What is the difference between the following words with regards to forgetting what one memorised of the Quran?
Nasitu (نَسِيتُ), Nussitu (نُسّيتُ) and Unsitu (أُنْسِيتُ)
Sayyiduna ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’ud (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:
“It is bad to say, ‘I forgot (نَسِيتُ) such and such an ayah’, Rather he was made to forget”
(Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5032, 5039 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 790)
The commentators have offered several explanations and reasons for this. ‘Allamah Nawawi (rahimahullah) says, ‘The words ‘I forgot’ give the impression that a person was negligent and careless with the Quran.’ [By not remembering what he had learnt].
(Sahih Muslim with Al Minhaj, Hadith: 1838. Also see: Al Ifsah ‘An Ma’anis Sihah, Hadith: 274)
Therefore it is more ethical to say, ‘I was made to forget’, [nussitu/unsitu mean, I was made to forget]. Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) had also used the words ‘I was made to forget’ [أُنْسِيتُ]. (Sahih Bukhari, Hadith: 5038 and Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 788)
See here for more Hadiths on forgetting the Quran.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows best.
Answered by: Moulana Suhail Motala
Approved by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar