Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan
Question: I have a MSA sweat-shirt that has the approximate partial English translation of a verse of the Qur’an on its back.
(1) Is it permissible to wear this in the bathroom if one is not going there to relieve oneself (e.g. going to wash hands, make wud’u etc.)?
(2) I went into the washroom with the sweat-shirt on to add water to a bottle for drinking and upon realizing that the back of the sweat-shirt contained a reference to Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), instead of immediately leaving the bathroom, I looked in the mirror and made a surprised face to witness my reaction and then left the bathroom.
Should I ignore thoughts about having disrespected the Qur’an by staying those few extra seconds to view my expression in the mirror?
Answer: Assalamu alaikum wa rahmatullah,
I pray this finds you in the best of health and states.
(1) The basic answer to your question is no, it is not permissible. One should just take the sweatshirt off and wear a T-shirt instead.
The criteria in the Hanafi school is as follows:
If one has anything with Qur’an written on it, such as an amulet or the like, then it is not sinful to enter the toilet area with it as long as (a) it is covered and (b) one is not wearing it. However, even that is better to avoid.
If it is uncovered, or if covered yet one is wearing it, then entering the toilet area with it would be sinful. So one cannot enter the toilet area while wearing a shirt with Qur’an on it, even if wearing something over that shirt.
[Ibn Humam, Fath al-Qadir; Zayla`i, Tabyin al-Haqa’iq; Ibn Nujaym, Bahr al-Ra’iq; Haskafi, Durr al-Mukhtar]
As for entering the sink area alone, it would be less severe if at a good distance from the toilet (such as with most public restrooms), but should still be avoided.
The basis of these rulings is veneration of the Qur’an. [Zada, Majma` al-Anhur]
Allah Most High states, “That [is the command]! And whosoever venerates the symbols of Allah: indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” [22:32]
(2) Ignore such thoughts: you did not intend any disrespect to the Qur’an. Close the doors of waswasa early on.
And Allah knows best.
Checked & Approve by Faraz Rabbani