Taking the Mus-haf to non-Muslim countries

Q: Is it permissible to take a Mus-haf (copy of the Qur’an) when traveling to non-Muslim countries?


A: The issue of Muslims taking the Mus-haf to non-Muslim countries is controversial among the Fuqaha’ (Muslim jurists). Some maintain that it is permissible, whereas others forbid it, because the Prophet (peace be upon him) forbade carrying the Qur’an into non-Muslim countries, fearing that it could be desecrated, distorted, or misused to misinform and confuse Muslims. It was related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father): The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) forbade traveling with the Qur’an to the land of the enemy. Muslim also related on the authority `Abdullah ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him and his father): The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) used to forbid traveling with the Qur’an to the land of the enemy, lest the enemy may desecrate it. He also narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: Do not travel with the Qur’an, for I do not feel secure that the enemy will not violate it. Some scholars said that it is permissible to take the Qur’an to their territory to convey the Message of Islam, and thus establish the evidence that leaves no excuse for disbelief. (Part No. 4; Page No. 64) This also enables the Muslims there to learn and understand the rulings of the Qur’an that they need, if they are able to protect it due to their power, authority, or covenants and pacts that ensure its protection. This allows the Muslims there to benefit from it by memorizing and studying it and conveying the Message of Islam. The validity of this opinion is supported by the reason behind the prohibition stated at the end of the Hadith that forbids traveling with the Qur’an to hostile lands. The latter is the preponderant view, as benefit can be achieved as long as the factor that may cause the harm feared by the Prophet (peace be upon him) is absent.May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

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