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Rules Pertaining to Buying and Selling Al-Mushaf


All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon the Messenger, his household and Companions.


The scholars of Islam have differed upon the ruling pertaining to buying and selling Al-Mushaf. There are three opinions regarding this matter:


The First opinion, the Hanbali opined that such trade is not permitted in shari’a, and the transaction is supposed to be illegal. And they based their opinion on what was narrated from Ibn Umar, while he said that, ” I wish to witness the mutilation of hands due to (their) trading of mushaf. ” ( Recorded by Ibn Abi Syaiba, no. 20209; but the status is weak due to a narrator named Laith Ibn Salim.)


Ibn Umar’s wish as stated above indicated that according to him, selling and buying mushaf was illegal.


The second opinion is according to the Shafii scholars, and also one opinion of Imam Ahmad's opinions, it is legal to sell and buy mushaf Al Qur’an, but the transaction itself is detested.


They cited as an evidence what was narrated by Mujahid, from Ibn Abbas, he said: ” It is allowed to sell mushaf and the profit is used to buy a better one. It is fine to exchange mushaf with mushaf”. Thus, Ibn Abbas allowed to sell and buy ( mushaf ) Al Qur’an. (Recorded by Bukhari in ” Khalq Af’alil ‘Ibad, no. 234 ; the status is weak since there was a narrator named Laits Ibn Salim Al Laits.)


From Ziyad, ex-servant of Sa’ad, he told that once he asked Ibn Abbas and Marwan Ibn Al Hakam about the trading of mushaf Al Qur’an in business. Both of them answered, ” We do not allow the mushaf as commodity for trading, but the one made by your own hand is permitted for you to sell” (Recorded by Baihaqi, in Sunan Kubra, no. 10847; the status is weak).


Based on two narrations above, it can be concluded that Ibn Abbas didn’t allow the trading generally, but with condition, not to trade it as a mere commodity. This conclusion showed that it is allowed to sell and buy mushaf, but it will be better to avoid such trade (means: detested/makruh).


The third opinion is from Maliki scholars, several Shafii, and one opinion of Imam Ahmad, they argued that such trade is legal and not detested.


This is the strongest stance, and also the opinion chosen by Ibn Uthaymeen. The reason is that the basic ruling for trade is legal, and in this case, there are no valid nor exact  sayings which stated that this kind of trading is illegal. And both narrations recorded from Ibn Umar and Ibn Abbas as previously mentioned, were weak in status, hence they are invalid to be applied in such case.


Despite that, banning such transaction will avoid people from reciting Al Qur’an, or trouble them to possess it, because most of the people would hardly give their mushaf to others for free.


Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said: The correct opinion is that it is basically permissible to buy and sell Mushafs, and the Muslims have continually done that up until the present age. If we were to say that it is haraam to buy and sell them, that would prevent people from acquiring and benefiting from the Qur’aan, because most people would be too stingy to give it for free. Even if some people who had faith might give it for free, that would be with reluctance. And if we were to tell everyone, when you no longer need the Mushaf you have to give it to someone else, that would be very difficult for many people.


With regard to what was narrated from ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) [i.e., about it not being allowed to buy and sell Mushafs], that may have been at a time when people needed the Mushafs, and Mushafs were too few, so there was a need for them, and if it had been permissible to buy and sell them at that time, people would have asked high prices for them because of the scarcity. Hence he (may Allah be pleased with him) thought that they should not be sold. End quote from al-Mumti‘ Sharh Zaad al-Mustaqni, 8/119. 


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