Cleanliness: A Requirement for Handling the Qur’an [Quote - 287]

Sep 19, 2011

"Islam says Muslims must be clean. But how clean is clean?

It is fair to say that Islam wrote the last word on cleanliness. Bathe and wash your dead thoroughly, says Islam, before you bury them.

Muslims refer to this last bath as Ghusl Janaazah: Burial Bath.

The entire Muslim community is held responsible for making sure that no Muslim dead, male or female, is buried without Ghusl Janaazah.

Islam refers to the entire concept of cleanliness as Tahaarat.

You can consider it the overall and the big state of physical cleanliness.

And most certainly cleanliness is also one of Islam’s very first teachings.

Before all else, Muslims must perform Salaat or prayers five times a day. And every time they do that, they must be in a state of physical purity or cleanliness.

Islam calls it Wudu.

And you can consider Wudu the smaller and more compact state of personal and physical cleanliness – mini-Tahaarah as it were.

That is what Allah says in the Qur’an about how to touch, hold or handle the Qur’an.

“No one that is not cleansed and purified shall touch the Qur’an!” the Qur’an declares.

Islamic culture generally holds this teaching to mean two things:

  1. A general state of overall physical purity – bodily purity – that is realized through intentional or purposeful and “ritual” bathing or what is called Ghusl in Islam.
  2. Maintaining intact a general condition of Wudu or “ritual” ablution or washing up.

So, one must have Ghusl, and one must have Wudu, before one can touch or handle the Qur’an.

That is the Islamic law. Islamic Shari’ah if you will.

And everyone knows that and everyone agrees with that.

That means one must be in a state of physical cleanliness while touching the Qur’an. No question about that.

But I ask myself another question: Is there, also, such a thing as a state of mental and spiritual purity or cleanliness that goes along with that required state of physical cleanliness?

For example, are we supposed to leave all “evil” thoughts and intentions behind when we approach the Qur’an?

Are we supposed to cleanse ourselves from all ideas about using the Qur’an, for example, for personal glory and benefit, and for political and social advantage?

And somehow using the Qur’an for the purpose of promoting self-interest? Using the Qur’an, for example, to promote one’s business or commercial goals?

Or to hurt, insult, attack or take advantage of someone?

So, must we then also, while handling the Qur’an, try to cleanse and purify our mind and our soul from all lower and baser level instincts and motives?

Is it, then, fair to say that as we approach the Qur’an, it is not our body and our clothes alone that must be clean, but it is also our mind and our soul that must be clean?

I am just asking a question. That is all I am doing.

Seems to me it is a question worth asking." (Dr. Pasha)

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