All for Quran & Tajweed

Makhaarij Al-Huroof: Al-Lisaan Pt 2 January 24, 2012

Certainly, you’ve all been hard at work, stretching, pulling, warming up and cooling down with the previously mentioned Tongue Buffing Exercises: “Makhaarij Al-Huroof: Al-Lisaan”. Now it’s time to step it up and look at what you can do with the tip of your tongue.

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’sul-lisaan, or Tarful-lisaan. I’ve covered the first three areas in a previous post; below are the letters which emerge from Ra’sul-lisaan [1] (the tip of the tongue).

First, it is important to note that ra’sul-lisaan is the very tip of the tongue, and tarful-lisaan [2] is that small portion of the tongue just behind the tip. This is illustrated in the diagram below. This post covers both these regions as they are generally considered to be one main area.

Within this region, there are five points of articulation, producing 11 letters. These are:

6 – The Tip & Hard Palate

The very tip of the tongue, with that which coincides with it from the hard palate, behind the two front teeth produces the letter

Noon ( ن ), pronounced “nn”

with note that a ghunnah passes through the nasal passage to complete the sound for noon.

7 – The Tip, Upper Tip & Hard Palate

When the tip of the tongue, alongside a small area from the upper tip (tarful-lisaan), are pushed off the hard palate, the letter

Raa’ ( ر ), pronounced “rr”

is produced. The area referred to in the hard palate is slightly off that area which produces noon, as comparable in the diagrams above. The letters noon ( ن ), raa ( ر ), and laam ( ل ) are called Al-Ahruf Al-thalqeeyah [3]. Note: laam was covered in a previous post. The reason for this name is because they are produced from thalq al-lisaan [4], i.e. it’s tip.

Here’s food for thought: did you know that thalq also means “slip”. When your tongue “slips” and you let out a secret, it happens so fast. Thalq is just another characteristic of the tongue. It “slips”quickly after producing the consonant letter in a direction respective to a fat-ha, dammah, or kasrah.

8 – The Upper Tip & Hard Palate

Between the upper tip and hard palate, directly behind the two front incisors, the following letters are produced,

Taa’ ( ط ), pronounced “tt

Taa’ ( ت ), pronounced “tt”

Daal ( د ), pronounced “dd”

With note that the letter taa’ ( ط ) leans against the front teeth slightly more than taa’ and daal because of the strength needed in producing its sound. These three letters are called Al-Ahruf Al-Nateeah [5] because they emerge from the “skin” i.e. nat’ or “gum” which covers the upper back of the front teeth.

9 – Between The Tip And Top & Bottom Teeth

Between the top and bottom teeth is an open area which is generally known to make a hissing sound. With the tip of the tongue, this area is also the makhraj for

Saad ( ص ), pronounced “ss

Seen ( س ), pronounced “ss”

Zay ( ز ), pronounced “zz”

with note that when pronouncing these letters, the front sides of the tongue may touch some of the upper teeth. These three letters are named Al-Ahruf Al-Asleeyah [6], because they are produced from the very tip of the tongue

10 – The Tip & Front Incisors

Between the very tip of the tongue and the bottom edge of the two front teeth the following letters are produced

Thaa’ ( ث ), pronounced “thh”

Thaal ( ذ ), pronounced “th”

Thaa’ ( ظ ), pronounced “th

These three letters are called Al-Ahruf Al-Lathaweeyah [7] because their point of articulation is very close to the gums of the two front teeth.

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 1 – Makhraj: Al-Shafataan – Makhraj: Al-Khayshoom

[1] رأس اللسان
[2] طرف اللسان
[3] الأحرف الذلقية
[4] ذلق اللسان
[5] الأحرف النطيعة
[6] الأحرف الأسلية
[7] الأحرف اللثوية


Makhaarij Al-Huroof: Al-Lisaan January 17, 2012

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

Makhaarij Al-Huroof: Al-Halq January 12, 2012

Let’s look deep into ourselves and evaluate our current state. Along the way, do stop and take a look at your throat. Three makhaarij, six letters: your throat’s doing a lot more than you probably thought…

Al-Halq: emerging from the throat are six letters. Within the throat, there are three points of articulation. Two letters emerge from each makhraj. Let’s take a look at these with detail.

The Upper Throat – Adnal-halq [1]

From the upper throat emerge two letters. These are

Khaa’ ( خ ), pronounced “kh”

Gyan ( غ ), pronounced “gh”

It is erroneous to pronounce these two letters from the mouth, and every effort should be made to distinguish the upper throat from the inner mouth area. Note that ghayn is articulated from the same makhraj, but just below the khaa.

