How to Handle the Qur’an and its Translation, Touching the Qur’an without Wudu

Sep 4, 2010 | Uncategorized


I. Can I touch a translation of the Qur’an without wudu?

II. Can we give a Qur’an that is Arabic w/ English translation (and has more English than Arabic), i.e. the Majestic Qur’an.

Can we give a Qur’an that is only in English?

Does a non-Muslim have to have wudu b4 touching the Arabic part?

If we give him a Quran w/mostly English, and he touches the Arabic script w/o wudu do we get the sin for it?

Can we give non-Muslims books that have portions of the Qur’an in it in Arabic (like a book discussing certain topics via the Qur’an and uses the Arabic script sometimes), can he (or for that we as Muslims) touch the Arabic w/o wudu?

Answered by: Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf

Assalamu alaykum

In the name of Allah, the Inspirer of truth.

It is not permissible to touch a translation of the Qur’an even if it does not have the Arabic Qur’anic script in it. However, any book that contains Qur’anic verses in it such as a book on tafsir or fiqh, it would be permissible to touch it as long as the tafsir or fiqh is more than the verses of the Qur’an in it. If the verses of the Qur’an are more, it would not be permissible to touch it except with wudu. (Radd al-Muhtar, 1:119)

However, it is always best to undertake the study of the Din and handle its literature in the state of wudu. There is more blessing derived this way.

It would be permissible to give copies of Qur’ans to non-Muslims if:
1. their guidance is intended thereof,
2. and a person is reasonably confident that they will not disrespect the copy.

If the non-Muslim person does not understand Arabic then it would be better to provide just a copy of the translation of the Qur’an rather than one with the Arabic text. If they have to be given a copy with the Arabic text, then they should be advised to purify themselves first before handling the Qur’an.

According to some scholars, they are technically not responsible for performing ablution and ghusl for touching it (see Ahkam al-Dhimmi in al-Ashbah wa ‘l-Naza’ir and Radd al-Muhtar 5:248), since they are not responsible for the extended laws of Islam until they embrace the faith. It is still best, when possible and appropriate, to advise them to do so even according to this opinion.

However, the opinion taken by Ibn ‘Abidin in his in depth commentary of the al-Durr al-Mukhtar and Tahtawi in his commentary of the Maraqi al-Falah is that non-Muslims are also obligated to perform the ritual bath for touching it (Radd al-Muhtar 1:119, Tahtawi 94). Fatima, the sister of ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him), instructed him to purify himself before she would allow him to touch the sheets that had portions of the Qur’an inscribed upon them. (Hayat al-Sahaba)

If a person gives a copy of the Qur’an to a non-Muslim after advising him and teaching him, to the best of his ability, the conditions and etiquette of handling it, then he should not be blameworthy thereafter if there is any neglect.

A book with quotes of verses from the Qur’an can be held without ablution even by Muslims as long as the verses constitute only a small percentage of the contents of the book. However, as regards to touching the actual verses of the Qur’an, ablution would be necessary for both Muslims and non-Muslims.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf