I dunno exactly how the conversation started but it was the beginning days at the campus when someone exclaimed- “Ooohhh, you have Quran in your cellphone?” Totally befuddled, I nodded in affirmative- “Yeah…”
“Then you must not put it in your pocket!” I was mildly surprised. “Oh-? Why ever?”
“Desecration!” The person went on to say. “And you should not touch it without wudhu (ablution) as well!”
That just annoyed me even more. When I just raised my eyebrows skeptically, she went on to say. “It’s the Quran!” I guess I was supposed to immediately act like I was revolted at the very idea of putting my cell in my pocket.
“So? It’s in the phone’s memory. The device itself is not the Book.” I politely tried to reason out.
“Desecration still.” She persisted and looked scandalised. I fought the urge to roll my eyes at that. As much as I find myself in such situations, I equally detest carrying out heated arguments on Fiqh and usually ebb them by maintaining a silent stand after a few sentences- but this was too much.
“Well- then by this yardstick, you can’t touch me.” I said, drawing a conclusion.
Now it was her turn to look quizzical. “I’m not sure I follow.”
“I’ve memorised the Quran. It’s in my memory. You can’t shake hands with me without ablution, neither can you walk on a floor above me… if you really follow what you say.”
That quietened her up for a while.
And then I came across another similar one on Facebook a long time back. It was pretty amusing actually. Quite a heated debate going on between a teacher and his student. Apparently, the student had uploaded some quranic verses on her status and the teacher had a problem with that. “Desecration!” He was on that rant as well. “You can’t put quranic verses on so polluted a forum! A design of the Jews. People post songs, videos and vulgar pictures here! And no Kafir should ever read them for their souls are impure…”
Frankly, no one was in the mood to tell this impassioned man exactly how stupid his argument sounded. Even after quoting excerpts from history that the Prophet used to preach wherever it took him and sent letters with Quranic texts to non-Muslim rulers as well- as an invite, the guy just wouldn’t have any of it. In the end, the student pointed out that there were no pictures and videos on her profile so it’s okay- just to pacify her school teacher, but the guy was adamant. “It’s still a part of dirty cyberspace. The quran should be kept aloof from all this.”
Annoyed beyond beleif, I wrote, “You must sound-proof your home then, mister. For if the Adhaan or any other verse of the Quran dare penetrate your walls after all that music and videos from your TV and stereo, that would be serious desecration. It’s still a part of corrupt society. Also, tune out all Islamic channels from your box.”
End of conversation. There was no comeback.
I kid you not. Our misguided “love” for the Holy Book has made it so untouchable that it’s not a part of our routine any more. We’ve severed all connections with it. Made it complicated and even more intimidating. Funny how our common sense flies ou the window in these cases. It’s not something to be wrapped in gold and silk to rest upon the highest shelf (unreachable to all), to be taken out and recited when somebody ties the knot or dies.
What we don’t get is that it’s a book for the living, not the dead, a book for inspiration, not traditions- a constant companion, a best friend and an all-time advisor!