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About the letters Kha and Ghayn, besides the fact that both of these letters have a round sound, I have been taught that..

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As salaamu alaikum wa rahmatullahe wa baraka dear brothers in Islam. About the letters Kha and Ghayn, besides the fact that both of these letters have a round sound, I have been taught that they also have a grating sound. However, where as I may hear some Qarees (e.g. Sheikh Saad Al Ghamdi) reciting the letter Kha with a grating sound, I do not hear Qarees reciting the letter Ghayn with a grating sound AT ALL. Secondly, I have learnt that the letter daad is not pronounced with a D sound nor a Z sound but in between the two extremes. Thirdly, I notice that many Qarees stop at places in the Quran at which there is no stop and yet do not repeat from where they stopped but just continue. For example; Shaikh Shuhraim and Shaikh Haani Refaae. Is what they do incorrect? Also, my final question is that of when the letter raa is flat and not round where does one put the tongue or in other words, where is its Makhraj?  Jazakallahu khair.


Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh,

We apologize for the delay in answering this.  We remember  that you sent a sound file with the letters too, but since attachments are automatically deleted we do not have that.  We thought we responded by email, but cannot find it in our files.  We are not sure what you mean by a “round” sound.  Both letters have running of the sound, but the has imprisonment of the running of breath while the has running on of the breath.  The “grating” sound you refer to with the maybe the running of the breath, and if that is the case, it is a correct sound.

The letter  has a very different articulation point from both the and the zay, and is not in between the two letters, nor close to them.   It is articulated from the side of the tongue and the molars, whereas the and use the top of the tip of the tongue, and the tip respectively.  It would not be correct to categorize the  as in between the letter and . 

The study of the stop and start is not a clear black and white one.  There are different scholars who have different opinions about the grammatical place a particular word has in an aayah, and the difference leads to some allowing a stop where other do not allow it.  If one is not well accomplished in Arabic grammar and the tafseer of the Qur’an, it is always better to stop on the marked stops.  Scholars that have great knowledge in grammar and tafseer may, due to their knowledge, stop in a different place than a marking. 

Again, we are not sure what is meant by round and flat, but it may be you are referring to tafkheem (velarization) and tarqeeq (attenuation).  The articulation point of the letter does not change with tafkheem and tarqeeq, what changes is the position of the posterior portion of the tongue.  The letter is articulated from the tip and the top of the tip and the gums of the two front top incisors.  With tafkheem, the posterior portion of the tongue is elevated and the sound of the letter is focused up to the roof of the mouth with tafkheem, and the posterior portion of the tongue is not elevated and the sound is not focused up to the roof of the mouth with tarqeeq.  Just a note, the mouth should not be rounded with tafkheem unless the letter that has tafkheem has a dhammah.  The correct way of making tafkheem is by the way described above. 

 May Allah reward all Muslims with khair.

Wa assalaam alaikum.
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