I have chosen to ask some people, whom I know personally, to write about their thoughts, views on how it really is to be a Hafizh (a Memorizer of the Qur’an). I deem it necessary to relate how it truly is: many/most of us, Muslims, whom have not been able to commit Hizh (memorization the entire Qur’an to memory), for whatever reason (becoming a Muslim late in life, being preoccupied with the realities of mundane-living, tied-down by school/work, sheer laziness, etc.), really have know definitive idea, as to how strenuous, or challenging this is. We just think it’s as simple as on..two…three. But, my brother, friend, Roman Patwary, as Hafizh, himself, has written some of the real-deal realities in which most, if not all, Huffazh (sing. Hafizh) have ever, or will ever experience, at one time or another, within their respective lifetimes, as Huffazh.
Being among those who have memorized the Qur’an is an immense blessing, that none of us who have been granted this gift can ever fully appreciate or show enough gratitude for. This blessing however comes also with a great trial – the trial of sincerity. I have not been a Hafizh for very long, but in this short time, I’ve already found that one has to constantly remind himself to check his intentions. It seems to me that this corruption of intentions happens because of two main reasons: excessive praise or excessive criticism.
When a young person finishes memorizing the Quran, he is showered with praise by young and old alike. This especially happens during Ramadan when night in and night out, people praise you for what you accomplished and what you’re doing. This celebrity-status is horrible for the Nafs (Ego/Desires), as it loves to be complemented…If you don’t keep yourself in check, it becomes unclear as to whether you’re doing it for the praise of the people or the praise of your Lord alone.
Another way intentions can be corrupted by outside influences is excessive criticism from the outside. As soon as someone becomes a Hafizh they are seen as a role model in the community, and rightfully so. However, we are all human and can slip up. This can lead to someone avoiding sins not just for the sake of Allah, but also to be safe from the criticism of other people. Unfortunately, the latter can become the main reason in many cases. Yes, it is definitely worse when someone who memorized the Quran does something bad. But if people crucify him over it, it can lead to questionable intentions.
As with many things, the biggest trial of being a Hafizh is to keep your ego in check. Shaytaan comes at you from your weakest points, and it is easy for him to whisper to you and make you think you are above everyone else. But we just have to step back once in awhile, Huffazh and everyone else alike, and realize we’re all made from the ground we trample on, and we will all be returned to Him one day as helpless as we came into this world.