There are ahadith (narrations) like the one below that state that reading the Holy Qur’an by looking at the mus-haf (a physical hardcopy of the Holy Qur’an) is more rewarding than reading it from memory. Does this increase in reward also apply to reading an electronic copy of the Holy Qur’an – e.g. on a phone app or computer program? Also, is it forbidden to touch the text of the Holy Qur’an on a phone app or computer program when not in a state of wudhu (ritual purity)?
عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللهِ عليهالسلام ، قَالَ : قُلْتُ لَهُ : جُعِلْتُ فِدَاكَ ، إِنِّي أَحْفَظُ الْقُرْآنَ عَلى ظَهْرِ قَلْبِي ، فَأَقْرَؤُهُ عَلى ظَهْرِ قَلْبِي أَفْضَلُ ، أَوْ أَنْظُرُ فِي الْمُصْحَفِ؟ قَالَ : فَقَالَ لِي: بَلِ اقْرَأْهُ وَانْظُرْ فِي الْمُصْحَفِ ، فَهُوَ أَفْضَلُ ، أَمَا عَلِمْتَ أَنَّ النَّظَرَ فِي الْمُصْحَفِ عِبَادَةٌ؟
“It is narrated from Imam al-Sadiq (as): I asked him: “may I be sacrificed for you. I memorise the Qur’an, and read it from memory. Is this better, or is it better if I read it from the mus-haf (Qur’an book)? He (as) said: “Read it by looking at the mus-haf, for this is better. Do you not know that looking at the mus-haf is worship?” al-Kafi, v. 11, p. 43
The rewards of reading the words of the Holy Qur’an from a mus-haf would also apply to reading them from an electronic screen, as it is still reading the words of God by looking at them. It is not forbidden (haraam) to touch an electronic screen where the words of the Holy Qur’an are displayed when not in a state of wudhu. This is because one is touching the screen and not a page where the letters of the Holy Qur’an are physically printed.
Answered by: Dr Ali Alsamail
Certified by: Sheikh Mansour Leghaei