Does Touching Quran Require Wudhu – Ibn Hazm

Main: Abū Muḥammad ʿAlī ibn Aḥmad ibn Saʿīd ibn Ḥazm
Translation: Taher Bin Syed Noor


Mas’ala: The recitation of the Qur’an, Sujood, touching the Mushaf and Dhikr of Allah the highest is permissible whether in a state of wudu,  without wudu, in a state of Janaba or whilst menstruating.


The evidence is that the recitation of the Quran, Sujood, touching the Mushaf and Dhikr of Allah are recommended actions which are a means to attain good deeds.

So whoever has a claim to prohibit these actions or to prohibit them in some conditions then we require from him to bring a proof.


The Permissibility of reciting the Quran in any state

As for the recitation of the Quran then at present, those who differ with us permit its recitation for the one who is not in the state of wudu.

They differ however in regards to the one in janaba or the one who is menstruating. One group of scholars said, “The menstruating woman or the person in Janaba should not recite a single thing from the Quran.” And this is the statement said to be by Umar ibn Al-Khattaab and Ali ibn abi Talib and others as well as those such as Hasan al-Basri, Qataadah and Al-Nakha’ee and other than them.

Another group said, “As for the menstruating woman, she can recite whatever she wishes from the Quran but as for those in the state of janaba they can recite only two ayaat or similar to that.” This is the statement of Maalik .

And some scholars said he should not complete the verse which is the statement of Abu Hanifa.

For those who prohibit the Junub person to recite anything from the Quran they use as evidence  what is narrated by Abdullah ibn Salama from Ali ibn abi Taalib that “The Messenger did not abstain from reciting the Quran except in the state of Janaabah.”

Yet this is not even an evidence for them as it does not contain any prohibiting statement against the Junub one to recite the Quran.

Indeed it is just an action from the Messenger no doubt, and it does not convey to us that he was prohibited from reciting the Quran in the state of Janaba. And it may be agreed that the left of the recitation in that state is not to do with the condition of Janaba itself.

For example, the Messenger never fasted an entire month aside from Ramadan, nor would he ever pray more than thirteen Rak’ah in his night prayer (Tahajjud) nor did he ever eat on a dining table or whilst reclining. So do they prohibit that a person fasts a whole month other than Ramadan or that a person prays Tahajjud more than thirteen Rakah? Or that he eats whilst sitting at a table or whilst reclining? This is not their position and many more similar examples exist.

A narration has come too with the prohibition of the Junub person and the one who is not in Tahara (not in the state of wudu) to recite anything from the Quran, however, nothing of this is authentic. And we have conveyed the weakness of its chains in another location. And even if it was authentic it would have been an evidence against those who permit the recitation of a whole ayah or a portion of it, since this (unauthentic) statement prohibits the recitation of all types for the Junub person.

As for the one that says that the Junub can recite an ayah or so or he who says not even a verse or those who permit the menstruating one and prohibits the Junub one then these statements are all invalid.

This is since they are claims and do not sustain a single evidence, not from the Quran nor from the authentic or weak ahadith, neither from Ijmaa nor from the statement of a Sahabi or from Qiyaas or from a reasonable opinion. This is since some of a verse and a complete verse is still Quran without a doubt. So there is no differentiation between permitting a verse or to permit something more than that, Nor any difference between prohibiting a verse or more or less than that.

The people of these statements slander those who differ with the one who does not recognise the difference. And they are conflicting herewith Umar ibn al Khattaab and Ali ibn abiTaalib and Salmaan Al-Farsi . And they do not realise themselves to be conflicting with the Sahaba.

Also from the verses of the Quran are those which are single words (in the Arabic language) such as


By the Forenoon (Surah Dhuha 93:1)


Dark Green in Colour (referring to Jannah) (Surah Rahman 55:64)


By the Time (Surah Asr 103:1)


By the Dawn (Surah Fajr 89:1)

and from the single verses are those with many words such as Ayat al-Dayn[1] (Baqarah 2:282), so if there was no doubt in this, then they allow reciting Ayat al-Dayn and the verse which is after it or to recite Ayatul Kursi or a portion of it or  they do not complete it.

Yet they prohibit one from reciting:

وَٱلۡفَجۡرِ (١) وَلَيَالٍ عَشۡرٍ۬ (٢) وَٱلشَّفۡعِ وَٱلۡوَتۡرِ

By the dawn, by the ten nights, and by the even and the odd. (Surah Fajr 89: 1-3)


Or they prevent the completion of:


Dark green [in color]. (Surah Rahman 55:64)


And this astonishes us.

