The empty space in the mouth and throat is a place and an articulation point at the same time. The three medd (lengthened) letters originate from this general area, these letters are:
1.The alif preceded by a letter with a fat-hah (and the true alif is only in this state); the Arabic alif never takes a vowel and is always preceded by a fathah ( )
2. The wow with a sukoon preceded by a letter with a dhammah
3. The ya’ with a sukoon preceded by a letter with a kasrah
These three medd letters do not have a specific place that they are pronounced from, unlike all the other letters; instead these letters finish articulating with the stopping of the sound.
The medd letters are lengthened two counts if they are not followed by a hamzah or a sukoon. The lengthening when there is a hamzah or sukoon after the medd letter will be covered, insha’ Allah, in future lessons.
Common mistakes in these letters
Many times a reciter lets the sound of some or all of these letters come up from the empty space of the throat into the nose, and a nasalization (or ghunnah) of one or all of these letters then occurs. The most common letter for this to happen with is the lengthened “wow”.
To rid oneself of this error, the sound needs to be focused up and out the mouth. To practice and see if this error is present one should close off the nostrils and say the medd letter; if the sound becomes muted with the pinching off of the nostrils, or if it sounds like one has a cold, it is indeed coming up through the nose, and therefore incorrect.
A less common mistake is pronouncing one or all of these letters from a specific place in the throat. The resultant sound is usually a cross between one of the letters that are supposed to be articulated from the throat, and the medd letter. To tell if this mistake is present, one needs to say the medd letter, and if there is a pull in the throat, it is then incorrect. These medd letters should be pronounced with using only the vibration of the vocal cords and an accompanying opening of the mouth for the alif, a circling of the lips for the lengthened wow,and a lowering of the jaw with the lengthened ya’.