The misinterpretation of 56:79

None can grasp it 'yamassuhu' except the purified.


Yet another verse that has been misinterpreted by Muslim scholars. They interpret this verse to mean that no one is allowed to physically touch the Quran except those who are physically clean, while others say only those who have performed ablution! In the light of the Quran it can be shown that the purity spoken of in 56:79 is not the physical cleanliness but the purity of the heart and soul.

The error in the way this verse is interpreted is two fold:

1- The Arabic word used in the verse is "yamassuhu". This word is different from the word 'yalmasuhu'.

The word 'yalmas' means to physically touch something.

But the word 'yamsas' is totally different. To determine the correct meaning of this word we must look at other Quranic verses where this word is used:

If something good 'tamasakum' (comes your way), it grieves them. 3:120

Here God is speaking about something good or a blessing, and then the word "tamsaskum". Obviously a blessing does not physically touch us, but it reaches us or comes our way.

If God 'yamasakum' (brings your way) a harm, none can lift it except Him, and if He 'yamasakum' (brings your way) a blessing, He is Capable of all things. 6:17

The same meaning is repeated.

Now we return to 56:79 which speaks of the Quran and says that no one can yamassuhu except the pure.

How can the Quran reach only the pure? This can only mean that no one can attain its blessings except the pure in their devotion to God.

2- The second issue to resolve is: who are the pure?

Once again, Muslim scholars claim that this refers to being physically clean, but once again this is an incorrect interpretation.

To determine the correct Quranic meaning of this word, we refer to the following verses:

We have brought down to you the Book truthfully, so worship God devoting the religion purely to Him.
Absolutely, it is to God that the 'al-deen al-khalis' (pure religion) is due. 39:2-3

The key words here are: "al-deen al-khalis".

The word Deen means religion, and the word Khalis means pure.

As per 39:2-3, the pure religion must be dedicated to God alone. This means that all our religious practices must be devoted to God alone. This is confirmed in the following Quranic words:

Say, "My Salat, my worship practices, my life and my death, are all devoted to God, the Lord of the worlds.
He has no partner. This is what I was commanded with, and I am the first to submit." 6:162-163

The ones who devote all their religion to God alone are called "Ebad Allah Al-Mukhlaseen" throughout the Quran (12:24, 15:40, 37:50, 37:74). These are the ones who are pure in their devotion to God, and it is these whom God blesses with the correct understanding of the Quran. In contrast, those who commit shirk (associating others with God) are blinded from understanding the Quran. They may be proficient in the Arabic language and they may have spent all their lives studying the Quran and memorising it by heart, nevertheless, they are blinded by God from understanding the basic Quranic message.

To conclude, the correct meaning of 56:79 is:

None can grasp it (attain it's blessing) except the purified (pure worshippers of God).