In the first place, it is to be noted that it is not necessarily required that a person places his hand on any of the heavenly books while swearing. However, it is not permissible for a Muslim to place his hand on the Bible while swearing because it is distorted. A Muslim in the West should ask for a Qur’an to be brought to him in case it is necessary to place the hand on something. If the court refuses that, then he is permitted—under this case of necessity—to place his hand on the bible. In his heart, he should never intend to show respect to any of it, because it is distorted.
Here we cite the fatwa issued by the Islamic Fiqh Complex concerning this issue:
“1. It is not permissible for a Muslim to swear by anything except Almighty Allah, alone, because the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said: “Whoever makes an oath, let him swear by Allah, or else keep silent.”
2. It is not essential for a person swearing an oath to put his hand on the Qur’an for the oath to be valid, but some people do this to make the oath more binding so that the person swearing the oath will be afraid to tell lies.
3. It is not permissible for a Muslim to put his hand on the Bible (Torah or Gospel) when making an oath, because the copies in circulation are distorted and are not the original books that were revealed to Moses and Jesus (peace be upon them) and because the Message with which Allah sent His Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) abrogates the messages that came before.
4. If the system in a country that is not ruled by Islamic law requires the person swearing an oath to put his hand on the Bible (or Torah or Gospel), then the Muslim should ask the court to let him swear by Allah, may He be exalted. There is nothing wrong with him putting his hand on the Holy Qur’an, which is the Word of Allah and is therefore one of His attributes. If they do not allow him this request, and he is forced to swear by the Bible (or Torah or Gospel), then this is considered to be compulsion, and there is no sin on him if he puts his hand on one or both of them, so long as he does not intend to show respect to them by doing so.”