regardless of the circumstances into which we are born.

Relevant Quran Verse: [1] 22:16, 24:35, 39:37;  [2] 2:62, 2:277;  [3]  2:142, 2:213, 24:46, 73:19.

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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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