Al-Monitor – Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wants more Iranians to memorize the Quran.
A hafiz or hafiza refers to a Muslim man or woman, respectively, who has memorized the Quran. Being a hafiz or hafiza typically confers a degree of respect among pious Muslims. There are more than 75,000 words in the Quran by many estimates. By comparison, the King James Bible has more than 780,000 words.
Khamenei specifically asked that more young people in Iran memorize the Quran. He added that mosques are the best place to learn this.
Authorities across the Middle East prioritize memorizing the Quran to varying degrees. In the Gaza Strip, Hamas has offered free weddings to people who memorize the holy book. Representatives of Egypt’s Al-Azhar Mosque asked parliament last year to include Quran memorization in the school curriculum. Some members of parliament objected, pointing out that millions of Egyptian students are Coptic Christians and not Muslim.
The ayatollah is known for provocative statements on Twitter via various accounts in his name. Last year, an account bearing the ayatollah’s name tweeted a threatening image to former US President Donald Trump. The account was subsequently suspended. The ayatollah has also criticized COVID-19 vaccines and called for the eradication of Israel on Twitter. The social media company hid the tweet on the vaccines, but the one on Israel remains up.
Twitter is banned in Iran, though politicians regularly use the platform to communicate with the English-speaking world.
Twitter has also removed accounts it said are linked to the Islamic Republic for allegedly manipulative behavior.