Is Ritual Purity Required When Reading the Qur’an on Ebook Readers Like the Nook or Kindle?

Hanafi Fiqh

Answered by Ustadh Salman Younas

Question: I have an Amazon Kindle and want to load PDFs of the Quran onto it.  Is it permissible to touch the Kindle whilst the Quran pages are open when I am in a state of ritual impurity?  For example, if I want to read (not recite) the Quran during menses, is it permissible for me to touch the ‘electronic’ mushaf?  There are many other non-Quranic files on the Kindle.

Answer: assalamu `alaykum

Thank you for your question.

According to the soundest position in the Hanafi school, if an electronic device, such as the one you describe, displays Qur’anic verses in a manner that would make it akin to a mushaf, it would not be permissible to touch it in a state of impurity, even if one is not touching the verses directly.

It would be akin to a mushaf when the Qur’anic verses displayed on the screen are more than the non-Qur’anic content.

There is, however, another strong position in the school that in other than an “actual” mushaf what is prohibited is touching the verses of the Qur’an directly themselves. As for touching other than it, this would be permissible. [Ibn `Abidin, Radd al-Muhtar; Ibn Nujaym, Bahr al-Ra’iq]

It is valid to follow the latter position given the wide presence of digital Qur’ans. Caution and scrupulousness would however entail following the stricter position.

Please also see:

Qur’an Application on an iPhone: Can I Touch My iPhone Without Ablution?


Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani