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Selling Mushaf to Non-Muslims

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Ustadh Tabraze Azam is asked about the validity of selling a vintage copy of the Mushaf to a non-Muslim.


Assalam alaykum wa rahmatu Allah wa barakatuh

A non-Muslim buyer wants to purchase a Mushaf of historical value and pay a very high sum for it. There is pretty much no fear or worry that the purchaser will disrespect the Mushaf. Would this business transaction of selling him the Mushaf be permissible in the Hanafi school?


Selling a copy of the Qur’an (mushaf) to a non-Muslim would be a legally valid sale contract.

But the permissibility of such a transaction would be on condition that there is no reasonable likelihood of abasement or the like. Accordingly, the permission of sale would normally apply to the case that the person may be lead to Islam by its acquisition. Further, the proper manners and general aspects of veneration should also be explained to the buyer at the time of purchase.

Usually, translations are superior to facilitate and provide rather than the standard Arabic, or dual language, versions of the Qur’an, particularly when the buyer may not know the Arabic language. This is primarily because the rulings pertaining to touching translations are far more expansive than that of the original Arabic.

When, and if, the Qur’an is no longer required by the person, it should be made clear that it needs to be returned to a local mosque or Islamic center. Ideally, suggest somewhere local so the matter is facilitated for them should the desire to give it away arise.

The Qur’an and Veneration

Some contemporary scholars are reluctant to affirm the permissibility of this transaction in light of the concerns forwarded by classical jurists. Generally, there was a fear that non-Muslims would not give the Qur’an due veneration, or make it liable to abuse, because, naturally, they weren’t believers. Having said that, there are also secondary reservations about the lack of respect shown to the Qur’an itself when it becomes an item of sale, rather than, as it’s supposed to be, a book of guidance.

In one tradition (hadith), the Messenger of Allah, Allah bless him and give him peace, said, “Don’t travel with the Qur’an.” (Muslim) Although this was stated in a specific context, the Prophet, Allah bless him and give him peace, interdicted taking the Qur’an on journeys in order to safeguard it from falling into the wrong hands, namely that of the disbelievers, and to avoid any potential, subsequent abuse of any kind, whatsoever.

Ritual Purity and Non-Muslims

On another note, many jurists usually affirm that a non-Muslim would need to be in the fullest state of ritual purification (ghusl) to be able to physically touch a copy of the Arabic Qur’an. Allah Most High says that the Qur’an is a book that “is not touched except by the purified.” (Sura al-Waqi‘a 56:79)

But given the fact that non-Muslims aren’t accountable to the standards of the Sacred Law (shari’a), it would be acceptable for them, according to a number of contemporary scholars, to touch the Qur’an without ritual purity if they find it difficult to uphold such rulings consistently.

The upshot, then, is to encourage a full bath (ghusl) whenever they wish to handle the Qur’an directly; and failing that, a basic form of ritual ablution (wudu), and at the very least, washing the hands thoroughly.

(Haskafi, al-Durr al-Mukhtar, with Ibn ‘Abidin’s Gloss 4.134/215; Ibn Nujaym, al-Bahr al-Ra’iq Sharh al-Kanz (6.188); Usmani, Fiqh al-Buyu‘ 1.165)

And Allah Most High knows best.


Tabraze Azam

Checked and approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani.


This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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