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June 2006:

1. DEAR ABE: What is your proof that the Quran is Scripture from God? –JOSH, RIVERSIDE, CALIFORNIA

DEAR JOSH:  God has given several forms of evidence and proof that the Quran is His sacred scripture, such as a lack of contradiction among the verses and correctly describing phenomena that scientists have only recently described [1]. However, the most convincing and irrefutable evidence is a divine numerical coding that is beyond human capability and guarantees perfect preservation. The Quran's mathematical coding ranges from the very simple, to the very complex. The pattern is based on the number 19 and can be found throughout the original Arabic text. Some of the simpler elements of this pattern are: the word "God" (Allah) occurs in the Quran 2698 times, and this number is a multiple of 19 (19x142); the first verse [2], known as "Basmalah," consists of 19 letters; the Quran consists of 114 suras (chapters), which is a multiple of 19 (19x6); the total number of verses in the Quran is 6346, also a multiple of 19 (19x334);  the famous first revelation [3] consists of 19 words;  the last revelation [4] also consists of 19 words. This is a small sampling of a much broader mathematical pattern that extends to confirming even the individual letters found in the Quran.[5]

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 79:30, 6:125, 36:40, 21:30, 51:47, 11:7, 27:61, 23:14; [2] 1:1; [3] 96:1-5; [4] 110:0-3; [5] Appendix 1 and Appendix 38 of the Quran translation by R. Khalifa. 


2. DEAR ABE:   Is five Contact Prayers a day mentioned in the Quran? I am a Muslim and always thought we were required to do five a day, but then a friend told me that God only requires three Contact Prayers a day. He then referred me to a website whose arguments for three Contact Prayers a day seem pretty convincing. Now I am a ---CONFUSED MUSLIM IN TOLEDO, OHIO

DEAR TOLEDO MUSLIM: The five daily Contact Prayers are confirmed in the Quran [1] either by name (Dawn, and Night Prayer) or by stating their corresponding time (Sunset, Noon, and middle-the Afternoon). When the Quran was revealed, the Contact Prayers (Salat) had already been in existence and up until recent times, there was never any question that the number of required Contact Prayers is five times a day. Three Contact Prayers a day is a new phenomenon and demonstrates people’s challenge to God’s perfect system.[2]

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:238, 11:114, 17:78, 24:58; [2] Appendix 9 of the Quran translation by R. Khalifa. 


3. DEAR ABE:   I was watching a news report recently where a man in Afghanistan was put on trial in a religious court because he converted from Islam to Christianity.  The media was saying that they expected him to be condemned to death.  What does Islam say about the converts, does God say they should be put to death?  --DAN, FORT WORTH, TEXAS

DEAR DAN:  God does not ask us to or even give us permission to kill someone based on their beliefs or disbelief in God [1].  We are only allowed to fight back in defense, and we are not allowed to aggress against or oppress other people. Additionally, we are prohibited from forcing our belief on other individuals [2].  In the case of the Christian convert, the rules that the Afghan Islamic religious court followed were not God’s rules [3].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:256; [2] 2:190, 60:8-9, 4:60-63, 54:6, 2:109, 23:54; [3] 4:60, 42:21 .

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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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