Techniques To Remember The Similar Verses [Mutashābihāt] P6

In parts one, two, three, four, and five 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 previously shared reversal patterns, incremental patterns and grouping methods using sūrah yasīn.

Today, I'll share more methods to memorise and remember similar verses (Mutashābihāt) in a way that can make things that bit easier.

Finding something that can create links of commonality

This has at minimum 15 examples in the Qur'ān.

What it means is that when we come across a difficult passage or verse, we can look at the surrounding āyāt (verses), words, or suwar (chapters) before it and after it. When doing so, you try to connect them either through a common letter, a similar word, or other means as will be provided by the following examples:

Example 1
ثُمَّ نُنَجِّى رُسُلَنَا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ حَقًّا عَلَيْنَا نُنجِ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Then We saved Our messengers and those who believed. For it is Our duty to save the believers.
قُلْ يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ إِن كُنتُمْ فِى شَكٍّۢ مِّن دِينِى فَلَآ أَعْبُدُ ٱلَّذِينَ تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ ٱللَّهِ وَلَـٰكِنْ أَعْبُدُ ٱللَّهَ ٱلَّذِى يَتَوَفَّىٰكُمْ ۖ وَأُمِرْتُ أَنْ أَكُونَ مِنَ ٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ
Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “O humanity! If you are in doubt of my faith, then ˹know that˺ I do not worship those ˹idols˺ you worship instead of Allah. But I worship Allah, Who has the power to cause your death. And I have been commanded, ‘Be one of the believers,’

Allāh does not say (وَاُمِرۡتُ اَنۡ اَكُوۡنَ مِنَ الۡمُسۡلِمِيۡنَ) here like He did in the verses before this (like verse 72) as it's linked to what came before it. In addition to this, the word faith/belief and its derivatives are repeated 10 times in this page (Uthmānī script and Indo-Pak, page 220) alone, and this helps remember the similarity.

Example 2
إِنَّ ٱلْمُسْلِمِينَ وَٱلْمُسْلِمَـٰتِ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنِينَ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتِ وَٱلْقَـٰنِتِينَ وَٱلْقَـٰنِتَـٰتِ وَٱلصَّـٰدِقِينَ وَٱلصَّـٰدِقَـٰتِ وَٱلصَّـٰبِرِينَ وَٱلصَّـٰبِرَٰتِ وَٱلْخَـٰشِعِينَ وَٱلْخَـٰشِعَـٰتِ وَٱلْمُتَصَدِّقِينَ وَٱلْمُتَصَدِّقَـٰتِ وَٱلصَّـٰٓئِمِينَ وَٱلصَّـٰٓئِمَـٰتِ وَٱلْحَـٰفِظِينَ فُرُوجَهُمْ وَٱلْحَـٰفِظَـٰتِ وَٱلذَّٰكِرِينَ ٱللَّهَ كَثِيرًۭا وَٱلذَّٰكِرَٰتِ أَعَدَّ ٱللَّهُ لَهُم مَّغْفِرَةًۭ وَأَجْرًا عَظِيمًۭا
Surely ˹for˺ Muslim men and women, believing men and women, devout men and women, truthful men and women, patient men and women, humble men and women, charitable men and women, fasting men and women, men and women who guard their chastity, and men and women who remember Allah often—for ˹all of˺ them Allah has prepared forgiveness and a great reward.

An interesting way of remembering the order of these words is that fasting is greatly linked to the protection of ones chastity. We are reminded directly.

Example 3
وَإِن يَكُ كَـٰذِبًۭا فَعَلَيْهِ كَذِبُهُۥ ۖ وَإِن يَكُ صَادِقًۭا يُصِبْكُم بَعْضُ ٱلَّذِى يَعِدُكُمْ ۖ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِى مَنْ هُوَ مُسْرِفٌۭ كَذَّابٌۭ
If he is a liar, it will be to his own loss. But if he is truthful, then you will be afflicted with some of what he is threatening you with. Surely Allah does not guide whoever is a transgressor, a total liar.
وَلَقَدْ جَآءَكُمْ يُوسُفُ مِن قَبْلُ بِٱلْبَيِّنَـٰتِ فَمَا زِلْتُمْ فِى شَكٍّۢ مِّمَّا جَآءَكُم بِهِۦ ۖ حَتَّىٰٓ إِذَا هَلَكَ قُلْتُمْ لَن يَبْعَثَ ٱللَّهُ مِنۢ بَعْدِهِۦ رَسُولًۭا ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ يُضِلُّ ٱللَّهُ مَنْ هُوَ مُسْرِفٌۭ مُّرْتَابٌ
Joseph already came to you earlier with clear proofs, yet you never ceased to doubt what he came to you with. When he died you said, ‘Allah will never send a messenger after him.’ This is how Allah leaves every transgressor and doubter to stray—

