Reading from a Quran app

Fatwa ID: 02593

Answered by: Molana Javed ibn Nazir Kachhalia

Question

AsSalaamo alaikom, honored mufti, wa raHmat Allah wa barakaatuh

Firstly, I would like to know whether it is permissible to read the Qur'an from a phone screen, where the whole screen is covered with Qur'an (either part of a page of Qur'an or one or two whole pages) without being in a state of purity?
Secondly, is it allowed to touch said phone (parts of it or all of it) while not being in a state of wudhu?
Thirdly, can I recite Qur'an from my phone sitting on a bus or elsewhere, without having wudhu?
Fourthly, if I do read the Qur'an in a public space (bus, park, lobby, etc.) can I read loudly? How loud?

Answer

Firstly, we need to understand the word “Mushaf”. “Mushaf” (plural is “masahif) is another Arabic term that is related to “Qur’an” but is slightly different from it. This term is derived from the Arabic term “sahifa.” This word is not found in the Qur’an, but its plural, “suhuf,” occurs 8 times. In all of its 8 occurrences “suhuf” means “written pages” of something. Note that “page” in modern Arabic is “safha,” which is clearly the same word as “sahifa.” 

Its used twice to refer to the Qur’an, once in the expression “honoured pages”  

Allah SWT says:

“[It is recorded] in honoured sheets” (Surah Abas 80.13)  

“A Messenger from Allah, reciting purified scriptures”. (Surah Bayyinah 98.2) 

So, the literal meaning of mushaf is “collection of pages.” Its technical meaning is, therefore, the “compiled, written pages of the Qur’an.” In other words, the term “Qur’an” refers to the specific “revelation that was read to Prophet Muhammad” whereas the term mushaf” denotes the “written form” of that revelation. 

After understanding the above, e come to know that the Qur’an Apps on a mobile, tablet or other devices, do not come in the same category as “Mushaf”. Based on this, it seems that mobile phones and similar devices on which Qur’aan may be recorded do not come under the same rules as the Mus-haf, because the letters of the Qur’aan in these devices are different than the letters in the Mus-haf. They do not exist in the form in which they are read, rather they exist in the form of waves that form the letters when needed, so they appear in the screen then disappear when one moves to another verse.

Based on this:

It is permissible to read The Qura’an from mobile phones, tablets or any electronic device in a state of minor impurity. We need to take precaution for this as when turning the page or changing them our fingers shouldn’t be touching the area in which the Arabic Words or writing is.

'… It is not unlawful in other than a Mushaf [to touch] except the area where the verses are inscribed.' (Radd al-Muhtar ala 'l-Durr al-Mukhtar 1/173)

Also, you can use your electronic device to recite the Qura’an wherever you are. Again, the above rule will apply.

By reciting the Qura’an in a public place, one should be cautious of what’s happening around. As the recitation of the Qura’an loudly demands respect.

Allah SWT said:

When the Qurʾān is recited, listen to it and be silent, maybe you will receive [Allah’s] mercy. (Surah Al-Araf 7, v 204)

From the above verse we come to know that it is essential to remain silent when the Qura’an is recited and to listen to it attentively. Therefore, in Public places this view or ruling is void. So we shall try our level best that the recitation is done but also at the same time in a silent tone that we can hear it.

You can find some similar ruling pertaining of touching items which have the Qura’an written or part of the Qura’an written on our website: http://daruliftabirmingham.co.uk/

I hope the above information will be useful Insha’Allah.

And Allah Knows Best. Al-Aleem, Al-Khabeer

Molana Javed ibn Nazir Kachhalia

Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah

Darul ifta Birmingham

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