Reading of the Qur’ān by a Sexually Impure Person
'Ali narrated that
كَانَ يَخْرُجُ مِنَ الْخَلاَءِ فَيُقْرِئُنَا الْقُرْآنَ وَيَأْكُلُ مَعَنَا اللَّحْمَ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ يَحْجُبُهُ - أَوْ قَالَ يَحْجُزُهُ - عَنِ الْقُرْآنِ شَىْءٌ لَيْسَ الْجَنَابَةَ.
The Messenger of Allāh came out of the privy and taught us Al Quran and ate meet with us. Nothing prevented him -or the narrator said: Nothing prevented him from reciting Al Quran except sexual defilement.
Al Imām 'Alāuddīn al Maghlatā'iy said: “Scholars differ on the gradation on this narration.”(Al Ilām bi Sunnatihi 'alayhi salam 2/752)
Sunan Abi Dāwud 229, Sunan An Nasai 265, Musnad Ahmad 640, and others.
Those who graded it weak are Imām ash Shafi' and Bukhāri (Awn al Ma'būd 1/231), Al Imām Ahmad as said by Al Khattābiy in al Mu'alim 1/90, Al Albāni in Daif Sunan Abi Dawud 39 and Irwau al Ghalil fit Takhrīj Ahadith Manar as Sabil 2/241-245, Ash Shaykh Al Ithyiobiy in Dhakhirah al 'Uqbah 3/565, and others.
Those who graded it good are Al Imām Abi Dawud (his silence), Al Imām Tirmidhiy in his Sunan (146), Abu 'Abdullāhi bn al Bay'i, Ibn Hibbān, As Sukn, 'Abdul Haqq, Al Baghwiy, 'Alauddīn, and Ahmad Shakir (Al Ilām bi Sunnatihi 'alayhi salam 2/752 and 1/275. See also An Nayl 1/246-247 and Adh Dhakhirah 4/565-564).
The authentic opinion is the narration is weak as it contains 'Abdullāhi bn Salamah who became senile when old. Even, if the narration is authentic, it does establish the prohibition of reading al Qur'an by an impure Muslim or menstruating woman for two reasons:
The Statement of a Companion
It was the understanding of a companion which was differed from the understanding of another companion (i. e 'Abdullāhi bn 'Abbās). And the common maxim says:
قول الصحابي فيما لا نص فيه يكون حُجَّة إذا لم يخالف صحابياً
“The statement of a companion is an evidence where there is no textual proof, if no one among the companions contradicts him.” (See Nayl Awtār 2/247, Dhakhirah al 'Uqbah 4/566)
The Action of the Prophet
Again, the affirmed maxim says;
فعل المجرد تفيد الإستحباب
“The action of the Prophet denotes recommendation.”
This report was not accompanied by order, thus the least ruling is recommendation, not prohibition.
Al Imām Ash Shawkāniy said: “The narration does not denote prohibition because it extent was that, the Prophet (peace be upon him) abandoned reading of al Qur'an in the state of sexual impurity. This is not enough to establish loathsome, let alone prohibition. “ (Nayl al Awtār 2/267)
Ibn 'Umar narrated that
لا يقرأ الجنب، ولا الحائض شيئا من القرآن
“A sexually impure person and menstruating woman should not read al Qur'an.”
Sunan at Tirmidhi 131, Ibn Majah 596; Imām at Tirmidhi, Ibn Jawzi, Ahmad, Al Albāniy, Al Ithyiobiy, Ash Shawkāniy graded it weak (Nayl Awtar 1/247, Irwaul Ghalil 1/206-210, Iltihāf Tālib al Ahwadhiy 2/259, and the author of Ihdāu ad Dībājah Sharh Sunan Ibn Majah 1/330, Ash Shaykh Āmir Husayn Sabriy said: “The narration is weak from all its routes.”
Al Ithyiobiy said: “The preponderant is the opinion of Al Bukhari that is, the permissibility of reading Al Quran by sexually impure person and menstruating woman (Iltihaf Talib al Ahwadhiy 2/259).
The discussion of Dr 'Īd Al Kayyāl on this topic is beneficial. Please see Al Qawāi'd wa Ad Dawābit Al Fiqhiyyah lid Dimāi Al Mar'at at Tabi'yyah pp. 86-87