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November 2010

1. DEAR ABE: Are illustrations or re-enactments of prophets not allowed?  –SAILAN, PHILIPPINES

DEAR SAILAN: There are no prohibitions of illustrations or re-enactments of any of the prophets in the Quran, including the prophet Muhammad.  Although there has been a great deal of controversy surrounding this issue, there is no prohibition in the Quran.  God prohibits us from innovating new religious laws [1].  In the Quran, God does reminds us to not make distinctions among God’s messengers [2].  Therefore, we should treat all of them with equal respect.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 42:21; [2] 2:136, 2:285, 3:84, 4:152.


2. DEAR ABE: I have been going through a crisis of faith.  Why does our Almighty Spirit assign a gender to Itself?  –ADALINE, AUSTRALIA

DEAR ADALINE: The question of gender is a common one. God is neither male nor female. In Arabic, “He” and “She” do not imply natural gender necessarily. There is no word for “it” in Arabic. For example, even a table has a “female” ending.  Therefore, when God is referred to as “He” in the Arabic language, this does not imply gender. God be glorified. Also, the Quran teaches us that it is blasphemous to refer to gender as far as the angels are concerned [1]. God willing, it is clear to us that gender is neither relevant nor appropriate as far as our Creator is concerned.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 37:149-154, 43:15-19.


3. DEAR ABE: I read that the Quran directs Muslims to follow the latest version of a directive.  That the earlier versions of the Quran were more peaceful and later explanations were more violent.  That Muslims can say Islam is peaceful based on early writings when the later more violent writings are the true version.  Is that accurate? –ROBERT, USA

DEAR ROBERT: Islam is an Arabic word which translates as Submission.  Muslim translates as Submitter.  Allah translates as God.  The central message of the Quran is the same as the Torah and the Gospel - worship God alone per the first commandment [1].  The Quran's message has always been the same and is unaltered [2]. It is the scholars who have brought and continue to bring fabrications that alter and often contradict the message in the Quran.  The Quran actually warns against following innovations by religious scholars [3].  Thus, the message of God has not changed but the message of human scholars continues to change. Unfortunately, many Muslims have no idea what the Quran says or advocates.

Relevant Quran Verses: [1] 2:112; 3:18, 4:36; [2] 15:9, 43:2-4, 85:22; [3] 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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