Makhaarij Al-Huroof: Al-Lisaan

Buffing up is one of those things you see teen boys doing a lot. But what they fail to do is some Tongue Buffing Exercises. Check out all the cool moves you can do below… (and this is just part one)!

Al-lisaan: contains makhaarij for 18 letters. These are divided across 10 points of articulation, which are categorised as 4 main areas. These are: Aqsal-lisaan; Wasat Al-lisaan; Haafat Al-lisaan; and Ra’s Al-lisaan. Let’s look at some of these in detail.

1 & 2 – Deepest Area of the Tongue – Aqsal-lisaan [1]

This area is divided into two points of articulation.

1. The innermost part of the tongue with what corresponds to it from the upper (soft) palate produces

Qaaf ( ق ), pronounced “qq”

This area is the closest to the throat, and qaaf is produced with istilaa’ [2] (heaviness or pressure); more correctly, however, istilaa’ is the elevation of the tongue towards the roof of the mouth (to that which is opposite to it) after the sound is produced.

2. The innermost part of the tongue, towards the mouth, with what corresponds to it from the upper palate produces

Kaaf ( ك ), pronounced “kk”

This area is slightly closer to the mouth than throat. Kaaf is produced with istifaalah [3] (lightness) or lowering of the tongue towards the ‘floor’ of the the mouth after the sound is produced. These two letters are referred to as Al-Lahawiyyayn [4] because their makhraj involves the uvula (called lahah or lahaatul halq in Arabic).

3 – Mid-tongue Area – Wasat Al-lisaan [5]

The mid-tongue with that which corresponds to it from the hard palate produces 3 letters.

Jeem ( ج ), pronounced “jj”

Sheen ( ش ), pronounced “shh”

Consonant yaa ( ي ), pronounced “ya” or “yi” or “yu” or “y”

It is important to note that the yaa being referred to is not the yaa maddeeyyah; which means it is the yaa with a fat-ha such as in the word


or the yaa with a dammah, such as in the word


or the yaa with a kasrah, such as in the word


or the yaa with a sukoon, such as in the word


Finally, it is also important to note that by mid-tongue we’re referring strictly to the upper side, called thahrul-lisaan [6]. These three letters are called Al-Ahruf Al-Shajareeyah [7] because they emerge from what is called “Shajar Al-Lisaan“. This, simply put, means these letters originate from the ‘core of the tongue’.

4 – Edge/s of the Tongue – Haafat Al-lisaan [8]

The edge of the tongue, alongside the inner faces of the top left and/or right molars, produce the letter

Daad ( ض ), pronounced “dd

More often, the left molars only are involved in producing the daad as this is easier. Knowing the point of articulation and mastering it is important. Commonly, this letter is transliterated into dh which I find may be confusing, especially in words where the letter haa or haa follow. Example: the word ( أضحى ), as I’d spell Adhaa or even Ad-haa would then need to be written as Adhhaa but is often written as Adha. Complications can occur, but only stringent Arabic teachers (and alike) should take note of these and avoid them when teaching.

5 – Between The Edge of the Tongue [and Gums] – Ma Bayna Haafatayil-lisaan [9]

The (front) edge (i.e. tip and fronter edges) of the tongue with that which coincides with it from the upper gum/palate is the makhraj for the letter

Laam ( ل ), pronounced “ll”

 The “gum” being referred to here is that which is behind the front molars, incisors and canines, i.e. the hard palate. Usually the righter side of the edge produces laam. Nevertheless, it is important to ensure the edges are producing the laam, and not just the tip of the tongue.

Well! The second part of this tongue-buffing-course is soon to come. Until then, enjoy the 9/17 makhaarij you’ve learnt so far. Begin by revising today’s makhaarij post with this chart:

Resources Link:

– Makhaarij Al-Huroof document

Note, this document is found on the resources page.

Related Posts: Makhaarij Al-Huroof: Al-Jawf – Makhraj Al-Halq – Makhraj Al-Lisaan Pt 2 – Makhraj: Al-Shafataan – Makhraj: Al-Khayshoom

[1] أقصى اللسان
[2] إستعلاء
[3] إستفالة
[4] اللهويين
[5] وسط اللسان

[6] ظهر اللسان
[7] الأحرف الشجريّة
[8] حافة اللسان
[9] ما بين حافتي اللسان

9 thoughts on “Makhaarij Al-Huroof: Al-Lisaan

  1. Assalamu Alaiki,
    While pronouncing the letter”Laam”, if we use the tip of the tongue & its upper front part,touching the hard plate,the letter appears to belong to the group of AL- HUROOF AL-TARAFIYYAH, whereas if it is articulated by touching gumline of the upper eight teeth with edges of the tongue. as per another view,it is likely to be referred to as an Harf-e-Hafi like the letter “Daad”.
    Kindly let me have your opinion.
    With best regards,
    Zahid Alvi

    • Wa alaykum asalam wa rahmatullah.
      To be honest, I have not heard of this second opinion. I revised the tajweed books I have, and none of these have mentioned this manner of producing the laam – and probably because the most correct manner to produce the laam is the way it is mentioned above. The laam is grouped with the raa’, and noon, and this group is called Al-Ahruf (huroof) Al-thalqeeyah, because they are produced from thalq al-lisaan (i.e. it’s tip). I mention this in part 2 of makhaarij al-lisaan. I would suggest trying to keep the tongue away from the teeth, because producing it this way may cause a slurring in the recitation.

      And Allah knows best.

      • Assalamo Alaiki, I am profoundly grateful for further clarification of “Makhraj” of the letter”Laam”. My original contention, however, was that as in pronouncing this letter, the fronter edge/side of the tongue is also used in addition to the tip, can the said letter be called as a Harf-e-Haafy, although it is universally grouped among Al-Ahruf Al-Thalqeeyah. Zaadaki Allaho Ilman wa Irfaanan. With best wishes & highest regards, Zahid Alvi


  2. Jazak’Allah khair for your work. I have found this extremely beneficial and have shared it. i have been trying to learn tajweed for a while and still struggled with my makhraj. This explains it very well. i now understand what I am doing wrong and when I’m correct I know why. May Allah elevate your rank in jannah.

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