All for Quran & Tajweed

Al-Idghaam February 24, 2013

Merging two similar things is something we do all the time. We do this when we categorise objects with similar characteristics (using the dominant characteristic as the go-to label) because it’s easier for us in the end to pull out what we need.  Similarly, it’s easier for the tongue to merge two letters, and sound out the one with the more dominant characteristic. This ruling is called idghaam.

Merged Fruit


Idghaam Al-‘aam: the common/general idghaam is to sound the first of two letters as the second – sounding the two letters as one letter with a shaddah on it. This common idghaam has two branches: kabeer (large) and sagheer (small).

Al-Idghaam Al-kabeer: occurs when a  voweled letter precedes another voweled letter such that they become one letter with a shaddah on it.

Al-Idghaam Al-sagheer: occurs when a saakin letter precedes a voweled letter, such that they become one letter with a shaddah on it. Al-idghaam al-sagheer has three categories, these are

Mutamaathil – Mutajaanis – Mutaqaarib

We will study these in greater detail. First let’s look at Al-idghaam al-kabeer.

Al-idghaam al-kabeer occurs only when two of the same letters meet within a word – both letters are voweled, and therefore must be said as one letter with a shaddah on it.

Examples of this idghaam are as follows:


la ta’mannaa – originally ( تأمنُنَا )

ma makannee

ma makannee – originally ( مكنَنِي )


ta’muroonnee – originally ( تأمرونَنِي )

Let’s note the first example also involves a tajweed rule, Ishmaam. I haven’t covered this yet, and will do soon, insha Allah. What we should focus on now though, is merging the two letters, sounding a shaddah, and by principle, a ghunnah.

Al-idghaam al-sagheer happens when a voweled letter follows a saakin letter. This idghaam is under three categories. These categories define when an idghaam sagheer occurs. They are:

Mutamaathil: when the letters being merged come from the same makhraj (point of articulation), and have the same sifah (characteristic). Examples:

ithaa tala'at tazaawaru

Ithaa tala‘at tazaawaru




Ith-hab bikitaabee

wa qad dakhalu

Wa qad dakhaloo


qul laa

Qul laa

falaa yusrif fil qatl

Falaa yusrif fil-qatl

jaa'atkum maw'ithatun

Jaa’akum maw’ithatunlan-nasbiraLan nasbira


‘Afaw wa qaaloo

Note: the last example happens on a consonant waaw. If the first word ends in a waaw or yaa’ maddeeyah, then this ruling does not apply, and a shaddah must not be sounded on the second waaw/yaa.

Mutaqaarib: when the letters being merged come from two makhaarij – close in proximity, and have different (but similar) sifaat. Examples:

The letter qaaf and kaaf

nakhlukkumread: nakhlukkum

The letter laam and raa’

wa qul rabbiread: wa qurrabbi

The letter noon with the letters waaw, yaa’, raa’, meem, laam ( و يرمل from the noon saakinah ruling)

min yawmihimmiyyawmihim

Mutajaanis: when the letters being merged come from the same makhraj, but have different sifaat. This occurs for the nat‘eeyah, lathaweeyah and shafaweeyah letters.

The nat‘eeyah letters:

– merging happens to the taa’ ت and taa’ ط and vice versa

waddat taa'ifatunwaddat taa’ifatun (read: ودطّائفة )

farrattumfarrattum (read: فرطتم )

– merging happens to the taa’ ت and daal د and vice versa

athqalat da'awaaathqalad-da’awaa (read: أثقلدَّعَوَا )

qad tabayyana

qat-tabayyana (read: قتَّبَيَّنَ )

Note, the first example has a little ط in it. This is because the tongue should be pushed up completely against the hard palate as though you are going to pronounce the taa’ – however it should not be sounded.

The lathaweeyah letters:

– merging happens to the thaa’ ث and thaal ذ

yalhath thaalika

yalhath-thaalika (read: يلهذّلك )

– merging happens to the thaal ذ and thaa’ ظ

ith thalamooIth-thalamoo (read: إظَّلموا )

The shafaweeyah letters:

– merging happens to the baa’ ب and meem م

irkab ma'anaa

Irkamma‘anaa (read: اركمَّعنا )

This wraps it up for the idghaam ruling. Keep in mind that there is idghaam for the noon and meem saakinah rules. And idghaam kaamel and naaqis for the noon saakinah rulings in particular.

Resources link:

Idghaam [Tajweed Basics: Foundations and More: page 12]


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:



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:


Wa man yu’min billahi

Man yattaqillaha


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,









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


Min teen


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.


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


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



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




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




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.


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.


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.


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


Read All About It Here….. January 16, 2012

Filed under: Tajweed — heesbees tajweed @ 7:15 pm
Tags: ,

an interview with




Brother Muqeet from Yassarnal Qur’an asked for an interview opportunity with the person behind this heesbees tajweed blog. It was a pleasure to answer his questions. I hope you find them as beneficial and interesting as I did.