Many people can mix up the two similar endings but there's some commonalities we can take benefit from in order to remember the right endings. For example, the verse ending with (كَذَّابٌۭ) has the letter KAAF repeatedly used in it (يَكُ, كَذِبُهُۥ, يَكُ, يُصِبْكُم) and hence a commonality. The verse ending with the word (مُّرْتَابٌ) uses words with the letter RĀ' (رَسُولًۭا ,مُسْرِفٌۭ, مُّرْتَابٌ).

Example 4
وَلَقَدْ أَهْلَكْنَا ٱلْقُرُونَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ لَمَّا ظَلَمُوا۟ ۙ وَجَآءَتْهُمْ رُسُلُهُم بِٱلْبَيِّنَـٰتِ وَمَا كَانُوا۟ لِيُؤْمِنُوا۟ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَجْزِى ٱلْقَوْمَ ٱلْمُجْرِمِينَ
We surely destroyed ˹other˺ peoples before you when they did wrong, and their messengers came to them with clear proofs but they would not believe! This is how We reward the wicked people.
ثُمَّ بَعَثْنَا مِنۢ بَعْدِهِۦ رُسُلًا إِلَىٰ قَوْمِهِمْ فَجَآءُوهُم بِٱلْبَيِّنَـٰتِ فَمَا كَانُوا۟ لِيُؤْمِنُوا۟ بِمَا كَذَّبُوا۟ بِهِۦ مِن قَبْلُ ۚ كَذَٰلِكَ نَطْبَعُ عَلَىٰ قُلُوبِ ٱلْمُعْتَدِينَ
Then after him We sent ˹other˺ messengers to their ˹own˺ people and they came to them with clear proofs. But they would not believe in what they had rejected before. This is how We seal the hearts of the transgressors.

Here you see that whatever came before matches in what follows. So in (وَجَآءَتْهُمْ) you have a start with the letter WAW and so it's (وَمَا كَانُوا۟). In verse 74, the word starts with a letter FĀ' and so the next similar word starts with FĀ' as well.

These are a few examples of what it means to look at other verses and trying to find common patterns or links.

Knowing the location of the verse in the mus-haf

What this means is that you should try to remember the location of verses to help you master them. There's often a connection between the words and the location of the verse (whether on the right or left page, top or bottom, etc).

This has 3 examples in the Qur'ān. This is only relevant to those using the Madinah Mus'haf (the 'Uthmānī 15 lined copy). You may find most of them also in the Indo-Pak copy but all of them.

Example 1: NAF'A WA DARRAN (نفعاً و ضراً)
قُل لَّآ أَمْلِكُ لِنَفْسِى نَفْعًۭا وَلَا ضَرًّا إِلَّا مَا شَآءَ ٱللَّهُ ۚ
(Also) tell (them): ‘I do not have any control over profit/benefit and loss/harm for myself, except (that much) which Allah wills.’
وَٱتَّخَذُوا۟ مِن دُونِهِۦٓ ءَالِهَةًۭ لَّا يَخْلُقُونَ شَيْـًۭٔا وَهُمْ يُخْلَقُونَ وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ لِأَنفُسِهِمْ ضَرًّۭا وَلَا نَفْعًۭا وَلَا يَمْلِكُونَ مَوْتًۭا وَلَا حَيَوٰةًۭ وَلَا نُشُورًۭا
Yet they have taken besides Him gods who cannot create anything but are themselves created. Nor can they harm or benefit themselves. Nor can they control life, death, or resurrection.

An interesting way of remembering the order of these words is that you will find where ever "benefit" (نَفْعًۭا) comes before "harm" (ضَرًّۭا), you'll find those verses on the pages on the right of the mus'haf. Whenever it's the other way around with harm coming before benefit, you'll find those verses being on the left page.

There are 8 or 9 instances of where Allāh uses these words together (e.g. Surah al-A'rāf, ar-Ra'd, As-Saba', al-Mā'idah, Yūnus, Tā-Hā, al-Furqān, al-Fath). Many people memorising can have difficulty determining the sequence of these verses but for those using the 'Uthmānī script can take advantage of knowing the location instead.

