• Can we read Qur’an on our smart phones etc without wudu?

    We are often faced with a modern dilemma which I have been asked about several times: can we read Quran on our smart phones, tablets, computers, laptops etc without wudu?
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  • According to the Hanafi school, it is necessary (wajib) to prostrate for fourteen of the fifteen listed prostrations in the Qur’an. The second listed prostration in Surat al-Hajj is not considered a verse of prostration. [Shurunbulali, Maraqi al-Falah]

    However, there is valid, scholarly disagreement on this matter between the schools.

    And Allah alone gives success.

  • It is from the sunna to recite some chapters (surahs) of the Qur’an daily. You should strive to introduce these into your routine gradually, and ideally memorize them completely.

    [1] Surah al-Sajdah (32): Jabir ibn `Abdullah said that, “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) would not sleep until he recited Alif Lam Mim Tanzil al-Sajdah and Tabarak Alladhi bi Yadihi al-Mulk.” [Tirmidhi]

    [2]Surah Yasin (36): Jabir ibn Samura related that “The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) used to recite Surah Yasin in the morning.” [Tabarani] This is an authentic narration as Haytami clarifies in his Majma` al-Zawa’id.

    [3] Surah al-Mulk (67): Abu Huraira said, “I heard the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) saying, ‘There is a Surah in the Qur’an which contains thirty Ayat which will keep interceding for a man until his sins are forgiven. This Surah is: Blessed is He in Whose Hand is the dominion. (al-Mulk).’” [Tirmidhi]

    General Encouragements and Performing a Regular Khatm

    Other encouragements made by scholars are often specific applications of the general virtue of reciting the Qur’an, and can sometimes be based upon weaker reports indicating a virtue found in its recitation. However, it is more virtuous to have a regular completion (khatm) of the whole Qur’an, as well as keeping up with the daily recitations mentioned above.

    Nawawi relates in his Adhkar that it is authentically established that the early Muslims would gather at the completion of the recital of the Qur’an saying, ‘mercy is descending.’

    The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) is reported to have said, “Whosoever prays an obligatory prayer, has an accepted supplication. And whosoever completes a reading of the Quran, has an accepted supplication.” [Tabarani, al-Mu`jam al-Kabir]

    Darimi authentically relates that Mujahid, an Imam in the Qur’anic sciences amongst the Followers of the Companions, once sent for someone, and when they arrived, he told them, “I only called you because we wanted to complete a reading of the Qur’an, and it has reached us that the supplication is accepted after a completed reading of the Quran.” Then he said, “So supplicate, all of you, with [many] supplications.” [Darimi, al-Sunan]

    It is also of the proper manners upon completing a recital of the Qur’an to begin another recital immediately through recitation of the Fatiha and the opening verses of al-Baqara. Nawawi notes that this is a recommended practice as the early righteous loved this. [Nawawi, al-Adhkar]

  • “So make remembrance of Me, and I will make remembrance of you.  And show thanks to Me, and do not be ungrateful.” [Qur’an 2:152]

    Imam al-Suyuti, in Tafsir al-Jalalayn, says that we make our remembrance of Allah Most High through prayer, dhikr and other acts of worship in which we show consciousness and devotion to Him.

    An interpretation of Allah making remembrance of us is that He will reward us for our faith and actions.

    Also, in a hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) reports that Allah said, “Whoever makes remembrance of Me to himself, I make remembrance of him to My Self.  And whoever makes remembrance of Me in a gathering, I make remembrance of him in a gathering better than his gathering [ie. of angels].” [Musnad Ahmad]

    Finally, we show thanks to Allah for the blessings He bestowed on us.  This show of gratitude is not just a verbal act, but it is by submitting our entire being in obedience to Him.  Ungratefulness then, is through disobeying His commands and doing those things which He dislikes for us to do. [al-Suyuti, Tafsir al-Jalalayn]

    And Allah knows best.

