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

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

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

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

The Silent & Pronounced Alif

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

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

The Cutting Hamzah: Hamzatul Qat’

Have you ever wondered why the latest and greatest things are referred to as “cutting edge”? Like, cutting edge technology, or cutting edge research… Are there such things as cutting edge words? What about cutting off people in mid-sentence? Mid-word? Is there anything cutting edge enough to do that? Maybe a cutting hamzah

Hamzatul Qat’[1]: the cutting hamzah is represented by the following symbol ( ء ). It should not be mistaken with the letter alif ( ا ), but it should be noted that it often occurs on the alif ( أ or إ ). This post will cover some general rules about the hamzatul qat’, while also taking a close look at the letter itself.

The hamzatul qat’ sound is produced by cutting off the air stream at the top of the windpipe (then letting it go for a breath, of course!). It is similar to pressing the stop button on a tape player in mid-word.

The hamzatul qat’ can be found in a number of places within a word:

At the beginning it may appear as:

ءَأنْتُم      أحْمَد

Ahmad         A-antum

At the end of the word, it may appear on the line:



The hamzatul qat’ also appears on the three voweled letters, and on a spike (commonly referred to as a “chair”) of it’s own.

On the alif, it can appear at the beginning of the word as shown previously, at the end of a word, or in the middle of a word:



Appearing on the waaw under certain Arabic grammar rules, the hamzah looks like so:



The hamzah appears on the yaa at the end of the word as so:



Appearing on it’s own tooth, chair, or spike, the hamzah is written like so:



From the above, we can observe that whenever a hamzatul qat’ enters on a harf madd, the harf madd is not sounded, rather the 2 vowels are cut simply into a fat-ha, dammah, or kasra. After all, it is the cutting hamzah!

Let’s observe some of the tajweed rules involved with this hamzah.

Hamzatul Wasl meets Hamzatul Qat’

When the hamzatul qat’ is preceded by a hamzatul wasl, there are two rulings.

If the hamzatul wasl is dropped, because the word starting with it is connected to the preceding word, then the hamzatul qat’ is sounded as per normal. Example,


(read as الذِءْتُمِنَ )

If the hamzatul wasl is NOT dropped, because the reciter is starting at that word, then the hamzatul qat’ is dropped, and the harf madd it is “sitting on” is sounded for 2 counts. Example,


To break it down, the process is simple. The hamzah on the 2nd letter (i.e. the hamzatul qat) is “transferred” onto the hamzatul wasl, and the respective diacritic is assigned such that a madd badal is can then be sounded. Based on this process, the word above is read as أُوتُمِنَ 

Another example is as follows. In this word, the hamzatul qat is replaced by a yaa’ madeeyah such that the word “i-i-tinaa” beocomes


Hamzatul Qat’ and Al-Madd Al-‘Iwad

When a word ends with hamzatul qat’, whether on a yaa, or on the line, the hamzatul qat’ must be voweled for two counts. Example,

Binaaa’aa (when stopping)

Hamzatul Qat’ precedes Hamzatul Wasl

There is one occurance of this in the Quran (where a hamzatul qat’ precedes a hamzatul wasl). This word has the “ease of pronunciation” rule applied to it, because it is very difficult for the tongue to pronounce. It also ties in with the grammar rule about the impermissiblity of two saakin letters being together.


(read as ءَءَعْجَمِيٌّ ) – this word is found in Fussilat (41:44)

It would be impossible to say it with both saakin on the hamzatul wasl and the ayn, as the hamzatul wasl cuts off the air way, which prevents the tongue moving back to make the silent ayn sound!

Try it for yourself: block off your airway with your tongue, then move it back to say a slient ayn, and notice that your tongue cannot be at 2 places at the same time.

Hamzatul Qat’ opposes Qalqalah

As a final note, remember that hamzatul qat’ and qalqalah are complete opposites. Many people who stop at a word ending with a hamzatul qat’ will sound a small “ehh” qalqalah. 

Remember that qat’ means to cut, so you must cut off the airway AND cut off the sound.

You can test to see if you sound this small qalqalah by doing two things:

1. Place four fingers over your mouth and say a word that ends with hamzatul qat’. Example, samaa’

If, on your fingers, you feel a small amount of air being released at the end of the word, then you must be sounding this qalqalah (because the airway passage wasn’t cut off). Keep practising until you no longer feel this breath of air.

