Is it permissible for someone in hadas (minor or major hadas) to hold tafsir Al-Quran?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his wives, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
The majority of Islamic scholars rule it permissible to hold, carry, and review the tafsir al-Quran, containing the verses of the Quran even in junub (in major hadas). The reason is, tafsir itself means the meanings or explanation or comments of the Quran and not as the recitation of the Quran. Thus, the ruling of the Quran is not applicable to it.
This is the opinion of mazhab Maliki and Hanbali. In Syarh Mukhtasar Khalil by al-Imam al-Kharasyi al-Maliki Rahimahullah:
يَجُوزُ لِلْمُحْدِثِ مَسُّ التَّفْسِيرِ
“It is permissible for them (in hadas) to touch tafsir.”
Al-Imam Ibn Qudamah states a similar opinion in his book al-Mughni:
وَيَجُوزُ مَسُّ كُتُبِ التَّفْسِيرِ وَالْفِقْهِ وَغَيْرِهَا، وَالرَّسَائِلِ، وَإِنْ كَانَ فِيهَا آيَاتٌ مِنْ الْقُرْآنِ، بِدَلِيلِ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ - صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ - كَتَبَ إلَى قَيْصَرَ كِتَابًا فِيهِ آيَةٌ؛ وَلِأَنَّهَا لَا يَقَعُ عَلَيْهَا اسْمُ مُصْحَفٍ، وَلَا تَثْبُتُ لَهَا حُرْمَتُهُ
“It is permissible to touch tafsir and fiqh books, pamphlets or printouts that contains the verses of the Quran, in accordance with a prophetic evidence, where the Prophet PBUH sent a letter containing the verses of the Quran to the king of Rome, for it is not considered as a mushaf and thus the prohibition is not applicable to it.”
However, in mazhab Syafi’e, it is prohibited to touch tafsir if the verses of the Quran are more than the tafsir. It is permissible if the tafsir is more than the verses of the Quran.
This is mentioned by Imam al-Nawawi Rahimahullah in his book al-Majmu`:
كِتَابُ تَفْسِيرِ الْقُرْآنِ إنْ كَانَ الْقُرْآنُ فِيهِ أَكْثَرَ كَبَعْضِ كُتُبِ غَرِيبِ الْقُرْآنِ حُرِّمَ مَسُّهُ وَحَمْلُهُ وَجْهًا وَاحِدًا كَذَا ذَكَرَهُ الْمَاوَرْدِيُّ وَغَيْرُهُ وَنَقَلَهُ الرُّويَانِيُّ عَنْ الْأَصْحَابِ وَإِنْ كَانَ التَّفْسِيرُ أَكْثَرَ كَمَا هُوَ الْغَالِبُ فَفِيهِ أَوْجُهٌ أَصَحُّهَا لَا يَحْرُمُ لِأَنَّهُ لَيْسَ بِمُصْحَفٍ
For tafsir al-Quran, if the tafsir contains more verses of the Quran, like the books of Gharib al-Quran, thus, it is prohibited to touch or carry it. This is stated by al-Mawardi, al-Ruyani and others. If the tafsir is more, then there are a few opinions regarding its ruling, but the strongest opinion states that it is not prohibited (to touch or carry it) for it is not considered as a mushaf.
Reviewing the above discussion, in our opinion, it is permissible for a person in hadas to touch, carry and review tafsir al-Quran. However, the tafsir must be more than the verses of the Quran, in accordance with the sahih (valid) opinion in mazhab Syafi’e. However, the best way is to perform ablution first before holding the tafsir.