An individual (non-Muslim) in my Islamic Civilization course was asking whether it was permissible for non-Muslims to attain an electronic copy of the Qur’an (I think he has it on CD).
He does not read/speak Arabic, and just has it on his hard drive. The question was brought up in reference to a ruling that one must be purified to hold the Qur’an. So would it hold in this circumstance as well? Is it the actual touching of the Qur’an that is implied or the possession of the Qur’an in general?
As regards to this question, it is actually the touching of the Qur’an which is prohibited without purity. As far as the possession of it is concerned, it would not be impermissible for a non-Muslim to possess it and benefit from it as long as its sanctity is preserved and it is not disrespected in any way.
If the colleague is open to advice then it would be best advised that rather than keep it on the hard drive, where other types of information is stored, it would be best kept on a separate CD, and the CD handled with respect.
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Abdurrahman ibn Yusuf