Are secular Muslims kaffir

Islam from A to Z

One fifth of humanity bows to Mecca every day. None of the world religions grows as fast as Islam, which means as much as submission and complete surrender to God.

Mecca - After Christianity, Islam is the second largest religious community in the world with around 1.3 to 1.5 billion followers. Well over four million Muslims now live in Germany. But what do we even know about this religion in this country? We have put together an ABC of Islam - and explain terms from A for Allah to S for Sunnis to Z for interest rate transactions.

A for Allah

The claim to possession of the truth is absolute: All people should worship the only true God. Islam shares the universal validity of its preaching with Christianity. Both are prophetic religions for which the claim to absoluteness is of crucial importance.

In sura 59, verses 22 to 24 of the Koran, a fundamental passage of the Islamic doctrine of God, it says about Allah: “He is Allah, besides whom there is no god, the Knower of the hidden and the revealed. He is the Most Merciful and Merciful (22). He is Allah, except Whom there is no god; He is the Ruler, the Only Saint, the Peace, the Giver of Security, the Supervisor, the Exalted, the Subjugator, the Majestic. Praise be to Allah above all that they associate with Him (23). He is Allah, the Creator, the Maker, the Designer. He deserves the most beautiful names. All that is in the heavens and on earth praises Him, and He is the Exalted, the All-Wise (24). "

B for burqa

The question of the extent to which a Muslim woman should cover up or veil herself - yes, whether she even has to - has preoccupied Islamic legal scholars for a long time. The Koran does express itself on the subject, but remains rather vague and thus allows for interpretations. The suras in question can be interpreted more loosely, in which case the believer does not wear a head covering or - one step further - the simple headscarf, called a chimar.

The most extreme interpretation is complete disguise, i.e. the burqa. A large cloth covers the entire body of the woman, even her face. There is only one lattice-like window at eye level. The burqa is particularly common in Afghanistan and Pakistan. In between there are variations such as the chador, which is compulsory in Iran. The long, black cloak is wrapped around the head and body.

Sometimes a face veil is worn in connection with this, which only leaves a small viewing slit free - the niqab. The hijab, in turn, usually describes a headscarf that also covers the neck region of the woman and possibly also her shoulders.

C for Christians

Kufr (Arabic for disbelief) means in Islam the rejection of belief in Allah, the denial of his prophet Mohammed and the Koran as God's word. The followers of the two other monotheistic religions are regarded as "Kafir" (unbelievers), although Judaism, Christianity and Islam have Abraham (Ibrahim) as their ancestor.

In sura 5, verse 44 it says: “Those who do not decide according to what God (in the scriptures) had revealed are the (true) unbelievers.” And further in verse 17 it says: “Those who say are unbelievers : God is Christ, the son of Mary. "

The Qur'an describes what awaits Christians and other unbelievers as follows: “On those who disbelieve and die in this state, there is the curse of God and of angels and of men as a whole” (sura 2, verse 161). In general, all those outside the Muslim community (ummah) are unbelievers. Throughout history, theological controversies have repeatedly led to bloody conflicts, which emerged, for example, in the medieval crusades.

Muslims accuse Christians of misinterpreting the Bible. Although they recognize Jesus as a prophet, Mohammed is not honored by the Christian side. Enlightenment, social emancipation and imperialism have also deepened the rifts between the two religious communities.

D for jihad

The term jihad (Arabic for effort, struggle, effort, commitment) means in a religious sense “the effort on God's way”. According to classical Islamic legal doctrine, this struggle serves to expand and defend Islamic territory until Islam is the dominant religion. Modern Muslim authors also see military struggle as a legitimate means of defending Islamic states and the freedom of Muslims, as well as proclaiming Islam outside their sphere of influence.

In addition to the external, the internal struggle against the evil in one's own heart and the internal purification for moral perfection through rites, prayers and penance are also meant. As an important principle of belief, jihad is one of the basic precepts of the Islamic faith and a duty imposed on all Muslims.

Sunni scholars rank jihad as the sixth one of the "five pillars of Islam". Jihad can only be proclaimed by high dignitaries. Radical Islamic organizations such as the Islamic State (IS), Al Qaeda or Hezbollah see it as a means of fighting the enemies of Islam - if necessary at the risk of one's own life.

