#445: Hanging Verses of the Quran in One’s House

Question:

Assalamualaikum ustaz. What is the ruling if we hang verses of the Holy Quran on our house, or the word Allah and Muhammad? The reason is there are those who hang the verses of the Quran behind the television or when they are lying down their feet are directed at the verse of the Quran. Hope for an explanation.

Answer:

Waalaikumussalam wrt. wbt.,

Alhamdulillah, praise and gratitude to Allah SWT for His countless blessings for us all. Praise and salutations to our beloved Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions, and all those who follow his footsteps until the Final day.

Definition of al-Quran and Its Honour

According to al-Qamus al-Muhit, lexically, al-Quran means al-Tanzil (التَّنْزيل) which was revealed (See al-Qamus al-Muhit, 1/49). According to al-Mu’jam al-Wasit, al-Quran is a derivative verb of al-Qiraah () which means recitation as stated by Allah SWT:

إِنَّ عَلَيْنَا جَمْعَهُ وَقُرْآنَهُ ﴿١٧)‏ فَإِذَا قَرَأْنَاهُ فَاتَّبِعْ قُرْآنَهُ

“Indeed, upon Us is its collection [in your heart] and [to make possible] its recitation. So, when We have recited it [through Gabriel], then follow its recitation.” [1]

The word qur’anah (its recitation) in the above verse means qira’atuh (its recitation/the way it is recited). [2]

Allah SWT states:

وَقُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ إِنَّ قُرْآنَ الْفَجْرِ كَانَ مَشْهُودًا

“…the Qur’an of dawn. Indeed, the recitation of dawn is ever witnessed.” [3]

It is also said that al-Quran is majaz (figurative word) for prayer, that’s why the above statement of Allah SWT interpreted it as the Subuh prayer and it is named al-Quran for it is the requisite the same as ruku’(bow) and sujud (prostration). It is also said that the word al-Quran is used with its literal meaning (true). [4]

The terminology al-Quran is the word of the God of all worlds and it is revealed by the angel Gabriel to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH as guidance to all mankind. [5]

While Syeikh Muhammad Ali al-Sobuni’s definition is: Al-Quran is the word of Allah which is a miracle revealed to the final Messenger and Prophet through the angel Gabriel AS who wrote it on mashaf that were conveyed to us through mutawatir through the recitation in worship starting with the surah al-Fatihah and ends with surah al-Nas. [6]

Usul scholars and linguists agreed that al-Quran means – al-Quran is the word of God and a miracle that is revealed to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH on a mazhaf which is then conveyed through mutawatir and recitation in worship. [7]

The famous definition of the terminology al-Quran is: It is a book revealed by Allah through mutawatir to the Prophet PBUH which is also a miracle where reciting it will be rewarded and this includes anything recited from the beginning of al-Fatihah until the end of surah al-Nas.

The Specialness of al-Quran

Actually, al-Quran is truly unique compared to any other book. Since it is a vast topic, the author will only cite brief evidences that detail each of them. Cited from the writing of Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi titled Kaifa Nata’amal Ma’a al-Quran al-‘Azim, among others it is stated:

  • Al-Quran is a Divine book. This is explained in numerous verses among them is:

الر ۚ كِتَابٌ أُحْكِمَتْ آيَاتُهُ ثُمَّ فُصِّلَتْ مِن لَّدُنْ حَكِيمٍ خَبِيرٍ

“Alif, Lam, Ra. [This is] a Book whose verses are perfected and then presented in detail from [one who is] Wise and Acquainted.” [8]

  • Al-Quran is a mahfuz (protected) book. Allah SWT states:

إِنَّا نَحْنُ نَزَّلْنَا الذِّكْرَ وَإِنَّا لَهُ لَحَافِظُونَ

“Indeed, it is We who sent down the Qur’an and indeed, We will be its guardian.” [9]

  • Al-Quran is a book of miracle. Allah SWT states:

قُل لَّئِنِ اجْتَمَعَتِ الْإِنسُ وَالْجِنُّ عَلَىٰ أَن يَأْتُوا بِمِثْلِ هَـٰذَا الْقُرْآنِ لَا يَأْتُونَ بِمِثْلِهِ وَلَوْ كَانَ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ ظَهِيرًا

“Say, “If mankind and the jinn gathered in order to produce the like of this Qur’an, they could not produce the like of it, even if they were to each other assistants.” [10]

Al-Quran is said to be a book of miracle for no creation is capable to create a book similar to al-Quran even if all mankind and jinn work together. Surely, the words of creation will never be the same as the words of the Creator, incomparable. [11]

  • Al-Quran is a clear and easy book. Allah SWT states:

فَإِنَّمَا يَسَّرْنَاهُ بِلِسَانِكَ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَتَذَكَّرُونَ

“And indeed, We have eased the Qur’an in your tongue that they might be reminded.” [12]

Syeikh Dr Yusuf al-Qaradhawi said the verses of the Quran are memorized by thousands of people regardless of men, women and children. This is the specialness that no other books possess.

