Is Writing in the Quran Really That Blasphemous?

| November 19, 2010 | 1 Comment


quran_writingStemming from the story of a Muslim activist who received defiled pages of the Quran, pages that were without question tagged with graffiti, the question that comes to mind is what exactly qualifies as defilement?

The Quran is treated by Muslims with the utmost respect. It’s to be kept at a high place in the home, as “above your head”, and away from items that would ‘dirty’ it in some way, and to be approached only in a state of cleanliness. Treating the Quran with respect includes not writing in it. Writing in it, even in the context of literary engagement, is without question seen as defilement.

I couldn’t disagree with this more. As an English major, I long learned to appreciate the value of really engaging with a text – this include a freedom to really write in it and mark it up, to make it my own through an interactive understanding of it.

I have several copies of the Quran and I write in all of them at will. I would rather Muslims read and write in the Quran, than treat it like some artifact that is above being handled with curiosity and exploration.

Unless we start seeing the Quran as a text, we cannot move forward or really understand the faith and its direction.



Image: A snapshot of one of my copies of the Quran. I see it as an act of faith to engage with the text, rather than to pay homage to it and treat it as if it were behind some glass wall.

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