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May 2011

1. DEAR ABE: Are the contact prayers (Salat) ever mentioned in the Bible?  Did Jesus instruct the Christians to observe Salat?  Did Jesus do Salat?  –HASIM, SINGAPORE

DEAR HASIM : All practices in Islam were delivered to the prophet Abraham [1].   Jesus was a prophet who followed Abraham and in the Quran, God informs us that Jesus did indeed observe the contact prayers [2].  Many verses within the Bible refer to Jesus praying alone and with his companions.  Specifically, the Bible states that Jesus instructed people to recite specific words when they pray and to devote their prayers to God alone [3].  These words are similar to Sura 1 “The Key” [4].

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:125-129, 21:72-73, 22:78;  [2]  19:29-34;  [3] Mathew 6: 9-13; [4] 1:1-7.


2. DEAR ABE: What is the Islamic view of slavery? – ZAHEERA, UNITED KINGDOM

DEAR ZAHEERA: Most of the places that mention slaves in the Quran are referring to the freeing of slaves [1].  To free a slave is frequently presented as an example of a charitable and righteous act, and is listed as one method of atonement.  Thus, the view of slavery as described in the Quran is to reduce it over time.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:177, 4:92, 5:89, 9:60, 58:3, 90:11-13.


3. DEAR ABE: Is there a way I can observe my contact prayers while standing?  I have a spinal problem and cannot do much bending? –BILL, USA

DEAR BILL: God willing, your condition will improve. You can certainly do your contact prayer standing or sitting or lying down [1]. Just repeat the words without the movements.  If you have a problem doing ablution, you can do the dry ablution per the following verse [2].  Fortunately for us, God has provided us flexibility so that we may observe our religion under all situations.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1]  2:239; [2]  5:6.

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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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