Also, their separation between the menstruating woman and the Junub one since the duration of menstruation is long, then this is unfeasible because if the recitation of the Quran was Haram, then it would not be permitted by the length of her menstruation. And if it was Halal for her then it does not make sense to claim the length of her duration as an excuse.

It was narrated to us from Yunus ibn Yazeed that Rabee’ah said: “There is no problem in the Junub one reciting the Quran.”[2]

And from Hammaad that he said “I asked Saeed ibn Musayyib regarding the Junub person, can he recite the Quran?” so he said, “How can he not recite, yet it (The Quran) is in his heart.”[3]

And from Nasr al-Baahili who said, “Ibn Abbaas recited Surah Baqarah whilst he was Junub.”[4]

It is also narrated to us from Haamad ibn abi Sulaymaan who said “I asked Sa’id ibn Jubayr about a person in janaba reciting the Quran and he didn’t see any harm in it” and he said, “Is not the Quran within him?”[5]

This is also the statement of Dawud and the majority of our companions.



Permissibility of Sujood in any state

As for the Sujood of the Quran then by principle, it is not a Prayer (Salah), it was narrated by Ibn Umar that he heard the Messenger say “The Prayers of the day and night are two by two (Rak’ah).”[6] and it has been authentically reported from him (The Messenger) that he said “The witr, is one Rak’ah at the end of the night.”[7]

So it is correct that whatever does not have a complete Rak’ah or two Rak’ah upwards is not considered a Salah, and the Sujud from the Quran is not a single Rak’ah or two Rak’ah so it is not a prayer. Thus if it is not a prayer is it is permissible to perform it without Wudu, in Janaba, whilst menstruating or towards other than the Qiblah like all other types of Dhikr and there is no difference between them.

It is not required to have Wudu except only for the Salah. It has not come to be obligating to other than the salah from the Quran or Sunnah or Ijmaa or Qiyaas.

If it is said that the Sujood is an action from the salah and an action from the salah is considered to be salah then we say — and by Allah who’s help is sought — This statement is invalid. That is because it cannot be that an action from the salah is considered to be salah except when it an action by one who is praying. And even if a person performed the Takbeer and the Ruku then it is cut off deliberately, with what would a Muslim say that he prayed something. No, they would all say that he did not pray. So if he prayed a complete Rak’ah for witr or two Rak’ah from Jummuah or Subh (Fajr) or Safar of Tattawu’ then it would be that he prayed a prayer with no difference of opinion.

Then we also say to them, Standing is an active part of the salah, takbeer is an action of the salah, reciting Umm ul-Quran (the Fatiha) is an action from the salah, sitting is an action from the salah and giving salaam is part of the salaah. Therefore they would have to permit one to say that they should not make Takbeer or recite the umm ul-Quran (the Fatiha) or to sit or give Salaam except in a state of Wudu, but they do not say this, so their evidence is futile and nullified and with Allah the highest success is sought.

And if they say there is Ijmaa (Unanimous scholarly consensus on this matter being prohibited), we say to them “Do you decide to authenticate an Ijmaa upon invalid evidence and your own corrupt reasoning?” and with Allah help is sought.


Permissibility of touching the Mushaf[8] in any state

As for touching the Mushaf, then indeed the narrations which prohibit it being touched by the one in the state of janaba, are not authentic, not a single one. As for the (hadith of the) letter and the manuscript, they have no chain since they are from unknown and weak narrators. And we have investigated it (the chains) thoroughly in other than this place.

And indeed what is authentic is what is narrated by Ibn Abbas who was informed by Abu Sufyaan that he was with Heraclius, and he called for the letter of the Messenger of Allah, which he had sent Dihya with to the leader of Basra, so he delivered it to Heraclius and he read it, and it read as follows: ”

بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ

In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. (Surah Al Fatihah 1:1)

From Muhammad the servant of Allah and His Messenger to Heraclius the leader of Rome, Peace be upon whomsoever follows the guidance.

