The arabic word hufad is the plural of hafid. Hafid is the title that it is given to those who have memorized the entire Quran by heart. But, what does it really mean and what does it entail?
The word hafid in Arabic comes from the root h-f-d, which means to preserve, to protect and to memorize. Therefore, those who are hafid are those who have memorized the Quran, are their protectors and preserve it for the next generations.
This is a great honour. Allah says in the Quran:
It is We who have sent down the Quran and We who will preserve it (15:9)
We find in the tafsir al-Jalalayn that this means that He, Allah, will preserve it from alteration, changes and mistakes.
In other words, Allah has sent down the Quran and He will preserve it to the end of time; and he has chosen certain men for this task. The hafid therefore is the one that Allah has chosen to protect and preserve His word. We could argue that there isn’t a task higher than this.
The Prophet Muhammad, may Allah grant him peace, said:
The best among you (Muslims) are those who learn the Qur’an and teach it. (Bukhari)
Therefore, Allah has chosen the best among you for the highest task.
This is a great honour, but also a great responsibility. Knowing the Quran does not mean just being able to recite it, it means that you act according to it. Aisha, the wife of the Prophet, may Allah be pleased with her, when she was asked about the character of the Prophet said: “His character was the Quran”. (Muslim)
Imam Malik says in the Muwatta that Yahya told him from Malik that he had heard that it took ‘Abdullah ibn Umar eight years to learn Surat al-Baqarah. (15.4.11)
That is because despite the Quran being in their own mother tongue, the Sahaba did not just memorized the Quran, they learnt it by heart and they applied it in their life, and they would not move on to the next bit until they have done that.
So for the one who has memorized the Quran, to become a real protector of it, to preserve it and pass it on, he has to act according to it. If that is the case then he becomes a Hafid.
If you would like to initiate your path to become a Hafid, you might be interested in our 1 year foundational course.