The Ruling on Kissing the Qur’aan – By | Imaam Al-Albaanee

AUTHOR: Imaam Muhammad Naasir-ud-Deen Al-Albaanee
SOURCE: “Kayfa yajibu ‘alaynaa an Nufassir al-Qur’aan” (pg. 28-34)

From the upcoming E-Book “How are we Obligated to Interpret the Qur’aan” of Imaam Al-Albaanee, rahimahullaah, being a translation of the booklet “Kayfa yajibu ‘alaynaa an Nufassir al-Qur’aan.”

Question: What is the ruling on kissing the Qur’aan?

Answer: According to our beliefs, this act falls into the general meaning of certain ahaadeeth (forbidding innovations), such as the Prophet’s (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) statement: “Beware of newly invented matters for indeed every newly invented matter is an innovation, and every innovation is a misguidance.” [1] And in one narration of the hadeeth, it states: “And every misguidance is in the Hellfire.” [2]

Many people hold a certain position with regard to this issue, saying: “What’s wrong with that? It’s only a way of showing our love and respect for this noble Qur’aan.” So we say to them: Yes, that’s true. This only shows one’s love and respect for the noble Qur’aan. However, was this form of respect hidden from the first generation, which consisted of the Companions of Allaah’s Messenger? And likewise was it unknown to those who succeeded the Companions (Taabi’een), as well as their successors (Atbaa’ at-Taabi’een) who came after them? No doubt the answer will be as the scholars amongst the Salaf used to say: “If it were good, they would have preceded us in (doing) it.”

This is one perspective. As for another perspective then we must ask the question: What is the foundation with regard to kissing something – that it is permissible or forbidden?

This requires us to mention the hadeeth reported by the two Shaikhs (Al-Bukhaaree and Muslim) in their Saheeh collection, to remind those who wish to remember, and to make it known how far the Muslims are today from their righteous predecessors, their understanding and their methods used to resolve matters that occurred to them.

The hadeeth I’m referring to is the one reported by ‘Abbaas bin Rabee’ah who narrated: “I saw ‘Umar bin Al-Khattaab (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) kissing the (Black) Stone and saying: ‘I know that you are just a stone and that you can’t cause harm or bring benefit. So if it weren’t that I saw the Messenger of Allaah kissing you, I would not have kissed you.’”

What is the meaning of these words from Al-Faarooq: “If it weren’t that I saw the Messenger of Allaah kissing you, I would not have kissed you?!” [3]

So why then did ‘Umar kiss the Black Stone, which as is stated in the authentic hadeeth: “The Black Stone is from Paradise?” [4]

Did he kiss it based on some logical reasoning that came from him, like that made by those who this question is about, who use their logic on this issue, saying: “This is the Speech of Allaah, and we will kiss it?”

Did ‘Umar say: “This stone is a relic from Paradise, which was promised to those who obey Allaah, so I will kiss it – I don’t need any text from Allaah’s Messenger to show me that it is legislated (in the Religion) to kiss it?!” Or did he treat this “trivial” matter, as some people nowadays want to say, with the slogan that we invite to, which we call the Salafee slogan – which is sincerely following only the Messenger and those who abide by his Sunnah until the Day of Judgement? This was the stance of ‘Umar (radyAllaahu ‘anhu), such that he said: “If it weren’t that I saw the Messenger of Allaah kissing you, I would not have kissed you?!”

So the foundation with regard to this type of kissing is that we treat it based on the past Sunnah, not that we pass judgement on matters based on our whims, as we indicated earlier, such that we say (for example): “This is something good, so what’s wrong with it?!”

Recall with me what the (first) reaction of Zayd bin Thaabit (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) was when Abu Bakr and ‘Umar presented him with the task of compiling the Qur’aan in order to protect it from being lost. He (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) told them: “How can you do something that the Messenger of Allaah didn’t do?” [5]

But the Muslims of today do not have this kind of understanding at all.

If it is said to the one who kisses the mus-haf: “How can you do something that Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) didn’t do?” He will counter you with many strange answers, such as: “My brother, what’s wrong with that?! I’m only showing respect for the Qur’aan!” So tell him: “My brother, these words fall back on you! Are you saying the Messenger of Allaah didn’t used to show respect to the Qur’aan?!” There is no doubt that the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) used to respect the Qur’aan, but in spite of this, he wouldn’t kiss it.

Or they may argue: “You forbid us from kissing the Qur’aan, yet look at you, you ride in cars and travel by plane. And these things are innovations!” The refutation of this is based on what you heard previously – that the innovation that is misguidance is only that which occurs with regard to the Religion.

As for those innovations that occur with regard to worldly matters, then as we stated previously, they may at times be permissible and at times be prohibited, and so on. This is something that is well known, and needs no examples.

