Q & A Wudu' and Purity

Q & A: “Touching iPhones and wudu…”


Q. Salam *** what do know about touch screen Qurans? Do we have to have wudu for it? Ws


            It must first be remembered that the Noble Qur’an is the inimitable word of Allah (swt) and the fuqaha’ (Muslim jurists) have written much on the etiquettes (adab) of handling (haml) and reciting (tilawa) of the Qur’an. We must take the utmost care reciting it observing these etiquettes out of humility and complete love for it.

            No doubt, the common mode of Qur’an recitation is from a standard printed edition (i.e. in book form) but there has increasingly emerged electronic mushafs or entire Qur’ans scanned on to digital computer programs the same being the case with iPod and iPhones or any memory capacity on mobile phones. As far as I am aware and presently know (which is extremely limited), wudu’ would be required to touch the screen e.g. when scrolling or turning over a digital page. In Imam al-Tahtawi’s Hashiya on al-Shurunbulali’s Maraqi al-Falah it has:

“Likewise, wudu’ is fard[1] for touching the Mushaf even if it is a verse etched on a coin or wall based on His (Mighty and Exalted) statement (none but the purified shall touch it...)[2] – the same being paper and the blank areas (margins). Some of our teachers consider it disliked for the one in ritual impurity to touch the area that it is written without the commentary because he is not in actual fact touching the Qur’an. However, the correct position is that touching it is like touching what is written.”[3]

كذا الوضوء فرض ( لمس المصحف ولو آية ) مكتوبة على درهم أو حائط لقوله تعالى ” لا يمسه إلا المطهرون ” وسواء الكتابة والبياض وقال بعض مشايخنا إنما يكره للمحدث مس الموضع المكتوب دون الحواشي لأنه لم يمس القرآن حقيقة والصحيح أن مسها كمس المكتوب

So, any form of the Qur’an being written, recorded or etched (which would include digital texts of the Qur’an) will require the etiquette of performing wudu’. For clarification it would be better to ask your local Imam about it.

And Allah knows best.

[1] The word “fard” here means what has been established with definitive evidence. al-Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, p.34.

[2] Surat al-Waqi`a:79.

[3] al-Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah, p.34.





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