A Labour of Love


A labour of love. That phrase seems almost paradoxical: how could something you love be laborious? But I think now, having finally completed the list of Mutashabihat,  I might have some understanding and appreciation of what that means.

Suffice it to say that when embarking on this project, I had absolutely no idea of what I was getting myself into. But I think that was a good thing really, a blessing in disguise. Because if I had, I most likely would not have taken it on. In the beginning, I had only intended to include those Mutashabihat marked in my mus-haf – which were not that many. In the end, the amount of Mutashabihat numbered in the hundreds. In the beginning, I didn’t anticipate it taking too much time. In the end, it turned out to be many countless hours, many long nights and even some sleepless ones. In the beginning, I thought that it would get easier and quicker the further it went on. In the end, it turned out to be the opposite – the last ajza’ were some of the longest and hardest. This was simply because I became more thorough. In the beginning, I would only include those ayat where most of the words were similar. In the end, those ayat where even just two or three words were similar were included.


There were times when I wondered when (and sometimes even if) it would ever be finished. But alhamdulillah, by the tawfiq of Allah – and through nothing else – it was eventually completed. There were two things which helped me get through it though. The first was the mental image of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam stepping out of his house having donned his armour and with sword in hand, ready to march to the battlefield of Uhud. Prior to this he had made shura with the Sahabah radiyallahu ‘anhum, and it was some of them who suggested that the army go out to meet the kuffar. The Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam himself was inclined towards staying in Madinah, and letting the kuffar come to them. In the end, the decision was made in accordance with the view of the Sahabah. But when the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam went into his house to get ready, they discussed it among themselves and changed their mind. When he came out, they then submitted that they should rather stay in Madinah, as that had been the view of Rasulullah sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam. However, he did not agree to this. This was because the decision had already been made. Once we decide to do something, we should place our trust in Allah ta’ala and remain firm upon that, and see it through to the end. This is the realisation and practical implementation of the command of Allah ta’ala:

فَإِذَا عَزَمْتَ فَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ

Then when you have reached a firm decision, put your trust in Allah.

         (3: 159)

The other was the hadith of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam: Innallaha katabal ihsaana ‘alaa kulli shai’ – Indeed, Allah has prescribed excellence in all things. (Sahih Muslim) There were some Mutashabihat which spanned many, many ayat. It was tempting to simply skip those and move on to the ones which numbered only a few ayat. But what prevented me from that was this hadith. If I was going to do this, then I might as well do it properly.

While compiling this list, I would sometimes wonder how Zaid bin Thabit radiyallahu ‘anhu must have felt when compiling the Noble Qur’an. What a task that must have been! If I remember correctly, I think he once said that if he had been told to move a mountain, that would have been easier for him. Imagine shifting an entire mountain, one pebble at a time. Subhanallah! In some tiny way, this is also kind of what that felt like.



 اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ أَنْ نُشْرِكَ بِكَ شَيْئًا نَعْلَمُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُكَ لِمَا لَا نَعْلَمُ

O Allah! Indeed, we seek protection in You from knowingly associating anything with You, and we seek Your forgiveness for what we are unaware of.


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2 Responses to A Labour of Love

  1. Cucumber says:

    Mabrook on the completion and JazakAllahu Khair for sharing the link! May Allah reward you well and allow others to benefit, Ameen.

  2. Serenity Pearls says:

    MashaAllah so beautifully written. Emotion-stirring.

    “The first was the mental image of the Prophet sallallahu ‘alaihi wa sallam stepping out of his house having donned his armour and with sword in hand, ready to march to the battlefield of Uhud.”

    I hope to someday feel the feelings you have felt inshaAllah =)

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