Disposing of pages with the Quran or Divine names
By: Ali Gomaa
It is important to be ever mindful of Allah, Most High, and to be in His remembrance. What follows is the advice of Mufi Ali Gomaa, Mufti emeritus of Egypt, concerning pages and things like bags and newspapers which have the name of Allah or verses of the Quran written on them.
It is necessarily known in the religion that it is impermissible to treat the names of Allah Almighty and the Prophet [pbuh] and Qur`anic verses with contempt. Whoever purposely practices such abuse is considered an apostate. But the person who does so unintentionally out of carelessness and lack of concern—tempted by the temporary life of this world and heedless of the everlasting world of the Hereafter—commits an enormity as long as he remembers the ruling but ignores it without being forgetful of it, mistaken or coerced.
It has become common to write the names of Allah Almighty and Qur’anic verses on pieces of paper, plastic bags, containers, on governmental envelopes and requests and so forth. This causes excessive difficulty for those who are legally responsible upon whom it is obligatory to observe the rulings of Allah. This is because this responsibility demands that they dispose of these objects in a manner that befits the sanctity of Allah, His Book and the Prophet but which may include excessive hardship upon them due to lack of time or resolution. They have no other alternative but to desecrate the name of Allah, His Book, and the name of the Prophet [pbuh] under the pretext that the practice is common and it is difficult to dispose of these objects in any other manner.
Consequently, the matter requires a common effort to eliminate this sin. Whenever possible, it is obligatory to avoid using any piece of paper or envelopes and so forth containing the Names of Allah, the Prophet and verses from the Qur`an.
We call upon those who write the names of Allah and the Prophet [pbuh] on anything, those who promote merchandise those in authority to draw up a system to collect such papers and dispose of them properly, either by burning or recycling them. We also call upon those who are financially capable to establish paper and plastic recycling projects. Finally, we call upon the public to exercise discretion as much as possible when disposing of paper and products containing the names of Allah and the Prophet [pbuh] and Qur`anic verses either by cutting them into small pieces or burning them.
Allah Most High says:
“Anyone who honors the sacred ordinance of God will have good reward from his Lord.” [Al-Hajj, 30]
“Those who honor God’s rite show the piety of their hearts.” [Al-Hajj, 32]