Its linguistic definition: It is a sound that is emitted from the nasal passage, without any function of the tongue.
Its applied definition: A unconditional nasalized sound fixed on the -even if it is a tanween- and the .
This means that the ghunnah is an inherent sound in the and , whether the and have a vowel or not.
The letters of the ghunnah: The and the . The noon includes the tanween.
Articulation point of the ghunnah: The opening of the nose that connects with the back of the mouth (the nasal passage). The fact that the ghunnah is emitted from the nose can be demonstrated by closing off the nostrils, and trying to emit the sound of the ghunnah. It is impossible.
Ranks of the ghunnah
There are four levels of the ghunnah:
- Most Complete
- Most Incomplete
1. Most complete ghunnah () : This is the longest ghunnah. The with a shaddah and with a shaddah fall into this category, as well as when there is an (idghaam with a ghunnah). This means when there is a saakinah or tanween followed by one of the letters in the "" group, or when there is or a the ghunnah is given its most complete timing. Examples of these are:
2. Complete ghunnah (): This is the second longest ghunnah. The hidden and ikhfa’ shafawee (hidden ) fall into this category. When the saakinah or saakinah are followed by one of the letters of ikhfa’ the ghunnah that results from this ikhfa’ is the complete in its timing, but not as long as the most complete ghunnah. Examples of this are:
3. Incomplete ghunnah (): This ghunnah is shorter in timing than the complete ghunnah. The saakinah and saakinah that are recited with , or clearly, are in this category of length of ghunnah. Examples are:
4. Most incomplete ghunnah (): This is the shortest ghunnah of all. The and with vowels are in this category of length of ghunnah.
Note: The difference in timing between these different categories of ghunnah is very minute. Only an experienced reader and listener can tell the difference.
To say the ghunnah with complete technique, it is necessary that the heaviness or lightness of the letter that follows the of a saakinah is observed during the ghunnah. If the saakinah or tanween is followed by one of these letters: the ghunnah then will have tafkheem or in other words, be heavy. This tafkheem will be the same rank of tafkheem which the next letter will have depending on its vowel, and whether or not there is an alif after it. The concept of tafkheem and the ranks of tafkheem will be covered in later tidbit lessons, insha’ Allah.