Makhaarij Al-Huroof

Just as X marks the spot for any treasure, X also marks the makhraj (point of articulation) for the Arabic letters!

Makhaarij Al-Huroof [1] translates to “the points of articulation for [the Arabic] letters”. It is imperative that one learns and correctly pronounces the Arabic letters in order to read tajweed with precision. Colloquial dialects differ greatly, so as an Arabic speaking person, I can only stress the importance of learning the makhaarij. They are the very nectar of tajweed, and I can only hope that in my humble attempt to put forward the rules, you can achieve a great understanding.

The area of speech has been divided into five parts, and subdivided into 17. The first five divisions are as follows:

Al-Jawf The Interior/Chest Area
Al-Halq The Throat
Al-Lisaan The Tongue
Al-Shafataan The Lips
Al-Khayshoom The Nasal Passage

This post will look into the first of these categories: Al-Jawf.

   Al-Jawf [2] (The Interior/Chest Area)

The interior comprises of the inner, open area of the mouth, behind the meeting point of the lower jaw and top teeth. This area is an “estimated” makhraj (point of articulation), all other makhaarij are “actual” as they apply to constant sounds and have been pinpointed with accuracy. From the jawf three letters emerge. These are the:

alif ( ا ) preceded by a fat-ha, pronounced “aaa”

yaa ( ي ) preceded by a kasra, pronounced “eee”

waaw ( و ) preceded by a dammah,  pronounced “ooo”

These three letters are usually called Huroof Al-Maddeeyah[3] (or as I call them, madd letters). They may also be called Huroof Al-Jawfeeyah[4], as they emerge from the jawf.

To better understand the makhraj of these letters, it is essential that we see the shape of the tongue and lips. This is illustrated in the following diagram:

Here we can compare the difference of the three positions of the tongue. The alif corresponds to the pale pink tongue, waaw to the hot pink tongue, and yaa to the red tongue:

As with any language, it’s is best to listen and repeat after a teacher or sheikh to ensure you are sounding the letters in the correct manner; after all, no written or drawn aid can give the required accuracy for tajweed.


As a final note, there are two important things to mention in regards to makhaarij al-huroof.

First, to figure out the makhraj of a letter, pronounce it with a sukoon, preceded by a fat-ha. Examples,

أدْ         أعْ          أتْ          أشْ          أضْ

Second, note there are 28 letters in the Arabic alphabet, however, there are 31 huroof al-tajweed (tajweed letters). The extra letters are hamzah, consonant yaa’, and consonant waaw. These will be looked at in greater detail throughout the upcoming posts.

Resources Link:

Makhaarij Al-Huroof document

Note, this document is found on the resources page.

Related Posts: Makhraj Al-HalqMakhraj Al-Lisaan – Makhraj Al-Lisaan Pt 2 – Makhraj: Al-Shafataan – Makhraj: Al-Khayshoom

[1]مخارج الحروف
[3]حروف المدية
[4]حروف الجوفية


Preventing two Saakins: Man’ Iltiqaa’ Al-Saakinayn

As a child, I was always fascinated by magnets: why two ‘south’ or ‘north’ poles would never ever click with one another. It took a while to understand the reasoning behind it. And as with that, there’s a real wisdom behind this rule which prevents two saakin letters from meeting…

This rule has been looked at from a number of angles, however it was never formally mentioned on the site.

Man iltiqaa’ al-saakinayn[1]: preventing two saakins from meeting (following one another) is that rule which is sometimes taken for granted although the Arabic language heavily endorses it.

The rule states: if a word ending with a madd letter precedes a word which starts with a sukoon, the madd letter is dropped so as to avoid/prevent two saakins from meeting; this of course only applies when continuing recitation. In replacement of the madd letter, its respective diacritic takes places (kasrah for yaa, fat-ha for alif, dammah for waaw). Here, it is important to note that madd letters in the Arabic language do not have a diacritic. They are considered to be saakin, and hence why this rule exists.

Let’s look at some examples,

Read as:

when continuing: wa qaala-l-hamdu lillahi ( و قالَ الحمد لله )

when stopping: wa qaalaa .. alhamdu lillahi ( و قالا .. الحمد لله )

Read as:

when continuing: ghayra muhilli-ssaydi ( غير محلِّ الصيد )

when stopping: ghayra muhillee .. assaydi ( غير محلّي .. الصيد )

Read as:

when continuing: aamanu-t-taqu-llaha ( ءامننُ اتقواْ لله )

when stopping: aamanoo .. ittaqu-llaha ( ءامنو .. اتقواْ لله )

Previously we noted this rule indirectly, when it occurs with hamzatul wasl (said under “circumstance 3” and on).

Also, the hamzatul wasl post contained a brief mention of this rule. Found where quoted: “Finally, I want to give an ex..”

That’s all for this post. I hope it wasn’t too complicated to repel you away from the upcoming tajweed rule! 😉

Resources Link:

– Sukoon [Gateway To Arabic: page 48]

– Short vowels [Gateway To Arabic:  page 23, 24]

– Long vowels [Gateway To Arabic: page 45, 46]

– Read more about rules of stopping [Tajweed Basics: Foundations and More: page 15]

Note, these documents are found on the resources page.

[1] منع التقاء الساكنين