Dealing with Mutashaabihaat in Hifdh


What do I do when my Hifdh starts mixing because of similar verses?  Can I avoid this and how?

As one continues to memorise, they will come across similar verses that may confuse other previously memorised parts of the Qur’an if they are not dealt with correctly.  Those who are Hafidh or who are memorising will know exactly what we’re talking about here.  🙂 quranIn the Qur’an there are roughly 6.5 thousand verses and about 1000 of these are similar to each other.  Similar or resembling verses are known as mutashaabihaat in Arabic.  Sometimes the difference can be as little as a single particle (harf), so one has to be very exact.  But the question is how does one deal with this issue to avoid mixing up their Hifdh?  Here’s the simple but very important rule:  as soon as you come across a resembling verse in your new memorisation portion, you must stop there and then and go back to the place where the other verse that resembles this one is (from your previously memorised portions).  Compare both verses and see exactly how each one is different or similar.  Once you have established both verses in your mind along with their similarities/differences, you can continue memorising your new portion.  purpleIt is important to do this there and then to avoid the new connections you have made in your brain for the new portion of memorisation interfering with the previous connections of the other resembling verse you have previously memorised.  To avoid this in the first place, and to save yourself from extra review and re-memorisation, it is best to go back and compare and establish mutashaabihaat as soon as you find something that resembles what you’ve already done.  In other words you fix both parts before the connections in your brain mix with each other.  Since this can  happen during the processing stage for new memorisation which takes place in the brain in the first 10 minutes after you have memorised something, it is best to deal with mutashaabihaat before this, i.e. before you begin to actively memorise the new part. It is important also to take hold of this golden opportunity!  Allah سبحانه وتعالى includes these detailed similarities to give us the chance to think and contemplate them.  They spark our curiosity and push us to seek answers regarding what Allah سبحانه وتعالى is conveying to His servants.  They are treasure chests of meaning and lessons, and we will elaborate on some of these gems in future posts, in sha Allah. It is interesting to note that it is only those who memorise the Qur’an who are led to such opportunities.  This is because only someone who has memorised will remember verses in different places which have similar wording and/or order.  This is yet another invaluable benefit to memorising the Qur’an.  So when you, the student, embark on your memorisation, build up your excitement and look forward to these golden opportunities.   You will not only be floored by what you learn from these mutashaabihaat verses, but you will be even more motivated to continue your memorisation—and you will wish your memorisation would never end 🙂 For other tips and tricks check out our Hifdh category.

4 Responses to “Dealing with Mutashaabihaat in Hifdh”

  1. Editor

    SubhanAllah this is great advice! Usually, since I haven’t memorized so much from the Qur’an, it’s not the regular mutashaabihaat that get me but the “endings” from verses that sound similar. Insha’Allah please include us in your dua’a so that our memory of the Qur’an will become stellar 🙂

    • haqqatilaawatih

      Yes verse endings can be dealt with in the same way, but even better is as mentioned above, to contemplate on the verse, its meaning and link why a particular ending has been used. You may need to look at the overall context of the verse and its place too. And remember that nothing is in the Qur’an by coincidence 🙂
      May Allah bless you, your memory, your Hifdh, give you ikhlaas in all of your actions, and make you from أهل القرآن Ameen

    • Admin

      There is a work by Sh. Yahya ‘Abdul-Fattah al-Zawaawi called Daleel al-Huffaadh fi Mutashaabihal-Alfaadh which will be useful to you. In it, he documents all the verses which have similarities. He has another version of this book called Mus-haf al-Mutashaabihaat which displays the page from the Mushaf and highlighted verses which are similar next to it.

      As a side note, we’ve found it much more useful to diligently document these verses ourselves rather than looking them up because this supports the memorization process so much more. It may be tedious and take some time, but if you take it slow and are extremely thorough, you will benefit from this process a lot more, in sha Allah.


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