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The Method of Disposing of Religious Material

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org

Answered by Shaykh Omar Subedar

Question:

I have a frame in which the four sūrahs are written with glass paints. When we moved, it broke and I could not fix it. I do not know what to do. Somebody told me to remove the writing with some sharp thing and then recycle the glass. I did that but I can still see the inscription when looking in the light. I don’t want to do anything disrespectful. Please guide me.  ā

Answer:

In respect to disposing of material with sacred texts on it, scholars get direction from the following account;

Anas رضى الله عنه reported, “Hudhayfa ibn Al Yamān approached `Uthmān when the Syrians were fighting in the conquest of Armenia. Hudhayfa was alarmed by the difference in their recitation so he told `Uthmān, “Grab hold of this nation before they begin differing on the book [of Allāh] just as the Jews and Christians differed!”

Hence `Uthmān sent a message to Ḥafsa [the Prophet’s صلى الله عليه وسلم wife], “Send the manuscripts [of the Qur’ān] to us [which are in your possession] so we can copy them. We’ll return them to you [when we’re done].”

Ḥafsa sent them to `Uthmān and subsequently `Uthmān ordered Zaid ibn Thābit, `Abdullāh ibn Al Zubair, Sa’īd ibn Al `Āās, and `Abdur Raḥmān ibn Al Ḥārith ibn Al Hishām to copy them out. As a result they copied them out [making several copies].

When they finished copying out the manuscripts, `Uthmān returned them to Ḥafsa and then sent a copy of what they transcribed to every region. He then commanded that every sheet or copy which has any [other] form of the Qur’ān be burned. [Bukhārī]

Hence the proper way of dealing with such material is to burn it. If this is not possible as it seems in your case then you should find a place to bury it as per the recommendation of scholars.

And Allāh Knows Best

This answer was collected from Mathabah.org. It’s an Islamic educational institute based in Canada. The questions are generally answered by Sheikh Yusuf Badat and Sheikh Omar Subedar.

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