Example 2: FA-LAMMĀ JĀ'A AMRUNĀ vs WA LAMMĀ JĀ'A AMRUNĀ (فَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمْرُنَا - وَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمْرُنَا)
وَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمْرُنَا نَجَّيْنَا هُودًۭا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ مَعَهُۥ بِرَحْمَةٍۢ مِّنَّا وَنَجَّيْنَـٰهُم مِّنْ عَذَابٍ غَلِيظٍۢ
When Our command came, We rescued Hūd and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us, saving them from a harsh torment.
فَلَمَّا جَآءَ أَمْرُنَا نَجَّيْنَا صَـٰلِحًۭا وَٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوا۟ مَعَهُۥ بِرَحْمَةٍۢ مِّنَّا وَمِنْ خِزْىِ يَوْمِئِذٍ ۗ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ ٱلْقَوِىُّ ٱلْعَزِيزُ
When Our command came, We saved Ṣâliḥ and those who believed with him by a mercy from Us and spared them the disgrace of that Day. Surely your Lord ˹alone˺ is the All-Powerful, Almighty.

In Surah Hūd, you'll find verses that begin like this and sometimes one might mix up the starts. According to this rule, you'll find the verses that begin with the (فَلَمَّا) will be on the right sided page, as seen in the stories of Sālih and Lūt (peace be upon them). You'll see the verses that begin with (وَلَمَّا) on the left sided page, as seen in the story of Hūd and Shu'ayb (peace be upon them).

A link between similar verses with longer verses or longer surah

What this means is that it's possible to remember certain similar verses or similar words, whether they are long of short, by linking the verse length to them. For example, you might find similarities where there are the same words used but with extra words or letters. You will find a link between the extra words and the length of the verse.

This has 6 examples in the Qur'ān.

Example 1
يَـٰٓأَيُّهَا ٱلنَّاسُ قَدْ جَآءَكُمُ ٱلرَّسُولُ بِٱلْحَقِّ مِن رَّبِّكُمْ فَـَٔامِنُوا۟ خَيْرًۭا لَّكُمْ ۚ وَإِن تَكْفُرُوا۟ فَإِنَّ لِلَّهِ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَٱلْأَرْضِ ۚ وَكَانَ ٱللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًۭا
O humanity! The Messenger has certainly come to you with the truth from your Lord, so believe for your own good. But if you disbelieve, then ˹know that˺ to Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and the earth. And Allah is All-Knowing, All-Wise.
يَـٰٓأَهْلَ ٱلْكِتَـٰبِ لَا تَغْلُوا۟ فِى دِينِكُمْ وَلَا تَقُولُوا۟ عَلَى ٱللَّهِ إِلَّا ٱلْحَقَّ ۚ إِنَّمَا ٱلْمَسِيحُ عِيسَى ٱبْنُ مَرْيَمَ رَسُولُ ٱللَّهِ وَكَلِمَتُهُۥٓ أَلْقَىٰهَآ إِلَىٰ مَرْيَمَ وَرُوحٌۭ مِّنْهُ ۖ فَـَٔامِنُوا۟ بِٱللَّهِ وَرُسُلِهِۦ ۖ وَلَا تَقُولُوا۟ ثَلَـٰثَةٌ ۚ ٱنتَهُوا۟ خَيْرًۭا لَّكُمْ ۚ إِنَّمَا ٱللَّهُ إِلَـٰهٌۭ وَٰحِدٌۭ ۖ سُبْحَـٰنَهُۥٓ أَن يَكُونَ لَهُۥ وَلَدٌۭ ۘ لَّهُۥ مَا فِى ٱلسَّمَـٰوَٰتِ وَمَا فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ۗ وَكَفَىٰ بِٱللَّهِ وَكِيلًۭا
O People of the Book! Do not go to extremes regarding your faith; say nothing about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, was no more than a messenger of Allah and the fulfilment of His Word through Mary and a spirit ˹created by a command˺ from Him. So believe in Allah and His messengers and do not say, “Trinity.” Stop!—for your own good. Allah is only One God. Glory be to Him! He is far above having a son! To Him belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And Allah is sufficient as a Trustee of Affairs.

So how does the principle apply? You can see where there's extra words, there's a long verse.

For other examples see:

  • al-An'ām, verse 5 vs ash-Shu'arā', verse 6
  • al-Anfāl, verse 13 vs al-Hashr, verse 4
  • Sād, verse 9, vs, al-Tūr, verse 37
  • al-Baqarah, verse 173 (fa lamma ithma 'alayhi) vs elsewhere
  • al-Baqarah, 150 vs al-Mā'idah, 3

In the final part, we will look at the remaining 4 methods.

May Allāh grant us blessing and ease in our memorisation!

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