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Purification / The ruling on touching the Qur’an without wudhu

The ruling on touching the Qur’an without wudhu

publish date : 2014-04-03 11:22 PM | Views : 1739
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What is the ruling on touching the Qur’an when not in a state of wudhu? حكم مس المصحف بدون وضوء


Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the Messenger of Allah, his family and his companions.

As to what follows:

In response to your question, we say, and with Allah Almighty lies all success:

The majority of  scholars, both in the past and present, from among the Companions and those after them, were of the opinion that the Qur’an should not be touched except by one in the state of purity from both major and minor impurities. This is also the view of the four scholars, Abu Hanifah, Malik, al-Shafi`i and Ahmad. Ibn `Abdul-Barr said, “The scholars of all lands, among who all fatawa pass, along with their companions, are in consensus that the Qur’an may not be touched except by one who is in a state of purity.” [al-Istidhkar (8/10)]

They based this upon evidences, the most apparent of which is a hadith which has more than one narration from the Prophet (peace be upon him), that he said, “None should touch the Qur’an except the pure.” This was narrated in the hadith of `Amr bin Hazm regarding the famous letter the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent to the family of Hazm. This has also been narrated from `Abdullah bin `Amr, Hakim bin Hazzam, `Uthman bin Abi al-`As and Thawban (may Allah be pleased with them all).

Furthermore, the scholars have researched and studied these hadiths in detail, looking at them individually. They have concluded that they are sound from all angles and do not fall below the level of being used as evidence. What further support these hadiths is the use of them in the well known and famous opinions of the Companions (may Allah be pleased with them). It is also unknown that any of the Companions opposed it. Imam al-Nawawi said, “It is the view of `Ali, Sa`d bin Abi Waqqas and Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them), and there is no known opposition from the rest of the Companions.” [al-Majmu` Sharh al-Muhadhab (2/80)]

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “It is the view of Salman al-Farsi, `Abdullah bin `Umar and others, and there is no known opposition to them from the Companions.” [Majmu` al-Fatawa (21/266)]

From among the evidences used by those who mandate purity (for touching the Qur’an) is Allah Almighty’s saying:

 “None touch it except the purified.” [Al-Waqi`ah 56:79].

Using this verse as evidence has been discussed from the perspective that that which may not be touched referred to here is the Lawh al-Mahfudh (the original copy of the Qur’an preserved in Paradise). “The purified,” is referring to: the angels, not the children of Adam. This is the interpretation of the majority of the Salaf from amongst the Companions and those after them.

Along with this, Ibn al-Qayyim said, “I heard Shaykh al-Islam (i.e. Ibn Taymiyyah) confirm the use of this verse as evidence in that the Qur’an should not be touched by one who is impure from another perspective. He said, ‘This is by way of bringing attention to something and hinting to it, because if the scrolls in Paradise are not touched except by the purified, then the copies that are in our hands should not be touched except by the pure. And the hadith is derived from this verse.’” [al-Tibyan fi Aqsam al-Qur’an (1/408)]

 Furthermore, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said, “The way of seeing it, and Allah knows best, is that what is in the Lawh al-Mahfudh is the Qur’an that is in the mus'haf, just as what is in this mus'haf is exactly the same as that which is in that mus'haf, whether its place is on paper, bone, stone, or a bag. So if the ruling for the Book in Paradise is that none except the pure touch it, then the same becomes applicable to the Book on earth, because its sacredness is like the sacredness of the previous; or that the name ‘The Book’ is a title that encompasses all that which contains the Qur’an, whether it is in Paradise or on earth, and Allah has revealed regarding this in His statement:

“A Messenger from Allah, reciting purified scriptures.” [Al-Bayyinah 98:2]

Likewise, in His statement:

 “[It is recorded] in honored sheets, Exalted and purified.” [`Abasa 80:13-14]

So in its description of being pure, it is not right for the impure to touch it.” [Sharh al-`Umdah (p. 384)]

Some of the Tabi`un opposed this view and allowed a person of minor impurity to touch the Qur’an. This is the madh'hab of the Dhahiris. What has been discussed above clearly shows the weakness of this view.

Finally, it is useful to mention here that the majority of those who obligate wudhu for the one touching the Qur’an, allow children to touch the Qur’an without wudhu. This is the madh'hab of the Hanafis, Malikis and Shafi`is, and it is one of the views of the Hanbalis. The argument they put forward is that requiring children to make wudhu and commanding them to do so (every time they touch a Qur’an), poses a hindrance which may lead them to abandon memorizing and learning the Qur’an. So it is allowed for them to touch it out of need for the purpose of learning and for avoiding placing a burden on them, as the pens have been lifted from them (i.e. they are not at the age of accountability). This view holds weight and therefore needs to be taken into consideration.

And Allah knows best.

Your brother,

Dr. Khalid al-Muslih

17 / 10 / 1424 AH


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