The Mid-Throat – Wasat Al-halq [2]

The mid-throat is the point of articulation for the following two:

Haa’ ( ح ), pronounced “hh

‘Ayn ( ع ), pronounced ” ‘a 

It is important to understand that haa ( ح ) and haa ( هـ ) are not the same, and that haa exhibits a much sharper sound and is articulated slightly above the ‘ayn.

The Deep Throat – Aqsal-halq [3]

The deepest part of the throat produces two letters,

Haa’ ( هـ ), pronounced “hh”

Hamzah ( ء ), pronounced as a glottal stop

A glottal stop is defined as “a speech sound produced by a momentary complete closure of the glottis, followed by an explosive release”. The haa emerges from the same area but just above the hamzah‘s point of articulation.

To sum up, the six letters that emerge from the throat are: khaa’ ( خ ), ghayn ( غ ), haa’ ( ح ), ayn ( ع ), haa ( هـ ), and hamzah ( ء ). These six letters are called Al-Ahruf Al-Halqiyyah [4] (the throat letters).

So far, this covers a total of 4 of 17 makhaarij. Hope you’re ready to explore some more 🙂 in the meantime, have fun by practicing these articulation points and enjoying the wondrous sounds they produce!

Resources Link:

– Makhaarij Al-Huroof document

Note, this document is found on the resources page.

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

[1] أدنى الحلق
[2] وسط الحلق
[3] أقصى الحلق
[4] الأحرف الحلقية


Makhaarij Al-Huroof December 27, 2011

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


Al-Madd Al-Tabee’ee January 25, 2011

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

In the same way we sometimes wished that our holiday period can be a little longer, your tongue, ears and some letters themselves wish that they’re said for a little longer. ‘Why?’, you may think… Well, how obscure to the ear is it to hear someone say a dammah instead of a waaw? And how hard is it for them to continue the ayah without stumbling (after not prolonging)? … Let’s start by looking at this first prolongation…

Al-Madd Al-tabee‘ee: normal/natural prolongation is the act of prolonging or “stretching” the sound of the three madd letters:

ي          و          أ

alif     waaw     yaa

for two counts, i.e. the time it takes to say (one-two).

The rule has the following conditions:

The huroof al-madd must all be silent, i.e. have no diacritic on them.

A fat-ha must be present on the letter before a silent alif

A dammah must be present on the letter before a silent waaw

A kasrah must be present on the letter before a silent yaa.

Examples of this are as follow:


___qaala          qeela               yaqoolu

These examples can be combined into one word to help you remember the rule. The word is



I really want to stress the fact that in the Quran you will not see a diacritic on these three letters if they are in the state of madd.

It will be an alif, waaw, or yaa with no fat-ha, dammah, kasra, or sukoon ontop/underneath. When I say that these letters must be silent, I am not saying they have sukoon. In fact, if you see a sukoon on an alif or waaw or yaa it means that you are not to stretch this letter whatsoever.

An example of sukoon present on these letters is as follows:


NOT: Mala-eehi


NOT: Aaminooaa


NOT: Uoolaa-ika

A final thing to be wary of is something called “‘ella” letters. This is when the three madd letters have no diacrtic on them, but are not prolonged because the letter preceeding them does not have the corresponding diacritic mentioned in the above conditions. This will be further discussed in a later post, insha Allah.

Resources Link:

-Sukoon [Gatway To Arabic: page 48]

-Makhaarij Al-Huroof [dot points 5, 7, 12, 15]

-Short and long vowels  [Gatway To Arabic: pages 21-23; and 44-47]

-Tajweed Rule [Gatway To Arabic: page 4-6 and first half of page 7]

Note, these documents are found on the resources page.

Related Posts: Ahkaam Al-MaddAl-Madd Al-Waajib Al-MutasilAl-Madd Al-Jaa’ez Al-Munfasil – Al-Madd Al-‘Iwad – Al-Madd Al-Badal – Al-Madd Al-LeenAl-Madd Al-‘Aarid Lil Sukoon – Al-Madd Al-Silah: Kubra & Sughra – Al-Madd Al-Laazim: Kalimee – Al-Madd Al-Laazim: Harfee.


Al-Qalqalah January 4, 2011

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

This-is-is    post-ost-ost    will-ill-ill    be-be-be    about-out-out    Qalqalah-ah-ah…

But what is Qalqalah? First, be rest assured I won’t type echos for the rest of the post. Because it’d get a tad annoying for both author and reader. The word itself sounds repetitive and as interesting as it’s Tajweed rule.

Qalqalah: sound articulation and echo. In essence the word means shaking/disturbance. In Tajweed, it means to disturb the letter that has sukoon, i.e. that is saakin, but without any corresponding movement of the mouth and jaw that is associated with voweled letters (i.e. letters that have fat-ha, dammah, or kasra). Qalqalah “shakes” to “echo” the letter without taking up the preceding or succeeding letter’s diacritic.

