1. DEAR ABE: People around the world are talking about the 2012 doomsday. But as far as I know in Quran there is no fixed date or year. Only the Almighty Allah knows when it will happen. So what does Islam and the Quran say about the phenomenon? Is anything bad going to happen in this year?? –MONIKA, BANGLADESH
DEAR MONIKA: The 2012 "doomsday" is based on some people's interpretation of Mayan artifacts. The end of this world will not happen in 2012. Within the Quran's mathematical structure, we can find the year when this world will end . God willing, it is beyond any reasonable expectations of our lifetimes.
Relevant Quran Verses:   20:15, Appendix 25 of the Quran translation by R. Khalifa.
2. DEAR ABE: Today my father introduced me to a young Muslim man that he works with. I reached out my hand to introduce myself and he stated "Oh no, sorry, I do not shake hands with women." I was wondering, is men not shaking hands with women part of the Muslim tradition? –CATHY, CANADA
DEAR CATHY: Not shaking hands with the opposite sex has no basis in the Quran, the Scripture of the Muslims. Rules such as these are based on cultural traditions and not God’s religious instructions, despite many Muslims mistakenly thinking it is a part of their religion. The verses within the Quran that describe appropriate interactions with someone of the opposite sex who is not related basically prescribe an environment of modesty . For example, we should neither show off our bodies, nor overtly gaze at someone's body .
Relevant Quran Verses:  33:59, 24:60, Appendix 15 of the Quran translation by R. Khalifa;  24:30-31.
3. DEAR ABE: I used to live in Saudi Arabia. I did not even know that we Muslims had different sects, until I moved to Pakistan. How would I know to which sector I actually belong to? Or, should I not bother to look into the matter and get back to being just a Muslim without a sect? –SALAAM, PAKISTAN
DEAR SALAAM: By God's grace you are thinking in the right direction! God condemns religious sects in the Quran . The righteous goal is to be a Muslim (or Submitter in English) to God ALONE. Thus, the source of religious information and law should be God’s words in the Scripture, and not from elsewhere. We encourage you to study the translation of the Quran . The first commandment - you shall not worship except God - is the unifying aspect of all religions. Unfortunately, the majority of humans including those who claim to be religiously enlightened are unaware of this commandment. The unawareness of this commandment is the source of deep divisions and conflicts amongst religions and within themselves .
Relevant Quran Verse: 6:159, 30:32, 42:14;  Quran translation by R. Khalifa;  3:18, 34:53, 32:15, 6:114, 6:19, 9:31, Bible Deuteronomy 6:4, Mathew 22:36-38.
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