In parts one, two, three, and four you learnt different rules, patterns or formulas you can use to remember similar verses (the Mutashābihāt) in the Qur’ān as you memorise. I also shared reversal patterns, incremental patterns and grouping methods using sūrah yasīn.
In the last part, I shared three further methods and today, I’d like to look at some other methods you can make use of to help you remember any similar verses (Mutashābihāt).
Looking at commonalities at the end of the verses
Among the difficulties of memorising the Qur’ān is that you can have many similar verses but the last word will change. This difference can often confuse the reciter and they will begin reciting from the wrong place.
How do you deal with this? In this example, the method is to look at the commonalities of the endings in the particular surah. You want to look for a pattern.
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلرُّسُلُ كُلُوا۟ مِنَ ٱلطَّيِّبَـٰتِ وَٱعْمَلُوا۟ صَـٰلِحًا ۖ إِنِّى بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌۭ
O messengers! Eat from what is good and lawful, and act righteously. Indeed, I fully know what you do. [al-Mu’minoon]
أَنِ ٱعْمَلْ سَـٰبِغَـٰتٍۢ وَقَدِّرْ فِى ٱلسَّرْدِ ۖ وَٱعْمَلُوا۟ صَـٰلِحًا ۖ إِنِّى بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ بَصِيرٌۭ
Indeed, I am All-Seeing of what you do [as-Saba’]
If you look at the verses before and after [23:51], you will find that the verses end with words on the following patterns:
- يَهْتَدُونَ [23:49]
- مَعِينٍۢ [23:50]
- عَلِيمٌۭ [23:51]
- فَٱتَّقُونِ [23:52]
- فَرِحُونَ [23:53]
The verses end with the patterns of oon (waw and noon), een (ya and noon), or eem (ya and meem). Whereas if you compare this to Surah as-Saba’, you will find endings with the Qalqalah (bouncing), or ya and ra’ (مُّنِيبٍۢ, حَدِيدَ, بَصِيرٌۭ, ٱلسَّعِيرِ).
So like this you’d remember which one is the right right word and what belongs to which surah based on the pattern. Note, this method as well as all the others I have shared are used universally. Even Arabs themselves use these to remember similarities.
|9:114 إِنَّ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ لَأَوَّٰهٌ حَلِيمٌۭ |
Abraham was truly tender-hearted, forbearing.
|11:75 إِنَّ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ لَحَلِيمٌ أَوَّٰهٌۭ مُّنِيبٌۭ|
Truly, Abraham was forbearing, tender-hearted, and ever turning ˹to his Lord˺.
Again, you see similar verses but the ends differ. According to this principle, you should look at what the commonalities are in the verse endings in their respective chapters. So you’ll see that in Surah at-Tawbah, the verses end with words like Jaheem, Aleem and Haleem. Whereas Surah Hūd, the verses end in Qalqalah. So, again, you use this to remember.
|7:81 إِنَّكُمْ لَتَأْتُونَ ٱلرِّجَالَ شَهْوَةًۭ مِّن دُونِ ٱلنِّسَآءِ ۚ بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌۭ مُّسْرِفُونَ|
You lust after men instead of women! You are certainly transgressors.
|27:55 بَلْ أَنتُمْ قَوْمٌۭ تَجْهَلُونَ |
In fact, you are ˹only˺ a people acting ignorantly.
Again, you see similar verses but the ends differ. According to this principle, you should look at what the commonalities are in the verse endings in their respective chapters.
You’ll find that in Surah al-A’rāf, all the verses end in words concerning people like Nasiheen or Mursaleen. Whereas in Surah an-Naml, you see the verses end in verbs like Tubsiroon, Yattaqoon or Ya’maloon.
