These mobile phones in which Qur’aan is put in written or recorded form do not come under the same ruling as the Mus-haf, so it is permissible to touch them without having purified oneself and it is permissible to take them into the washroom with one, because writing Qur’aan on the mobile phone is not like writing it in a Mus-haf. It takes the form of waves that appear and disappear, and its letters are not fixed, and the mobile phone may contain Qur’aan and other things.
Shaykh ‘Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Naasir al-Barraak was asked; What is the ruling on reading Qur’aan from mobile phones without having purified oneself?
He replied (may Allaah preserve him): Answer: Praise be to Allaah and blessings and peace be upon the one after whom there is no Prophet. To proceed: It is well known that it is not essential to be free from minor impurity when reciting Qur’aan from memory, or even from major impurity, but purifying oneself before reciting Qur'aan, even from memory, is better, because it is the Word of Allaah and it is more respectful towards Him to only recite it when in a state of purity.
When reading from the Mus-haf it is essential to be in a state of purity in order to touch the Mus-haf, because of what it says in the famous hadeeth: “No one should touch the Qur’aan but one who is pure.” And because of what it says in many reports from the Sahaabah and Taabi’een. This is the view of the majority of scholars, which is that it is haraam for one who is in a state of impurity to touch the Mus-haf, whether that is for reading or otherwise.
Based on this, it seems that mobile phones and similar devices on which Qur’aan may be recorded do not come under the same rules as the Mus-haf, because the letters of the Qur’aan in these devices are different than the letters in the Mus-haf. They do not exist in the form in which they are read, rather they exist in the form of waves that form the letters when needed, so they appear in the screen then disappear when one moves to another verse. Based on this, it is permissible to touch the mobile phone or tape on which Qur’aan is recorded, and it is permissible to read from it, even if one is not in a state of purity. And Allaah knows best.
Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) was asked: I am keen to read Qur’aan and I am usually in the mosque early and I have one of these modern mobile phones with me on which there is a program containing the entire Holy Qur’aan. Sometimes I am not in a state of purity but I read what I can and I read some juz’. Is purity essential when reading from a mobile phone?
He replied: This is a kind of luxury that has appeared among the people. Mus-hafs – praise be to Allaah – are readily available in the mosques and in fine printed editions, and there is no need to read it from mobile phones. But if that happens then we do not think that it comes under the same ruling as the Mus-haf.
The Mus-haf cannot be touched by anyone but one who is pure, as it says in the hadeeth, “No one should touch the Qur’aan but one who is pure.” As for a mobile phone, it cannot be called a Mus-haf.
Reading Qur’aan on a mobile phone makes it easy for women who are menstruating and one who cannot easily carry a Mus-haf with him, or one who is in a place where it is difficult for him to do wudoo’, because it is not essential for the one who touches it to be in a state of purity, as mentioned above.