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What did Muhammad mean when he wrote of the evil eye?

Mohamed Kohia, Rockhurst University professor: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The evil eye is real, and if anything were to overtake the divine decree (al-Qadar) it would be the evil eye.”

What do you say to those who say they pray and pray but never get an answer?

The Rev. Penny Ellwood, Blue Springs, Mo., United Methodist Church of the Resurrection: My short answer is, “keep praying.” Unfortunately, the short answer isn’t particularly motivating or helpful without a longer conversation.

‘The Devil can cite Scripture for his purpose,’ Shakespeare wrote. What think ye?

Pastor Betty Hanna-Witherspoon, Ebenezer Church, Kansas City, Mo.: This quotation may be built on Jesus’ encounter with Satan as found in Matthew 4:1-11 and Luke 4:1-12. In these passages, Satan uses Scripture to lure Jesus into exercising pride and pursuing fame and power. Jesus turns aside Satan’s use of Scripture to tempt him into demonstrations of his greatness with quotes from other passages. These passages counter Satan’s arguments that would lure him away from his ministry/calling.

How can Pope Francis fill those empty European cathedrals?

The Rev. Justin Hoye, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Kansas City, Mo.: “Keep doing what you’re doing.”

Does religion still matter in American life?

A.M. Bhattacharyya, Hindu faith adviser of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council: My response to those Americans who are questioning the relevance of religion is that every person, in essence, is spiritual at heart.

With all the misery around us, is it selfish to be too happy?

Lama Chuck Stanford, Rime Buddhist Center, Kansas City, Mo. – There is such incredible suffering going on around the world today: Wars and conflicts continue around the planet, 30,000 people die of starvation every day, and 85 percent of them are younger than 5. In Africa alone, about 7,000 people die of AIDS every day.

Who is your favorite prophet?

Rabbi Mark H. Levin, Congregation Beth Torah — The best answer for any Jew ought to be Moses, as our religion is based on Mosaic legislation.

Can we laugh at God?

The Rev. Duke Tufty, Unity Temple on The Plaza, Kansas City, Mo.:

How do you respond to other religions that claim to be the only path to salvation?

A.M. Bhattacharyya, Hindu faith adviser of the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council:

How does your faith address selfishness?

Lama Chuck Stanford, Rime Buddhist Center

Does God shine a light on some more than others?

The Rev. Holly McKissick, Peace Christian Church, Kansas City, Mo.: I keep thinking of Susie. Beautiful. Bright. Amazing. And taken from her children, family and friends way too soon.

Is abortion ever acceptable?

Arvind Khetia, engineer and Hindu: In Hinduism, a human life is considered a great blessing. Only through human life, with the help of one’s free will, can one choose to do good karma (actions) and attain the ultimate goal of human life, moksha (the ultimate freedom), and be united with the Divine.

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