Fatwa: It is Permissible to Use the "Torah and the New Testament... for Anal Cleansing after Defecation"

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Translations of Arabic/Islamic Media

Translated from the original Arabic by DanielPipes.org

The following fatwa from Islamweb is interesting when viewed in light of the violent and deadly Muslim reaction to a 2011 US Qur'an burning, an incident which was universally condemned by non-Muslims. It was initially translated by Dena Milany.

The fatwa rules the Bible suitable for use by Muslims when cleaning after defecation. As Daniel Pipes points out, this is not a fringe opinion of an extremist cleric. The Shari'ah permits this, and specialists on Shari'ah have through the centuries discussed its legitimacy. Furthermore, in 2002, Palestinian Muslims did indeed use the Bible as toilet paper.

Question: "Does someone who insults the Torah or the New Testament engage in apostasy, given that these include some words of God?"

Answer: "It would be impermissible to disdain the Torah and New Testament if they contained the truth and the name of the exalted, such as the name of God the Most High. Whoever does this [i.e., disrespect the books] knowingly and by choice would be considered an apostate and would be despised by God. But [in fact] the Torah and New Testament do not have anything exalted in them. They are known to have been corrupted, so there is no problem disdaining them.

Ash-Shams[ad-Din] Ar-Ramli [d.1004 A.D.] said in [his book of fiqh] Nihayat al-Muhtaj: "It is impermissible to use respected books like those of hadith and fiqh for anal cleansing after defecation (al-istinja',الأستنجاء ), but non-respected books like philosophy, Torah and the New Testament, which are known as corrupt and which do not contain exalted names, can be used for anal cleansing after defecation."
Judgment: Despising the Torah or the New Testament (screenshot)
Mawsu'at al-Fatawi, Islamweb, Fatwa No. 40378, November 23, 2003