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What is the difference between Alif and Hamzah?

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Votes: 3
Question
What is the difference between Alif and Hamzah? Can you please explain the differences and their usage model?
Jazak Allah

Answer
The true alif is a saakin letter after a fathah , as in the word  :   Some list the letter alif as in the Arabic alphabet  as to make clear that it is always preceded by a fathah and is always saakin. 

The regular hamzah   is a letter that looks like the head of the letter  and  is pronounced from the deepest part of the throat.  It can be written over or below different letters as a holding place for the hamzah, not part of the letter.  One of the letters the hamzah can "sit" on is the alif, such as in: , or it can be written on a ya': , or a as in: .  It can be written on a "tooth" demonstrated in the word: , or have no particular place to rest:

Please also see: http://www.abouttajweed.com/q240601.htm
Wa iyyaakum
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