Sitting in his office on the picturesque Southeastern campus at Wake Forest, Emir Caner flips open the cover of a thick blue book. It is the Quran his father, Acar, presented him from his deathbed in 1999.Let me anticipate one objection. Someone may say that this shows that Acar Caner did not completely disown his sons, because he still refers to Emir as "my son" and calls himself "Your father." To me, that's a trivial objection. All it shows to me is that he still loved his sons.
"To my son Emir," reads the inscription on the first page. "This is yours. Please take the time and read each word for you and for me. Your father."
But there are two other things that cause me to raise my eyebrows. Acar Caner has been presented as an exceptionally devout Muslim. Perhaps one of my Muslim readers will be able to tell me whether (1) giving a Koran to a non-Muslim is permitted and (2) writing in a Koran is permitted.
I don't claim to be a Islamic scholar, but both of those things strike me as inconsistent with the strictest and most devout forms of Islam. The rituals associated both with handling and reciting the Koran involve a large amount of outward purity. Giving the book to a non-Muslim (particularly an apostate Muslim) or writing in the book, just intuitively seem to be at odds with the kind of precautions Muslims are supposed to take with respect to the Koran (see some examples here). Perhaps one or more of my Muslim readers will be able to clarify this for me.