P.S. click on the picture/”heesbees” above to read the interview, alternatively, you can access it here.


Preventing two Saakins: Man’ Iltiqaa’ Al-Saakinayn December 18, 2011

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


The Silent & Pronounced Alif November 30, 2011

Have you ever noticed some people who seem to be present, can also seem to be invisible? Or sometimes they’re loud, and at other times they’re so quiet, they’re not even noticed…? Alif can do the same. Did you ever know? Find out below..

There are seven “alifs” in the Quran that that are sounded when stopping and silenced when continuing through in recitation. These alifs are signalled by the round sukoon-like shape above them: ( o )

These seven alifs are as follows:

– All occurrences of the word anaa ( أنا ) which have this symbol. When stopping, the alif is sounded for two counts (madd tabee’ee), but when continuing recitation, the alif is just sounded as a fat-ha. Example,

Read as:

when continuing: ana lakumأنَ لكم )

when stopping: anaa .. lakum (  أنا .. لكم  )

– This rule applies for the following words, in its own respective manner:

[Kahf 38]     Read as:

when continuing: laakinna huwa ( لاكنَّ هو )

when stopping: laakinnaa .. huwa (  لاكنّا .. هو  )

[Al-Ahzaab 10]     Read as:

when continuing: al-thunoona hunaalika (  الظنونَ هنالك  )

when stopping: al-thunoonaa .. hunaalika (  الظنونا .. هنالك  )

[Al-Ahzaab 66]     Read as:

when continuing: al-rasoola wa qaaloo (  الرسولَ و قالواْ  )

when stopping: al-rasoolaa .. wa qaaloo (  الرسولا .. و قالواْ  )

[Al-Ahzaab 67]     Read as:

when continuing: al-sabeela rabbanaa (  السبيلَ ربّنا  )

when stopping: al-sabeelaa .. rabbanaa (  السبيلا .. ربّنا  )

Let’s note this case. Scholars of the Quran have noted that it is permissible to stop on the word salaasilaa with a sukoon, or to stop on it with two counts on the alif:

[Al-Insaan 4]     Read as:

when continuing: salaasila wa aghlaalan (  سلاسلَ و أغلالاً  )

when stopping: salaasilaa .. wa aghlaalan (  سلاسلا .. و أغلالاً  )

when stopping: salaasil .. wa aghlaalan (  سلاسلْ .. و أغلالاً  )

Now let’s note two special cases.

The word qawaareeraa in surat Al-Insaan, verse 16 is never pronounced as a long vowel when stopping. And it is always pronounced with a fat-ha when continuing. This also applies for all the occurrences of the word “thamood” (that contain this silent alif).

[Al-Insaan 15]     Read as:

when continuing (after both words): qawaareera qawaareera (  قواريرَ قواريرَ  )

when stopping (after the first word): qawaareeraa .. qawaareera (  قواريرا .. قواريرَ  )

when stopping (after both words): qawaareeraa .. qawareer (  قواريرا .. قواريرْ  )

Read as:

when continuing: wa thamooda (  و ثمودَ  )

when stopping: wa thamood ( و ثمودْ  )

Be careful to never mistake these alifs for the other “normal” ones…

That’s all for this tajweed rule. Too easy. 🙂

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.


Al-Ith-haar Al-Mutlaq November 11, 2011

At noon, you look up and see the skies are clear, you notice the mirror shines, free of marks, the glass on the bench twinkles as it catches some light, a perfect picture. Can anything be so perfect and clear? Noon, maybe?

Recall the post Al-Noon Al-Saakinah: Rule Four, Al-Idghaam. There we noted that if the letters laam, raa, yaa, noon, meem, or waaw followed a noon saakinah, idghaam (with or without ghunnah) must be sounded. But there was a very particular condition which stated that this can only occur over two words, never in one.

Ith-haar Al-Mutlaq[1] may be literally translated to “Showing Absolutely”, so basically, totally pure and perfect pronunciation of the noon letter. This tajweed rule applies for those times when a noon saakinah is followed by one of the above letters, but within one word.

And as per the name of the rule, the noon must be pronounced clearly, with no ikhfaa or idghaam whatsoever. There are four words in the Quraan which apply, and they are as follows,

Al-Dunyaa (in all it’s occurrences)




Did you ever notice this? 🙂 Go back and note that all the noon saakinahs were followed by one of the idghaam letters – but you had always pronounced the noon clearly (I hope, at least!)

That’s all for this rule. Just a side note, sometimes it’s also named shaath[2].

Resources Link:

– Post: Al-Noon Al-Saakinah: Rule Four

– Post: Al-Noon Al-Saakinah: Rule One

– Sukoon [Gateway To Arabic: page 48]

Note, these documents are found on the resources page.

[1] إظهار مطلق
[2] شاذ