To proceed, Indeed I call you to the call of Islam, Accept Islam and Allah will increase your reward twice over and if you turn away then upon you is the sin of Al-Ariseeyeen[9] and

قُلۡ يَـٰٓأَهۡلَ ٱلۡكِتَـٰبِ تَعَالَوۡاْ إِلَىٰ ڪَلِمَةٍ۬ سَوَآءِۭ بَيۡنَنَا وَبَيۡنَكُمۡ أَلَّا نَعۡبُدَ إِلَّا ٱللَّهَ وَلَا نُشۡرِكَ بِهِۦ شَيۡـًٔ۬ا وَلَا يَتَّخِذَ بَعۡضُنَا بَعۡضًا أَرۡبَابً۬ا مِّن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ‌ۚ فَإِن تَوَلَّوۡاْ فَقُولُواْ ٱشۡهَدُواْ بِأَنَّا مُسۡلِمُونَ

Say “O people of the Scripture: Come to a word that is just between us and you, that we worship none but Allah, and that we associate no partners with Him, and that none of us shall take lords besides Allah.” Then if they turn away, say “Bear witness that we are Muslims.”” (Surah Ali Imran 3:64)[10]

And this letter was sent with this verse to a Christian and he was certain that they would touch its paper.

And it is reported by Ibn Umar that he said: “The Messenger of Allah ﷺ used to forbid that one should travel to the land of the enemy taking the Qur’an (with him) lest it should fall into the hands of the enemy.”[11] And this is the truth and it has enjoined upon itself to be followed and it is not that the one who is Junub or that the Kaafir cannot touch the Quran. Truly it is only that the people of the warring lands be prevented from obtaining the Quran.

And if it is said that the Messenger sent to Heraclius only one verse, it is replied to them he (the Messenger) did not prohibit more than a single verse and you the people of analogy, if you did not make an analogy with this verse, then what would be the case if the Messenger sent more than one verse? So do not make an analogy between this verse and others.[12]

And if they try to prohibit it via the saying of Allah,

فِى كِتَـٰبٍ۬ مَّكۡنُونٍ۬  لَّا يَمَسُّهُ ۥۤ إِلَّا ٱلۡمُطَهَّرُونَ

In a book well guarded, none touch it except the purified. (Surah Al Waqiah 56:78-79 )

Then this is not an evidence for them as it does not contain any command and indeed it is just information. Allah does not speak except the truth. And it is not permissible to displace the wording of an informative text to a command except with an apparent text or a ijmaa with certainty.

So when we have seen the Mushaf, that those who are pure touch it and those who are impure have touched it, we learn that Allah did not mean the Mushaf, but it is referring to the other book (The preserved tablet in the skies) such as how is related to us from Jaami ibn abi Raashid from Saeed ibn Jubayr[13] regarding the statement of Allah — “None touch it except the purified” he said “These are the angels in the heavens.”

Narrated by Alqamah[14]: We went to Sulaymaan Al-Farisi, and he came out to us from Kaneef and we said to him “If only you made Wudu O Abu Abdillah, then you recited for us such and such Surah.” so then Sulaymaan replied “Indeed Allah, glorified and esteemed is he said, “In a well-preserved book, none touch it except the purified.” and this is the Dhikr which is in the heavens, none touch it except the Angels.”

Ibrahim An-Nakhai narrated regarding Alqamah[15] that if he wanted the Mushaf he would order a Christian to transcribe it for him.

Abu Hanifa said, “There is no problem if a Junub person carries his Mushaf in a shroud or a cover but he should not do so if he does not have a cover for it, and the same applies for the one without Wudu.”

Maalik said “The Junub one is not to carry the Mushaf nor the one without wudu, neither by a shroud nor on a cushion. And if he is in difficulty or it is in a box then there is no harm that a Jew or a Christian or a Junub or someone not in Wudu to carry it”

Ali ibn Hazm said: there is no evidence establishing the separation between these scenarios, not from the Quran nor from the Sunnah whether authentic or weak or from Ijmaa or from Qiyaas or from the statement of a Sahabi. And if taking it out had been prohibited between the carrier and the Quran then the Law is a clear tablet partitioned also between touching and the Quran and there is no difference between them. and with Allah is the success.

The Most Esteemed Scholar, The Faqih, The Muhaddith Imam Abu Muhammad Ali ibn Hazm Al-Andalusi., Muhalla B’il Aathaar, 2nd edn., Beirut, Dar Kutub Ilmiyya,1424H (2003 CE), vol. 1, pp.  94-99, pt. 117.