2. Record your voice for a few seconds, as you say “aaaa”. Play it back, and mid way hit the stop button. Compare that to what you sound like after saying a word that ends with hamzatul qat’. If you can notice that “ehh” sound, then you are not fulfiling the rights of this letter. Which means only one thing: practice.

For those who may be familiar with something called ishmaam and rawm, then I know what you’ll be protesting about. But that’s to discuss in another post.

Resources Link:

– Document “Hamzatul Qate’”

– Sukoon [Gateway To Arabic: page 48]

Note, these documents are found on the resources page.

[1] همزة الفطع

Hamzatul Wasl: exceptions we take for granted

NOTE: if you are new to the website, please click here for a brief guide.

I’ve put together a few extra notes about hamzatul wasl that are worth remembering and noting. Many take these notes for granted, others don’t even know them. Just before I begin, I want to point out that some of these rules are heavily based on the Arabic grammar (which I won’t cover), or they relate to another tajweed rule I have not yet posted. Ultimately, there are two categories for this post. They will be as follows…

1. The Questioning Hamzah + Hamzatul Wasl

Definition of some words:

questioning hamzah: is that hamzah which turns a statement into a question, in the form of “a”, i.e. hamzah (  ء  )

participle: refers to that word which starts off with a hamzatul wasl. The type of hamzatul wasl is the definite article, in Arabic, the definite article is called the laam tareef, which is read and written as “Al-” before a word. It translates to “the” in English.

The rule:

If the questioning hamzah enters a word that starts with a hamzatul wasl of type participle, the hamzatul wasl is dropped and swapped for an alif. This does not change whether the laam in the original “Al-” is merged or pronounced based on whether it’s a laam shamseeyah or qamareeyah. Note, that when this occurs, it is called Al-Madd Al-Farq.

So, examples:

The original Arabic word is,


With the questioning hamzah, it is now pronounced as,


A couple more examples:

Al-Aana (original Arabic word)

Aaal-aana (with questioning hamzah)

Allahu (original word)

Aaallahu (with questioning hamzah)

Just a side note, this questioning hamzah not only affects the hamzatul wasl, but it also acts upon the same concept of the madd badal tajweed rule. Note the first and last examples are also madd al-laazim kalimee muthaqqal, whereas the 2nd example is the madd al-laazim kalimee mukhaffaf.

2. The Preceding Sukoon

When a hamzatul wasl is preceded by a sukoon, a reciter has three options, based on the circumstance.

Circumstance 1: If the hamzatul wasl is preceded by the word min (مِنْ), then the silent noon is voweled with a fat-ha. We take this rule for granted, because the Quranic scripture does this for us already, we see it all the time and probably don’t even know about it.

A couple of examples,



Circumstance 2: If the hamzatul wasl is preceded by the pluralising silent waaw that is preceded by a fat-ha, or if the hamzatul wasl is preceded by the pluralising silent meem, then the meem/waaw are voweled with a dammah. As with above, the Quranic scripture does this for us. An example of each:



Circumstance 3: In all other cases, not covered in the first two circumstances, any word that ends with any form of sukoon that precedes a word starting with a hamzatul wasl of any form, must have the sukoon voweled with a kasra.

Some cases are covered by Quranic scripture. The sukoon is voweled for us ready to read. Examples of this are,

Wa Qaalati-mra’atu


Cases not covered by the Quranic scripture are that which contain tanween in the preceding word. This can happen across two ayaat, or within one ayah. All the examples provided happen across two ayaat, however…


Stopping: Shadeed. Al-latheena

Continuing: Shadeedinil-latheena

Stopping: Mahthooraa. Unthur

Continuing: Mahthooran-i-nthur

Stopping: Ahad. Allahu

Continuing: Ahadunillahu

A take-home message from this post would be to learn the two categories, and their rulings. Just so that you’re in the know. If you want to keep it simple for yourself, then the least you should do is remember the 2nd category’s 3rd circumstance about tanween.

Resources Link:

– Document “Hamzatul Wasl”

– The Definite Article “Al-” [Gateway To Arabic Book 2: page 16]

– Sukoon [Gateway To Arabic: page 48]

– Tanween [Gatway To Arabic: pages 40-43]

Note, these documents are found on the resources page.

Also note, there’s a main post that discusses hamzatul wasl.

