How To Memorise Surah Yaseen And The Mutashābihāt

This blessed sūrah of the Qur’ān has 83 āyāt and is attributed with many virtues and blessings. Sūrah Yaseen can easily be memorised just like any other. For example, by:

  • reciting it every single day (typically after offering Fajr)
  • memorising a specific number of āyāt or lines
  • group the sūrah into divisions (more on this later)

While some may find it easy to memorise, others may struggle. There are similar verses that make you continually confused or left in a mix when trying to recall the sūrah from memory. This happened to me when I first memorised it.

Todays lesson is a lesson in the Mutashābihāt. We will look at two methods of dealing with similar āyāt.

The first of them is through what I call: observational incremental links.

Using the incrementals method

What this means is that you will observe patterns, connections and links between similarities. There’s an obvious pattern that can only be found if you pay attention. You will notice that in Sūrah Yaseen there are similar verses but there’ll be a difference in either a letter or a word incremental but also the meaning. So one verse will appear but then the second will use the same exact words but with something extra. That extra part is what I call an incremental link. Increment means something that is added or increased.

This is one way of remembering the similar verses.

Let’s take a look.

Example 1

Compare the two
إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ ٱثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍۢ فَقَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُم مُّرْسَلُونَ
We sent them two messengers, but they rejected both. So We reinforced ˹the two˺ with a third, and they declared, “We have indeed been sent to you ˹as messengers˺.” — 36:14

“mursaloon”
قَالُوا۟ رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ
The messengers responded, “Our Lord knows that we have truly been sent to you. — 36:16

“la-mursaloon”

What do you notice between verse 14 and 16?

You can see that they are similar in the ending but with an extra wording (an incremental link). One is emphasised in meaning, while the other isn’t.

Now see the next one…

Example 2

Compare the two
ءَأَتَّخِذُ مِن دُونِهِۦٓ ءَالِهَةً إِن يُرِدْنِ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنُ بِضُرٍّۢ لَّا تُغْنِ عَنِّى شَفَـٰعَتُهُمْ شَيْـًۭٔا وَلَا يُنقِذُونِ
How could I take besides Him other gods whose intercession would not be of any benefit to me, nor could they save me if the Most Compassionate intended to harm me? — 36:23

“wa la yunqidhoon”
وَإِن نَّشَأْ نُغْرِقْهُمْ فَلَا صَرِيخَ لَهُمْ وَلَا هُمْ يُنقَذُونَ
If We willed, We could drown them: then no one would respond to their cries, nor would they be rescued — 36:43

“wa la hum yunqadhoon”

What do you notice between verse 23 and 43? Again, there’s an increment.

Example 3

Compare the two
إِن كَانَتْ إِلَّا صَيْحَةًۭ وَٰحِدَةًۭ فَإِذَا هُمْ خَـٰمِدُونَ
All it took was one ˹mighty˺ blast, and they were extinguished at once. — 36:29

“fa idha hum khamidoon”
إِن كَانَتْ إِلَّا صَيْحَةًۭ وَٰحِدَةًۭ فَإِذَا هُمْ جَمِيعٌۭ لَّدَيْنَا مُحْضَرُونَ
It will only take one Blast, then at once they will all be brought before Us. — 36:53

“fa idha hum jamee’ul ladaynaa muhdaroon”

What do you notice between verse 29 and 53? Again, there’s an increment of words.

The first one is occurring in the world, one blast and they were wiped out (khamidoon). The second is one blast but it’s the hereafter where everyone (Jamee’) will rise again to be present (muhdaroon) for account.

Example 4

Compare the three
أَلَمْ يَرَوْا۟ كَمْ أَهْلَكْنَا قَبْلَهُم مِّنَ ٱلْقُرُونِ أَنَّهُمْ إِلَيْهِمْ لَا يَرْجِعُونَ
Have the deniers not considered how many peoples We destroyed before them who never came back to life again? — 36:31

“alam ya row kam”
أَوَلَمْ يَرَوْا۟ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَا لَهُم مِّمَّا عَمِلَتْ أَيْدِينَآ أَنْعَـٰمًۭا فَهُمْ لَهَا مَـٰلِكُونَ
Do they not see that We singlehandedly created for them, among other things, cattle which are under their control? — 36:71

“alam ya row annaa”
أَوَلَمْ يَرَ ٱلْإِنسَـٰنُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَـٰهُ مِن نُّطْفَةٍۢ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌۭ مُّبِينٌۭ
Do people not see that We have created them from a sperm-drop, then—behold!—they openly challenge ˹Us˺? — 36:77

“alam yaral insaanu annaa”

The start of āyah 31, 71, and 77.

You can see again an increment in words and emphasis. The first is about seeing/thinking about those in the past, while the last two are about those things that can be seen/considered in front of you right now.

