Home > Adab, Self Transformation > Etiquette of Huffaz

Etiquette of Huffaz

[ Taken from Dr. Riaz Ansary’s (IOU Instructor) notes on Characteristics of Mufassir]

Etiquette of a Haafiz

Qurtubee said: One who memorizes the Qur’an should first of all purify his intention
to seek thereby the pleasure of Allah, the Glorious and Magnificent.
Then he should discipline himself to recite it day and night inside and outside salaah
so that he doesn’t forget it, for it is like a hobbled camel. If the owner attends to it he
will retain it, but if he should neglect it for a little while it will make off.1
He should be engaged in the praise of Allah, expressing gratitude to Him,
remembering Him and depending upon Him, seeking His help, yearning for Him, and
binding himself to Him.
[He should be] mindful of death and prepare himself for it. He should be fearful about
his sins, hopeful of his Lord’s forgiveness, but his fear should be greater in the state of
good health, since he doesn’t know in what state he will die. But he should be more
hopeful than fearful at the time of death as an expression of his good opinion of Allah.
Allaah’s Messenger r said, ‘None of you should die except with a good opinion of
Allah,’2 i.e., that He will forgive him and have mercy upon him.
It befits him to be knowledgeable about the people of his era,
on guard and aloof from his ruler,
actively striving to save his soul, sending before him what he is able to of the
transient goods of his worldly life, striving to discipline himself to the best of his
ability. It befits him to make the most important matter in his eyes scrupulousness in
his deen, making use of the fear of Allah and awareness of His oversight regarding
what He ordered and prohibited.
Ibn Mas’ood said, ‘It befits the memorizer of Qur’an to be known by his night
when people are sleeping, and by his day when people are awake, and by his weeping
when people are laughing, and by his silence when people are discussing
[yakhoodoon], and by his humility when people are prideful, and by his sorrow when
people are making merry.’ ‘Abdullaah ibn ‘Amr said, ‘It doesn’t befit the carrier of the
Qur’an to wade in with those who wade, nor to act ignorant with those who act
ignorant, rather he should forgive and pardon due to the right of the Qur’an, for the
word of Allah is in his breast.’
And it befits him to be extra cautious about avoiding the paths of doubtful
He should reduce his laughing and his speech in the gatherings of Qur’an and
all other gatherings when there is no benefit in it. He should carry himself with
clemency and dignity. It befits him to be humble with the poor and avoid arrogance
and conceit. He should avoid the dunyaa and its children, if he fears he will be
seduced by temptation. He should abandon wrangling and arguments and bear himself
with gentleness and etiquette.
He should be with those from whom evil is not to be expected and from whom
good is hoped. He should not listen to people who speak badly of others. He should
keep the company of those who will help him to do good and guide him to sincerity
and good character, who will embellish him and not blemish him.
And it befits him to learn the rules of the Qur’an, so that he understands what
Allah intends and what He has made obligatory upon him, and so he will benefit from
what he reads and act upon what he recites. How ugly for a memorizer of the Qur’an
to recite Allah’s commands and laws by heart and yet not know what he is reciting.
For how can he act upon something whose meaning he doesn’t understand? And how
ugly for him to be asked about the understanding of what he recites and he has no idea
about it. Such a person is really like a donkey bearing books on its back.
It befits him to know the Makkan revelations from the Madeenan so he can
distinguish between Allah’s address to His servants at the beginning of Islam from his
address to them at the end of Islam, and what He made obligatory at the beginning of
Islam and what He added on to that at the end of it. The Madeenan verses are
abrogators of Makkan verses in most of the Qur’an, for it is not possible for Makkan
verses to abrogate Madeenan verses. That is because the abrogated always precedes
its abrogator in time of revelation.
And it is a part of his completion that he know the I’raab of the Qur’an and the
meaning of its uncommon words, for that will facilitate his understanding of what he
reads and dispel his uncertainty regarding it. At-Tabaree related the statement of al-
Jarmee, “For thirty years I have been giving fatwaa to the people on the basis of the
Kitaab of Seebawayh.” Muhammad ibn Yazeed explained that that was because al-
Jarmee was a scholar of hadeeth, then when he mastered Seebawayh’s book of
grammar he developed a deep understanding of the meanings of the hadeeth, for
analysis and explanation can be learned from Seebawayh’s book.
After that, one should study the authentically related sunan of the Prophet r,
from which the student can arrive at an understanding of the intent of Allah in His
book, for the Sunnah will open its rules wide open for him.

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