1. DEAR ABE: Please give me examples of "lending God a loan of righteousness".
Thank you. –KAREN, CALIFORNIA
DEAR KAREN: This phrase is used several times in the Quran and describes a beautiful mindset that we can adopt in our lives. Typically it follows an example or description of righteous actions. These actions include reverencing God, obeying God, observing the contact prayers, spending in the cause of God, and giving to charity . The implication of this phrase is that we may sacrifice our time, money, and possessions in this world by choosing a more righteous behavior that will bring more benefits in the afterlife . Choosing the unspecified rewards that God will provide in the future over the tangible reward or satisfaction that we may gain at a given moment is one way to show the strength of our belief and trust in God .
Relevant Quran Verses:  5:12, 57:10-12,64:15-17;  73:20.
2. DEAR ABE: I am afraid of not going to heaven. I want to please God but I feel lost and confused. I was raised Catholic, and I feel that if I pray the way the other religions taught me God will not approve. –MARCO, NEW MEXICO.
DEAR MARCO: God has allowed people to divide into many religious groups . The correct path to find within any of these religions is to worship God alone . The Quran provides us with a scripture that is not tainted by idol worship, but the message of worshiping God alone can also be found in the Bible. God provides steps to finding our way in this process. The most important thing is to trust God, and seek God’s guidance . As long as our prayers are directed to God alone, and do not invoke human or other idols alongside of God, we can trust that God will accept our efforts . Trust in God completely, seek God’s guidance, and God will guide and show you the truth.
Relevant Quran Verses:  2:213, 32:13;  2:62, 2:177, 3:64, 22:17;  3:103, 5:16, 22:15;  6:82, 39:3.
3. DEAR ABE: Could you please give me your opinion about Zul-Qarnain in the Quran, mentioned in the chapter 18 (the cave). Is it an allegorical story, a past story, or a prophecy for the future? –ELISE, FRANCE
DEAR ELISE: We do not know the details outside the Quran, but it appears to be both a historical narrative and a prophecy for the future. The initial verses describe the travels of Zul-Qarnain . The remaining verses describe Zul-Qarnain sealing away an evil force known as Gog and Magog behind a dam . At the end of these verses, Zul-Qarnain states that "When the prophecy of my Lord comes to pass, He will cause the dam to crumble.” God follows in the next verse stating “At that time, we will let them invade with one another…”  The release of Gog and Magog is a prophesized event that is said to happen just before the world ends and we all experience the Day of Judgment .
Relevant Quran Verses:  18:83-93;  18:94-97;  18:98-99;  18:99-102.
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