  • Al-Quran is a book for all time. It means it is an eternal book that isn’t only suitable for certain times and generations. However, it is relevant throughout time and regardless of place. Thus, it is not weird that al-Quran is guidance and lesson in facing life.
  • Al-Quran is a comprehensive book. It means that it is the basis of religion and the soul of Islam and from it the soul of faith, worship and character as well as usul tasyriq and rulings.
  • Al-Quran is the book of mankind. This can be understood from the characteristic of al-Quran itself that emphasizes the lives of mankind and the world. So true are the words of Allah SWT:

إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌ لِّلْعَالَمِينَ

“It is not except a reminder to the worlds.” [13]

The ruling of hanging the verses of the Quran in a house

In answering the above question, we begin with the statement of Allah SWT:

كِتَابٌ أَنْزَلْنَاهُ إِلَيْكَ مُبَارَكٌ لِيَدَّبَّرُوا آيَاتِهِ وَلِيَتَذَكَّرَ أُولُو الْأَلْبَابِ

“[This is] a blessed Book which We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], that they might reflect upon its verses and that those of understanding would be reminded.” [14]

In this verse, Allah SWT states that the Quran is revealed as guidance to all mankind. Imam al-Baidhowi said that this verse means al-Quran is revealed to be reflected and as tazakkur (reminder). [15] al-Quran is the honoured words of Allah SWT, a guidance for all of us, hence, it should be protected and maintained the best we could.

Coming back to the presented question on the ruling of hanging verses of the Holy Quran, this issue has been discussed by scholars. The basis is that scholars agreed to rule it haram to hang verses of al-Quran or the words Allah and Muhammad PBUH in one’s house or shop if its purpose is to prevent disasters or increase the sales or profit with the belief that it functions like a charm to attract others. This is based on the statement of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH:

مَنْ تَعَلَّقَ شَيْئًا وُكِلَ إِلَيْهِ

“Anyone hangs anything on himself he will be left to it.” [16]

Ibn al-Athir cited by Syeikh Mulla Ali Al-Qari said: Whoever hangs anything on himself as protection or charm and others with the belief that all of them will benefit or prevent harm for him then he will surely be left to them. It means he will be left with the object he made as his protector and will be abandoned with it. [17]

As for hanging the verses of the Quran and the words Allah and Muhammad as décor and reminders, scholars have differing opinions regarding this. The difference can be observed in two opinions where some scholars ruled it makruh and others stated that it is permissible.

The first opinion: Makruh

Originally, decorations are permissible if there aren’t any evidences that prohibit them such as being excessive or wasteful that transgresses the limitations and lead to fitnah. Al-Razi said in his book: “Indeed, every décor is permissible except when evidence came (that prohibits it).” [18]

The majority of scholars ruled it makruh to hang the holy verses on the wall, pillars and others even if its purpose is as a reminder and décor.

According to madhhab Syafi’I, Imam al-Nawawi said in his book that it is makruh if the verses of the Quran is written on the walls. [19] Even if it is on the walls of a mosque and others. [20] This matter is also cited by Imam al-Syarbini in his book. [21]

Syeikh al-‘Uthaimin stated that this is a new practice and has never been done by previous scholars. If this is good and liked, surely Allah SWT would have sanctioned it through the words of Rasullullah PBUH. Then, he was asked on what basis and reason are it done? If it is due to the respect, surely the companions would have done so. And if it hung to serve as a reminder, there are very few of them who would see it other than in terms of its beauty in terms of its writing and others and not reflecting on the contents and it doesn’t touch their hearts nor would they take them as lessons or reminder. [22]

Whereas, Syeikh Nasir bin ‘Abd al-Rahman al-Judai’ stated: “Some salaf scholars (previous) when discussing the specific manners towards al-Qur’an al-Karim set that it is hated in absolution to write the Qur’an on walls of, in mosques, on clothes and others. And this includes (writing the verses of the Quran on the walls) if the purpose is to gain blessings.” [23]

Second opinion: Permissible

Some scholars stated that hanging the verses of the Holy Quran in a house is permissible if its purpose is as decoration and serves as a reminder.

According to Lajnah al-Ifta’ Jordan regarding the ruling of hanging the verses of the Quran and holy words such as Muhammad PBUH and Allah SWT on walls, pillars and others, they state: It is permissible to write the verses of the Quran on the walls or carved on it or hung so that it can be seen. However, it must be honoured, respected and protected from any misuse or disgrace.

This follows the statement of Allah SWT:

ذَلِكَ وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ

“That [is so]. And whoever honors the symbols of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” [24]

Dar al-Ifta’ al-Misriyyah also shares the opinion that hanging the verses is permissible on the following conditions:

وكذلك الحال في كتابة الآيات القرآنية على الجدران في غير المساجد يجب أن تكون بطريقة مُتْقَنة مُحكَمة تراعي قدسية الآيات واحترامها.

