I have heard somebody saying that the letter Raa should be said without any 'rolling' whatsoever..

Assalaamu 'Alaikum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuhu

I have heard somebody saying that the letter Raa should be said without any 'rolling' whatsoever. He says that Shaykh Husary & Shaykh Minshaawi (May Allah have mercy on them) read without 'rolling'. I listened to their recordings, and those of Abdul Baasit (May Allah have mercy on him) and Dr Ayman (May Allah preserve him), and am not convinced.

I understood 'without rolling' to mean a sound closer to 'R' in English (which was how this person read it as) than what I am accustomed to in Arabic. He also mentioned that there is a difference of opinion on this. Can you shed any light on this?

Jazaakallaahu Khairan Kathiran

Wassalaamu 'Alaikum wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuhu



Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

There are some modern books of tajweed that mention that we must avoid  even though it is a characteristic of the and that it is a characteristic we study to avoid,.  If we however, turn to the old books on tajweed, we see that the trilling, or  is mentioned, but we are warned not to be excessive in it, but not told to avoid it. 

Ash-Sheikh Dr. Ayman Swayd, may Allah preserve him, gave the following definition for  (translated into English): The light trilling of the tongue when pronouncing the  due to its tight articulation point.  The reciter should be careful not to exaggerate the repetition leading to the occurrence of more than one of the letter

As indicated in the above definition,  is part of the , but instead of “avoiding” it, as some books state, we should control it so that it doesn’t exceed more than one. 

The English “r” has a different articulation point than the Arabic , and the absence of excessive trilling will not lead to a sound like the English “r”.  The English “r” does not have the tongue colliding with the gums of the two front teeth.  You should hear the “hit” of the tip and top of the tip of the tongue as they collide with the gums of the two top front incisors in the correct Arabic  .  This sound is not heard in the English “r”.

It is quite uncommon to hear a known reciter trill the excessively so that the tongue hits the gums and separates from it more than once leading to the sound of repeated ’s.  What is normally heard is  without exaggeration and only one is heard. 

We have updated the definition of  on the site to reflect the more accurate definition put forth by his eminence, Dr. Ash-Sheikh Ayman Swayd.  This is the same definition found in Tajweed Rules of the Qur’an, part 2, by Ustadhah Kareema Czerepinski. 

Wa iyyaaakum wa-l-muslimeen.

Wa assalaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.