The Connecting Hamzah: Hamzatul Wasl

NOTE: if you are new to the website, please click here for a brief guide.

This type of hamzah is that of a complex nature, in that it differs based on a given circumstance. It’s ruling is simple, but the circumstances are many, I will try to cover as many necessary as possible, so that the tajweed rules for hamzatul wasl are as clear as can be!

To note as well, I have not delved into the grammatical aspect of this rule, it is very hard to understand for those who have little knowledge in Arabic, but insha Allah this will not be the cause of misunderstanding.

Hamzatul wasl[1]: the connecting hamzah, is an “extra” hamzah at the beginning of the word, sounded when starting a word, dropped when continuing from a previous word or voweled letter. It occurs in three places: nouns, verbs, and participles.

Before delving into that, however, let’s try to understand why a hamzatul wasl exists.

With only one exception, we should note that when reading in Arabic, more specifically, the Quran, we cannot start with a sukoon, and we cannot end with a diacritic (fat-ha, dammah, or kasra). Rather, we must start with a diacritic, and end with a sukoon!

Despite this rule, some words still begin with a sukoon due to their placement in a sentence or grammar definition. It is because of such words that the hamzatul wasl exists and is vital.

The  hamzatul wasl is often mistaken for alif. Although the alif is just a line ( ا ), and the connecting hamzah is also a line ( ا ), there is a particular calligraphic difference that helps a reciter distinguish the two. The letter alif usually has a hamzah ( ء ) on top or underneath, or has nothing at all, whereas the hamzatul wasl has a little saad drawn above it ( صـ ).

The hamzatul wasl should be clearly sounded if a reciter is starting a word that begins with this type of hamzah.

However, if a voweled letter preceeds this hamzah, then it should be dropped.

Without noting whether a verb, noun or participle, let’s look at some examples,


NOT Fa-astakbaroo

NOT Fa-istakbaroo


NOT Rabi al-‘aalameen


NOT Il-hamdu


NOT Uth-hab

NOT Th-hab

The first two examples drop the hamzatul wasl, but the second two sound it. Notice though, the first has “Al-“, yet the second has “I-“. Now note this example,


NOT Inthur

NOT N-thur

it starts with “U-“. This is, ultimately, showing reciters three different ways the hamzatul wasl can be pronounced.

So how do we pronounce it? When do we pronounce it like that? And how can we quickly recognise the difference?

Well, first let’s look at participles.

A hamzatul wasl precedes the laam tareef (the definite article) which is known in two situations: laam shamseeyah, and laam qamareeyah.

When this hamzatul wasl precedes this laam, it becomes the famous “Al-” which starts a word. When starting a sentence or word that has this “Al-“, the hamzatul wasl is always pronounced with a fat-ha.

So, the first situtation in which the hamzatul wasl is sounded, is when beginning a word that starts with “Al-“.

The hamzatul wasl is sounded with a fat-ha.

Whether the laam is sounded or merged, depends on whether it is shamseeyah or qamareeyah. It does not change the fat-ha on the hamzatul wasl at all.

So for example,


The laam here is pronounced because it is a laam qamareeyah.


The laam here is merged becaues it is laam shamseeyah.

In both situations though, the hamzatul wasl is still pronounced.

Still looking at participles, when the hamzatul wasl is dropped, is when a voweled letter precedes it.

So for example, if the above two words come after a voweled letter, the hamzatul wasl is dropped and the words are read as,


Where the ‘a’ in wal- is from the fat-ha on the waawWash-shams

Where the ‘a’ in wash- is from the fat-ha on the waaw

Let’s move away from participles now.

Let’s look at general examples of when the hamzatul wasl can be dropped.

The first example is of when the hamzatul wasl is dropped when the voweled letter before it is actually attached to the word,


Where the ‘a’ is from the fat-ha on the faa

Next is an example of  when the hamzatul wasl is dropped because the last letter of the preceding word is voweled,


Where the ‘u’ is from the dammah on the meem from ‘hum’

Finally, I want to give an example of an exception. This is when the preceding word ends with a sukoon due to a harf madd. In these situations, a different tajweed rule comes into play. It is called mani iltiqaa’ al-sakinayn – I will look into this rule later insha Allah, but basically, in such a situation, you drop the hamzatul wasl, and you drop the harf madd which ends the preceding word.



