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Hafiz (Quran)

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Title: Hafiz (Quran)  
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Subject: Quran, Madrasa, Abdul Rahman Al-Sudais, Hafız Ahmed Pasha, Hafiz
Collection: Hafizes, Memory
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Hafiz (Quran)

Hafiz (Arabic: حافظ‎, ḥāfiẓ, Arabic: حُفَّاظ‎, pl. huffāẓ, Arabic: حافظةf. ḥāfiẓa), literally meaning "guardian," is a term used by Muslims for someone who has completely memorized the Qur'an. Hafiza is the female equivalent.


  • Overview 1
  • Practice 2
  • See also 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


The Islamic prophet Muhammad lived in the 6th Century CE, in Arabia in a time when few people were literate. The Arabs preserved their histories, genealogies, and poetry by memory alone. According to tradition, when Muhammad proclaimed the verses later collected as the Qur'an, his followers naturally preserved the words by memorizing them.

The Arabic writing of the time was a non-marked script, that did not include vowel markings or other diacritics needed to distinguish between words. Hence if there was any question as to the pronunciation of a verse, the memorized verses were a better source than the written ones. The huffaz were also highly appreciated as reciters, whose intoned words were accessible even to the illiterate. Memorization required no expensive raw materials (in an age when there was no paper in the Muslim world, only vellum).

Even after

Most huffaz have studied as children in special Islamic schools or madrasahs, being instructed in tajwid (rules of recitation) and vocalisation as well as committing the Qur'an to memory. To give some idea as to the nature of this undertaking: The Qur'an is divided into 114 Surahs (chapters), containing 6,236 verses (comprising some 80,000 words or 330,000 individual characters). This process generally takes between 3 to 6 years part-time together with schooling.

In the classical Arabic lexicon, the word hafiz was not traditionally used to refer to one who had memorized the Qur'an. Instead, the word used was hamil (i.e., one who carries.) Hafiz was used for the scholars of hadith, specifically one who had committed 100,000 hadiths to memory (for example, Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani).

The Quran (lit. a “reading” or “recitation”) is distinct from the recorded sayings and deeds (Sunnah) which have traditionally been ascribed to Muhammad, which are instead preserved in a separate set of literature collectively called the “Ahadeeth” (lit. “news”; “report”; or “narration”).


Aurangzeb memorized the Quran.

Having memorised the Qur'an, the hafiz or hafiza must then ensure they do not forget it. To ensure perfect recall of all the learned verses requires constant practice.[1] The memorisation of the Qur'an was important to Muslims in the past and is also in the present. Yearly, thousands of students master the Qur'an and complete the book with interpretation and also memorisation. The Quran is perhaps the only book, religious or secular, that has been memorized completely by millions of people.[2]

For Muslims who are attempting to memorize certain suras but are unfamiliar with the Arabic script, the ulema have made various elucidations. There are mixed opinions on the usage of romanization of Arabic due to concerns about mispronunciations, higher approval of writing systems with close consonantal and vocalic equivalents to classical Arabic or relevant and effective diacritics, and a preference for Quran tutors or recorded recitations from qaris or any device with clear audible sound storage technology, such as CDs or cassettes.[3] The most important sura to memorize is Al-Fatiha. For individuals with dyslexia or other learning difficulties, it is sufficient to alternatively say: subhan Allah, alhamdulillah, the shahadah, the takbir, the hawqala, respectively meaning Exalted and perfect is Allah. All praise and thanks be to Allah. There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the greatest. There is no power or might except in Allah.[4]

See also


  1. ^
  2. ^ William Graham, Beyond the Written Word, UK: Cambridge University Press, 1993, p.80.
  3. ^ The Multiple Realities of Multilingualism, Page 159, Elka Todeva, Jasone Cenoz - 2009
  4. ^ A Guide For A New Muslim - Page 146, IslamKotob, Jammaal Al-Din M Zarabozo

External links

  • What is islam?
  • Preservation of the Quran (part 1 of 2): Memorization
  • Web Application for Hifz Students and Teachers
  • Qur'an and Hafidh Number on
  • Qur'an recitation on YouTube
  • Qur'an recitation by a Muslim child on YouTube
  • Recitation by Sh. Abu Bakr ash-Shatry
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