  • The position of all four schools of Sunni Islam is that it is not permitted for someone without wudu to touch the Qur’an. Allah Most High says,

    “None shall touch it except the pure.” [Qur’an, Surat al-Waqi`a: 79]

    And in a famous hadith, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) instructed Amr ibn Hazim that, “None is to touch the Qur’an except the pure.”

    Ibn Abd al-Barr, the great Maliki jurist and hadith master, said that this is a ruling regarding which the recognized scholars of fiqh–the four major mujtahid imams and others–have scholarly agreement regarding. [Ibn Abd al-Barr, al-Istidhkar, 2.472; Qurtubi, al-Jami` li Ahkam al-Qur’an, 17.193] The position to the contrary is erroneous, and unbefitting the respect and veneration due to the Qur’an.

    In general, it is permitted to recite the Qur’an (without touching it) when one is in a state of minor ritual impurity.

    It is superior, when reasonably possible, for one to do wudu.

    In a state of major ritual impurity, it is not permitted to recite the Qur’an. [Ala’ al-Din Abidin, Gifts of Guidance]

    And Allah alone gives success.

  • The verse of the Qur’an in Surah al-Talaq reads:

    “Allah is the One who created the seven skies, and the earth the like of them.  The Command [ie. Revelation] is made to descend between them, so that you may know that Allah is All-Powerful over all things, and that Allah has certainly encompassed all things through [His] knowledge.” [Qur’an 65:12]

    Imam al-Suyuti, in his tafsir [exegesis] of the Qur’an, notes that this verse is indicating that there are seven “earths” [or “lands”], just as there are seven skies.  [Tafsir al-Jalalayn, al-Suyuti]

    This is where it gets interesting: what is the nature of these “seven earths”?    Since the works of tafsir discuss the possibilities at quite some length, I will relate the most relevant positions mentioned in the tafsir of Imam al-Alusi:

    1)    Imam al-Alusi says that the interpretation of the majority of classical scholars is that there are seven “earths”.   Each earth has its own inhabitants that are the creation of Allah Most High for that specific land.  The reality of them is known only to their Creator.

    2)    Based on a narration found in the hadith compilation of al-Hakim, it is plausible that the inhabitants of these earths even received their own prophets from Allah, but this is not something confirmed nor rigorously authenticated.

    3)    He also mentions the interpretation that the seven layers are the layers of our earth and part of its atmosphere: a layer of metals and minerals, then clay, then soil, then the crust of the earth, then a layer of clouds (lit. smoke), then an extremely cold layer, and finally, a layer where the air is extremely thin.

    4)    He lists the opinion that the “seven earths” are seven major continents separated by the oceans, and explicitly cites continental America and Asia as examples.

    5)    He reports that some scholars also felt that “seven earths” meant seven types of unique climate-regions.

    6)    He also lists various opinions regarding whether the seven earths are under the same one sky, or their own sky out of the seven skies, and whether they share celestial bodies or not, and so on.  [Ruh al-Ma’ani, al-Alusi]

    As you can see, there are many differences of opinion on the interpretation of this verse.  As Muslims, we say:  we believe in everything that has come from Allah Most High, on the meaning that He intended, and we consign the final knowledge of these matters to Allah, the All-Knowing.

    A Beautiful Reminder

    The medieval Andalusian scholar Imam al-Qurtubi, while commenting on this verse in his tafsir, brings relevance to the discussion.  While considering the number and nature of the various lands or earths, Imam al-Qurtubi speculates whether it would be incumbent on the Muslims to take the message of Islam to people of these other locations.  He says:

    “…If it wasn’t possible for the people of this land to reach another land, then the message of Islam would be specifically conveyed to the people of this land only…

    However, if even a group from amongst [the people of this land] could reach that other land, it is most likely that the conveying of the message of Islam would be a duty upon them once it was possible to reach them.  This is because the separation [caused by] the seas, once it would possible to traverse cross them [to another land], does not stop the obligation of that which was generally commanded [ie. the invitation to Islam].”
    [Jami’ Ahkam al-Quran, al-Qurtubi]

    This visionary statement was said by Imam al-Qurtubi who lived in Muslim Spain during the 13th century (AD), much before most of the people of Europe and Asia knew that there was in fact a land that existed beyond the Atlantic ocean, with its own thriving cultures and civilizations: the Americas.

