1. DEAR ABE: I was raised in a Muslim household. Recently, my wife gave me a statue, a replica of a famous original with a man on a horse. When my mother saw it on my table, she informed me that it is haram and it would never be found in the house of a True Muslim. I don’t see a problem with it; can you help me out here- am I going to have to return it? I don’t want to upset my wife either. --HASHIM, SOUTH CAROLINA
DEAR HASHIM: There is no law in the Quran that states a Muslim can not have a statue in their house. Actually, there is a narrative in the Quran which tells us that the Prophet Solomon had artisans make any statues that he desired . God describes Solomon as “a good and obedient servant” to God, wise, and knowledgeable; and we know that these are not the traits of a person who would go against God’s commands . God makes it clear that you can not have a statue of an idol that you intend to pay homage to, because it is blasphemous to attribute powers to things other than God . But it sounds like you were intending on using it for enjoyment and as a piece of artwork to adorn your home. In other words, the intention is what counts and since God does not categorize statues for enjoyment as unlawful, we can not prohibit them .
Relevant Quran Verses:  34:12-13;  38:30, 27:15, 21:79;  7:148, 6:74, 7:138-140, 2:165;  7:32, 10:59 .
2. DEAR ABE: I was on the beach last weekend and there was a group of Muslim women who waded and splashed in the Ocean while wearing long full-length dresses. I have seen this on the beach before, as well. Do their dresses have something to do with the Islamic Dress Code for women? --SANDRA, SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA
DEAR SANDRA: No, the Muslim women’s dress code is simple, and the type of clothing is not specified. What is specified is that they must cover their bosoms, reveal only what’s necessary, and dress modestly . Essentially, acceptable attire is clothing that would prevent others from thinking that the woman is unrighteous . It is completely up to the individual to determine what entails modest clothing; however, an ingredient of modesty is to not do things that draw attention to oneself . A pious Muslim woman could determine the reasonable dress of her society, and then conform to the accepted modest standards.
Relevant Quran Verses:  24:31;  24:60 , 33:59;  24:30-31, 7:26.
3. DEAR ABE: What are the Muslim Dietary restrictions? I always tried to avoid alcohol and pork, but there seems to be so many other limitations. So, what are the other required restrictions? --MAHIR, ONTARIO, CANADA
DEAR MAHIR: Throughout the Quran only four meats are prohibited: animals that die of themselves, blood, the meat of pigs, and animals dedicated to other than God . Also, God warns us to avoid gambling and intoxicants; including alcohol . We can not forbid what God has not forbidden, thus anything not in the prohibited categories is allowed for us to enjoy . 
Relevant Quran Verses:  2:172-173, 6:145, 16:115, 6:121;  2:219, 5:90-91;  6:148, 6:150, 7:32, 5:87, 42:21;  Appendix 16 of the Quran translation by R. Khalifa.
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