Surah Waqi’ah Ayat 79 in Arabic Text
Here you can read various translations of verse 79
None touch it except the purified.
Which none shall touch but those who are clean:
which none but the pure may touch;
Which (that Book with Allah) none can touch but the purified (i.e. the angels).
Which none toucheth save the purified,
Which none shall touch except the purified,
that only the purified can touch,
جسے صرف پاک لوگ ہی چھو سکتے ہیں
Quran 56 Verse 79 Explanation
For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Waqi’ah ayat 79, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.
(56:79) which none but the pure may touch;
39. This is a refutation of the accusation that the disbelievers used to level against the Quran. They regarded the Prophet (peace be upon him) as a sorcerer and asserted that he was being inspired with the Word by the jinn and Satans. An answer to it has been given at several places in the Quran, e.g. in Surah Ash-Shuara, where it has been said: This (lucid Book) has not beer brought down by satans, nor does this work behoove them, nor are they able to do it. They have indeed been kept out of its hearing. (verses 210-212). The same theme has been expressed here, Saying: None but the purified can touch it. That is to say Not to speak of its being brought down by the Satans, or its being tampered within any way when it is being revealed, none but the pure angels can come anywhere near it when it is being revealed from the well-guarded Tablet (lohemahfuz) to the Prophet (peace be upon him). The word mutahharin has been used for the angels in the sense that Allah has kept them free of every kind of impure feeling and desire. This same commentary of this verse has been given by Anas bin Malik, Ibn Abbas, Saeed bin Jubair, Ikrimah, Mujahid, Qatadah, Abul Aliyah, Suddi, Dahhak and Ibn Zaid, and the same also fits in with the context. For the context itself shows that after refuting the false concepts of the Makkan disbelievers about Tauhid and the Hereafter, now their false accusations against the Quran are being answered, and by swearing an oath by the positions of the stars, it is being stated that the Quran is an exalted Book, which is inscribed in the well-guarded divine writ, in which there is no possibility of any interference by any creation, and it is revealed to the Prophet (peace be upon him) in such a safe way that none but the pure angels can touch it.
Some commentators have taken la in this verse in the sense of prohibition, and have interpreted the verse to mean: None who is unclean should touch it. Although some other commentators take la in the sense of negation and interpret the verse to mean: None but the clean and pure touch this Book, they express the opinion that this negation is a prohibition in the same way as the Prophet’s (peace be upon him) saying is a prohibition: A Muslim is a brother of a Muslim, he does not treat him unjustly. Although, here it has been said that a Muslim does not treat the other Muslim unjustly, you it enjoins that a Muslim is not to treat the other Muslim unjustly. Likewise, although in this verse it has been stated that none but the clean and pure angels touch this Book, yet it enjoins that unless a person is purified, he should not touch it.
The fact, however, is that this commentary does not conform to the context of the verse. Independent of the context, one may take this meaning from its words, but if considered in the context in which the verse occurs, one does not see any ground for saying that: None is to touch this Book except the clean and purified people. For the addressees here are the disbelievers and they are being told, as if to say: This Book has been sent down by Allah, Lord of the worlds. Therefore, your suspicion that the satans inspire the Prophet (peace be upon him) with it is wrong. What could be the occasion here to enunciate the Shariah injunction that no one should touch it without purification? The most that one could say in this regard is that although this verse has not been sent down to enjoin this command, yet the context points out that just as only the purified (mutahharin) can touch this Book in the presence of Allah, so in the world also the people who at least believe in its being divine word should avoid touching it in the impure and unclean state.
The following are the traditions that bear upon this subject:
(1) Imam Malik has related in Muatta this tradition on the authority of Abdullah bin Abi Bakr Muhammad bin Amr bin Hazm: The written instructions that the Prophet (peace be upon him) had sent to the Yamanite chiefs by the hand of Amr bin Hazm contained this instruction also: La yamass-ul Quran a illa tahirun. No one should touch the Quran except the pure one. This same thing has been related by Abu Daud from Imam Zuhri in the traditions which are immediately traced to the Prophet (peace be upon him), (marasil), saying that the writing that he had seen with Abu Bakr Muhammad bin Amr bin Hazm contained this instruction as well.
(2) The traditions from Ali in which he says: Nothing prevented the Prophet of Allah from reciting the Quran but the state of uncleanness due to sexual intercourse. (Abu Daud, Nasai, Tirmidhi).
(3) The tradition of Ibn Umar in which he states: The Messenger (peace be upon him) of Allah said: The menstruating woman and the one who is unclean on account of sexual intercourse should not read any portion of the Quran. (Abu Daud. Tirmidhi).
(4) The tradition of Bukhari in which it has been said that the letter which the Prophet (peace be upon him) sent to Heraclius, the Roman emperor, also contained this verse of the Quran: Yaahl al-Kitabi to alau ila kalimat-in sawaaun bainana wa baina-kum.
