Respecting The Qur'an Al-Karim


In Al-Halabi as-saghir, a few lines above the section on sajdat at-tilawa, it is written, "It is a sin to write the Qur'an al-karim in an illegibly small script or to get or own such small-sized copies of Qur'an al-karim. " Allahu ta'ala sent the Qur'an al-karim to be recited, read, listened to and its contents to be learnt and obeyed. It is an insult to the Qur'an al-karim to write it in an illegibly small script. The Khalifa 'Umar (radiyallahu 'anh) punished a man who wrote an illegibly small copy of the Qur'an al-karim. Buying such Mus'hafs, carrying them in small golden boxes attached to a string around the neck, as Christians do with their icons or crosses, is useless and very sinful.

It is written in Al-Halabi that it is tahrimi makruh [1] to write ayats [2] or names of Allahu ta'ala' [and also a picture of the Ka'ba] on things spread on the ground or on praying mats (sajjada). It is written in Tahtawi's annotation to Imdad that it is makruh to write such sacred words on coins or paper bills. The exalted 'alim as-Sayyid 'Abd al Hakim Arwasi (quddisa sirruh) states in one of his letters that during the time of the Sahabat al-kiram [3] and the Tabi'in 'izam [4] ('alaihim ar-ridwan) no sacred word was written on money. The rationale for this is that money is used in buying and selling, and, therefore, it is not revered. It is permissible to print pictures on it. The non-Sunnite governments, for example, that Fatimis and the Rasulis, who belonged to the Mu'tazila and who bore the name Muslim but who in reality did not follow the Shari'at [5], had ayats and hadiths [6] printed on money. This was one of the tricks they played to deceive the people and hide in a Muslim guise. The 'ulama' [7] of the Din [that is, the Fuqaha-yi 'izam] did not permit writing blessed words even on grave-stones, let alone money. It is written in Al-fatawa al-Hindiyya that it is makruh to touch such money without an ablution.

[1] makruh-tahrima: The omission of a wâjib (obligatory performance), and it is close to harâm (prohibited). It is a venial sin to do an act which has been declared to be makrûh tahrîmî.
[2] ayat: A verse of al-Qur'an al-karim; al-ayat al-karima.
[3] Sahaba: if a Muslim has seen the Prophet, or talked to him, at least once when the Prophet was alive, he is called Sahabi. Plural form of Sahabi is Sahaba or As'hab. The word Sahaba-i kiram includes all those great people each of whom has seen the Prophet at least once. The lowest of the Sahaba is much higher than the highest of other Muslims. If a person has not seen the Prophet but has seen or talked to one of the Sahaba at least once, he is called Tabi'. Its plural form is Tabi'in. In other words, the Tabi'in are the successors of the Sahaba. If a person has not seen any of the Sahaba but has seen at least one of the Tabi'in, he is called Taba'i Tabi'in. The Sahaba, the Tabi'in and the Taba'i tabi'in altogether are called the Salaf-i salihin (the early savants).
[4] Tabi'un (al-i'zam): most of those Muslims who had not seen the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam) but saw (one of) as-Sahabat al-kiram; so their successors. Successors of as-Sahabat al-kiram.
[5] Shari'at: (pl. of Shari'a) i) rules and commandments as a whole of the religion. ii) religion.
[6] hadith (sharif): i) a saying of the Prophet ('alaihi 's-salam).; al-Hadith ash-sharif: all the hadiths as a whole; ii) 'ilm al-hadith; iii) Books of the hadith ash-sharif. iv) Al-hadith al-qudsi, as-sahih, al-hasan: kinds of hadiths (for which, see Endless Bliss, II).
[7] 'ulama': pl. of 'alim; 'ulama' ar-rasihin, those learned in both zahiri and batini sciences.