To explain:

There are five letters in the Arabic alphabet that apply to Qalqalah. These five letters are:

ق          ط          ب          ج          د

daal      jeem       baa       tah      qaaf

To easily remember these letters, remember the phrase they make up, (قطب جد).

Simply, Qalqalah is echoing the above five letters when they are in state of sukoon, i.e.

قْ     طْ     بْ     جْ     دْ

To feel the importance of Qalqalah, try saying (أط), how about (أق) you’ll find one of two things happen. Either the back end of your tongue gets stuck and it’s difficult to loosen it and breathe, or your tongue will naturally slip and the back of your mouth is open again. It is this “slipping” that Qalqalah is based on. Disturbing the letter without moving your jaw or mouth. Try it for the rest of the letters, (أد) and (أج) and (أب). Imagine trying to say the word,


If there was no “slipping”/”shaking”/”echoing” of the letter baa (بْ) then how hard would it be to say the noon (ن) straight away with your lips still pressed together? Doing Qalqalah will cause your lips to “slip” a bit i.e. open up a tiny bit without adding a diacritic to the baa, to make it easy to pronounce the noon. On a final note, as one Imam puts it,

The qalqalah is necessary for these letters because they have the attributes of jahr (stoppage of the flow of breath) and shiddah (stoppage of the flow of sound), so without qalqalah, there would be no sound!

But as the blog has not covered attributes of letters yet, this might just sound all too surreal for some.

There are three types of Qalqalah:

Qalqalah Kubra (Strong Echo): occurs at the end of an ayah.

Qalqalah Wusta (Medium Echo): occurs at the end of a word in the middle of an ayah.

Qalqalah Sughra (Subtle Echo): occurs in the middle of a word whether at the beginning, middle or end of an ayah.

Examples of Qalqalah:

Kubra (strong):

_______Kasab __________________ Al-falaq

________Muheet _________________Masad _________________ Al-ma’aarij

You may notice the the last letters that require Qalqalah don’t actually have sukoon drawn above them! Diacritics have been put in place for readers who want to continue reading without a pause through to the next ayah. However, stopping at the end of every ayah is preferred and so in these such circumstances you must do a strong Qalqalah.

Wusta (middle):

qad aflaha ___________najid lahu


Here the sukoon is clearly marked on the Qalqalah letters.

V.I.Note: if you run out of breath and wish to stop in the middle of an ayah, and you stop at a word that has a qalqalah letter on the end, you must, must, must read it as a qalqalah kubra! For example, if I wanted to stop at the word qad in the above example, the daal must be echoed strongly. Then if I were to continue reading by repeating the word and continuing, I do a qalqalah wusta.

Here’s the example again:

[reciting] … [out of breath] … [stopping at word qad] … [doing a strong echo on the daal] … [takes breath] … [wants to continue] …

[start at the word qad and reads: qad aflaha, doing a qalqalah wusta on the daal].


Sughra (subtle):

khalaqna _ _______________tat-heeran _____________________ abnaa’akum__

Similarly the sukoon is clearly marked on the Qalqalah letters.

Resources Link:

-Tajweed Rule [Tajweed Basics: Foundations and More: page 9]

Sukoon [Gatway To Arabic: page 48]

-Makhaarij Al-Huroof [dot points 5, 7, 12, 15]


I suggest visiting Quranic Audio to listen to Qalqalah.

Select your favourite reciter and listen to Surat Al-Falaq [113]/Al-Masad [111]/Al-Qiyaamah [75] for Qalqalah kubra.

Qalqalah wusta and sughra occur throughout the entire Quran. I don’t think there is any particular one you really should listen to. Surat Al-Qalam [68] has a fair few Qalqalah sughra. I also suggest Surat Al-Muzzamil [73] for a combination of wusta and sughra.


Al-Meem Al-Saakinah: rule three December 24, 2010

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

Clarity is sometimes what we’re all after. Likewise, some things just need to be said as clear as mmmmud. Right?

Rule three: Ith-haar Shafawee (pronouncing the meem clearly)

Ith-haar Shafawee is pronouncing the meem saakinah (مْ) clearly and occurs when any of the remaining [excluding the letters meem and baa (ب)] follow a meem saakinah. The condition here is that these letters have a diacritic on them, (fat-ha, dammah, kasra).

Examples of Ith-haar Shafawee:

mathaluhum kamathali

am lahum

hum feehaa

Resources Link:

Sukoon [Gatway To Arabic: page 48]

-Tajweed Rule [Tajweed Basics: Foundations and More: second half page 10]

Related Pages: Al-Meem Al-Saakinah: ikhfaa shafaweeAl-Meem Al-Saakinah: idghaam shafawee