So a person that rides aboard a plane in order to travel to the Sacred House so that he can make pilgrimage (Hajj), there is no doubt that this is permissible. And a person that rides on board a plane in order to travel to the west to make pilgrimage there, there is no doubt this is a sin, and so on and so forth.

As for matters related to worship, for which if someone is asked about it: “Why do you do it(?)”, his reply is: “To get close to Allaah!”

I say: There is no way to get closer to Allaah except by that which Allaah legislated and prescribed. However, I would like to remind you about something which, in my opinion, is very important for strengthening and supporting this principle “Every innovation is a misguidance” – there being no room for my intellect to consent with it at all.

Some of the Salaf used to say: “No innovation is introduced except that a Sunnah is caused to die.”

I take this fact to heart as if I can feel it with my hand, due to my constant scrutinization of matters to see if the are innovations, and if they contradict what the Messenger of Allaah (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) brought,

When the true people of knowledge and virtue take hold of the Qur’aan in order to recite from it, you do no see them kissing it. Rather, they only act in accordance to what is in it. But as for the common people, who have not set of rules or guidelines to curb their emotions, then they say: “What’s wrong with that?” But yet they don’t act in accordance to what is found in it (from laws and rulings)!

So we say: “No innovation is introduced except that a Sunnah is caused to die.”

There is another innovation similar to this one. We see some people – even the vile sinners amongst them who only have a small portion of Faith left in their hearts – who when they hear the Mu’adhin calling to prayer, they stand up! And when you ask them: “Why are you standing up?” They reply: “Out of respect for Allaah!!” But yet, they don’t even go to the masaajid! They spend their time playing chess and backgammon and so on. And yet, they believe they are showing respect to their Lord by standing up like this. Where did this form of standing come from?? Naturally, it came from a fabricated hadeeth that has no source to it, which is: “When you hear the Adhaan (call to prayer), then stand up.” [6]

There is no source for this hadeeth. Rather, it came by way of a distortion (of an authentic hadeeth) by some weak narrators and liars, who reported “Stand” (qoomoo) instead of “Say” (qooloo), whilst at the same time abridging the authentic hadeeth: “When you hear the Adhaan, then say (qooloo) just as he says. Then send Salaat upon me…” [7]

So look at how the Devil beautifies innovations to people, such that they feel content with themselves that they are believers who respect the rites of Allaah – the proof for this being: when they take the mus-haf, they kiss it, and when they hear the Adhaan, they stand up!!

But does he act upon the Qur’aan? He doesn’t act upon the Qur’aan! So, for example, he may pray, but does he avoid delving into prohibitions? Does he avoid taking interest or giving it? Does he avoid spreading amongst the people the means that will increase them in their disobedience to Allaah? Does he…Does he…, and so on and so forth?? These questions may never end. This is why we stop and suffice with that which Allaah has legislated for us from acts of obedience and worship without adding one single letter to that. This is since the matter is as the Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “I have not left behind anything that Allaah commanded you with except that I ordered you to do it.”

So this thing that you do, will it bring you closer to Allaah? If the answer is yes, then bring a text from Allaah’s Messenger (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) concerning that. Their answer will be: “There is no text for that.” So therefore, it is an innovation, and every innovation is a misguidance and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

No one should find difficulty with this issue saying: “This is a minor issue, but yet in spite of that, it’s a misguidance that will take the one who does it to the Hellfire??”

Imaam Ash-Shaatibee responded to the likes of this question, saying: “Every innovation, no matter how small it may be, is misguidance.”

One should not look at this ruling – in the fact that it’s misguidance – to the innovation itself. Rather, one should look at this ruling to the place in which this innovation has been newly introduced into. What is this place? The place I am referring to is the Legislation of Islaam, which is perfect and complete. So it is not proper for anyone to try to “amend it” by introducing an innovation into it, whether big or small. This is where the “misguidance” of innovations comes from. The misguidance doesn’t come from just him introducing the innovation into Islaam, but rather because of the fact that he is giving (himself) the ability to amend the Legislation (of Islaam), above that of our Lord and above our Prophet (sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam).


[1] Saheeh At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/92/34)

[2] Salaat at-Taraaweeh (pg. 75)

[3] Saheeh At-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb (1/94/41)

[4] Saheeh al-Jaami’-us-Sagheer (3174)

[5] Translator’s Note: Refer to Saheeh Al-Bukhaaree (Eng.) (vol. 6, hadeeth no. 201). Zayd bin Thaabit (radyAllaahu ‘anhu) was one of those who used to write down the revelation for the Prophet.

[6] Silsilat-ul-Ahaadeeth ad-Da’eefah (711)

[7] Saheeh Muslim (384)

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