E for honor killing

Honor killing is primarily a phenomenon in Islamic societies. The concept of honor has less to do with religious than with social and cultural conditions. Archaic ideas are widespread, especially in strictly patriarchal societies such as Pakistan, Afghanistan or Turkey.

According to this thinking, the family clan has the right to interfere in women's lives at any time in defense of honor. In this way, honor becomes an instrument of total control, denunciation and the exercise of power by men.

Sometimes a rumor, a fashionable hairstyle or a reply is enough to violate family honor. It is up to fathers, brothers and uncles to preserve them. If this does not succeed, the only way to restore family honor is by murdering their daughter and sister.

Islam ABC - Part II

F for fundamentalism

Religious fundamentalism is a global problem today. The term originally comes from a Christian context: from 1910 to 1915 theologians of the evangelical movement in the USA published the series "The Fundamentals" on the foundations of the Christian faith. In the meantime the term has become a synonym for a radical mindset, for intolerance, narrow-mindedness, anti-modernism and hostility to science.

Fundamentalists can be found wherever social insecurity and cultural change wash away traditions and values. Religion becomes the most important hold in a life world that is perceived as hostile - in the form of an intolerant, rigid dogmatism that only requires strict adherence to beliefs. Any deviation from pure doctrine is branded as sin and turning away from the right path.

Since the middle of the 19th century, a political-religious Islam has gained influence as a supranational unified ideology. He wants to consistently implement the commandments of the Koran and the supremacy of religion over the state. With that, fundamentalism gained in importance. Its goal is the worldwide implementation of Sharia law, which is the basis of legislation in many countries such as Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Iran.

In the 20th century, western dominance led to backwardness and an identity crisis in the Islamic world. The conflict between tradition and modernity has strengthened Islamist movements. Their supporters want to revive Dar-el-Islam (House of Islam) as a great power. Militant Islamist organizations emerged such as the Gama Islamij in Egypt, the Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) in Algeria and the terrorist network Al Qaeda. In this fundamentalist form, Islam claims universal validity against all non-believers and is therefore extremely militant.

G as in equality

The Koran says that men and women are created equal from a single being and are equal before God. From which, however, one cannot infer that women in Islamic society have equal rights at all levels.

Because of their different physical characteristics, Islam ascribes different talents and corresponding tasks to the sexes, which in turn gives rise to different rights and duties. In fact, there are many passages in the Qur'an in which women are mainly seen in the context of the family - as a daughter, wife, mother.

Nevertheless, there are major differences of opinion between liberal and conservative Islamic scholars about the position of women. But it's not just about the religious dimension. Many Muslim countries are still extremely patriarchal today, in other words: men simply assume that they are superior to women and are therefore worth more.

H for Hajj

The Hajj is the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca. It is the fifth of the five pillars of Islam and takes place annually on five days during the eighth to twelfth day of the month of Dhu l-Hijah, the twelfth and last month in the annual cycle of the Islamic calendar.

In the third sura, verse 97, it says: “And people are obliged to God to make the pilgrimage to their house - as far as they can find a way.” Every Muslim of legal age (accompanied by women) is obliged to do so at least once in a lifetime to make a pilgrimage to Mecca. He then received the honorary title of Hajji.

The small pilgrimage - Umra -, which is possible at any time, is a shortened version, but cannot replace the Hajj. In addition to the Hajj, Islam is based on four other pillars: the creed (Shahada), the five times daily prayer (Salat), the delivery to the poor (Zakat) and fasting in the holy month of Ramadan (Saum).

As part of their pilgrimage in Mecca, the pilgrims circled the Kaaba seven times counterclockwise and praised Allah. The Kaaba (Arabic for cube, cube) is a cuboid building made of granite, covered with black silk, in the inner courtyard of the Holy Mosque in Mecca and, as the “House of God”, represents the central sanctuary of Islam.

In sura 5, verse 97 it says: "God has made the Kabaa, the inviolable house, a place of prayer for the people." The great importance of the Kaaba is that it is the goal of the Hajj. In addition, it is at the center of Islamic belief, because with every prayer Muslims have to orient themselves to the Kaaba, wherever the believers are on earth. This direction of prayer is also called Qibla.

