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March 2011

1. DEAR ABE: Recently, I was told by a friend that sweets dedicated to idols in a Hindu temple are okay to eat because only meat that is dedicated to idols are prohibited, but my other friend says all food dedicated to something other than God is prohibited. Please advise.  – SWAPAN, INDIA

DEAR SWAPAN: Your second friend is correct.  Any food dedicated to any idol should not be eaten [1].  The distinction between meat and other types of food refers to pigs.  Only the meat of pigs is forbidden according to the Quran [1].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:173, 5:3, 6:145, 16:115.


2. DEAR ABE: Is there a difference between “Muslim” and “Moslem”? – FRANK, USA

DEAR FRANK: Both words are English transcriptions of the Arabic word - Muslim or Moslem.  They both translate to “submitter”, meaning a person who submits to the will of God [1].  Similarly, Allah is the Arabic word for God.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 1:1-7, 2:2-5, 2:62 .


3. DEAR ABE: I just prayed for the health of an ill relative and was told that the my prayer wont be answered if I have pets. I was told that the pet must be set free in order for God to grant my prayer. Is this true? Does it have any base in Islam or is it a local superstition? – MALIK, SE ASIA

DEAR MALIK: There is absolutely no prohibition in the Quran about pets.  The only examples of pets in the Quran show a positive relationships between animals and humans [1]. The types of nonsensical restrictions that you describe have their basis in hadiths and have no basis in the Quran.  God is clear that nothing was left out of the Quran [2].  When the Quran does mention hadiths other than the Quran, it is to condemn them [3].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 5:4, 18:18-22-4; [2] 6:19, 6:38, 6:114-5, 31:27; [3] 6:38, 7:185, 31:6, 52:34, 68:44, 77:50, Appendix 19 of the Quran translation by R. Khalifa.

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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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