The Role of Transforming Meanings in Understanding Narrative Texts; a Case Study of Memorization (Ḥifẓ) and Forgetting (Nisyān)

Document Type : Original Article


1 Assistant Professor of Hadith, Faculty of Hadith Sciences and Teachings, University of Quran and Hadith. Qom. Iran.

2 PhD in Comparative Interpretation and Master's degree in Hadith Sciences.



In the Imamiyyah and Sunni narrative collections, there are hadiths regarding the themes of "Memorization" and "Forgetting" of the Quran. The former is encouraged while the latter is discouraged. The contemporary understanding of these two terms and their application in understanding these hadiths has led to the prevalence of a specific and recognized meaning for them. The problem with this meaning is the disregard for the intended and commonly understood meanings of them at the time of their issuance, as the meaning transformation is an occurrence that may be imposed on any word over time. The main objective of this research is to find the meaning of these two terms, especially in their application with the Holy Quran, in their original context. The present study, in a library-based manner, explores the lexical sources and uses of these two terms in the earliest religious texts, namely the Holy Quran and primary narrative collections. It also analyzes contextual indicators to ascertain the intended meaning of memorization and forgetting of the Holy Quran in the relevant narrations. The result indicated that "Memorization" means to keep and maintain, while "Forgetting" means to abandon and leave behind. These two terms have been used in narrative texts with more specific, mental and practical meanings, and sometimes more general meanings. Regarding their application to the Quran, contextual indicators reinforce the practical meaning for these terms.


Volume 1, Issue 1 - Serial Number 1
January 2024
Pages 97-128
  • Receive Date: 02 December 2023
  • Accept Date: 06 December 2023
  • First Publish Date: 22 December 2023
  • Publish Date: 22 December 2023