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All for Quran & Tajweed

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.

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Al-Noon Al-Saakinah: rule three December 5, 2010

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

Allahuma ya muqaliba al-quloob thabit qalbi ‘ala deenika

اللهم يا مُقلِّبَ القُلوب … ثبتْ قَلبي على دينكَ




Rule Three: Iqlaab — Tahweel Al-shay’ ‘an wajh (Flipping).

After every Noon Saakinah or Tanween, if the letter baa (ب) follows, the sound must be flipped [i.e. changed] to the sound of the letter meem (م). This is represented by a little meem on top of the letter itself as pictured below:

The lips should not be entirely pressed together, to allow for the meem to come through the nasal passage as well. The mouth should be prepared to say the baa after sounding through the meem. So the above, min b‘ad is sounds like mimm b‘ad when read. What ever you do, take this piece of advice and do not get mixed up between the full shaped meem (م) drawn above letters to indicate iqlaab, and the cut meem (مـ) to indicated a compulsory stop. Refer to the resources link below. Iqlaab must be sounded for two counts, i.e. the time it takes to say the words, “one – two”.

Examples of the third rule are as follow:

example one: min b‘ad – منْ بَعْدِ

example two: layunbathanna – لَيُنْبِذَنَّ

example three: samee‘an baseeran – سَمِيعَاً بَصِيراً

Resources Link:

Sukoon [Gateway to Arabic, page 48]

– Rules of stopping [Tajweed Basics: Foundations and More: page 15]

Tanween [Gateway to Arabic: page 40]

[Tajweed Basics: Foundations and More: pages 11 – 14]

Related Pages: Al-Noon Al-Saakinah: ith-haar –  Al-Noon Al-Saakinah: ikhfaa –  Al-Noon Al-Saakinah: idghaam


More about the Arabic letters can be found here: http://www.meem.freeuk.com/ scroll down to the “ABJAD TABLE” and select a letter.

اللهم يا مُقلِّبَ القلوب ثبتْ قلبي على دينك