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Is it permissible to write verses of the Qur’aan in unjoined letters? Is the ‘Uthmaani script obligatory?

Is writing verses of the Qur’aan with letters unjoined permissible? As this style of writing is widespread in chat rooms?.

Praise be to Allaah.

With regard to writing Qur’aanic verses according to modern rules of writing and in a style other than the ‘Uthmaani script, one of two scenarios must apply: 

1.     That is done by writing the entire Qur’aan in a mus-haf

2.     Or some verses are written in books, chatrooms or articles. 

If we can be lenient with regard to the second case, we may allow writing one or two verses in books of knowledge according the modern rules of writing, but the former case, which is writing the entire Mus-haf in that style, cannot be tolerated or taken lightly. That is in order to stop those who would toy with the Qur’aan by writing the entire Qur’aan in scripts and styles other than the ‘Uthmaani script, and with the passage of time people would see a difference in the copies of the Qur’aan around the world.  

Hence the Fiqh Council in Makkah al-Mukarramah issued a statement supporting what was mentioned in a statement by the Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia forbidding the writing of Mus-hafs in anything but the ‘Uthmaani script.

The statement of the Fiqh Council says: 

The Islamic Fiqh Council has studied the statement of Shaykh Haashim Wahbah ‘Abd al-‘Aal from Jeddah, in which he mentions the subject of changing the ‘Uthmaani script of the Mus-haf to a regular script that is in accordance with the rules of writing. After discussing this topic by the council, and studying the ruling of the Council of Senior Scholars in Riyadh (no. 71), dated 21/10/1399 AH, on this topic, in which it states the reasons for continuing to write the Mus-haf in the ‘Uthmaani script. They are: 

1.     It is proven that Mus-hafs were written in the ‘Uthmaani script at the time of ‘Uthmaan (may Allaah be pleased with him), and that he ordered that the Mus-hafs should be written in a specific script and style, and the Sahaabah agreed with him, and the Taabi’een followed them in that, and it has continued like that until the present day. And it is proven that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “I urge you to adhere to my Sunnah and the way of the Rightly-Guided Caliphs who come after me.” Continuing to write the Mus-haf in this manner is what we have to do, following the example of ‘Uthmaan, ‘Ali and the other Sahaabah, and following their consensus. 

2.     Forsaking the ‘Uthmaani script for the regular script that exists at present with the aim of making it easier to read may lead to further change, if the rules of writing change again, because the regular rules of writing could be changed and that may lead to distortion of the Qur'aan, by switching some letters or adding or taking away others, in which case there would be differences in Mus-hafs as the years go by, and the enemies of Islam would find a way to criticize the Holy Qur’aan. Islam came to block the means that lead to evil and cause trouble. 

3.     The fear that if the ‘Uthmaani script is not adhered to when writing the Qur’aan, the Book of Allaah may become a plaything in people’s hands. Every time a person has an new idea about writing it, he would suggests doing it, so you may find some of them suggesting writing it in Latin script or other scripts. This is treading on dangerous ground. Warding off harm takes precedence over bringing benefits. After studying all of that, the Islamic Fiqh Council decided unanimously to support what it says in the statement of the Council of Senior Scholars in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, that it is not permissible to change the ‘Uthmaani script of the Mus-haf and it is obligatory to leave the ‘Uthmaani script of the Mus-haf as it is, so that it might remain as proof that there has been no tampering or change or distortion of the text of the Qur’aan, and so as to follow that which the Sahaabah and imams of the earlier generations (may Allaah be pleased with them all) followed.  

With regard to the need to teach Qur'aan and make it easy for the new generation that has gotten used to the regular script, that may be achieved by means of teachers, because teaching Qur’aan needs teachers in all cases. So the teacher should take care of teaching the students the words whose form differs from the rules of the regular script especially since it may be noted that these words are few in number and are repeated frequently in the Qur’aan, such as the words salaat and samawaat etc. Once the student learns the word in the ‘Uthmaani script, it will be easy for him to read it every time it is repeated in the Mus-haf, as is also the case with the words haadha and dhaalika in the regular script also. 

Head of the Islamic Fiqh Council: Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn Baaz 

Deputy head: Dr. ‘Abd-Allaah ‘Umar Naseef 

Fataawa Islamiyyah (4/34, 35) 

Based on this we say: 

There is no way it can be permissible to write the verses in the manner mentioned in the question, for two reasons: 

1 – There is no scholarly opinion that suggests that it is permissible to write the Qur’aan in any manner. What is mentioned in scholarly discussions is the ‘Uthmaani script and the regular script, and this method is neither of those. 

2 – This way is akin to the writings of the practitioners of witchcraft, as they write the verses with unjoined letters and switch letters around. 

So we do not think it is permissible to write Qur’aanic verses in a style that breaks up the letters and we think that we should use only the ‘Uthmaani script for writing an entire Mus-haf, or you may use the modern rules of writing if you want to write some verses in a book or article, although it is better in this case too, to copy it from the Mus-haf in ‘Uthmaani script. 

And Allaah knows best.

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