A commonality between the similar verse or word with the start of the surah
This is a fascinating one. Often, you’ll find similar verses or words that are in a surah can be remembered by associating them with the start of the surah. You’ll find a link. For example:
Surah al-Isrā’ vs Surah al-Kahf
If you take a look at the following verses:
|17:9 إِنَّ هَـٰذَا ٱلْقُرْءَانَ يَهْدِى لِلَّتِى هِىَ أَقْوَمُ وَيُبَشِّرُ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًۭا كَبِيرًۭا|
Surely this Quran guides to what is most upright, and gives good news to the believers—who do good—that they will have a mighty reward.
|18:2 قَيِّمًۭا لِّيُنذِرَ بَأْسًۭا شَدِيدًۭا مِّن لَّدُنْهُ وَيُبَشِّرَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ ٱلَّذِينَ يَعْمَلُونَ ٱلصَّـٰلِحَـٰتِ أَنَّ لَهُمْ أَجْرًا حَسَنًۭا |
˹making it˺ perfectly upright, to warn ˹the disbelievers˺ of a severe torment from Him; to give good news to the believers—who do good—that they will have a fine reward,
The word is yubashiru (al-Isrā’) and yubashira (al-Kahf). Here’s the interesting part, if you go to the start of the respective chapters, what do they start with? Surah al-Isrā’ starts with ‘Subhān’ – there’s an oo sound (the dhammah/pesh) and the similar word has an oo ending (yubashiru). Look at the start of Surah al-Kahf, it begins with al-Hamdu which beings with an aa sound (fatha/zabar) and that corresponds to the similar word used in the surah (yubashira).
So you get it?
Take a look at the following verses and find the connections:
- Surah Yūnus (verse 61) vs as-Saba’ (verse 3). You will find that the start of surah as-Saba’ matches with the plural difference (samawāt).
- Surah an-Nahl (verse 33) vs al-An’ām (verse 158). You’ll find the similarity matches the start of the surah with an-Nahl which uses the same word (amr).
A link between proper (definite) and common (indefinite)
There are some similarities that have a difference of being either proper (definite) or common (indefinite). This is often the difference between the al/ٱل and not having it. The difficulty this may present, is remember which one comes first. As a general rule, you’ll find that common is usually first and then proper.
Example of the word salaam
In regards of Yahyā (peace be upon him), Allāh says:
19:15 وَسَلَـٰمٌ عَلَيْهِ يَوْمَ وُلِدَ وَيَوْمَ يَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ يُبْعَثُ حَيًّۭا
Peace be upon him the day he was born, and the day of his death, and the day he will be raised back to life!
Then in regards to ‘Īsā (peace be upon him), Allāh says:
19:33 وَٱلسَّلَـٰمُ عَلَىَّ يَوْمَ وُلِدتُّ وَيَوْمَ أَمُوتُ وَيَوْمَ أُبْعَثُ حَيًّۭا
“Peace be upon me the day I was born, the day I die, and the day I will be raised back to life!”
So you see that the indefinite comes first.
- The word baladan in surah al-Baqarah (verse 126) and al-balada in surah Ibraheem (verse 35).
- The words “innahu samee’un ‘aleem” in al-A’rāf (verse 200) and “innahu huwas-samee’ul ‘aleem” in al-Fussilat (verse 36).
- The word “kaziban” like that in al-‘An’ām (21, 93, 144), al-A’rāf (37), Yūnus (17), al-‘Ankabūt (68), Hūd (18), al-Kahf (15) and “al-kaziba” everywhere else (like surah as-Saff).
A link between two surah or more and the place of similarity
It’s beneficial to look at similarities between surah or verses and find a link. Here are some examples:
Example 1: Reflection (tafakkur) before understanding (ta’aqqul)
- 13:3 إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍۢ لِّقَوْمٍۢ يَتَفَكَّرُونَ
Surely in this are signs for those who reflect.
- 13:4 إِنَّ فِى ذَٰلِكَ لَـَٔايَـٰتٍۢ لِّقَوْمٍۢ يَعْقِلُونَ
Surely in this are signs for those who understand.
Example 2: Nahshuruhum (نَحْشُرُهُمْ), Yahshuruhum (يَحْشُرُهُمْ)
You’ll find if you look at Surah al-An’ām and Surah Yūnus and look for these words. What will you find? You will find that nahshuruhum always comes first and then yahshuruhum.
Example 3: Yunsaroon (يُنصَرُونَ), Yunzaroon (يُنظَرُونَ)
You’ll find if you look at Surah al-Baqarah and al-Anbiyā’ – there are verses that end with these words. You’ll notice a pattern with them. What’s that pattern? The word Yunsaroon will always come first.
We have another 7 or so to mention, in shā’ Allāh. May Allāh grant Tawfīq!1 - Like and share!