Selling posters and frames of Qur’aanic verses
Praise be to Allah.
We appreciate your keenness to acquire knowledge and ask about issues having to do with calling people to Allah, because calling people without knowledge of Islam may do more harm than good.
With regard to selling these frames and posters, the ruling on selling them will become clear once you understand the ruling on hanging up these items.
Hanging up frames and cloths containing verses from the Qur’an in homes, schools, clubs, stores and businesses involves a number of things that are objectionable and contrary to Islamic teaching, including the following:
1. They are usually hung up for the purpose of adornment and decorating walls with engravings of verses and adhkaar that are colourfully adorned, and this is diverting the Qur’an from the purpose for which it was revealed, which was to guide, offer beautiful exhortation, to be recited regularly, and so on. The Qur’an was not revealed to adorn walls; rather it was revealed to guide mankind and the jinn.
2. Many people hang up these things for the purpose of seeking blessing (barakah) from them, which is an innovation. The manner of seeking blessing or barakah that is prescribed is by reading the Qur’an, not by hanging it up or putting it on shelves and turning it into frames and 3-D objects.
3. That is contrary to the practice of the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) and the Rightly-Guided Caliphs (may Allah be pleased with them) who succeeded him. They did not do that, and all good is in following them, not in introducing innovations. Rather history bears witness in the lands of Andalusia, Turkey and elsewhere, that adornment and making these plaques and decorations, and carving verses into the walls of houses and mosques only occurs during periods of Muslim weakness and decline.
4. Hanging up these things is a means that leads to shirk, because some people regard these frames and hangings as amulets that protect the house and its occupants from evil and troubles. This is a shirki belief that is haraam. The One Who actually gives protection is Allah, may He be glorified and exalted, and one of the means of seeking His protection is to recite Qur’an and adhkaar with humble focus and certain faith.
5. Writing these things comes under the heading of using the Qur’an as a means for business and earning more money. The Qur’an should be protected from being subjected to such things. It is well-known that in some cases, buying these frames comes under the heading of extravagance and wasteful spending.
6. Many of these frames are plated with gold, which makes it more emphatically prohibited to use them or hang them up.
7. In some cases, these frames clearly reflect tampering or toying with the text, such as writing in very complex and elaborate styles which do not benefit anyone, because they can hardly be read. Some of them are written in the shape of a bird or a man who is prostrating, and other kinds of images of animate beings, which it is prohibited to produce.
8. It is exposing the verses and soorahs of the Qur’an to mishandling and disrespectful treatment. For example, when moving from one house to another, they are piled up with other kinds of furnishings, and other things may be placed on top of them. Such things may also happen when taking them down to paint the walls or clean the house. This is in addition to the fact that they may be hung up in places where acts of disobedience to Allah may be committed, and no attention is paid to the sanctity and dignified status of the Qur’an.
9. Some Muslims who fall short in a religious commitment may hang them up to make them feel that they are undertaking some religious matters, so as to reduce the guilt they feel, even though these things do not avail them anything.
To sum up, we should close the door to evil and follow that which was the practice of the leaders of guidance in the first generations, whose people the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allah be upon him) testified are the best of the Muslims in their beliefs and all their religious rulings.
Moreover, if someone were to say “we will never show disrespect towards them, and we will never make them a mere adornment, and we will never exaggerate concerning them; we only intend for them to remind the people in their gatherings,” our response to that is that if we look at real life, will we find that this really happens? Do the people who sit there remember Allah or do they read the verses that are hanging there if they happen to lift their heads and look at them?
Reality tells us that this does not happen; rather what happens is the opposite. In how many rooms where verses are hanging up do the people sitting there do the opposite of what is hanging above their heads, and they tell lies, backbite, mock others, and do and say evil things. Even if we assume that there are some people who may benefit from it, they are very few and that does not affect the ruling on this matter.
The Muslims should turn to the Book of Allah, read it and act upon what is in it. We ask Allah to make the Holy Qur’an the comfort and light of our hearts and a means to console us in our grief and take away our worries.
What I have said above is a summary of what is mentioned in fatwas issued by the senior scholars of the current era, such as Shaykh Ibn Baaz and the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas in the Kingdom (of Saudi Arabia), and by Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen, as in the fatwa issued by the Standing Committee under the leadership of Shaykh Ibn Baaz, fatwas no. 2078 and 17659.
Based on the above, you should not sell these frames, because by doing so you may end up committing some infractions that have been mentioned by the scholars, and you may be a cause of other people falling into some such things.
We ask Allah to guide us and you.