    It is a reminder for us as Muslims to be constantly concerned about reaching out to the farthest corners of the globe with the saving message of the Deen, and to think with vision and insight in achieving that goal.

    Returning to the Point

    Rather than getting bogged down into the interpretative details, what we should focus on is the point of the verse itself: that Allah Most High created a magnificent universe that leaves us in awe when we examine its perfection.

    He then sent us the Quran so that all mankind might realize that Allah is the All-Powerful Creator, and that His Knowledge encompasses everything.  It is a message to use the signs in this amazing creation to go beyond the material universe, and back to our Creator.

  • This is useful, especially for those who dont have a lot of time to read the Quran.

    How To complete the QURAN in Ramadhan:
    • The Quran has ~600 pages approx.
    • If you divide it by 30 days, that’s 20 pages a day.

    You’re thinking that’s difficult to do right?

    But, if you divide it by 5 prayers a day, it gets easier:

    If you read 4 pages after every salah in Ramadhan, then you’ve completed the Quran.

    If you want to complete the Quran twice, you read 4 pages before and after every salah.

    Imagine, if you forward this message, if just one person benefits and complete the Quran. And it gets even better, because you would get the reward for them finding it easier to complete, insha’Alllah.

  • ‘Urwah ibn al-Zubayr narrated a long hadeeth and mentioned Thuwayba, the first wet-nurse of the beloved Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) and slavewoman of his cruel uncle, Abu Lahab.  ‘Urwah adds a note at the end of his narration, saying:

    “And Thuwayba was the freed slave of Abu Lahab. Abu Lahab freed her, and then she nursed the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).  So when Abu Lahab died [in disbelief], he was shown to someone in his family [in a dream] in the most wretched of conditions, and [that relative – they say it was ‘Abbas] said to him: ‘What did you find [after death]?’ So Abu Lahab replied, ‘I didn’t find [any rest] since I left you all, except that I was given to drink *this little amount* because of my freeing Thuwayba.’” [al-Bukhari, Saheeh]

    On the day the Prophet (peace be upon him) was born, Thuwayba rushed to her master Abu Lahab in joy and said, “Have you heard?!  Aminah has just given birth to a son, for your brother Abdullah!” As was the custom of Arabs to show generosity at receiving good news, and since this was the newborn son (peace be upon him) of his recently deceased brother, Abu Lahab gestured with his thumb and forefinger, saying to Thuwayba, “Go, for you are free.”  For this, his punishment in the Hereafter is lessened by a small sip of water equal to what could be held in the small curve of flesh at the base of the thumb till the forefinger [‘Abdur-Razzaq, Mussanaf].

    Some say that because this portion of the hadeeth does not name the link in the chain of narration between ‘Urwah and the one who saw the dream, it is therefore automatically inauthentic and disregarded, since scholars postulate that it was ‘Abbas who saw the dream, and ‘Urwah was only 6 years old at the time of his death.  This does not mean however, that ‘Urwah had never heard it with a sound chain, or the incident should be written-off, or not true – in fact, being one of the seven main jurists of Madina in his time, ‘Urwah would not have added this portion unless he was confident and aware of its authenticity.

    Ibn Hajr, al-’Ayni and al-Qastalani, when analyzing this hadeeth in their commentaries on al-Bukhari, never once commented whether the incident happened or not, rather, only whether this narration could be used as proof that a non-believer could be rewarded for their good deeds after death.  They said that if we assume there was an unidentified link missing, then it would not be of the strength to change an established ruling, but they also balanced that by saying the narration could be fully connected and acceptable, but even so, a dream cannot be used as proof to change, or even effect, a legal ruling, especially when conflicting with a Qur’anic verse, as is the case here.  In the end, they all recognized that this lightening of punishment was an exception made for Abu Lahab, the way it was made for Abu Talib.

