Giving Non-Muslims the Quran or its Translation

It would be permissible to give copies of Qur’ans to non-Muslims if:
1. their guidance is intended thereof,
2. and a person is reasonably confident that they will not disrespect the copy.

If the non-Muslim person does not understand Arabic then it would be better to provide just a copy of the translation of the Qur’an rather than one with the Arabic text. If they have to be given a copy with the Arabic text, then they should be advised to purify themselves first before handling the Qur’an.

According to some scholars, they are technically not responsible for performing ablution and ghusl for touching it (see Ahkam al-Dhimmi in al-Ashbah wa ‘l-Naza’ir and Radd al-Muhtar 5:248), since they are not responsible for the extended laws of Islam until they embrace the faith. It is still best, when possible and appropriate, to advise them to do so even according to this opinion.

However, the opinion taken by Ibn ‘Abidin in his in depth commentary of the al-Durr al-Mukhtar and Tahtawi in his commentary of the Maraqi al-Falah is that non-Muslims are also obligated to perform the ritual bath for touching it (Radd al-Muhtar 1:119, Tahtawi 94). Fatima, the sister of ‘Umar (Allah be pleased with him), instructed him to purify himself before she would allow him to touch the sheets that had portions of the Qur’an inscribed upon them. (Hayat al-Sahaba)

If a person gives a copy of the Qur’an to a non-Muslim after advising him and teaching him, to the best of his ability, the conditions and etiquette of handling it, then he should not be blameworthy thereafter if there is any neglect.

And Allah knows best.

Mufti Abdur Rahman ibn Yusuf Mangera


Also see the following fatwas 1, 2 & 3

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