Verse of Surah Waqiah that requires ablution before touching Quran
I came across this verse in the Quran from Surah Waqi’ah, verse 79. One translation says that you should do ablution in Kanzul Iman before touching, the other says (which is tarjuma by Maulvi Nazar) that you need to be ‘paak’. Please tell me whether ablution is necessary for reading the Quran. If not, in what context is this verse applied to our daily lives?
This verse of Surah Waqi’ah can be translated like this:
“No one touches it (the Quran) except those who are pure.”
This a Makki verse and all the injunctions relevant to ablution and bathing for purification were revealed in the Madinan period. See al-Maidah, verse 6. In the Makkan surahs the subject discussed was faith and the response to the allegations of the disbelievers against the verses that invited them to faith. One of the allegations hurled by the disbelievers against the Quran was that it was, God forbid, brought to the Prophet, Allah’s mercy on him, by the Satan Jinns (See verse 26:210, for instance). In this verse, the Quran is responding to such allegations that the Book is from God Almighty, brought by those angels who are purified. None except the purified can touch this book. In other words, far from the possibility of imagining that the verses of the Book have been brought by the Satan Jinns, the fact is that these Jinns can come no where near the Quranic verses when it is revealed. No body can touch them except the pure angels. The very next verse says:
“It is a revelation from the Lord of the worlds.”
Thus, the verse you have pointed out has nothing to do with the question of ablution. However, that doesn’t mean that I am encouraging people to recite the Quran without ablution. That conclusion would reflect bad taste on the part of the reader. All that I am sugggesting is that the verse referred to is not requiring us to do wudu before we touch the Quran. It is saying something different. It is important that we understand the message of the Quran the way it is, and that we don’t let our religious opinions prevent us from understanding the Book of Allah honestly.