If impurity accidentally gets onto the Mus-haf (Arabic-only copy of the Qur’an), can it be purified simply by pouring water on it, then drying it with a sponge or tissues?
Praise be to Allah
Venerating the Mus-haf and protecting it from dirt is a duty and a must.
Allah, may He be exalted, says (interpretation of the meaning):
“That [is so]. And whoever honors the symbols of Allah - indeed, it is from the piety of hearts”
“That [has been commanded], and whoever honors the sacred ordinances of Allah - it is best for him”
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The “sacred ordinances” refers to complying with commands to do obligatory and Sunnah actions. One of the things that Allah has enjoined is to venerate and respect His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him). The “symbols” refers to everything that Allah, may He be exalted, has enjoined, referred to or told us about, which includes His Book and the Sunnah of His Messenger (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him).
End quote. Fataawa ash-Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem (2/32).
Maintaining the purity of the pages of the Qur’an and protecting them from contamination with any kind of filth or dirt comes under the heading of venerating and respecting the Qur’an, and is something concerning which the scholars are unanimously agreed is obligatory.
An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The Muslims are unanimously agreed that it is obligatory to protect and respect the Mus-haf.
Our companions and others said: If a Muslim were to throw it [the Mus-haf] into the trash – Allah forbid – then the one who did that would become a disbeliever.
They said: It is haraam to recline on it as if it were a pillow; in fact reclining on any book of knowledge as if it were a pillow is haraam.
End quote. At-Tibyaan fi Adaab Hamalat al-Qur’an, p. 190-191
Based on that, we must hasten to purify the Mus-haf if it becomes contaminated with impurity or any kind of filth.
With regard to that which will be spoiled by washing, such as paper and the like, it is not essential to wash it in order to remove the impurity. Rather the impurity may be removed from it in whatever way possible, without spoiling it, such as wiping it with a tissue, exposing it to the air, drying it in the sun, and the like, which may remove the impurity from it without destroying the Mus-haf or damaging its pages.
Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
If the impurity is on something that will be damaged by washing, such as a silk garment, paper and the like, then it may be wiped, and there is no need to wash it, according to the more correct of the two scholarly opinions.
The reason for that is that with regard to removing impurity without using water, there are three opinions among the scholars, in the madhhab of Imam Ahmad and others.
It was said: it is permissible to use anything that will remove the impurity, as is the view of Abu Haneefah, and this is the strongest view.
And it was said: it is not permissible to use anything other than water, as is the view of ash-Shaafa‘i.
And it was said that it is permissible not to use water when there is a reason for not doing so, as is the view of Maalik.
End quote. Jaami‘ al-Masaa’il, 9/313-314.
He also said:
The most correct view concerning this matter is that once the impurity is removed, by whatever means, the ruling of impurity no longer applies, because if the ruling is connected to a reason, it no longer applies once that reason is no longer there.
End quote, Majmoo‘ al-Fataawa, 21/475
Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said:
The correct view is that once the impurity has been removed, by whatever means, the place where it was has now become pure, because impurity is a dirty physical thing, so once it is removed, the ruling of impurity no longer applies. It is not something intangible, like ritual impurity that can only be removed in the manner prescribed in Islamic teaching.
The fuqaha’ (may Allah have mercy on them) said: If there is an impurity in a large amount of water, and its description changes because of the impurity, then that change disappears by itself, the water becomes pure and is a means of purification. If wine turns to vinegar by itself, it becomes pure. This is an example of an impure substance becoming pure without the use of water.
As for mention of water, in particular, as a means of purification in the evidence and reports mentioned above, the fact that it is mentioned does not mean that it is the only way; rather it is mentioned because it is more effective in removing dirt and more readily available.
End quote. Ash-Sharh al-Mumti‘, 1/30
And Allah knows best.