NOT Fakasawnaa-l‘ithaama

NOT Fakasawnaa al-‘ithaama


NOT Wastakbaroo istikbaaran

I will not delve any further into that rule. But just know that it applies for words ending in the yaa madd letter, too.

Next is the hamzatul wasl in a verb.

This is where the “i” or “u” sound comes into play.

If you are beginning a verb with hamzatul wasl, then you must pronounce it with either a kasra or dammah. To know which of the two you must sound is very easily done. The trick is to look at the third letter in the verb. If the third letter has a dammah, you must sound the hamzatul wasl with a dammah, if the third letter has a fat-ha or a kasra, then you must sound the hamzatul wasl with a kasra.

A hamzatul wasl is never sounded with a fat-ha in verbs.

Examples of the this are as follow,


NOT Idkhuloo


NOT Ustash-hidoo

In the above two examples, if these words had a voweled letter before them, the hamzatul wasl would be dropped. For example, a voweled waaw (wa) before them, they would be read as, wad-khuloo; and, wastash-hadoo respectively.

And finally, in the case of nouns.

With the exception of irregular nouns, the above “in verbs” rule applies. There is a very in-depth grammatical reasoning to this, which I find unnecessary to explain if one is here to learn how to read in tajweed. However, in regards to irregular nouns, I will touch on this briefly.

There are seven irregular nouns found in the Quran. The ruling with these nouns is that the hamzatul wasl is ALWAYS pronounced with a kasra if beginning with these words – whether or not the third letter has a dammah, kasra or fat-ha.

These seven words are,

ابن     ابنت     اثنتين     اثنين     اسم     امرأت     امرؤ

So to reiterate, if reading in continuation, the hamzatul wasl is dropped like any other word, however, if starting with one of these words, the hamzatul wasl is pronounced with a kasra.

I hope this all makes sense!

Now that you know the rulings for hamzatul wasl, go back and state the rule for each of the 5 words given in the five very first examples! 🙂

Then proceed to discover some of the hamzatul wasl ‘exceptions’ we take for granted.

Resources Link:

– Document “Hamzatul Wasl”

– The Definite Article “Al-” [Gateway To Arabic Book 2: page 16]

Note, these documents are found on the resources page.

[1]: همزة الوصل

Al-Laam Al-Qamareeyah

A bright full moon always adds a beautiful hint of shine to the sky. It casts down a gorgeous reflection of white, streaking shadows across the ground. It’s a true blessing when everything else is dark, and it makes your path that much more clearer — just as it makes this laam qamareeyah pronounced clearly…


Al-Laam Al-Qamareeyah: or “the Moon Laam” is the laam saakinah (sukoon on the laam) which must be pronounced clearly. This laam occurs at the beginning of the word (Al- ..) and occurs in nouns.

Pronouncing it clearly happens with the remaining 14 letters that aren’t covered in the laam shamseeyah.

These letters for laam qamareeyah can be remembered by noting the phrase:

إبغ حجك و خف عقيمه

To reiterate, these letters are:

ا   ب   ج   ح   خ   ع   غ   ف   ق   ك   م   و   ه   ي

yaa – haa – waaw – meem – kaaf – qaaf – faa – ghayn – ‘ayn – khaa – haa – jeem – baa – alif

You will notice in Quranic scripture a little haa looking shape (حـ) above the laam. This is just to act as a reminder for reciters: to make sure that you remember to say Al-… and not merge the laam into the next letter.

Examples of al-laam al-qamareeyah:





Note: just because there is a letter before, this does not change the ruling for the laam.

Here’s a challenge: can you guess why none of the “Al-” nouns have tanween on the end?

Don’t cheat. But if you can’t figure it out, read the answer on page 61 of Gateway To Arabic.

Resources Link:

– Tajweed Rule “the moon letters” [Gateway To Arabic: page 61]

– Sukoon [Gateway To Arabic: page 48]

Tanween [Gatway To Arabic: pages 40-43]

Note, these documents are found on the resources page.

Al-Laam Al-Shamseeyah

NOTE: if you are new to the website, please click here for a brief guide.

Do you favour sunny days over cool nights? Or a bright glowing moon instead? This post is filled with sunshine, so pop on your sunnies and get ready… you’ll now be officially introduced to our star (pun intended)…..Sunny Laam! …no: not Lamb!

There is a big contradiction between the way I type transliteration, and this post. You will come to realise this as I begin to explain this rule.

