Question & Answer
Is wadu or ablution compulsory to touch quran?


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

We begin with Allah’s blessed name, we praise him and we glorify him, seek his forgiveness and ask him to guide us. Whoever Allah guides, None can lead astray and whoever he misguides, None can guide. There is no power and no strength except from Allah, The most high, the Most great, the most powerful. We bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship but Allah Alone, and we bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is His slave-servant and the seal of His Messengers. We pray for peace and blessings on all the noble messengers and in particular on the last of them all “the blessed prophet Mohammad (pbuh)”

Indeed, it is a noble Qur'an, In a Register well-protected; None touch it except the purified. Quran [56:77-79]

Dear brother, the only acts where it is precondition or obligatory to have ablution (wudu) are the prayer and the circumambulating the Holy Kabah (tawaf).

Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib: Abdullah ibn Salamah said: I, accompanied by other two persons, one from us and the other from Banu Asad, called upon Ali. He sent them to a certain territory (on some mission) saying: You are sturdy and vigorous people; hence display your power for religion. He then stood and entered the toilet. He then came out and called for water and took a handful of it. Then he wiped (his hands) with it and began to recite the Qur'an. They were surprised at this (action).
Thereupon he said: The Apostle of Allah (peace_be_upon_him) came out from the privy and taught us the Qur'an and took meat with us. Nothing prevented him; or the narrator said: Nothing prevented him from (reciting) the Qur'an except sexual defilement. Abu-Dawood [ Book 1 : Hadith 229]

The following are the viewpoints of the jurists on this subject:

  • The Hanafi viewpoint has been explained by Imam Ala-uddin al-Kashani in his Bada I as-Sana i, thus "lust as it is not permissible to offer the Prayer without the ablutions, so also it is not permissible to touch the glorious Quran without the ablutions, However, if the glorious Quran is in a cast or a cover, it may be touched. " According to some jurists, the case or cover implies the binding, and according to others, the bag or the envelope or the wrapper in which the glorious Quran is kept and can also be taken out. Likewise, the books of the commentary also should not be touched without the ablutions, nor anything else in which a Quranic verse may have been written. However, the books of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) may be touched although preferably they too may not be touched without the ablutions, for they also contain Quranic verses as part of argument and reasoning. Some Hanafi jurists hold the opinion that only that part of the glorious Quran where the Text may have been written should not be touched without the ablutions. As for the margins there is no harm in touching it, whether they are blank or contain notes on the Text. The correct thing, however, is that the margins also are a part of the Book and touching them amounts to touching the Book. As for reading the glorious Quran, it is permissible without the ablutions. " In Fatawa Alamgiri children have been made an exception from this rule. The glorious Quran can be given in the childrens hand for teaching purposes whether they are in the state of ablutions or not.
  • The Shafii viewpoint has been stated by Imam Nawawi in Al-Minhaj, thus, "As it is for the Prayer and the circumambulation of the Kabah, it is also forbidden to handle the glorious Quran or to touch a leaf of it without the ablutions. Likewise, it is also forbidden w touch the binding of the glorious Quran, and also a bag, or a bow containing the glorious Quran, or a tablet on which a part of the glorious Quran may have been written for instructional purposes. However, it is lawful to touch the baggage of a person containing the Quranic inscription. A child may touch the glorious Quran without the ablutions, and a person without ablutions may turn over a leaf with a piece of wood, or something else, if he wants to read the glorious Quran.
  • The Maliki position as stated in Al-Fiqh alal-Madhahib al- Arbah is: They concur with the other jurists in this that the state of ablutions is a prerequisite for touching the glorious Quran, but in the matter of imparting instruction in the glorious Quran they make both the teacher and the taught an exception from the rule, and allow even a menstruating woman to touch the glorious Quran if she is engaged in learning or teaching it. Ibn Qadamah has cited in Al-Mughni this saying of Imam Malik: Although reading the glorious Quran in the state of uncleanness due to sexual intercourse is forbidden, the woman who is discharging the menses is permitted to read it, for she would forget her recitations if prohibited from reading the glorious Quran for along time.
  • The Hanbali viewpoint as stated by Ibn Qadamah is as follows: In the state of uncleanness due to sexual intercourse and menstruation and bleeding after childbirth it is not permissible to read the glorious Quran or any complete verse of it. However, it is permissible to recite bismillah, al-hamdu-lillah, etc. for although these also are parts of one or the other verse, their recitation does not amount to recitation of the glorious Quran. As for handling the glorious Quran, it is not permissible in any case without the ablutions. However, one is not forbidden to touch a letter, or a book of Fiqh, or some other writing containing a Quranic verse. Likewise, one may handle even without the ablutions, something that contains the glorious Quran. The state of ablutions is also no pre-requisite for handling the books of exegesis. Furthermore, if a person who is not in the state of ablutions is required to handle the glorious Quran under an immediate need, he may do so after purification with the dust (tayammum). " AI-Fiqh alal-Madhahib al- Arabah contains this ruling also of the Hanbali Fiqh: It is not right for the children to handle the Quran without ablutions even when receiving instruction in it, and it is the duty of their guardians to make them perform the ablutions before they give the Quran to them.
  • The Zahiri viewpoint is that reading the Quran and handling it is permissible under all conditions, whether one is without the ablutions, or unclean due to sexual intercourse, or even if the woman is menstruating. Ibn Hazm has discussed this question fully in Al-Muhalla (vol. 1, pp. 77-84) and given arguments for the validity of this viewpoint and has concluded that none of the conditions laid down by the jurists for reading the Qur'an and handling it, is supported by the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

In conclusion: One should touch the glorious quran or its translation, only when one is pure and clean and preferably when one is in the state of ablution (wudu), but being in the state of wudu is not obligatory while touching the glorious quran. And Allah alone knows the best.

I ask Allah to make this a sincere effort, seeking his pleasure, and I ask him to grant us refuge in him from the evils within ourselves, and that in our deeds. I ask him to grant us success in achieving whatever pleases him; And May Allah Shower His blessings and mercy upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his family and his Companions and on all those who follow him until the final hour.

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