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Old 01-23-2006, 05:04 PM   #36
Gullwing
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Mississauga
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I hope this helps in shedding some more light.

Questions:

-Is it true you have to pray 5 times a day? Why and are there specific times?

Yes it is true. Proper muslim prayer is 5 times a day. The specific times vary daily ( by a few minutes ) depending on the sunset/sunrise. As for why, the best way I can answer is by metaphore : Imagine that you shower 5 times a day, would there be any dirt left on your body ? Prayer washes your sins away and brings you closer to God and heaven. Also, it forces you to wake up early and be more energetic. When you go to a doctor, you are prescribed a medicine. Prayer is what God prescribes for humanity.

-Do you have to have an arranged marriage?

No, arranged marriages have nothing to do with religion. It is an old cultural practice. You cannot force two ppl to marry.

-Is there a heaven/hell concept?

Yes there is heaven and hell. A muslim goes to hell if his bad deeds are more than his good deeds and God doesnt forgive him. He goes to heaven if his good deeds are more than his bad deeds and God is satisfied with him.
The good/bad deeds are based on a points system. For one bad deed you receive 1 bad point. For one good deed you receive 10 good points. If you do a bad deed and ask God for forgiveness soon after , you get the bad point cancelled. If you had the intention of doing something bad but you dont do it, you get 10 good points. And if you had the intention of doing something good but you dont do it you also get 10 good points. In the end , the points are tallied and whatever score is more determines if you go to heaven or hell ( of course with God's will as well. )

-How strictly are you expected to follow the religion?

Each muslim is expected to follow the religion to the best of his ability, and to thrive to be the best he can. Islam is morals first , and then practice second. Being a sunni, I have a different concept. I dont follow imams or sheikhs. Only the Koran is between me and God and only the koran can tell me what to do. Also, sunni islam tries to mimic the way of life of the prophet and follow his teachings, but the authenticity of many of attributed teachings cannot be verified 100%, so you fall back on the koran.

-Is there a 10 commandments concept?

Yes there , same 10 commandments as jews/christians. with a bit of variety like mentioned before ( no pork, no alcohol, men cannot wear gold, etc..)

-What are the sigificant holidays?

significant holidays are the birth of the prophet, end of fasting in ramadan , eid el adha.

P.S: On the issue of dogs. A dog's saliva is considered unclean. Therefore , if you have a dog , it cannot be in the prayer area, and you must change clothes and shower before prayer. Dogs are not hated. All animals and plants are to be respected, even pigs. There is a story that says a prostitute gave water to a thirsty dog and God forgave all her sins.

Any more questions feel free to ask here.
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"Drivers in Lebanon often maneuver aggressively and pay little regard to traffic lights and stops signs" - U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs Consular Information Sheet.
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