    Ibn Hajr closed his analysis by saying, “I declare: the final point of all this is that the above-mentioned divine grace occurs, due to [Allah’s] pure magnanimity, on those of the non-believers from whom occurs an act of kindness to him [peace be upon him], and the likes of that – and Allah knows best.” [Ibn Hajr, Fath al-Bari]

    It is essential to understand that the polemics around this hadeeth today are no longer whether or not non-believers are generally rewarded for their good deeds in the Hereafter, but rather, whether there is a reward for celebrating the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and about expressing joy over the occasion.

    To disprove this in modern times, people have criticized this hadeeth, though other times they would adhere very strictly to everything narrated in al-Bukhari.  Since al-Bukhari’s collection is the most authentic book in Islam after the Qur’an, would al-Bukhari not have realized if he was including a baseless, disconnected, dream-based report alongside such a strong main narration, and be the only one out of the 6 most authentic compilers to do so?  Obviously, his including it is a testament to his stance on its acceptability, plausibility and ability to edify the ummah on something beneficial – like the rest of his compilation.

    Ibn al-Mulaqqin in his commentary states that both al-Bayhaqi and al-Baghawi point out that this narration was “mentioned by al-Bukhari in his Saheeh”, and that “they both meant: in the main portion of the hadeeth itself”- in other words, the narration was understood to take the ruling of the longer rigorously-authenticated hadeeth it was part of.  The incident had been accepted by the ummah thereafter and is cited regularly in seerah works such as those by Ibn Katheer and Zayn al-Deen al-’Iraqi, and even by Ibn Taymiyya in al-Sarim al-Maslul and Ibn al-Qayyim in Tuhfat al-Mawdud.

    Having said this, instead of leading people into polemics, would it not be better for us to remember the upshot of this all?  As Hafiz Nasir al-Deen put it:

    “If this was the disbeliever, on whom condemnation came,

    And ‘his two hands perished’ in the eternal flame,

    And it comes that every Monday, repeated till no end,

    His torment is lessened, for the joy he felt in Ahmed.

    Then what of the servant who, his whole life did lead

    In joy for the birth of Ahmed, then died believing in Divine Oneness? ”

    [quoted by al-Zurqani, Sharh Mawahib of al-Qastallani]

  • Imam Muhammad ibn Ahmad Qurtubi says in al-Jami’ li ahkam al-Qur’an [Taken from Reliance of the Traveler]

    It is the inviolability of the Qur’an:

    1. not to touch the Qur’an except in the state of ritual purity in wudu, and to recite it when in a state of ritual purity;

    2. to brush one’s teeth with a toothstick (siwak), remove food particles from between the them, and to freshen one’s mouth before reciting, since it is the way through which the Qur’an passes;

    3. to sit up straight if not in prayer, and not lean back;

    4. to dress for reciting as if intending to visit a prince, for the reciter is engaged in an intimate discourse;

    5. to face the direction of prayer (qiblah) to recite;

    6. to rinse the mouth out with water if one coughs up mucus or phlegm;

    7. to stop reciting when one yawns, for when reciting , one is addressing one’s Lord in intimate conversation, while yawning is from the Devil;

    8. when begining to recite, to take refuge from in Allah from the accursed Devil and say the Basmala, whether one has begun at the first surah or some other part one has reached;

    9. once one has begun, not to interrupt one’s recital from moment to moment with human words, unless absolutely necessary;

    10. to be alone when reciting it, so that no one interrupts one, forcing one to mix the words of the Qur’an with replying, for this nullifies the effectivness of having taken refuge in Allah from the Devil at the beginning;

    11. to recite it leisurely and without haste, distinctly pronouncing each letter;

    12. to use one’s mind and understanding in order to comprehend what is being said to one;

