1. DEAR ABE: Is it true that the Christians and Jews of modern days will be allowed into the Paradise? If so, then why does it say in the Quran, verse 3:19, “The only religion approved by Allah is Islam. For such rejectors of GOD's revelations, GOD is most strict in reckoning?”– AMIR, LONDON
DEAR AMIR: Islam is a description, not just a name. In English, the word Islam translates to Submission, and Allah is the Arabic word for God. The Quran verse 3:19 is stating the religion of Submission is the only religion acceptable to God. Anyone who submits to God ALONE irrespective of what he/she calls his/her religion is a submitter . Submission is God’s true religion . Thus, there may be Submitters that are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc. .
Relevant Quran Verses:  3:19;  3:83-85;  2:62, 5:69 .
2. DEAR ABE: I am fairly new to Islam. Is it bad or haram if I am still trying to memorize Nafila prayers , and when I pray I use a piece of paper to help me with the Salat and the Nafila prayers? – AIDA, CANADA
DEAR AIDA: All our religious practices including Salat should be dedicated to God ALONE . Mentioning any name beside God, including Muhammad, in Salat is tantamount to idolatry. Traditionalist mosques prescribe prayers that include the names of prophets Mohammad and Abraham beside God’s name, so you would need to be sure you are not practicing that type of prayer . The Obligatory Salat prayers are the only prayers commanded by God, and thus the only formal prayers we should observe, along with our own independent supplications. There are no rules on how to memorize the Obligatory Salat prayers, so you can learn them the way you find works the best for you.
Relevant Quran Verses:  72:18, 39:45, 17:46;  29:17, 3:84, Introduction to Salat prayers .
3. DEAR ABE: What are the differences between Tahiyat al-Masjid (the prayer of greeting the mosque) and Nafila prayers? Does a Muslim have to do Tahiyat every time he prays in the masjid? Are Tahiyat or Nafila prayers obligatory for a Muslim? – SHARIF, MICHIGAN
DEAR SHARIF: Tahiyat al-Masjid and Nafila prayers are not Obligatory, as a matter of fact they are Prophet’s Sunna . The only Sunna that God discusses in the Quran is God’s Sunna , not the Sunna of the prophet or anyone else. Thus, the only Sunna to follow shall be God’s sunna . Sunna of the Prophet is outside of the Quran and is not a part of the Quran, and we are commanded to follow the Quran and worship God ALONE. All our religious practices including Salat should be dedicated to God ALONE . Thus, the only Obligatory prayers sanctioned by God are the five Salat a day, and not Tahiyat or Nafila.
Relevant Quran Verses:  33:62, 2:138, 48:23, 9:31, 17:77, 6:114;  72:18, 2:112, 2:136, 3:79, 3:150, 4:36 .
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