Grouping similarities and creating memory triggers

The second method is where you observe differences in groups. There are a number of these in Sūrah Yaseen.

The Five Qālū

Āyāt 15, 16, 18, 19, and 52.

Learn and compare as a group
قَالُوا۟ مَآ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا بَشَرٌۭ مِّثْلُنَا وَمَآ أَنزَلَ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنُ مِن شَىْءٍ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا تَكْذِبُونَ
The people replied, “You are only humans like us, and the Most Compassionate has not revealed anything. You are simply lying!” — 36:15
قَالُوا۟ رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ
The messengers responded, “Our Lord knows that we have truly been sent to you. — 36:16
قَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّا تَطَيَّرْنَا بِكُمْ ۖ لَئِن لَّمْ تَنتَهُوا۟ لَنَرْجُمَنَّكُمْ وَلَيَمَسَّنَّكُم مِّنَّا عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌۭ
The people replied, “We definitely see you as a bad omen for us. If you do not desist, we will certainly stone you ˹to death˺ and you will be touched with a painful punishment from us.” — 36:18
قَالُوا۟ طَـٰٓئِرُكُم مَّعَكُمْ ۚ أَئِن ذُكِّرْتُم ۚ بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌۭ مُّسْرِفُونَ
The messengers said, “Your bad omen lies within yourselves. Are you saying this because you are reminded ˹of the truth˺? In fact, you are a transgressing people.” — 36:19
قَالُوا۟ يَـٰوَيْلَنَا مَنۢ بَعَثَنَا مِن مَّرْقَدِنَا ۜ ۗ هَـٰذَا مَا وَعَدَ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنُ وَصَدَقَ ٱلْمُرْسَلُونَ
They will cry, “Woe to us! Who has raised us up from our place of rest? This must be what the Most Compassionate warned us of; the messengers told the truth!” — 36:52

The Seven Mubeen

Āyāt 12, 17, 24, 47, 60, 69, and 77.

Learn and compare as a group
إِنَّا نَحْنُ نُحْىِ ٱلْمَوْتَىٰ وَنَكْتُبُ مَا قَدَّمُوا۟ وَءَاثَـٰرَهُمْ ۚ وَكُلَّ شَىْءٍ أَحْصَيْنَـٰهُ فِىٓ إِمَامٍۢ مُّبِينٍۢ
It is certainly We Who resurrect the dead, and write what they send forth and what they leave behind. Everything is listed by Us in a perfect Record. —  36:12
وَمَا عَلَيْنَآ إِلَّا ٱلْبَلَـٰغُ ٱلْمُبِينُ
And our duty is only to deliver ˹the message˺ clearly.” — 36:17
إِنِّىٓ إِذًۭا لَّفِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ مُّبِينٍ
Indeed, I would then be clearly astray. — 36:24
وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ أَنفِقُوا۟ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ ٱللَّهُ قَالَ ٱلَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا۟ لِلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓا۟ أَنُطْعِمُ مَن لَّوْ يَشَآءُ ٱللَّهُ أَطْعَمَهُۥٓ إِنْ أَنتُمْ إِلَّا فِى ضَلَـٰلٍۢ مُّبِينٍۢ
And when it is said to them, “Donate from what Allah has provided for you,” the disbelievers say to the believers, “Why should we feed those whom Allah could have fed if He wanted to? You are clearly astray!” 36:47
لَمْ أَعْهَدْ إِلَيْكُمْ يَـٰبَنِىٓ ءَادَمَ أَن لَّا تَعْبُدُوا۟ ٱلشَّيْطَـٰنَ ۖ إِنَّهُۥ لَكُمْ عَدُوٌّۭ مُّبِينٌۭ
Did I not command you, O  Children of Adam, not to follow Satan, for he is truly your sworn enemy, — 36:60
وَمَا عَلَّمْنَـٰهُ ٱلشِّعْرَ وَمَا يَنۢبَغِى لَهُۥٓ ۚ إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا ذِكْرٌۭ وَقُرْءَانٌۭ مُّبِينٌۭ
We have not taught him poetry, nor is it fitting for him. This ˹Book˺ is only a Reminder and a clear Quran — 36:69
أَوَلَمْ يَرَ ٱلْإِنسَـٰنُ أَنَّا خَلَقْنَـٰهُ مِن نُّطْفَةٍۢ فَإِذَا هُوَ خَصِيمٌۭ مُّبِينٌۭ
Do people not see that We have created them from a sperm-drop, then—behold!—they openly challenge ˹Us˺? — 36:77



The Three ‘Wa āyatullahum’

Āyāt 33, 37, and 41 can be tricky for some people. They will forget the order of the āyāt. We can use this one as an example of where you can create memory triggers. These behave as memory hooks. Here you can think of a sequence hook as you being on earth, you look at the sky. See the narrative.

