25 October 2006

Rules for handling the Quran

This is indeed a noble Qur'an ... Which none toucheth save the purified. -- Quran 56:77-79
From this passage, Muslims have developed a set of rules about how to handle the Quran. Here are some of them.
  1. Make formal acts of cleaning yourself (ablutions) before touching the Quran.

  2. Don't touch the Quran when you are unclean (like after touching a dog, going to the bathroom, having sex, or while menstruating).

  3. Don't touch the Quran (in Arabic) unless you are already a Muslim. (It's okay for non-believers to listen to tapes or touch a translation.)

  4. If you do have to touch it for some reason (and you're unclean or a non-Muslim), then wear gloves or use a cloth to keep your filthy fingers off the sacred text.

  5. Never let the Quran touch the floor.

  6. Don't take it into a bathroom.

  7. Don't place anything else on top of it.
These rules are based on the idea that the Quran is the literal word of God, revealed to the angel Gabriel and delivered to the prophet Muhammad — none of which, of course, is true.


Anonymous said...

Good evening,

I love your site and have found it to be immensely useful as a reference. However, the photo of the Koran in the restroom in your home is truly immature and more than a bit disgusting. You have succeeded in demoting yourself from the appearance of being a thoughtful, educated person to little more than a wag in one short, quick stroke. Even more unfortunately, it reflects very poorly on a website that could be and has been of genuine value to a person who is trying to wrestle with and figure out the truth about the various sacred texts. What in the world do you have to gain by photographing the Koran in this way, other than perhaps experiencing a momentary thrill of getting revenge on the fable-makers who wrote this and the other 'sacred' texts?

Perhaps a better question is what do you have to loose? I am not thinking of you personally, but rather 'the cause' - that is, this wonderful site that you have devoted your heart and 'soul' blood to creating. Personally, I believe that the photo has very little if any benefit, and can serve to undo many good things that you have created.* Please think about it.

I close by passing along some advice that I remember hearing as a child. It was given by a talk show host named Pat Burns as a thought to those who called in to his radio talk show:

"Think first. Then - having thought - speak out. But (for heaven's sake), think first!"

This is good advice for all of us, but is especially important in your position, given the tremendous opportunity that you have created to change lives, and perhaps even alter for the better the destructive patterns that our species engages in. Please don't ruin the opportunity.

Thank you.


Surrey, BC, Canada.

*Here is another thought to consider, of a more personal nature. I recommended your site to some highly educated and intelligent friends who have a Christian background. I spoke of the scholarship and research that has gone into your site. Imagine my surprise finding this photo and text just one easy mouse click away from the main page? It certainly doesn't make you look very professional, and quite frankly, it doesn't make my judgement look all that profound either.

Steve Wells said...


Thanks for your thoughtful comments. And you're probably right; I should probably remove the picture.

But I think it's important to show disrespect for beliefs that are not only unworthy of respect, but are harmful as well. There is no book more damaging than the Quran (not even the Bible), yet our society pretends to admire belief in it. That attitude provides endless cover for the true believers.

And yet maybe the picture is not helpful. I don't want to make people sympathetic toward belief in the Quran, and maybe the picture tends to do that.

So, with some misgivings, I've removed it.

Anonymous said...

That was heartwarming, guys!

Bob, excellent comments and I tend to agree with you. As ridiculous as the rules for handling the document may seem, mocking them by deliberately breaking them only serves to undermine the purpose of pointing out their ridiculousness.
Steve, you run a stellar site which I am happy to frequent. Though I had not had the chance to see the photograph, I'm sure it was hilarious, however shameful and blasphemous.

I'm glad this came to a mutually accepted outcome. Hooray for reasonable arguments

Anonymous said...

hi its jacob
is thats why? its not ok for u to show a bad pic about the quran BUT ITS OK that the quran to MOCK OTHERS, like...
A hypocritical Jew looks like an ass carrying books. Those who deny the revelations of Allah are ugly. 62:5
so i think Steve Wells has a point (altuogh i didnt see it)

Anonymous said...

Is it really so hard to believe that the Quran requires you to be pure before you approach it?

