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October 2009

1. DEAR ABE:  Is stem cell research haram (forbidden)? – BARAK, USA

DEAR BARAK: Obviously this is a controversial subject.  Stem cell research is not explicitly referred to in the Quran.  However, we are given an accurate description of human development, including when our souls enter our bodies as developing embryos [1].  As long as this embryo is not destroyed, it would be OK to do that research.  God encourages us to pursue knowledge as long as we maintain righteousness. There are many ways that stem cells can be attained, most do not seem to destroy a formed embryo or fetus.

Relevant Verses:  [1] 22:5;  [2] 29:19, 55:33.


2. DEAR ABE:  If my wife and I have the opportunity to try and become parents through fertility treatments are we obligated to?  Is it a sin not to try? – KAMAL, TURKEY

DEAR KAMAL:  Praise be to God. He is the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, Omnipotent, etc… We cannot possibly list all His attributes [1]. But we do know one of God's attributes - He knows the future [2]. Thus God also knows whether you would be successful in becoming  a father or not. You should definitely discuss any concerns you have with your wife, but it is not a sin for someone to not try and become a parent. Should you and your wife decide to try, God knows the outcome and as submitters (in Arabic: muslims) to God we accept the outcome as God's will [3].

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 6:103;  [2] 2:255, 16:77, 27:65, 35:38, 72:26;  [3] 2:253, 7:188, 42:49-50, 64:11.


3. DEAR ABE: Why are dogs considered impure and said to scare off angels from inside the home?  Does God eventually allow dogs into heaven? – SAMEH, EGYPT

DEAR SAMEH:   All animals, including dogs, go to Heaven according to the Quran [1].  Dogs can be wonderful companions and are truly a blessing from God.  It is incorrect to say that dogs are impure, or that angels would not enter a house where dogs are present. Such statements would be against the Quran. In fact, God provides examples of dogs as pets and companions to humans in the Quran, including the dog of the believers who slept in the cave [2].  Those verses are proof positive to us from the Quran that it is absolutely OK to have dogs as pets.  

Relevant Quran Verses:  [1] 6:38, 22:18; [2] 5:4, 18:18, 18:21.

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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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