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How should we explain hamzah al-wasl to children?

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Votes: 3
Question
Assalamualaykum

First of all I would like to thank you for this wonderful service. Living in the west there is a huge lack of tajweed but access to websites like this is a help to learning and teaching tajweed of the Qur'an. May Allaah reward you for your efforts.

My question is in two parts, firstly regarding teaching children about hamzatul wasl.

1.Is using the term 'alif for link' along with hamzatul wasl appropriate to help small children understand the rule.

2. When explaining to them the rule is it necessary to inform them that a letter cannot start with sakoon so this extra alif is placed in front of the words. or should one just explain the rule?

3.When you have yaa sakinah preceded by a fatha, should the sound be a clear and distinct 'ay' sound as in 'tray' or 'play'. 

Jazzak Allaahu Khair
 
Answer
Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatkuh.
Jazakum Allahu khairan for your dua’, and we ask Allah to keep our intentions solely for His sake. 
1. We would prefer the term “hamzah for linking” be used, since that is the translation of hamzah al-wasl. With children, even with beginning adults, the hamzah wasl should be explained in minimum terms such as: when you see an alif with a tiny  over it, don’t pronounce that letter when joining it with the word before it, but when starting on this same word, it becomes a hamzah and the teacher will tell you which vowel to use when starting the word. 
 
 
2. For children under 12, it would be best just to explain which vowel is used in a particular case. After 12, it can be further described and explained such as stating that in Arabic, words cannot start with a sukoon, and that is the reason for this linking hamzah being present. It is better not to call it an alif since it can have a fathah, kasrah or a dhammah, and the true alif never has any vowel on it.
 
3. The "leen" letter is a sound often mispronounced by non-Arabs, and often is mispronounced as an “ay” sound. The English “ay” sound doesn’t have a clear fathah on the “a”. The reader has to be careful to say the first letter of  with a clear fathah, then pronounce the   or  saakinah. If one pronounces it like the sound in “play” or “tray” it will have imaalah, or a mixing of the fathah and a ya’. It is often necessary to have the student practice with a fathah on the letter before the  or   saakinah several times, then join the sound with the rest of the word to make sure they understand the sound of the fathah on the leen letter.  
Please also see the explanation of the leen letter:
 
Wa iyyaakum wa-l-muslimeen.  Wa assalaam alaikum. 
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