  1. Ayat al-Dayn — The Verse regarding contracts, (Baqarah 2:282) it is the longest single verse of the Quran comprising of a complete page, here the author shows the contradiction of the scholars who permit the recitation of only one verse since this verse is a whole page in comparison to other verses which are a single word. Therefore why prohibit the recitation of three verses comprised of a total of three words yet allow one page of Ayat al-Dayn. This is a huge inconsistency of their reasoning as all of it is considered to be Quran despite what length it is.
  2. Chain: From Muhammad ibn Saeed ibn Nabaat from Abdullah ibn Nasr ibn Asbigh from Muhammad ibn Widaah from Musa ibn Muaawiyah from ibn Wahb from Yunus ibn Yazeed to Rabee’ah
  3. From the chain in footnote 1 to Musa ibn Muawiya that he heard from Yusuf ibn khalid as-sumti from Idrees from Hammaad from Saeed ibn Musayyib
  4. Chain: Muhammad ibn Saeed ibn Nabaat from Abdullah ibn Nasr ibn Asbigh from Muhammad ibn Widaah from Musa ibn Muawiya from Yusuf As-Sumti from Nasr Al-Baahili from Ibn Abbas
  5. Chain: Muhammad ibn Saeed ibn nibaat from Ahmed ibn 3wnAllah from Qaasim bin Asbigh from Muhammad ibn Abdis Salaam AlKhashnee from Muhammad ibn Bashaar from Ghundar from Shu’bah from Hammad ibn Abi Sulayman from Saeed ibn Jubayr
  6. Chain: Abdullah ibn Rabee from Muhammad ibn Muawiyah from Ahmed ibn Shuayb from Muhammad ibn Bashaar from Abdur-Rahmaan bin Mahdi and Muhammad ibn Jafaar that they heard Shu’bah from Ya’laa ibn Ataa that he heard Ali Al-azadi, who is Ali ibn Abdullah Al-Baaraqy, Thiqah, from Ibn Umar from the Messenger. Authenticated by Al-Albani in Tamaam Al-Minna pg 240. Tirmidhi (597) Nasaai (1295) Ibn Maajah (1322)
  7. Reported Muslim (752)
  8. The scriptures/book/pages with which the Qur’an is written upon
  9. lay-population or those under the command of the Caesar, or a term denoting the farming population to represent the general population of those under the Roman Empire in that particular region.
  10. Reported Bukhari (7) the isnaad is as follows: Ibn Hazm from Abdullah ibn Rabee from Muhammad ibn Ahmed ibn Mufrah from Saeed ibn Alsakin from Alfurbary from Bukhari from Hakam ibn Naafi from Shuayb from Zuhri from AbuydAllah ibn Abdillah bin Utbah From Ibn Abbas from Abu Sufyaan.
  11. Muslim (1869) Abdullah ibn Rabee from Muhammad ibn Muawiya from Ahmed ibn Shuayb from Qutaybah ibn Saeed from Layth from Naafi from ibn Umar
  12. Translators note: It could even be said that the Messenger sent two verses to Heraclius since the Basmalah constitutes the first verse of Suratul Fatiha and is undoubtedly part of a verse from Suratul Naml.
  13. Chain: From Muhammad ibn Saeed ibn Nibaat from Ahmed ibn AbdulBaseer from Qaasim ibn Asbigh from Muhammad ibn Abdus-Salaam al Khashani from Muhammad ibn Al-Muthna from Abdurrahman ibn Mahdi from Sufyaan Al-Thawri from Jaami ibn abi Raashid from Saeed ibn Jubayr
  14. Chain: From Hammam ibn Ahmed from ibn Mufraj from ibn al-A’raabi, from Ad-Dubri from Abdur-Razzaq from Yahya ibn Alaa’ from A’mash from Ibrahim An-Nakhai from Alqamah
  15. Chain: Muhammad ibn Saeed ibn Nibaat from Ahmed ibn AbdulBaseer from Qaasim ibn Asbigh from Muhammad ibn Abdus-Salaam al Khashani from Muhammad ibn Bashaar from Muhammad ibn Ja’far from Shu’bah from Mansur ibn Mu’tamar from Ibrahim An-Nakhai from Alqamah ibn Qays
  16. Muhalla B’il Aathaar, 2nd edn., Beirut, Dar Kutub Ilmiyya,1424H (2003 CE), vol. 1, pp.  94-99, pt. 117.
  17. Some additional titles were added by the translator for the ease of structure.