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Levels of Tafkheem: Pt 2 March 14, 2012

As with all personalities, letters can sometimes be strong and buff, and sometimes silken soft. Let’s find out what agitates these letters, and what keeps them as sweet as buttercups…

In the previous post, we studied letters that are always mufakham (always said with tafkheem). This post hones in on the letters which are sometimes mufakham, and sometimes muraqqaq (not said with tafkheem).

These letters are four in total, the are

ا      ل      ر     غنة

ghunnah     raa’     laam     alif

As the rules may get lengthy, I will only look at the letters laam, alif and ghunnah in this post.

The Tafkheem and Tarqeeq of Laam

The only time the letter ‘laam’ is mufakham is in lafthul jalaalah, i.e. the name of Allah – referring to the word itself: “Allah”. This occurs when the lafthul jalaalah is preceded by a fat-ha or dammah, or when you are starting recitation with it; such as in the examples:

Allahu-samad

Radiya-llahu

Wa litukaburu-llaha

Notice: the fat-ha from the “a” sound starting the word Allah in the first example, is what makes the laam mufakhamah. This also happens but from the fat-hfrom the word radiya in the second example. As for the third example, the dammah comes from the word litukabbiroo… the waaw madeeyah is dropped (see why here), so the dammah before it becomes the acting diacritic, hence making the laam in lafthul jalaalah mufakhamah.

However, when lafthul jalaalah is preceded by a kasrah, it is said with tarqeeq, examples of this are:

Lillahil-mashriqu

Wa man yu’min billahi

Man yattaqillaha

Qulilaahumma

In all other cases, the laam is said with tarqeeq, whether it has sukoon, fat-ha, dammah, or kasrah. Note from the third example above, “Allahumma” is just another form for the lafthul jalaalah, and so this rule still applies.

The Tafkheem and Tarqeeq of Alif

The letter Alif that is being spoken about here, is specifically the Alif madeeyah. It’s rule is simple. Alif is mufakham when it follows a mufakham letter; and it is muraqaq when it follows a muraqaq letter. This means, when it follows any one of the 7 istilaa’ letters, alif is mufakham, when it follows the laam mufakhamah in lafhul jalaalah, the alif is said with tafkheem. Similarly, when it follows a laam or raa’ mufhakhamah (keep in mind that raa’ may be said with tafkheem sometimes – next post insha Allah), the alif is also said with tafkeem. Examples of this are,

Al-Daaleen

Al-Thaaneena

Qaala

Radiya-llahu

khaa'ifeena

Khaa’ifeena

raaji'oon

Raajioona

In all other cases, the alif madeeyah is said with tarqeeq.

The Tafkheem and Tarqeeq of the Ghunnah

The ghunnah, although not a letter itself, is a very important characteristic that completes the noon and meem sound – especially evident when they are saakin. As part of the rules of noon saakinah, when the letters not listed in ith-haar, idghaam or iqlaab follow a noon saakinah, ikhfaa’ is made (ikhfaa’ post here). As the reciter makes ikhfaa’ a ghunnah is sounded. This ghunnah can be mufakham or muraqaq.

It is mufakham when these five letters follow a noon saakinah:

ص    ض    ط    ظ    ق

qaaf      thaa’      taa’      daad      saad

What this means, is that the deep tongue is raised slightly higher (towards the roof of the mouth) while the ghunnah passes through the nasal passage, producing a heavier sounding ghunnah.

Baghtatan Qaaloo

Mandood

Min teen

Yunsaroon

At all other times, the ghunnah is said with tarqeeq. This beautiful sound should be soft, adding a light tone to the recitation.

Insha Allah next post I’ll focus on the rules of tafkheem and tarqeeq for the letter Raa’. I promise once you get that one down pat, it should be easy cruising for tafkheem and tarqeeq.

Resources Link:

– Sifaatul Huroof – Jadwal (Table of the Characteristics of the Letters)

– Sifaatul Huroof – Jadwal – by Sifah

– Sifaatul Aaridah – Tafkheem

Note, these documents are found on the resources page.