    13. to pause at verses that promise Allah’s favour, to long for Allah Most High and ask of His bounty; and at verses that warn of His punishment to ask Him to save one from it;

    14. to pause at the accounts of bygone peoples and individuals to heed and benefit from their example;

    15. to find out the meanings of the Qur’an’s unusual lexical usages;

    16. to give each letter its due so as to clearly and fully pronounce every word, for each letter counts as ten good deeds;

    17. whenever one finishes reciting, to attest to the veracity of ones’s Lord, and that His messenger (Allah bless him and grant him peace) has delivered his message, and to testify to this, saying: “Our Lord, You have spoken the truth, Your messengers have delivered their tidings, and bear witness to this. O Allah, make us of those who bear witness to the truth and who act with justice”: after which one supplicates Allah with prayers.

    18. not to select certain verses from each surah to recite, but rather the recite the whole surah;

    19. if one puts down the Qur’an, not to leave it open;

    20. not to place other books upon the Qur’an, which should always be higher than all other books, whether they are books of Sacred Knowledge or something else;

    21. to place the Qur’an on one’s lap when reading; or on something in front of one, not on the floor;

    22. not to wipe it from a slate with spittle, but rather wash it off with water; and if one washes it off with water, to avoid putting the water where there are unclean substances (najasa) or where people walk. Such water has its own inviolability, and there were those of the early Muslims before us who used water that washed away Qur’an to effect cures.

    23. not to use sheets upon which it has been written as bookcovers, which is extremely rude, but rather to erase the Qur’an from them with water;

    24. not to let a day go by without looking at least once at the pages of the Qur’an;

    25. to give one’s eyes their share of looking at it, for the eyes lead to the soul (nafs), whereas there is a veil between the breast and the soul, and the Qur’an is in the breast.

    26. not to trivially quote the Qur’an at the occurrence of everyday events, as by saying, for example, when someone comes, “You have come hither according to a decree, O Moses” [Qur’an 69:24],

    or,  “Eat and drink heartily for what you have done aforetimes, in days gone by” [Qur’an 69:24], when food is brought out, and so forth;

    27. not to recite it to songs tunes like those of the corrupt, or with the tremulous tones of Christians or the plaintiveness of monkery, all of which is misguidance;

    28. when writing the Qur’an to do so in a clear, elegant hand;

    29. not to recite it out aloud over another’s reciting of it, so as to spoil it for him or make him resent what he hears, making it as if it were some kind of competition;

    30. not to recite it in marketplaces, places of clamour and frivolity, or where fools gather;

    31. not to use the Qur’an as pillow, or lean upon it;

    32. not to toss it when one wants to hand it to another;

    33. not to miniaturize the Qur’an, mix into it what is not of it, or mingle this worldly adornment with it by embellishing or writing it with gold;

    34. not to write it on the ground or on walls, as is done in some new mosques;

    35. not to write an amulet with it and enter the lavatory, unless it is encased in leather, silver, or other, for then it is as if kept in the heart;

    36. if one writes it and then drinks it (for cure or other purpose), one should say the Basmala at every breath and make a noble and worthy intention, for Allah only gives to one according to one’s intention;

    37. and if one finishes reciting the entire Qur’an, to begin it anew, that it may not resemble something that has been abandoned.

  • Question: Would you be able to tell me about the permissibility of having iphone applications like the Quran or Tafsir on one’s phone. What if I have to visit the lavatory and I have no place to leave my phone during these times except in my trouser or jacket pocket?

    Answer: assalamu `alaykum

    This would be permitted. However, caution should be exercised in order maintain the inviolate nature of the Qur’an. One should not, for example, touch the actual verses on the screen without being in a state of ritual purity.

    As for visiting the toilet, defined as the place where one relieves oneself, then you should turn off the application before entering the lavatory and place the phone into your pocket. The dislikedness of taking the Qur’an into the lavatory, or any other name religiously inviolable such as “Allah”, is when the object is unconcealed. [Tahtawi, Hashiya `ala Maraqi al-Falah]


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