I like Islam

Islam (the word means submission to God and complete surrender to him) is the youngest of the monotheistic religions. Like Jews and Christians, Muslims also believe in the one true God. With around 1.6 billion believers, it is the second largest world religion after Christianity (around 2.2 billion followers).

Islam has its origins in the revelations received from God to Mohammed, who was born in Mecca in 570 AD and died in Medina in 632. Mohammed is viewed by Muslims as the historically last of the prophets to whom Allah's revelation was sent with the Koran. With the hijra, the expulsion from his hometown Mecca and the arrival in Medina September 24th, 622, the Islamic calendar begins.

The doctrines of the faith are recorded in 114 suras (chapters) with 6236 verses, which were written by Mohammed between 610 and 623 and are God's revealed word for Muslims. The close connection between politics, religion and everyday life is characteristic of Islam. This means that Islam intervenes much more strongly in socio-political life than other religions. The Koran is a secular and religious code of law in one, the Umma, the Islamic community, religious and political community. Sharia, the holy law, gives instructions for all of life.

J for Jesus

In the Koran Isa ibn Maryam, Arabic for Jesus, son of Mary, is considered the Messiah (al-masih) and as the word (kalima) and spirit (Ruh) of God (Allah). Through the sending of the Holy Spirit - the name Ruh al-qudus is an Arabic name for the Archangel Gabriel (who according to the Bible proclaimed the message of the birth of a son to Mary) he was able to perform miracles with God's permission and help. In Islam, Jesus is not the triune God (Trinity) with the Father and the Holy Spirit, since Islam regards the Trinity as a breach of pure monotheism (one God belief).

In Christian theology, God is a unit of essence in three persons called the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. For Muslims, Jesus is not God, but only God's messenger and prophet. In sura 4, verse 157 it says about the crucifixion of Christ: “They (in reality) did not kill him and (also) did not crucify him. Rather, (someone else) appeared similar to them (so that they mistook him for Jesus and killed him). "

Jesus is the penultimate herald before Muhammad in the line of prophets (those people who were chosen by Allah to convey his word to the people). The founder of Islam is revered as the last prophet (nabi) and messenger of God (rasul Allah) to whom the word of Allah was revealed in the Koran. A total of 25 prophets are named in the Koran, beginning with Adam, Idrsi (Enoch), Nuh (Noah) and Ibrahim (Abraham).

Islam ABC - Part III

K for Koran

The Koran (literally: the book to be read often) is the holy scripture of Muslims. For them, the revealed text of the Koran embodies the literal word of God, which was written by Muhammad in 114 chapters (suras) with 6236 verses between 610 and 623 AD. Allah is identical to the God of the biblical prophets. But according to Muslim belief, because of misinterpretations and falsifications of the original message by other religions, another prophet was needed - Mohammed.

In the Koran, Islam recognizes the prophets and ancestors of the Bible - from Adam and Abraham through Moses to Jesus. However, he denies the sonship and redemptive act of Jesus Christ as attested in the Bible. The suras of the Koran are arranged according to their length and not chronologically. Soon after Muhammad's death in AD 632, the Sunnah texts were written, which contain exemplary actions of the Prophet and his successors. Other traditions, called hadiths (Arabic for narration, report), denote sayings and deeds of the prophet in Islam.

L for love

There are also inconsistent trends when it comes to love and marriage: They range from traditional to modern, from ultra-conservative to revealing. One thing is clear, however: according to the classical Islamic understanding, the intimate areas of life of marriageable women and men are strictly separated. The only place where this doesn't apply is in marriage. Divorce is considered reprehensible, but both men and women are allowed.

According to the Shiite view, a temporary marriage is also possible, for example for a few hours. Sunni Koran scholars condemn this, however, as legitimizing prostitution. Sex before marriage is not allowed, and adultery is severely punished according to classical Islamic law, which is still used in Sudan, among others - with stoning. While Muslims are allowed to marry non-Muslims, women are not allowed to marry non-Muslims.

According to a conservative interpretation, homosexuality is considered a sin, but the Koran does not explicitly specify a punishment.