Earth = you’re on it and taking from it. There’s life.
Night = while on the earth you look up at the sky where you’ll see night and day.
Them = Put it all together. There were others before who have been here.

Compare the three
وَءَايَةٌۭ لَّهُمُ ٱلْأَرْضُ ٱلْمَيْتَةُ أَحْيَيْنَـٰهَا وَأَخْرَجْنَا مِنْهَا حَبًّۭا فَمِنْهُ يَأْكُلُونَ
There is a sign for them in the dead earth: We give it life, producing grain from it for them to eat. — 36:33
وَءَايَةٌۭ لَّهُمُ ٱلَّيْلُ نَسْلَخُ مِنْهُ ٱلنَّهَارَ فَإِذَا هُم مُّظْلِمُونَ
There is also a sign for them in the night: We strip from it daylight, then—behold!—they are in darkness. — 36:37
وَءَايَةٌۭ لَّهُمْ أَنَّا حَمَلْنَا ذُرِّيَّتَهُمْ فِى ٱلْفُلْكِ ٱلْمَشْحُونِ
Another sign for them is that We carried their ancestors ˹with Noah˺ in the fully loaded Ark, — 36:41

The Six Mursaleen/Mursaloon

Others may confuse the endings of āyāt 3, 13, 14, 16, 20, and 52.

In this one, you’ll see the incremental technique. The word Mursaloon and Mursaleen means Messengers. The difference between the two is grammatical. In Arabic, there are three states that a certain type of word (like a noun) can have. Without going into detail, the difference between mursaloona and mursaleena is the difference between a word being either the object or the subject in the sentence. If you learn the basics of Arabic, this can help you get over words that trip you up at the end of an āyah (oona/eena).

Group and compare
إِنَّكَ لَمِنَ ٱلْمُرْسَلِينَ
You ˹O Prophet˺ are truly one of the messengers — 36:3
وَٱضْرِبْ لَهُم مَّثَلًا أَصْحَـٰبَ ٱلْقَرْيَةِ إِذْ جَآءَهَا ٱلْمُرْسَلُونَ
Give them an example ˹O Prophet˺ of the residents of a town, when the messengers came to them. — 36:13
إِذْ أَرْسَلْنَآ إِلَيْهِمُ ٱثْنَيْنِ فَكَذَّبُوهُمَا فَعَزَّزْنَا بِثَالِثٍۢ فَقَالُوٓا۟ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُم مُّرْسَلُونَ
We sent them two messengers, but they rejected both. So We reinforced ˹the two˺ with a third, and they declared, “We have indeed been sent to you ˹as messengers˺.” — 36:14
قَالُوا۟ رَبُّنَا يَعْلَمُ إِنَّآ إِلَيْكُمْ لَمُرْسَلُونَ
The messengers responded, “Our Lord knows that we have truly been sent to you. — 36:16
وَجَآءَ مِنْ أَقْصَا ٱلْمَدِينَةِ رَجُلٌۭ يَسْعَىٰ قَالَ يَـٰقَوْمِ ٱتَّبِعُوا۟ ٱلْمُرْسَلِينَ
Then from the farthest end of the city a man came, rushing. He advised, “O my people! Follow the messengers. — 36:20
قَالُوا۟ يَـٰوَيْلَنَا مَنۢ بَعَثَنَا مِن مَّرْقَدِنَا ۜ ۗ هَـٰذَا مَا وَعَدَ ٱلرَّحْمَـٰنُ وَصَدَقَ ٱلْمُرْسَلُونَ
They will cry, “Woe to us! Who has raised us up from our place of rest? This must be what the Most Compassionate warned us of; the messengers told the truth!” — 36:52

These are a few things to spark your mind as to the ways that one can deal with similar verses.

For any surah that you’re memorising, you want to use your strengths but also your preferred way of learning. Reciting, repetition, spaced repetition, listening/repeating, writing, mind mapping, visualising, watching, moving or any combination.⁣

⁣Grouping the Sūrah into divisions

This surah can be divided into 5/6 parts/groups when memorising…⁣

1. Introduction / The truth of the Qur’ān and the truth of Prophethood. [1-12]⁣
2. Aṣḥāb al-Qaryah (People of the town) and the messengers that were sent and the response of those to whom the prophets were sent and the result of their denial. [13-32] ⁣
3. The signs and power of Allāh in nature serving as a clear reminder. [33-47]⁣
4. The scenes of the resurrection. [48-54]⁣
5. The division of people: people of paradise [55-58] and the bad fellas [59-70]⁣
6. The ending/reminders about death and the Day of Judgment. [71-83]⁣

In shā’ Allāh, make sure you join the newsletter and follow for more tips and tricks on the Mutashābihāt. I’ll be sharing some more in the next article.

May Allāh grant ease.

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