Rabi-Ul-Awwal \ Rabi-Ul-Akhir 1424 H
Volume 16-06 No : 198
Camps \ Workshops
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The basic requirements to be a Hafiz is the self -interest, environment at home and support of parents
The memorisation of the holy Quran takes us back to the days of revelation, during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). Even though the pre-Islamic era Arabs had interest in poetry and literature, but they neglected the art of writing. They depended entirely on the memories, and the lore of the tribes that was passed on from one generation to another orally.
The Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad in the dialect spoken by his tribe, of the sixth century Western Arabia. Over a span of 23 years, he received the divine revelation of the Quran, sometimes one verse or several verses at a time. By the time of his death in 632, the revelation was completed, comprising of 114 suras.
Sheikh M.A. Veliankode, a research scholar of the Quran Translation and Hadiths project, said 'Zaid Bin Thabit is indicated to be the first Hafiz-e-Quran other than Prophet Muhammad.' Whenever Prophet Muhammad would receive the revelation, he would immediately dictate it to Zaid or Abdullah Bin Massod to record it. The companions of the Prophet had adapted a unique method of learning the Quran. They would take 10 verses at a time, learn it, implement it practically in their lives and in this process memorise it. Only on completion of this process, they would go to the next 10 verses.
At present, there are hundreds of Huffaz (persons who have memorised the Quran), but there is also a common feeling among the masses that alims and Huffaz are more suitable for the jobs in the mosques and not for the worldly tasks.
As a rule, hafizs take up jobs in the mosques or madrasas, very rarely one can find a cleric working in industries like travel, hotel and advertising. Anees working in a private firm said 'it is very difficult to find a hafiz who has excelled in other fields.'
One such rare personality is Hafiz Mansoorullah Khan. At present he is the only Hafiz-e-Quran in Saudi Arabia working as a travel consultant. He is based in Riyadh and works for Kanoo Travels, one of the leading travel agencies in the Gulf. His attire and etiquette are no different from others in the industry. Khan said 'why do people have such a different view of cleric.'
If a disabled child is born in a family, normally parents persuade the child to take up Islamic education. This is done more as a sympathetic gesture. Khan said 'this is a common trend not only among Indians, but also with the people of other nations.' He adds 'I have been in this environment and seen things from a closer angle.'
Even if a child does not fare well in the academic studies, the parents seek admission in the madrasas with the hope that he might do well there. Khan said 'if a child is brilliant parents plan to make him a doctor or engineer but not an Islamic scholar.' There are very few exceptions, but rarely we find people who help a brilliant child to achieve both Islamic and academic education simultaneously.
The curricula of the madrasas in India and Pakistan are within the parameters of Islamic studies but the pupils are completely unaware of the outside world. So after graduation they look for the jobs in the same field, if the jobs are not available locally they don't mind even going to far off places. There are many who have come to Saudi Arabia in search of cleric jobs.
Very few madrasas groom a child in Islamic as well as regular academic studies. Khan thanks Allah for making him a Hafiz and also well placing him in the travel world. Khan said 'a Muslim has to groom himself both for this world and after.'
The basic requirements to be a Hafiz is the self interest, environment at home and support of parents. Khan comes from a family with a lineage of hafizs. Khan said 'I used to spend only one hour everyday for Arabic.' He would attend Arabic classes between magrib and isha and the next morning memorise and recite it to his father. The success rate of becoming a hafiz depends on the person, some complete it in very young age and some prolong even in their mid 30's. The average age to be a hafiz is between 13 to 15 years. Khan says that it all depends on individual efforts.
(The writer can be reached at