M for mosque

Masjid (Arabic for mosque) is a mixture of church and parish hall; a place where one prostrates before God, a ritual place where one prays together, a social meeting place where political, legal and practical values ​​are conveyed. A Muslim can offer his daily prayers anywhere, but if he praises and praises God in a mosque, it is considered particularly meritorious. Because in it he expresses his belonging to the Umma, to the community of all Muslims.

Only the Friday prayer is tied to the mosque. Friday as the “day of gathering” plays a similar role in Islam as Sunday for Christians and the Sabbath for Jews, even if it is a weekday. On this day, prayer and preaching takes place in the mosque, although the sermon can be religious and explicitly political. While simple mosques can be donated by private individuals, Friday mosques are maintained solely by the state

N for Middle East conflict

The Middle East conflict is the name given to the conflict over the Palestine region that arose between Jews and Arabs at the beginning of the 20th century. The term Middle East was used for its Arab provinces until the end of the Ottoman Empire in 1918. Palestine consisted of administrative districts of Greater Syria. The League of Nations mandate for Palestine was given to Great Britain by the League of Nations after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1920. Until 1948, the mandate stretched between the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea (today Israel and the Palestinian territories).

The first conflicts with the Arabs living there arose as a result of the immigration of Jews and the establishment of Jewish settlements. This led to six wars betweenState of Israel founded in May 1948 and some of its neighboring states: Palestine War (1948/49), Suez Crisis (1956), Six Day War (1967), War of Attrition between Egypt and Israel (1968–1970), Yom Kippur War (1973) , First and Second Lebanon War (1982 and 2006) as well as numerous armed conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians (First and Second Intifada, 1987 and 2000) and the three Gaza Wars (2008, 2012 and 2014). The international conflict in the region continues to this day and is exacerbated by the Syrian civil war (since March 2011).

O for Ottomans

The Ottoman Empire was the dominion of the Ottoman dynasty from 1299 to 1922. In Western Europe it was also known as the Turkish Empire. Anatolia, today's eastern Turkey, was conquered by the Seljuks in the 12th century. The Seljuks were a princely dynasty that emerged from the tribal union of the Oghusen that immigrated to western Central Asia in the 8th century. These were nomads who roamed what is now Kazakhstan. It was named after Khan Seljuk, who converted to Islam at the end of the 10th century.

The Ottoman Empire emerged from the Sultanate of the Oghusian-Turkish Rum Seljuks, who split off from the Greater Seljuks in 1077 and established their empire on the Byzantine territory in Anatolia. The Ottomans ruled over Asia Minor, the Middle East, the Balkans, North Africa and the Crimea for several centuries. The capital has been Constantinople (now Istanbul) since the conquest of Byzantium, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, in 1453.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Ottoman Empire was pushed back more and more by wars with the major European powers and internal uprisings. After the loss of the First World War, the sultanate dissolved and a government under General Mustafa Kemal Pasha prevailed. In 1923, as Kemal Ataturk, he founded the secular and secular Republic of Turkey, in which state and religion were strictly separated.

Islam ABC - Part IV

P for polygamy

According to the traditional interpretation, the Koran allows polygamy, i.e. polygamy. According to classical Islamic law, however, the number of wives is limited to four. Verse 3 from sura 4 serves as the basis: “And if you fear that you will not be righteous towards the orphans, marry what is good for you in women, two, three or four. . . ".

Western Islamic scholars in particular do not see this as a legitimation for polygamy. With the exception of Turkey and Tunisia, plural marriage is permitted in all other oriental countries, although the law is sometimes circumvented in Turkey through religious marriages. Each of the women has the right to their own household and property. Often the women do not have close contact with each other, but live separately in their own rooms, apartments or even in different places.

Q for Quadi

Do you actually know where the phrase "drag someone in front of the Kadi" comes from? From the Arabic. The word Qadi, Germanized Kadi, means judge or decision maker and was borrowed from the fairy tale collection "Thousand and One Nights" at the end of the 17th century. Colloquially it stands for a judge.

According to the Islamic state doctrine, the qadi is a legal scholar who primarily performs judicial functions on behalf of the caliph and is guided by the Sharia norm system. He once also administered princely and private foundations and was the guardian of foundlings, the mentally ill and orphans.

R for Ramadan

Ramadan (Arabic for hot month) is the Muslim month of fasting, the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It lasts 29 to 30 days. In Ramadan the Koran was revealed to Mohammed by Allah. The rise of the new crescent moon marks its beginning. The date is often referred to as the "birth of the new moon".

