Respecting the Holy Book
Since Muslims believe the Arabic text of the Qur'an to be the exact words of God as revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, the book itself is treated with respect and care. One only touches the text when in a ritual state of purity, as for prayer. Before and after reading from the text, one remembers God and seeks protection from evil.
The words of the Qur'an are to be recited with a slow, melodious voice. The Qur'an itself gives the instruction: “Recite the Qur'an in slow, measured, rhythmic tones” (Qur'an 73:4). In this way, one can ponder on the meaning of the words instead of rushing through.
The text is often kept on a high shelf of the home. It is never taken into a bathroom or other unclean environment. If one needs to dispose of any written page on which Allah's name or any verses of the Qur'an are written, it must be done so with respect. Most Muslims agree that such papers should be buried or burned.
The Prophet Muhammad advised Muslims to “beautify the Qur'an with your voices.” Recitation of the Qur'an is a specialized field of study that includes aspects of Arabic grammar, pronunciation, and vocal work. The best reciters of the Qur'an, known as qaree (readers), often make audiotapes or compact discs of the Qur'an for distribution among Muslims around the world.
Translations of the Qur'an into other languages are considered human interpretations of the meaning and are thus not subject to the same rules. However, most Muslims would treat the translations with appropriate reverence.