Kindly advise on how Islamic literature should be disposed. I have many Islamic magazines, pamphlets and newsletter lying around at home. I know that I am not allowed to throw them in the bin as they contain verses from the Qur’an, the name of Allah and the Hadith.
What is the best way of disposing of such articles? Can we put them in the green box placed by the city here in Canada where all used books are placed by people and then recycled?
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Islam gives great reverence to the tools of learning knowledge. Our pious predecessors would go at length to keep respect of pens, papers, books or any medium of gaining knowledge. This reverence is further increased when these papers contain the sacred name of Allah or any part of Qur’ān on them. In our times, we have excelled tremendously in publishing Islamic material. The new technologies have proven very beneficial in propagating our Dīn. However, one shortcoming to such widespread propagation is the pamphlets, books and posters do not get the reverence and respect they deserve. Once these go into the hand of public, then they get trampled upon or disrespected in other ways.
It is therefore very important to dispose of any Islamic material which is no longer needed in the proper Shar῾ī way. While recycle bins may seem a suitable choice, but these papers are handled by non Muslims. Moreover they get thrown down, trampled or torn into pieces before they get to be recycled. It is not appropriate for material which has Allah’s name or a part of Qur’ān on it to be handled by a non Muslim.1
The more suitable way is to wrap up the Islamic material, papers, or Qur’ān copies and then bury them in a place which is not commonly walked upon. It is mentioned in Ad Durrul Mukhtār,
“When a Qur’ān copy becomes (so) old that it is no longer legible, then it should be wrapped up (in some cloth) and buried like a (deceased) Muslim.”2
If it is not possible to bury these parchments or papers in a secure place, then one may cross shred them and then use the recycle bins. As a final resort collect these papers and burn them securely.
And Allāh knows best.
Mufti Faisal bin Abdul Hameed al-Mahmudi
1 ( ويمنع النصراني ) في بعض النسخ الكافر – حاشية ابن عابدين –مطلب يطلق الدعاء على ما يشمل الثناء (1 / 321)
2 ( يدفن ) أي يجعل في خرقة طاهرة ويدفن في محل غير ممتهن لا يوطأ (المصحف إذا صار بحال لا يقرأ فيه يدفن كالمسلم – الدر المختار – (1 / 320))