Fasting in Ramadan is one of the five rules of life and is called the hem. All Muslims who are fully spiritually, of legal age and physically capable of doing so must fast. During this time, from sunrise to sunset, they are not allowed to eat, drink or smoke, and pray for their faith and cleanse them of their sins. The fast ends with the feast of breaking the fast (Id al-Fitr). The beginning and end of Ramadan can vary by one day in countries with a Muslim population.

In sura 2, verse 185, it says: “(Lent is) the month of Ramadan in which the Quran was revealed (for the first time) as guidance for the people, and (the individual Quranic verses) as clear evidence of guidance and salvation. Whoever of you is present during the month should fast in it. And if someone is sick or is on a journey (and therefore cannot fast, he is entitled to a (corresponding) number of other days (to make up for what has been missed). "

In modern Arabic the term is used for any type of judge appointed by the state, even if they do not base their decisions on Sharia law. Today qadis mainly operate in rural areas, although there too numerous legal disputes will be decided by civil state courts.

S for Sunnis / Shiites

Islam is a split religion. Just a few decades after the beginning of the Islamic calendar in AD 622, the break occurred. The two largest religious currents are Sunnis and Shiites, who have fought each other over and over again in their history. Today around 85 percent of Muslims belong to the Sunni and 15 percent to the Shiite denomination, which differ greatly in their religious teaching and practice as well as in their political convictions.

In the last few decades in particular, intra-religious conflicts have intensified extremely. The name Sunni is derived from the Arabic "Sunna", which means something like tradition, custom. What is meant is the transmission of the words and deeds of the Prophet Mohammed, which are collected in the "Hadith" scriptures. The Sunni branch of Islam goes back to the caliphate founded by Abu Bakr (537–634). He was one of the first followers of Muhammad and at the same time his father-in-law.

Four Sunni schools of law were formed in the 8th and 9th centuries: Hanafis, Malikites, Hanbalites and Shafiites. They differ mainly in the procedure by which law is pronounced and Sharia, Islamic law, is interpreted. The Sharia contains all laws that are based on the Koran and the words and deeds of Muhammad and must be strictly followed in an Islamic society.

The Shia (Arabic for following) is the second largest denomination. The Shiites consider Ali ibn Abi Talib, Muhammad's son-in-law, to be his designated successor and imam. They cultivate a veneration of saints and a cult of martyrs that have remained alien to the Sunnis. The largest current are the Twelve Shiites, who follow a series of twelve imams and live mainly in Iran, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Bahrain, Lebanon, Kuwait and Afghanistan.

T for tolerance

It's such a thing with freedom of belief. It is true that the Koran says: "There is no compulsion in religion" (Sura 2,256). In the course of history, Muslim theologians have repeatedly emphasized that no one should be forced to convert to Islam. But under Islamic law, freedom of belief means above all that Muslims have the freedom to practice their belief - and everyone else has the freedom to accept Islam. Turning away from Islam is punishable by the death penalty according to Sharia law.

In the western world today, tolerance is defined beyond the religious. According to the Unesco declaration, tolerance is understood as “respect, acceptance and recognition of diversity”. In many Arab countries, however, there are great reservations, especially among traditionalists, about the tolerance that is practiced in the western world.

Islam ABC - Part V

U for Umma

In Islam, umma refers to a community that, like a people or a nation, extends beyond the realm of a tribe or clan. Umma is the Quran-based religious community of all Muslims. After his flight from Mecca in AD 622 and his exile in Medina, the followers of Muhammad were also called a "single umma". Soon after its founding, the Islamic Umma split into various religious-political parties and religious currents such as Kharijites, Shiites and Sunnis.

In contrast to the Umma, the religious community of all Muslims, the term Dar ul-Islam (Arabic for House of Islam) means the area in which the Muslims rule. Whoever apostates from Islam is for Muslims an apostate (Arabic: Murtadd) - one who has betrayed his faith and left the ummah, the community of all Muslims. There is no greater sin. To

According to the Sharia, a Murtadd must be punished with death. Only Muslims are free to practice their beliefs. The claim not to belong to any religion is unthinkable, and converting to another religion - Christianity or Baha'i - is an affront to God and the Ummah. A turning away from the faith of the prophet is inconceivable for the majority of Muslims. “In Islam, apostasy is strictly forbidden. It is the greatest blasphemy, ”explains Saida Keller-Messahli, President of the Forum for a Progressive Islam in Zurich. Therefore, conversions are extremely rare.

