Q. What proof is there that a woman in haidh cannot touch the Quraan?
A. A woman who is in the state of Haidh is in the state of impurity and one who is impure cannot touch the Holy Quran. In this regard verse 77-80 of Sura Al Waqi’ah states, ‘This is indeed an honorable Quran, in a book well guarded, which none can touch but the pure ones’.
While explaining these verses, Hafiz Ibn Katheer has given the opinion of some scholars of the Sahabahs and Tabieen who state that ‘the pure ones’ in the above verse refer to the angels. However, he goes further to state, ‘And others have said that “no one should touch the Quran except the pure ones” means that they must be free (pure) from major and minor impurities (Janabah and Hadath). These scholars state that the word ‘Quran’ which is used in the verse, refers to the Mashaf (copy of the Quran that Muslims have in their hands) and they are told that only when they are pure (being in the state of having Wazu, Tayamum or Ghusl) they can touch the Quran.( Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol. 4 pg.298).
These scholars have also used as their support, the letter of the Prophet (SAS) which he sent to Amr bin Hazm (RA). In that letter the Prophet (SAS) wrote, ‘No one should touch the Quran except that he is in the state of Taharah (purity)’. (Tafseer Ibn Katheer vol. 4 pg. 298 (Muwatta of Imam Malik))
Another tradition of Abdullah bin Umar (RA) is mentioned in which the Prophet (SAS) said, ‘No one must touch the Quran except that person who is in the state of Taharah (purity). (Tabrani, Ibn Marwiya).
Based on the above traditions, the majority of the scholars of the ummah, including the four renowned Imams of Fiqh have unanimously stated that Taharah (purity) is a condition for touching or holding the Holy Quran. The hand must be free from visible impurities and one must be in the state of Wazu, and free from the major ritual impurity like sexual pollution, haidh or Nifaas. Great Sahabahs like Ali, Abdullah Ibn Masood, Saad Ibn Abi Waqas, Saeed bin Zaid (RA) have held this position. Great Tabieen scholars like Zuhri, Ibraheem binYazeed An Nakhi, Hakam, and Hamad (AR) have also given this ruling. This is also the accepted verdict of Imams Malik, Abu Hanifa and Shafi (RA).
And Allah knows best.
Mufti Waseem Khan