Al-Laam Al-Shamseeyah: is the laam which occurs at the beginning of a word, whereby it is merged with the letter that follows it.

Let’s note:

a) In the case where the laam is merged, the “ll” sound it makes is completely eliminated.

b) For the laam to be merged, it must be a silent laam.

c) Considering no word in the Arabic language can start with a sukoon, the merging of the laam cannot happen unless the word begins with “Al-“. This is because – had there been no alif before the laam – there would be nothing to “make possible” the merging of the “ll” sound.

d) The letter following the laam that must be merged HAS TO BE one of the following 14 letters:

ت ث د ذ ر ز س ش ص ض ط ظ ل ن

Note the first letter of each word in the following phrase, these are the 14 letters stated above, sometimes phrases are easier to remember for those more fluent in Arabic:

طِبْ ثُمَّ صِلْ رَحِماً تَفُزْ ضِفْ ذَا نِعَمْ دَعْ سُوءَ ظَنٍّ زُرْشَرِيفَاً لِلْكَرَمْ

e) You will notice, part of the Quranic scripture, that there is a shaddah on the letter that invokes this merging.

f) For the laam to be merged, it cannot be part of the original make up of the word.

Now let’s see examples:

On the right is the letter example and the Quranic script, on the left is how it is read.

In order, from top to bottom:

taa: Al-taa’iboona = At-taa’iboona

thaa: Al-thamaraati = Ath-thamaraati

daal: Al-daa‘eeya = Ad-daa‘eeya

thaal = Wal-thaariyaati = Wath-thaariyaati

In order, from top to bottom:

raa: Al-Rahmaani = Ar-Rahmaani

zaal: Al-zaqoomi = Az-zaqoomi

seen: Al-saa’ihoona = As-saa’ihoona

sheen: Al-shamsu = Ash-shamsu

saad: Al-saalihaati = Assaalihaati

daad: Al-daalleena = Addaalleena

In order from top to bottom:

tah: Al-taammatu = Attaammatu

thah: Al-thaanneena = Aththaanneena

laam: Al-layl = A-llayla

noon: Al-naas = An-naasi

Note that merging the laam into the next letter cannot happen unless you sound a shaddah on that letter, i.e. for the last word in the examples, you must say, “annaasi” not “anasi”. If a shaddah is not sounded, the meaning can change entirely.

That’s all for this sunny post! Just remember, sunny laam = merging = no laam at all = shaddah. Beautiful examples and practice on page 62 of the Gateway To Arabic resource file. Link to resource page is found below.

Resources Link:

-Tajweed Rule “the sun letters” [Gateway To Arabic: page 62]

– Sukoon [Gateway To Arabic: page 48]

– Shaddah [Tajweed Basics: Foundations and More: page 2]

[Gateway To Arabic: page 49]

Note, these documents are found on the resources page.

Al-Madd Al-Tamkeen

NOTE: if you are new to the website, please click here for a brief guide.

Have you ever come across something so simple that you’ve thought it’s too insignificant to consider… or take note of?

Many tajweed books nowadays have omitted this madd because of it’s necessity that comes naturally when reciting. Yet, I thought I should post it here so that you can all be more aware that such a rule exists.

Al-Madd Al-Tamkeen [1]: occurs when a yaa mushaddadah with a kasr is followed by a yaa saakinah. This occurs only within a word, as words cannot start with a sukoon.

To be more specific: within a word, you notice a yaa that has a shaddah, and a kasra, this generally looks like this:


then you notice that after this yaa is another one, which has sukoon on it. Naturally as you pronounce this word, you are sounding this rule, al-madd al-tamkeen.

Examples of where this occurs in the Quran are as follow:



wa ithaa huyyeetum

wa khaatama al-nabiyyeen


As you may have noticed, sometimes it is written as two yaa-s, or sometimes only one yaa is written and the “mini” symbol for the second yaa (the yaa saakinah) is drawn.

That’s it for al-madd al-tamkeen! Can you guess why it’s classed as a madd?

Look up the shaddah and sukoon on the resources page by following the link below.

Resources Link:

– Sukoon [Gatway To Arabic: page 48]

– Shaddah [Tajweed Basics: Foundations and More: page 2]

[Gatway To Arabic: page 49]

Note, these documents are found on the resources page.

