as-salamu `alaykum Dear Sayyidi Shaykh Gibril,
I was at my local masjid and heard a discussion between two brothers regarding the ruling of touching the Qur’an without wudu‘. One of them said that the famous hadith stating that no one should touch the Qur’an except the purified, is weak. I believe he was referring to the one containing `Amr bin Hazm. I wanted to ask if this was true? I thought this narration was in the Muwatta’ and ibn Hibban’s sahih, so I was somewhat surprised to hear him say that it was weak. Secondly, he stated that although many companions held the opinion that one cannot touch the Qur’an in a state of minor ritual impurity, it was none other than ibn `Abbas (radiyaAllahu `anhu) who held otherwise. Have you come across this position of ibn `Abbas before?
The mursal report from Muhammad b. `Amr b. Hazm “None touches the Qur’an except in a state of purity” was included in the Muwatta’, validated by the Four Imams, and declared confirmed and strong by al-Bayhaqi, Ibn `Abd al-Barr, Ibn Kathir and others. Imam Ahmad used as his proof the version of Ibn `Umar which actually has “mushaf” instead of “Qur’an.”
It is well-known from Ibn `Abbas that he would recite his wird of the Qur’an even in a state of janaba. As for reciting even in janaba, it was held to be permissible by Malik, al-Shafi`i in the Old Madhhab, al-Bukhari, al-Tabari, Ibn al-Mundhir and others: Fath al-Bari (Hayd, taqdi al-ha’id al-manasik…).
As for following the presumed fatwa of Ibn `Abbas in touching, then they should by the same token follow his fatwa that tahara is not a prerequisite of validity of salat but no one follows that! In this context Qadi `Iyad mentioned in Tartib al-Madarik (chapter on Malik) the riwaya of the Caliph al-Mansur’s advice to Imam Malik to “avoid the overly strict positions (`aza’im) of Ibn `Umar, the overly lenient positions (rukhas) of Ibn `Abbas, and the singularities/unique positions (shawadhdh) of Ibn Mas`ud; but keep to the best/middle matters and what mustered the consensus of the imams and the Companions.”
وفي رواية إن المنصور قال له: يا أبا عبد الله ضم هذا العلم ودون كتباً وجنب فيها شدائد ابن عمر ورخص ابن عباس وشواذ ابن مسعود وأقصد أوسط الأمور وما اجتمع عليه الأئمة والصحابة
Hajj Gibril Haddad