What do the scholars of the Dīn and muftīs of the Sacred Law state regarding the following issue: Can one dispose of Islamic books & literature via burning or recycling?
Questioner: Abdur Rahman from Canada
بسم اللہ الرحمن الرحیم
الجواب بعون الملک الوھاب اللھم ھدایۃ الحق والصواب
Other than the Holy Qur’ān, one can burn or recycle Islamic books & literature by first removing the Revered Names of Allāh ﷻ, Prophets & Messengers, Angels and other sacred names via a chemical. However, it is imperative that one avoids disrespect of the liquid which has been used to remove the sacred names. However, it is better to bury them in the earth.
Just as it is stated in the famous Hanafī fiqh book Durr Mukhtār,
“الْكُتُبُ الَّتِي لَا يُنْتَفَعُ بِهَا يُمْحَى عَنْهَا اسْمُ اللَّهِ وَمَلَائِكَتِهِ وَرُسُلِهِ وَيُحْرَقُ الْبَاقِي وَلَا بَأْسَ بِأَنْ تُلْقَى فِي مَاءٍ جَارٍ كَمَا هِيَ أَوْ تُدْفَنَ وَهُوَ أَحْسَنُ”
“Those books which no longer remain able to use can have the names of Allāh, the Angels, Messengers, etc removed from them and the remains can be burnt, and there is no problem in disposing them in such said state in flowing water, or them be buried in the earth; and this is better.”
[Durr Mukhtār & Radd al-Muhtār, vol 6, pg 422]
Sayyidī ĀlaHazrat, Imām e Ahle Sunnat, Imām Ahmad Razā Khān, may Allāh ﷻ shower countless mercies upon him, states in Fatāwā Ridawiyyah that the conclusion is that the burning of [the books] qawā’id baghdādi, abjad; all books which are of no use [any longer], other than the Noble Qur’ān, after having removed the names of the Majestic Creator, Messengers & Angels, all upon whom be peace, is permissible.
[Fatāwā Ridawiyyah, vol 23, pg 423]
واللہ تعالی اعلم ورسولہ اعلم صلی اللہ علیہ وآلہ وسلم
کتبہ ابو الحسن محمد قاسم ضیاء قادری
Answered by Mufti Qasim Zia al-Qadri
Translated by Haider Ali
Read the original Urdu answer here: [Q-ID0610] Can we burn or recycle Islamic books & literature?