[1] Al-Madd Al-Tamkeen: المد التمكين


Al-Isti’aathah & Al-Basmalah

NOTE: if you are new to the website, please click here for a brief guide.

heesbees hasn’t been very active for the past month. In fact, the inactivity has caused me to draw back to the ayaat,

“All that is on earth will perish.”

“But will abide forever the Face of thy Lord, full of Majesty, Bounty and Honour”

[Al-Rahman 55; Ayahs 26-27]


Insha Allah, however, July will be filled with a heap of awesome new posts! Allahumma ameen!

To begin… A‘oothu billaahi min al-shaytaani al-rajeem. Bismillahi al-rahmani al-raheem.

If you haven’t guessed already, today’s post is about the isti‘aathah and the basmalah.

The isti‘aathah and basmalah have six rulings all together. Within these rulings branch sub-rulings. Insha Allah I will try my best to set these out in the clearest manner possible.


In case you’re not top notch in Arabic, al-isti‘aathah is:

A‘oothu billahi min al-shaytaani al-rajeem

And the basmalah is:

Bismillahi Al-rahmani Al-raheem

Rule 1: it is mustahab (recommended) to say the isti‘aathah at the beginning of each surah, or when beginning from within it. Note, however, that one isti‘aathah is enough for reciting the entire Quran, so long that the recitation is not cut off.


a) Beginning the Quran with surat Al-Faatiha. The isti‘aathah is said, and the recitation has begun. This one isti‘aathah is enough for all the recitation you do, even if it were surat Baqarah, Aali ‘Imraan, Al-Nisaa’, etc. so long the recitation is continual and not cut off by talk, or physical distraction that causes the recitation to stop momentarily.


b) You are reading surat Al-Baqarah. You begin with an isti‘aathah, then you read four pages. You stop reciting for duhur salah, when you begin reciting again from page 5, it is up to you to say the isti‘aathah again or not, however it is recommended.

Rule 2: it is sunnah mu’akkadah (emphasised sunnah) to say the basmalah at the beginning of every surah, except surat Al-Tawba.

Rule 3: in the middle of a surah, it is up to the reader entirely whether they wish to say the basmalah (which indeed is better) or not to say it at all.

Rule 4: the reciter has the option to join the isti‘aathah with the basmalah with the beginning of a surah. Doing this can be done in four manners:

a) wasl al-jamee (connecting all three): isti‘aathah, basmalah and first ayah in one breath, example:

b) joining theisti‘aathah and basmalah in one breath and cutting them off from the beginning of the surah by a breath. Example:

c) cutting theisti‘aathah from the basmalah by a breath, and joining the basmalah with the first ayah in one breath, example:

d) qate’ al-jamee (breaking all three): cutting the isti‘aathah from the basmalah by a breath. Then breaking the basmalah from the first ayah by a breath. Example:

Rule 5: the basmalah between two surahs. Three rules of joining/cutting are permissible, where one is not.

The premissible:

a) wasl al-jamee (connecting all three): the last ayah of the former surah, with the basmalah, with the first ayah of the latter surah all in one breath, example:

b) qate’ al-jamee (breaking all three): the last ayah from the basmalah by a breath. And the basmalah from the first ayah by a breath. Example:

c) breaking the last ayah of the former surah from the basmalah by a breath. And joining the basmalah with the first ayah of the latter surah in one breath, example:

The impermissible:

d) joining the last ayah of the former surah with the basmalah in one breath, then breaking the basmalah from the first ayah of the latter surah by a breath, example:

Rule 6: there is no basmalah at the beginning of surat Al-Tawbah (also called Baraa’ah). If reading from the beginning of the surah, then an isti‘aathah is enough. If wishing to join it on from Surat Al-Anfaal the reciter has three options:

a) joining the last ayah of surat Al-Anfaal with surat Al-Tawba without doing a sakt (breathless pause), or taking a breath. Example:

b) to join the last ayah of surat Al-Anfaal with a sakt only – a short pause without taking a breath – for a length of two counts, example:

c) to stop after the last ayah and take a breath, then immediately start surat Al-Tawba, example:

There you have it. Six rulings. Lots of sub-rulings. It took me a while, but insha Allah they are all down pat now. 🙂

It’s best to actually write these down… it was the only way it ever got into my noggin…

If you have any questions, buzz in, would love to help out any confused minds… 🙂