Al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah (the Permanent Committee for Islamic Research and Fataawa) was asked the following questions:
“We are a group of students who are intending to study the ruling of Tarteel with Warsh (way of recitation) and the Mus-haf which is in our hands is not printed with that way of recitation. We need to write these rulings in the margins next to the Qur’anic text of the Mus-haf such as to remember them (the rulings) at the time of recitation.
Is it permissible to write notes in the side margins of the Mus-haf?
Is it permissible to write the causes of revelation for the verses and its Tafseer, in brief, in the side margin?
Is it permissible to put numbers with some verses (or a word) of the Qur’an for the sake of enumeration (i.e. no. 3 indicates this is the third time the verse is mentioned in the whole of the Holy Qur’an) or to specify the strange words, etc?”
“The bases which the whole Ummah is in consensus about regarding the Book of Allaah, is that it should be devoid of any addition to it; the Mus-haf should be kept with its writing that is known and used by the Muslims without any addition or detraction (deletion).
So we advise you to leave what you have mentioned of writing in the margins of the Mus-haf. You may write what you need to on separate papers which mention the name of the Surah and the number of the verse.
In this way, you will be joining to maintain the Book of Allaah and writing what benefits you and helps you in comprehension.
With Allaah is the success.” [Fatwa no. 18618 – Fatwa al-Lajnah ad-Daa’imah]
Shaikh Ibn ‘Uthaimeen (Rahimahullaah) was asked:
“O Shaikh! There is a trend that has occurred among the students in the school and groups of students when memorizing the Qur’an which consists of underestimation (contempt) of the Qur’an and that is by writing on it and writing things that do not befit this Noble Book. What is your advice for those who are responsible in these schools?”
“It is obligatory and a must for the Muslims to magnify and venerate the Word (Speech) of Allaah (Ta’ala). Therefore, it is required from the one who wants to touch the Qur’an to perform Wudu’ as an honor for the Qur’an. It is not permissible to write on the Qur’an, words or phrases that do not befit it, not even writing phrases that do befit, like an explanation of the words or the like. It is better not to write on the Qur’an in order not to mingle with the Qur’an what is not of it (keeping only the Word of Allaah).
If this happens, it is the duty of those who are in charge of the students and the teachers to punish these students with what they see suitable as a deterrent.” [Liqaa’ al-Baab al-Maftooh no. 88, question 7]
Dr. ‘Abdullaah ibn Muhammad at-Tayyar (Professor of Shar’iah College in al-Qaseem) was asked about the ruling of writing on the Mus-haf in the following cases:
1) Writing the name or the school year on the outer or inner cover of the Mus-haf
2) Underlining certain words to emphasize some Tajweed rules
3) Putting symbols, letters or numbers on the inner cover of the Mus-haf to preserve it from loss and so forth
4) Putting stickers on the Mus-haf with the name of the student on it such that each student is responsible for his Mus-haf
5) The bad writings by the youth
“Allaah revealed the Qur’an upon His Prophet (Salla-Allaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) as a guidance and a light for the whole world till the establishment of the Day of Judgment. And Allaah honored the early generation of this nation for memorizing it, acting upon it in all their worldly affairs and abiding by its rulings in their minor and major affairs. That generation continued to maintain the Qur’an, giving it importance, honor and respect.
However, later generations did not give the Qur’an its due estimate nor did they magnify it properly. One can pass by any mosque and see copies of the Qur’an which are torn or have been disrespected with bad words written in them or words written in them of no benefit and in which there is no interest. Also, sometimes its words are underlined and/ or effaced which causes aversion to the true pious believer.
Answer to question 1:
- This action is not permissible. The Mus-haf should be honored and magnified because it is comprised of Allaah’s Words. The Salaf of this Ummah were among the people taking utmost care of the Qur’an and strictly forbade exposing the Mus-haf to any means of contempt.
Abu Hamza narrated: Ibraheem an-Nakh’iee saw in my Mus-haf “the opening of Surah such and such”. He said to me: “Erase it, for Ibn Masnad said: “Don’t mix the Book of Allaah with what is not of it.”
Answers to questions 2 and 3:
This action should be avoided. No numbers, letters, drawings or symbols are to be written on it, including dots, smaller or bigger.
Abu Bakr as-Saraj said to Abu Ruzain: “Shall I write in my Mus-haf such and such Surah?” He answered: “I am afraid people will come (after us) and do not know it and they might think that it is part of the Qur’an (Allaah’s Speech).
In fact, everything the questioner asked about is not allowed to be written in the Mus-haf, either on its outer cover or its inner pages. And whoever wants to write anything should do that on a separate piece of paper or in a notebook by writing the number of the page, the name of the Surah, the number of the verse; in this way he will preserve the Qur’an’s magnificence and prevent any vain or improper use of it.
Answer to question 4:
From my point of view, I do not see this action as impermissible because the sticker can be removed any time, and there is no contempt in writing on the sticker. Also, there is a need for it in order not to mix the Mus-haf of this student with another student’s Mus-haf.
Answer to question 5:
Undoubtedly, this is strictly forbidden because it consists of contempt of the Qur’an, dishonoring the Speech of Allaah and mixing it with forbidden writings.
It is incumbent upon everyone who comes across any of these writings on a Mus-haf to erase it in any way possible, as a magnification for Allaah’s Speech and to protect it from the play of the foolish and ignorant people. This is considered enjoining the Ma’roof (good) and forbidding the Munkar (evil) according to one’s capability.
Finally, I advise my brothers and sisters from among the Muslims to maintain the Speech of Allaah, give respect to the Mus-haf as well as the books that comprise the verses. This includes books of Hadeeth, or books that comprise the Names and Attributes of Allaah. If they are torn, they should choose a clean place and bury them or burn them and bury its traces, as one should not contempt such matters.
I ask Allaah to guide the Muslims to take care of His Book and act upon it and judge according to it in all their affairs.”
[Muntada ar-Ruqiya ash-Shar’iyyah]
- The People of Qur'an
- Tafseer (Explanation) of the Qur’an
- Hadeeth on being a Judge
- The History of Writing the Sunnah