Imagine if you possible can for a minute, that the Quran was indeed the literal word of God, is it not sensible to be clean before you either touch or read it? Is that not showing respect to God and his guidance?

I am a Muslim, and I would say foolish are indeed those that throw the Bible, Torah, or Quran on the floor... imagine if you possible can, that those were indeed the words of God. You are infact asking to be punished most severely, and indeed that is what you will receive upon your death.

How limited is your intelligence and how little is it that you perceive this world.

The Quran is absolutely correct in stating: -

And when it is said to them: "Make not mischief on the earth," they say: "We are only peacemakers."

Verily! They are the ones who make mischief, but they perceive not.

And when it is said to them (hypocrites): "Believe as the people (followers of Muhammad, Jesus, Moses, Abraham (peace be upon them all), have believed," they say: "Shall we believe as the fools have believed?" Verily, they are the fools, but they know not.

Allah (God) mocks at them and gives them increase in their wrong-doings to wander blindly.

- Al-Qur'an - 2:11-15)

Unknown said...

This proves that the quran which is printed on 3rd generation chinese recycled paper is treated equally to God. The quran is an idol and muslims are pagans.


SO in your opinion respecting someone or something is treating it/him/her equal to God? does this mean you dont respect your parents or teachers or any of your relatives or your spouse or your children etc etc....?

Dye said...

I suppose my plan for ritually burning the Qur'an while riciting my thoughts of the verses is really on the outs with muslims then

Hax said...

It is not the paper or the printing press or even the fact that it was printed in China that makes this book noble to Muslims. But something tells me that you are smart enough to already know this. So what is that is bothering you so much?

Don't make the same mistake like others, as non-other but yourself alone would be held accountable for your deeds. If a few applauded from your fellow men are worth opposing God then you have certainly picked your faith (against God).

I am not asking you to start respecting the Koran, but I do suggest you know and understand what you choose to disrespect. Majority of us are unaware of this, but you would be surprised to learn that at least 50 percent of the teachings of the Bible are identical to those in the Koran; so considered yourself warned if you still choose to disrespect the words of His book. I pray to Him for you need His assistance, before it is too late…

Unknown said...

I would be respectful of the Quran f it didn't send me and all Muslims to hell no matter how good we are in our lives, even if we save other lives, Alah in the Quran will bung us into hell and put his followers especially those who blow up innocent people in the name of that religion into heaven. So as far as I am concerned it s a nasty spiteful, misrable excuse ofa book..oh and I have read it. I studied religion and have shelves of religious texts from every main religion. I don't have my copy of the Quran on the same shelves nor in the same room as I think it is not religious in nature at all and I don't want to taint the good messages contained in the other texts with this hateful nonsense.

paarsurrey said...


You have mentioned seven rules for handling Quran. As you know Quran is the first and the foremost source of Islam/Quran/Muhammad whatever the denomination of the Muslims.

Please quote a verse/s from Quran in this connection.

issa said...

Firslty most you type is wrong and most website Ateist put not 100% the same verse in Qur'an Book so First Put the Really right verse then you can say what you want



Indeed, it is a noble Qur'an


In a Register well-protected;


None touch it except the purified.

Non Muslims Can read Qur'an he only need to purified 1 time and we muslims do this 5times a day Omar bn algtab was unbeleiver tall he read the Qur'an he first purified then read the Qur'an then beleived so please don't say something about Qur'an without knowing it rightly

If you do have to touch it for some reason (and you're unclean or a non-Muslim), then wear gloves or use a cloth to keep your filthy fingers off the sacred text.

and there IS NOT WEAR GLOVES HANDS OR cloth This all IS 100% MISTAKE no one do this in Mosque or any other unbelievers

Never let the Quran touch the floor.
Don't take it into a bathroom.
Don't place anything else on top of it.

these Genrals but the thing is that Qur'an have word of god so we have to respect it
if it's a human made it's normal to put it anywhere so these things are wrong to do but you can burn the Qur'an the Words of Gods(Allah) is must be respect as you respect your father and mother but with the one who created you

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