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Saints and Shrines

2007 Vol. 5: Sept/Oct

Popular or folk religion always claims a connection, or even loyalty to the orthodox position — the practitioners sensing no disparity in their deviance. Thus is the paradox of our Muslim friends who petition a “saint” to intercede with Allah on their behalf or on behalf of a deceased family member. Orthodox Islam teaches there is one God, and no mediator between God and man — no one can take another’s place. Yet, when we observe the behavior of ordinary Muslims around the world, we see that the actual practices are quite different than the advertised rituals.

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