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Levels of Tafkheem: Pt 1 March 4, 2012

Sometimes we can forget the numbers and fatten up…. not the waistline, I mean the seven letters of istilaa’… and the only way to do that is by using some tafkheem thickshakes… they’re deliciously guilt free!

In continuation from the previous posts about the characteristics of the letters, tafkheem is a sifah ‘aaridah (redundant characteristic).

 

Tafkheem ( تفخيم ) means ‘fatness’ or ‘thickness’ added on to a letter as a redundant characteristic (noting that it still must be exercised). Within tafkheem are categories and levels. This post hones in on the first category, letters that are always said mufakham (with tafkheem). These letters are the seven letters of isti’laa’ (elevation).

خُصَّ ضَغْطٍ قِظْ

These seven letters are always mufakham and are present across four “levels of tafkheem”, referred to as “maraatib al-tafkheem“.

1. The strongest level of tafkheem occurs when one of the 7 letters has a fat-ha on it, and is followed by an alif

Lil-taa’ifeena

2. The second level of tafkheem occurs when one of the 7 letters has a fat-ha on it, but is not followed by an alif

Tahhir 

Yafqahoon

3. The third level of tafkheem occurs when one of the 7 letters has a dammah on it

 

Unthur

Udkhuloo

4. The weakest level of tafkheem occurs when one of the 7 letters has a kasrah under it

 

Sinwaanun

Qibala

When one of the 7 letters of tafkheem has sukoon on it, the diacritic on the letter preceding it is looked at to determine the sub-level.

2. a) if the saakin letter has a fat-ha before it, it becomes the “third level of tafkheem“, written here as 2. a) as it slots between the second and third level noted above.

Wal-maghrib

3. a) if the saakin letter follows a dammah, it becomes the “fourth level of tafkheem“, written here as 3. a) as it slots between the third and fourth level noted above.

Muthlimoon

4. a) if the saakin letter has a kasrah before it, it becomes the “fifth level of tafkheem“, written here as 4. a) as it slots in with the fourth level noted above.

Ani-drib

So the levels of tafkheem can be summarised in a few ways. The first structure is as shown above. The other two are below.

 

There are 4 levels of tafkheem, with three sub-levels. These are:

1. Istilaa’ letter has fat-ha on it and an alif maddeeyah after it

2. Istilaa’ letter has a fat-ha on it

2. a) Istilaa’ letter is saakin and has a fat-ha before it

3. Istilaa’ letter has a dammah on it

3. a) Istilaa’ letter is saakin and has a dammah before it

4. Istilaa’ letter has a kasrah under it

4. a) Istilaa’ letter is saakin and has a kasrah before it

This structure is just a re-organised version of the one shown above.

 

The other structure states there are 5 levels of tafkheem. These are:

1. Istilaa’ letter has fat-ha on it and an alif maddeeyah after it

2. Istilaa’ letter has a fat-ha on it

3. Istilaa’ letter has a dammah on it

4. Istilaa’ letter has a sukoon on it

a) Istilaa’ letter is saakin and has a fat-ha before it

b) Istilaa’ letter is saakin and has a dammah before it

c) Istilaa’ letter is saakin and has a kasrah before it

5. Istilaa’ letter has a kasrah under it

I personally find the first (and second) structure to make more sense as a saakin tafkheem letter with fat-ha before it would naturally be “stronger in tafkheem” than a tafkeem letter with dammah on it. Simply, the notion of understanding that the sub-levels are a part of their own respective level is also clearer.

There is another school of thought which states there are only three levels of tafkheem, where the strongest has a fat-ha, middle has a dammah, and weakest has a kasrah. It combines the sub-levels of the saakin letter under their own respective level.

This concludes the first category of tafkheem. The next category may be looked at over a couple of posts. It’s nothing to fret about, though 🙂

Resources Link:

Sifaatul Aaridah: Letters of Tafkheem