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I have read a lot of conflicting information on the articulation of Raa'. Since this letter has the undesirable sifaat of repetition, is..

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Assalaamu 'alaikum.
Being new to Arabic and without a teacher, one of the tajweed rules that has caused me some confusion is the rule of deviation. I am relatively confident in my pronunciation of Laam but I have read a lot of conflicting information on the articulation of Raa'. Since this letter has the undesirable sifaat of repetition, is the tongue placed in a position close to that used to create a rolled "r" heard in many Arabic dialects or is it entirely different. On your excellent page of tajweed lessons, it states that the left and right sides of the very tip of the tongue are used to produce Raa'. Is there actually a visible passage running down the tip of the tongue or is the air supposed to escape to either side of the tip. In my practice, I can stop the repetition by letting the air escape to either side of the tip similar to the American (L), but I have not been able to make a opening in the center of the tip appear. In recordings of reciters that I have listened to, the raa' does indeed sound similar to an curled (L). Another question I have is whether or not the rule of deviation is applied to the laam and Raa' when saakin.
Wa salaam.

Answer

Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

The characteristic of deviation, , is present in the  and  when they are voweled and when they are saakinah. The deviation is in the sound of the letter, and in the  is from the sides of the tongue inwards towards the middle of the tip  tongue. This is not the same as the little bit of running of the sound that occurs with the letter .

The  uses the tip and top of the tip, not just the left and right sides of the tip.  As indicated in the question though, there is a very small passage for sound but the it is a very small amount and one can’t really feel it. Instead of trying to make a space for the sound, just do not stick the tongue completely at the articulation point so the sound then will have a place to run out.   The place used for a rolled  is the articulation point but we should not block off the articulation point completely, instead a little relaxing is done at the tip and this is what is needed for the sound to escape and avoid the excess trilling. Air should not come out with the , only sound. 

The American “L” is not the same, since the American “L”  uses the upper front teeth and the bottom part of the tongue.  It may be easier to try and achieve it by saying first the letter , then using the same area, add the top of the tip and curl your tongue up a bit.  

Insha’ Allah this is of help to  you, and we pray that you find an excellent teacher and that you perfect your pronunciation of Allah’s Glorious words.

Wa assalaam alaikum wa rahmatullah.

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