“Likewise, in the matter of writing the verses of the Quran and others on the walls of mosques, they must be done in a neat and good manner being mindful of the holiness of the verses and respecting them.”

Syeikh Ibn Baz also said that there aren’t any restrictions on the act of hanging the verses of al-Quran and hadiths of the Prophet Muhammad PBUH on the walls for the purpose of it serving as a reminder or to take a lesson and benefit from them and not for the purpose of a charm protector. However, they must be hung in a clean place and not in a dirty place and the words hung mustn’t be for the purpose of an insult.

Respecting and honouring the verses of the Holy Quran

Subsequently, regarding the issue of directing one’s legs towards the hung verses of the Quran unintentionally or without the intention of degrading it, then we state that it is forgiven. However, consequently, if the doer intended to insult the verses of the Holy Quran then it is absolutely prohibited.

Imam al-Nawawi said: “The whole Muslim ummah agreed on the obligation of honouring and protecting the mushaf (al-Quran) and to respect it.” [25]

Insult towards the Quran is a clear major sin. Allah SWT states:

﴾‏٦٥‎﴿ وَلَئِن سَأَلْتَهُمْ لَيَقُولُنَّ إِنَّمَا كُنَّا نَخُوضُ وَنَلْعَبُ ۚ قُلْ أَبِاللَّهِ وَآيَاتِهِ وَرَسُولِهِ كُنتُمْ تَسْتَهْزِئُونَ

 لَا تَعْتَذِرُوا قَدْ كَفَرْتُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ ۚ إِن نَّعْفُ عَن طَائِفَةٍ مِّنكُمْ نُعَذِّبْ طَائِفَةً بِأَنَّهُمْ كَانُوا مُجْرِمِينَ

“And if you ask them, they will surely say, “We were only conversing and playing.” Say, “Is it Allah and His verses and His Messenger that you were mocking?” Make no excuse; you have disbelieved after your belief. If We pardon one faction of you – We will punish another faction because they were criminals.” [26]

Al-Qadhi bin ‘Iyadh emphasized (in matters related to this verse), “Know that whoever who mocks al-Quran, its mushaf a part of the Quran, or insults the Quran and its mushaf, then he has disbelieved (commit apostasy) according to the agreed statement of scholars.”

Conclusion

In short, we are inclined towards the opinion that states it is permissible to hang the holy verses of the Quran and words such as Allah and Muhammad PBUH on walls, pillars and others in one’s house and other places following the conditions:

  • It must be hung in a good, clean and protected place from najis and it must be hung properly (so that it doesn’t fall easily) to prevent it from falling to the feet of people.
  • It must also be hung not for mockery or seeking blessings but just as a reminder.
  • Don’t be excessive in this act that it could lead to being wasteful.

Thus, in answering this presented question, if the holy verses of the Quran and others are hung behind a television that it is an insult or contradicts the reason it is hung, that is to remind oneself of Allah SWT as well as to decorate the wall with the beautiful khat writing, then this should be avoided and it is best if the words are hung following the dawabith we have listed above.

Wallahu a’lam.

[1] Surah al-Qiyamah: 17-18

[2] See al-Mu’jam al-Wasit, 2/722

[3] Surah al-Isra’: 78

[4] See Mu’jam Alfaz al-Quran al-Karim, 2/197-198

[5] See al-Quran wa I’jazuhu al-‘Ilm, pg. 2

[6] See al-Tibyan fi ‘Ulum al-Quran, pg. 8

[7] See Mabahith fi Ulum al-Quran, pg 21

[8] Surah Hud : 1

[9] Surah al-Hijr : 9

[10] Surah al-Isra’: 88

[11] See Tafsir al-Maraghi, 8/4024

[12] Surah al-Dukhan : 58

[13] Surah al-Takwir : 27

[14] Surah Sod (29)

[15] See Tafsir al-Baidhowi, 5/28

[16] Narrated by al-Tirmizi (2072)

[17] See Mirqat al-Mafatih, 7/2882

[18] See Fath al-Bayan fi Maqasid al-Quran, 3/311

[19] See al-Tibyan fi Adab Hamlatil Quran, pg. 190

[20] See juga Raudhah al-Talibin, 1/80

[21] See al-Iqna’ fi Halli Alfazh Abi Syuja’, pg. 104

[22] See Fatawa Nur ‘ala al-Darb, 4/2

[23] See al-Tabarruk ‘anwa’uhu wa ahkamuhu, pg. 239

[24] Surah al-Hajj (32)

[25] See al-Tibyan fi Adab Hamlatil Quran, pg. 164, 190

[26] Surah al-Taubah (65-66)

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