Rules for Handling the Qur’an

From Dwindling in Unbelief:

This is indeed a noble Qur’an … Which none toucheth save the purified. — Quran 56:77-79

From this passage, Muslims have developed a set of rules about how to handle the Quran. Here are some of them.

1. Make formal acts of cleaning yourself (ablutions) before touching the Quran.

2. Don’t touch the Quran when you are unclean (like after having sex or while menstruating).

3. Don’t touch the Quran (in Arabic) unless you are already a Muslim. (It’s okay for non-believers to listen to tapes or touch a translation.)

4. If you do have to touch it for some reason (and you’re unclean or a non-Muslim), then wear gloves or use a cloth to keep your filthy fingers off the sacred text.

5. Never let the Quran touch the floor.

6. Don’t take it into a bathroom.

7. Don’t place anything else on top of it.

These rules are based on the idea that the Quran is the literal word of God, revealed to the angel Gabriel and delivered to the prophet Muhammad (mayonaise and mustard be upon him) — none of which, of course, is true (except for maybe the mayonaise and mustard part).

Luckily for me, I’m not a muslim so I can keep my arabic copy in it’s resting place on the bathroom floor underneath the cat litter at the ready for bathroom reading. I don’t mean it as a symbol of disrespect, I just keep all of my religious books there.

Inside a Megachurch


Before the festivities began, I took a seat next to an old woman who already had her checkbook splayed and pen in hand ; a bribe for Saint Peter no doubt. After a few torturous Christian power ballads, complete with Jefferson Airplane-era psychedelic imagery projected onto screens stretched above the stage, it was time for the sermon. Pastor Jerry Gillis, dressed in khakis and a green plaid shirt, took to the stage for an informal rap session. From the view of him on the big screens, I would have to say his head is nearly 15 feet wide: a truly great man. Armed with both a clip-on shirt microphone and redundant headset mic, Gillis delivered his hip-thirty-something-you-can-relate-to-me-because-I’m-sitting-cross-legged-on-a-stool anecdotes to the mixed crowd of gray-hairs and younger couples. He invoked the names of Jesus and Corey Hart with a relaxed vigor.

(Thanks Americano)