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Discarding Old Copies of the Qurʿān

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Mathabah.org
Answered by Shaykh Yūsuf Badat
Question

I have a copy of the Qurʿān that has missing sections. Can I discard it, if so, in what manner, or should I keep it away?

Answer:

Thank you for your question. Your interest in learning religious rulings is admirable.

Discarding old copies or pages of the Qurʿān can be done if required, however the key instruction, specified by Islamic jurists, is to discard such material with utmost respect.

Allāh Almighty states;

“If one observes the sanctity of the Allāh’s symbols, then such things emanate from the piety of the hearts” (Qurʿān 22:32)

Classical jurists have generally recommended to bury Qurʿāns that are torn or no longer in a usable state. Others have suggested to respectfully place them in flowing water. (See Rad al Muhtar).

There are numerous reports that the third Caliph of Islam, ‘Othman (may Allāh be pleased with him) had instructed to have the ‘Kitāb al Om’ (mother copy of the collected scattered verses of the Qurʿān by Abu Bakr) burnt. This was after he had formalized the entire Qurʿān into a book format with proper sequence of chapters etc. In light of this, some jurists have given permission to burn Qurʿāns that are old or no longer in a usable state.

One may also shred or tear the verses of the Qurʿān in such a way that the verses are no longer identifiable. They will only appear as individual letters. Once this is rendered, then one may discard them in a respectful way.

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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