Informing Others One Is A Hafiz: Is Speaking Of This For The Purpose Of Encouraging Others Permissible?
Islamic Rulings -
Living Shariah Verdicts
Islamic Questions & Answers
I am a
hafiz of the Quran, praise be to Allah. Is speaking of
this for the purpose of encouraging others
permissible? Or is it something that should be kept
secret between a person and his Lord? (i.e. is it
better to conceal it?
Praise be to Allah.
It is permissible for a person to speak of what Allah
has blessed him with of knowledge or hifz
(memorization of the Quran) if that is done so as to
ward off harm or to serve the interests of people,
such as if he wants to encourage them to memorize the
Quran and seek knowledge, and that is not regarded as
the kind of self-praise that is forbidden. Allah tells
us that Yoosuf (peace be upon him) said
(interpretation of the meaning):
"[Yoosuf (Joseph)] said: 'Set me over the store-houses
of the land; I will indeed guard them with full
knowledge" (as a minister of finance in Egypt).'"
'Abd-Allah ibn Mas'ood (may Allah be pleased with him)
said: I recited seventy-odd surahs to the Messenger of
Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) and
the Companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and
blessings of Allah be upon him) know that I am the
most knowledgeable among them of the Book of Allah. If
I knew that anyone was more knowledgeable than me, I
would go to him. Narrated by Muslim (4502).
Al-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said,
commenting on this hadeeth (narration): This hadeeth
shows that it is permissible for a person to mention
virtues and knowledge that he has if there is a need
With regard to the prohibition on praising oneself,
this refers to praising oneself unnecessarily, when
the motive is boasting and self-admiration. But
prominent people often praise themselves when there
was a need, such as to ward off harm thereby or to
achieve something that is in the people's interests,
or to encourage them to acquire knowledge from him,
and so on. An example of serving the people's
interests is when Yoosuf (peace be upon him) said:
"Set me over the store-houses of the land; I will
indeed guard them with full knowledge", and an example
of warding off harm is when 'Uthman (may Allah be
pleased with him) said, when he was under siege that
he had supplied equipment to the army that went to
Tabuk, and had dug the well of Rumah. And an example
of encouragement to others is when Ibn Mas'ood (may
Allah be pleased with him) said this (the words quoted
above) and when Sahl ibn Sa'd said: There is no one
left who has more knowledge of that than me, and when
someone else said: You have come to the expert, and so
on. End quote.
But whenever a person is able to conceal his
knowledge, this is better, because his showing it and
speaking of it may open the door to the shaytan and
cause him to fall into pride and self-admiration.
And Allah knows best.