The poet Hâfez’ name

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PersoLatin

Senior Member
UK
Persian - Iran
Is there any evidence that the name given to Hâfez/حافظ was purely based on his ability to memorise the Quran?

I ask because, one, that by the same accounts, other poets & polymaths e.g. خیام, were very capable memorisers, two, we have many poets with Arabic names who’s name is not linked to a hidden ability, three, حافظ as well as ‘memoriser’, means preserver, maintainer etc.
 
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  • Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    Is there any evidence that the name given to Hâfez/حافظ was purely based on his ability to memorise the Quran?

    I ask because, one, that by the same accounts, other poets & polymaths e.g. خیام, were very capable memorisers two, we have many poets with Arabic names who’s name is not linked to a hidden ability, three, حافظ as well as ‘memoriser’, means preserver, maintainer etc.
    I think what you are asking is whether "Hafiz" the poet was a man who had memorised the Qur'an and hence was known as a "Hafiz" or whether he just used the name "Hafiz" as a nom de plume, better known as "taxallus" in Ghazal poetry.

    I have had a quick look on the net and in one or two books and there does not appear to be much detail on this subject. Everywhere it is mentioned that he was known as "Hafiz" because he had memorised the Qur'an.

    An Urdu book entitled "Hayaat-i-Hafiz" mentions that Shiraz in Hafiz's time was a place in the Islamic world that was known for its Qur'an Recitations. The author of this book mentions Ibn Batuta, the famous globe-trotter of his time writing in his travelogue...."The melodious manner and the passion and fervour with which the people of Shiraz recite the Qur'an, I have not heard the like of it anywhere in the world". So, Hafiz becoming a Hafiz in Shiraz should not therefore be a surprise to us. The following could be presented as "internal evidence" from the diivaan-i-Hafiz itself.

    نديدم خوشتر از شعر تو حافظ
    به قرآني که اندر سينه داري

    Hafiz, I have not seen poetry more beautiful than thine
    I swear by the Qur'an that thou hast within thy bosom
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    I think what you are asking is whether "Hafiz" the poet was a man who had memorised the Qur'an and hence was known as a "Hafiz" or whether he just used the name "Hafiz" as a nom de plume, better known as "taxallus" in Ghazal poetry.
    Yes of course, what else otherwise.

    The fact lhe had memorised the Quran is not in question but he could not have been the only one, especially in the light of what you said about the position of Shiraz as a centre for reciting the Quran
    حافظ
    به قرآني که اندر سينه داري

    Hafiz, I have not seen poetry more beautiful than thine
    I swear by the Qur'an that thou hast within thy bosom
    This may confirm he had memorised the Quran, but is he called Hâfez for that reason? I know you may be thinking, what other proof do you need, They say خیام’s family were tent makers, does anyone know for sure or is it because his name happened to mean ‘tent maker’? If we look at سعدی and consider what happened to him in his lifetime سعادت was not something he had.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    ^ I was not sure exactly what your question was in #1 because I am afraid I did not find clarity in your wording. I thought you were questioning whether a man we know as حافظ was also a حافظ of the Qur'an. It now appears that you don't dispute this but your query is why other individuals who were also حُفّاظ are not known as حافظ.

    Well, you know that every person of whatever ethnicity or linguistic background who has memorised the Qur'an is known as a حافظ. I think what you are implying is that حافظ and خیّام are just personal names of these individuals and they have nothing to do with "memorising the Qur'an by heart" and "tent-making" respectively. If my understanding of your thought process is correct, then I believe you need to ask yourself the following questions and then provide answers for them.

    1. How many حُفّاظ were there in existence, let's say within a 50 km radius from the centre of Shiraz, who were also poets of the Persian language?

    2. If x number were حُفّاظ and they happened also to be Farsi poets, do we know any of them by name along with their works?

    3. These حُفّاظ who have left their works for posterity, what evidence do we have that they were indeed حُفّاظ in the first place?

    4. خیّام indeed means a "tent-maker" and عطّار a "perfumer". How many tent makers, perfumers, حلّاق, نجّار, حدّاد etc do we know who were also poets?

    5. If a person is not linked to the qualification of being a حافظ or the profession linked to a خیّام or عطّار, why would a person be called حافظ , خیّام or عطّار?

    (It is true that a person will most likely not have the quality or profession that his/her Arabic name implies. I knew two ٰIranian electrical engineers whose surname was نجّار! :) But this is not restricted to Arabic names.)
     
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    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    ^ I was not sure exactly what your question was in #1 because I am afraid I did not find clarity in your wording. I thought you were questioning whether a man we know as حافظ was also a حافظ of the Qur'an. It now appears that you don't dispute this but your query is why other individuals who were also حُفّاظ are not known as حافظ.
    I usually read what I write several times so apologies ii was t clear..

    In a court of law what has been presented will be considered as.’circumstantial evidence’, but this is not a court of law, I do appreciate.
    .
    Also, of those others who may have equally memorised the Quran in their youth over the centuries, this Hâfez had other qualities that kept him famous in his lifetime & beyond, so wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect that at least until Hâfez started his master craft in poetry, he’d be known as the ‘memoriser of the Quran’ and not just the ‘memoriser’ and that some evidence of that would have been left.
     
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    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    I usually read what I write several times so apologies ii was t clear..

    In a court of law what has been presented will be considered as.’circumstantial evidence’, but this is not a court of law, I do appreciate.

    Also, of those others who may have equally memorised the Quran in their youth over the centuries, this Hâfez had other qualities that kept him famous in his lifetime & beyond, so wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect that at least until Hâfez started his master craft in poetry, he’d be known as the ‘memoriser of the Quran’ and not just the ‘memoriser’ and that some evidence of that would have been left.
    No problem PersoLatin. Something may be crystal clear in one's mind and in one's written format. To another, this written format may not be so clear.

    Your first line. I think on this occasion you did n't read your post "several times"!:)

    Second line. I suspect you are after "documentary evidence". There may be such evidence in the form of "tazkiras" out there which is recorded in works of modern day scholars. But, one would need to carry out a lot of reading on biographical works related to Hafiz. From what little I have read so far, it does appear that not a great deal is known about Hafiz's life.

    Final paragraph. As far as I know, the usual term for a person who has memorised the Qur'an is حافظ and it precedes a person's name, e.g حافظ پرسو لاتین and not as حافظُ القرآن پرسو لاتین. By the way, there was an Egyptian poet called حافظ ابراهيم and it does look as if he was not a حافظ.
     

    PersoLatin

    Senior Member
    UK
    Persian - Iran
    Is there any evidence that the name given to Hâfez/حافظ was purely based on his ability to memorise the Quran?
    Your first line. I think on this occasion you did n't read your post "several times"!:)
    If you mean the above line then I disagree, I can appreciate that to the uninitialed that might not make full sense and your clarification must have been for that group, I have read that line many times since & I can say I can not improve it, unless of course I write a paragraph, as they say, "It does exactly what it says on the tin"

    Final paragraph. As far as I know, the usual term for a person who has memorised the Qur'an is حافظ and it precedes a person's name, e.g حافظ پرسو لاتین and not as حافظُ القرآن پرسو لاتین. By the way, there was an Egyptian poet called حافظ ابراهيم and it does look as if he was not a حافظ.
    I wouldn't say this is a very strong argument for it.
     

    Qureshpor

    Senior Member
    Panjabi, Urdu پنجابی، اردو
    No, the line I had in mind was, "I usually read what I write several times so apologies ii was t clear.. "
     
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