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Questions Answered

The Christian acquaintance who sent me a copy of Morey's booklet also sent me five questions related to this subject. I will attempt to answer them below:

Question I:
What is the significance of the crescent moon in Islam?
The Qur'an answers this question before you asked it. Read this verse:

They ask you about the new moons. Say: These are signs to mark fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage (Qur'an 2:189).

Question 2:
Why does Islam follow a lunar calendar?
In both the Bible and the Qur'an religious festivals are regulated by the lunar calendar. Jews and Muslims have kept to these regulations which they believe to be from God. Why does Christianity follow a solar calendar?

Question 3:
Why is the feast of Ramadan marked by the appearance of the crescent moon?
I think you mean the fast of Ramadan. God commanded Muslims in the Qur'an to fast from dawn to
sunset during the month called Ramadan (see Qur'an 2:185, 187). The beginning and end of the month is determined by the crescent (2:189) based on the instructions of God's Messenger, on whom be peace. Why this method and not another is not for us to say but for God and His Messenger to prescribe. However, I find it an efficient method. It is a universally applicable method, and it allows for Ramadan to move through all the seasons. This allows believers to have the pleasure of worshipping God by fasting in all the various seasons: one year in the summer, some years later in the winter.

Question 4:
Why does the Qur'an place the Sabeans on the same level with Jews and Christians when scholars have clearly proven that the Sabeans were involved in the moon cult?
I am not aware that the Qur'an has placed the Sabeans on the same level with Jews and Christians. Perhaps you have in mind the following verse:

Those who believe and those who are Jews and Christians and Sabians, whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day and do righteous good deeds shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. Qur'an 2:62; also 5:69).

This verse, however, does not place the Sabians on the same level as the Jews and Christians except in a particular context. The verse speaks of four distinct communities, and offers all four the opportunity to fear not nor grieve if only they would believe in Allah and the Last Day and do right. The four communities are:
(a) the believers (i.e. the Muslims)
(b)the Jews
(c) the Christians and
(d) the Sabeans.

While they are all offered the same opportunity for improvement, nothing is said in this verse about the
validity of the existing faiths of these four communities. Otherwise the Jews and Christians who are criticized in the Qur'an for their deviations will not be placed on the same level with the believers. The matter becomes clear when you realize that believers here does not mean saved persons but those who ostensibly belong to the community of Muslims. They, as well as the other three groups, must do the following to be saved: believe in Allah, believe in the Last Day, and do right. Doing right, according to the Qur'an, includes following every teaching of Muhammad.

Question 5:
Did the Meccans worship the true God since they recognized Allah? Was Allah one of the gods of the
Ka'abah? And if so, where did the Meccans derive the recognition and the name of Allah from?
First, Allah was not one of the 360 idols which were in the ka'abah, although Morey has claimed this
without evidence. When prophet Muhammad (pbuh) entered Meccah victorious he went into the
Ka'abah and broke the idols therein. Allah to the Arabs was the Lord of the Ka'abah. He was the unseen God whom they would call upon when in distress. Yes, they worshipped the true God but their worship was not purely for Him. They also worshipped other gods thinking that they would act as intermediaries between them and the true God Allah. The Arabs know of Allah because Abraham visited Meccah and together with his son Ishmael laid the foundation of the Ka'abah. The descendants of Ishmael retained some of the worship rites and beliefs from Abraham. This included their knowledge of the true God Allah.

Elsewhere I have shown conclusively that the true god El of the Bible is the same as Allah of the Qur'an. Please refer to Yahweh, Jehovah, or Allah-What is God's real name ? by Shabir Ally.

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