V for predestination

As in Christianity and Judaism, in Islam the believer is constantly exposed to sin and temptation. It describes the imperfect state of man separated from God and his wrong way of life, with which he turns against God's commandments, his will and his work of creation and disregards them.

In Islam, sin is disobedience to God, his mandate and his law in thoughts, words and deeds. In many places the Koran praises the mercy, goodness and forgiveness of God. Allah forgives "whoever he will", but turning away from Islam and unbelief are absolutely unforgivable. All other sins, including serious sins, can be forgiven before God. A prerequisite, however, is a genuine and truthful faith as it is mapped out in the life of Muhammad.

Thus it says in sura 3, verse 31: 'If you love God, then follow me, God will love you and forgive you your sins. And God is forgiving and merciful. "

W for washing

For a religion that originated in the deserts of Arabia, water is a primal symbol of the life and gift of God. It stands for creation, security, purity, healing and the divine. Allah is compared in the Koran with the boundless ocean, paradise is described as a splendid garden through which the purest water flows. Accordingly, ritual cleansing and ablution is important for Muslims.

"Wudu" means the little ritual purity through ablution before prayer. Intending to purify himself before God, he washes his hands and wrists three times with pure water, rinses his mouth, cleans his nose, washes his face and forearms, strokes his head with his wet hands, and moistened them Ears, washes your feet and ankles and finally says a prayer. In order to become ritually clean after a major contamination (sexual intercourse, ejaculation, menstruation), the Muslim takes a shower bath (called ghusl).

X for Malcolm X

The militant black leader was born in 1925 as Malcolm Little, but later called himself Malcolm X. His youth were marked by poverty, instability and the confrontation with racism. He got on the wrong track, but took a radical turn in prison. In 1948 he joined the Nation of Islam. The religious community founded by Elijah Muhammad in 1930 denounced the oppression of blacks, but also propagated their superiority in the name of Allah.

In 1957, the intelligent and quick-witted Malcolm X - loved by many, but also very hated in politics and society - became the organization's national spokesman and the most important opponent of civil rights activist Martin Luther King. In the 1960s there was tension in the group. In 1965, Malcolm X was shot dead by members of the Nation of Islam in New York. The exact background is unclear.

Y for Yazidis

The Yezidi (also called Yazidis; derived from the term Ized: angelic being, god) are a Kurdish-speaking religious minority with several hundred thousand members who consider themselves a chosen people. Their main settlement areas are in northern Iraq, northern Syria and southeastern Turkey.

Originating from a Muslim brotherhood, the Yezidi belief contains elements of old Kurdish and Indo-Iranian religions. One becomes Yezidi by birth only if both parents are of Yezidi descent. Whoever marries someone of a different faith is excluded from the community.

The Yezidis worship "Melek Taus", the head of seven holy beings to whom God has given the direction of the world. You imagine him as an angel in the shape of a blue peacock. As the first of seven angels, he created the world including Adam and Eve by divine commission. Since Melek Taus refused God's command to kneel before Adam, he was appointed supreme angel and steward of the earth.

The most important saint of the Yezidi is Sheikh Adi ibn Musafir (1073–1163), who founded one of the first Islamic Sufi orders. Since August 2014, the Yazidis have been fleeing the terror of the Islamic State in northern Iraq, whose supporters they consider "infidels", enslave and murder.

Z as in interest rate transactions

In sura 3, verse 130, it says: “Believers! Do not take interest by taking back what you have borrowed in multiple amounts! ”This means that in Islam there is still a prohibition of interest to this day. Not only interest from securities such as bonds and annuities, but also income from interest from checking accounts and similar banking products are excluded.

Actually. But there are numerous tricks to circumvent the ban. Income that is based on a trade or an investment in a certain product, such as venture capital lending or rentals, is allowed anyway. The same goes for stock trading: dividends are not considered interest, as shareholders have no binding right to have their capital increased.

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