The views that have been related from the Prophet’s companions and their immediate followers are as follows:
Salman, the Persian, saw no harm in reading the Quran without the ablutions, but even according to him touching the Quran with the hand in this state was not permissible. The same also was the view of Saad bin Abi Waqqas and Abdullah bin Umar. And Hasan Basri and Ibrahim Nakhai also regarded touching the Quran with the hand without the ablutions as disapproved, (AI-Jassas, Ahkam al-Qur an). The same has been reported from Ata, Taus, Shabi and Qasim bin Muhammad also. (Ibn Qudamah, Al-Mughni). However, according to all of them, reading the Quran without touching it with the hand, or reciting it from memory, was permissible even without the ablutions.
Umar, Ali, Hadrat Hasan Basri. Hadrat Ibrahim Nakhai and Imam Zuhri regarded reading the Quran in the state of uncleanness due to sexual intercourse and menstruation and bleeding after childbirth as disapproved. But Ibn Abbas held the view, and the same also was his practice, that one could recite from memory the portion of the Quran that one usually recited as ones daily practice. When Hadrat Saeed bin al-Musayyab and Saeed bin Jubair were asked about their view in this regard, they replied: Is not the Quran preserved in the memory of such a person? What then is the harm in reciting it? (Al-Mughni, Al- Muhalla by Ibn Hazm).
The following are the viewpoints of the jurists on this subject:
The Hanafi viewpoint has been explained by Imam Alauddin al-Kashani in his Badai-as-Sanai, thus: Just as it is not permissible to offer the Prayer without the ablutions, so also it is not permissible to touch the Quran without the ablutions, However, if the Quran is in a cast or a cover, it may be touched. According to some jurists, the case or cover implies the binding, and according to others, the bag or the envelope or the wrapper in which the Quran is kept and can also be taken out. Likewise, the books of the commentary also should not be touched without the ablutions nor anything else in which a Quranic verse may have been written. However, the books of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) may be touched although preferably they too may not be touched without the ablutions, for they also contain Quranic verses as part of argument and reasoning. Some Hanafi jurists hold the opinion that only that part of the Quran where the text may have been written should not be touched without the ablutions. As for the margins there is no harm in touching it, whether they are blank or contain notes on the text. The correct thing, however, is that the margins also are a part of the Book and touching them amounts to touching the Book. As for reading the Quran, it is permissible without the ablutions. In Fatawa Alamgiri children have been made an exception from this rule. The Quran can be given in the children’s hand for teaching purposes whether they are in the state of ablutions or not.
The Shafei viewpoint has been stated by Imam Nawawi in Al-Minhaj, thus: As it is for the Prayer and the circumambulation of the Kabah, it is also forbidden to handle the Quran or to touch a leaf of it without the ablutions. Likewise, it is also forbidden to touch the binding of the Quran, and also a bag, or a bow containing the Quran, or a tablet on which a part of the Quran may have been written for instructional purposes. However, it is lawful to touch the baggage of a person containing the Quranic inscription. A child may touch the Quran without the ablutions, and a person without ablutions may turn over a leaf with a piece of wood, or something else, if he wants to read the Quran.
The Maliki position as stated in Al-Fiqh alal-Madhahib al- Arbah is: They concur with the other jurists in this that the state of ablutions is a prerequisite for touching the Quran, but in the matter of imparting instruction in the Quran they make both the teacher and the taught an exception from the rule, and allow even a menstruating woman to touch the Quran if she is engaged in learning or teaching it. Ibn Qadamah has cited in Al-Mughni this saying of Imam Malik: Although reading the Quran in the state of uncleanness due to sexual intercourse is forbidden, the woman who is discharging the menses is permitted to read it, for she would forget her recitations if prohibited from reading the Quran for a long time.
The Hanbali viewpoint as stated by Ibn Qadamah is as follows: In the state of uncleanness due to sexual intercourse and menstruation and bleeding after childbirth it is not permissible to read the Quran or any complete verse of it. However, it is permissible to recite bismillah, al-hamdu-lillah, etc. for although these also are parts of one or the other verse, their recitation does not amount to recitation of the Quran. As for handling the Quran, it is not permissible in any case without the ablutions. However, one is not forbidden to touch a letter, or a book of Fiqh, or some other writing containing a Quranic verse. Likewise, one may handle even without the ablutions, something that contains the Quran. The state of ablutions is also no pre-requisite for handling the books of exegesis. Furthermore, if a person who is not in the state of ablutions is required to handle the Quran under an immediate need, he may do so after purification with the dust (tayammum). Al-Fiqh alal-Madhahib al- Arabah also contains this ruling of the Hanbali Fiqh: It is not right for the children to handle the Quran without ablutions even when receiving instruction in it, and it is the duty of their guardians to make them perform the ablutions before they give the Quran to them.
The Zahiri viewpoint is that reading the Quran and handling it is permissible under all conditions, whether one is without the ablutions, or unclean due to sexual intercourse, or even if the woman is menstruating. Ibn Hazm has discussed this question fully in Al-Muhalla (vol. 1, pp. 77-84) and given arguments for the validity of this viewpoint and has concluded that none of the conditions laid down by the jurists for reading the Quran and handling it, is supported by the Quran and the Sunnah.
The tafsir of Surah Waqiah verse 79 by Ibn Kathir is unavailable here.
Please refer to Surah Waqiah ayat 75 which provides the complete commentary from verse 75 through 82.
Quick navigation links
Share the message of the Qur’an