The late Azharite scholar Sheikh Mustafa Muhammad As-Saerafy, states the following:
“The ruling governing touching the Qur’an or the Mushaf or putting one’s fingers on it applies only to the Arabic text (the contents lying between its two folds). As for the translated copies, with footnotes explaining the meanings of the verses, they are not included under the same ruling.
With regard to the issue of non-Muslims touching the Qur’an, especially non-Arabs, praise be to Allah, nowadays, there are many translations of the meanings of the Glorious Qur’an almost in all world languages.
Thereupon, we maintain that there is nothing wrong with the non-Muslim reading and touching these translations, as the purpose of these translations is to convey the meanings of the Qur’an to all nations in their own mother tongues. Logically, this aim will not be fulfilled unless they touch and turn the leaves of such translated copies.”
Moreover, in his well-known book, Fiqh-us-Sunnah, the late Sheikh Sayyed Sabiq (may Allah bless his soul), adds: “Abu Bakr Ibn Muhammad narrated from his father, on the authority of his grandfather, that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in the letter he sent to the people of Yemen, said: “No one is to touch the Qur’an except one who is purified.” This Hadith is reported by An-Nasa’i, Ad-Daraqutni, Al-Bayhaqi, and Al-Athram. Of its chain of transmitters, Ibn `Abdul-Barr said: “It is Mutawatir (having an uninterrupted chain of transmission).”
`Abdullah Ibn `Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) quoted the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) as saying: “No one is to touch the Qur’an unless he has purified himself.” (Reported by Al-Haythami in Majma` Az-Zawa’id and he said that its narrators are trustworthy)
Apparently, this Hadith needs discussion. The word “purify” must have one particular meaning here. Therefore, to say that one who is in state of hadath asghar or minor impurity may not touch the Qur’an makes no sense.
Concerning Allah’s statement, “… which none touches save the purified,” (Al-Waqi`ah: 79), actually, the pronoun “which” refers to “the Book kept hidden” (from the preceding verse) and this is also referred to as “the well-preserved tablet,” and the word “purified” refers to the angels, which is similar to the verses, “On honored scrolls, exalted, purified, (set down) by scribes, noble and righteous.” (`Abasa: 13-16)
Ibn `Abbas, Ash-Sha`bi, Ad-Dahak, Zayd Ibn `Ali, Al-Mu’aiyyad Billah, Dawood, Ibn Hazm, and Hammad Ibn Abu Sulayman are of the opinion that one who is in state of Hadath Asghar may touch the Qur’an. Most of the scholars, however, agree that a person in that state may recite the Qur’an without touching it.”