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The Characteristics of the letters, Part 3, Ash-shiddah, At-Tawassit, Ar-Rakhaawah PDF Print E-mail

Characteristics that have opposites

The Strong, The Moderate, and the Soft , , and

This second “pair” of opposites actually consists of three different characteristics; as before, each letter has only one of these three characteristics.   The understanding and correct application of these three characteristics makes the difference between average recitation and accomplished recitation. 

 is defined linguistically as the strength.  In applied tajweed it is defined as: Imprisonment of the running of the sound when pronouncing a letter to complete the reliance on the articulation point.

Since the reliance on the articulation point is strong with this characteristic, we then know that it is a strong characteristic.  Please note that with  the running of the sound is imprisoned, but with  the running of the breath is imprisoned. 

The letters of the Arabic alphabet that have the characteristic of  are those in the group: .  The first thing to take note of concerning the eight letters of this group is that all of the qalqalah letters (those in the group ) are in this group.

 The only other letters in  group that are not also qalqalah letters are the letters   and .  In all cases except for and , all characteristics are applied simultaneously to a letter, but when the  and  are saakinah, first the characteristic of  is applied, then the characteristic of , which as explained in the last tidbit, is the running of air. 

 

 is defined linguistically as moderation and is the second of three characteristic in this “pair” of opposites. It is the moderate of the three characteristics and is in between the two other characteristics of strength and softness.  Its applied tajweed definition is: between strength and softness so that the sound is partially imprisoned and partially running when pronouncing the letter.

The letters of  are those found in the group:

 

 is defined linguistically as softness.  In applied tajweed is defined as: Running on of sound with the letter to weaken the reliance on the articulation point.

The letters that have this characteristic are all the rest of the Arabic letters after the letters of
( ) and the letters of  ( ) are removed.

Since there is a weakening of the reliance on the articulation point with the running of the sound in the characteristic of , it is considered a weak characteristic.

 

The application of these characteristics are present in the appropriate letters at all times, but are especially noticeable when the letters have a sukoon, or no vowel on them.  It is at this point that the fruits of this lesson become apparent in the recitation, and their application differentiates between an accomplished reciter and non-accomplished reciter. 

  

Its linguistic definition: Strength

Its linguistic definition:
Moderation

Its linguistic definition:
 Softness

Its applied definition:
Strength: Imprisonment of the running of the sound when pronouncing a letter to complete the reliance on the articulation point.

 

Its applied definition:Moderation: The letter is in between  the two characteristics; between strength and softness so that the sound is partially imprisoned and partially running when pronouncing the letter.

 

Its applied definition:
 Softness: Running on of sound with the letter toweaken the reliance on the articulation point

 

Its letters:

Its letters:

 

Its letters: the rest of the Arabic alphabet

 

 

Fruits of the characteristics of , , and

 

There are 28 letters that take vowels, alif is not included in the number, since the alif never takes a vowel and is always saakinah.  The vowels are equal in timing between all letters, no matter whether the letter has the characteristic of  (strength),  (in between), or  (softness).  No letter is longer than another when they are voweled; all vowels are equal.  An example can be drawn in the word       each letter has a vowel, in this word it so happens that all the letters have a fat-h.  The first letter in this word is a , which has the characteristic of , or softness, the second letter is a , which has the characteristic of  (in between softness and strength), and the third letter is a , which has the characteristic of  (strength); yet when this word is recited properly, the timing of the ، ،  are all equal.  No voweled letter is longer in timing than the other. 

When there is a sukoon on the Arabic letters, the case is different.  There is a difference in timing of the saakinah letters depending on whether they have the characteristic of  or , or .  The shortest timing for saakinah letters is for the letters of  (which are: "").  The saakinah  letters have a longer timing than those of , and the saakinah letters of group have a longer timing than that of group of letters (the group). 

All saakinah letters have equal timing to each other.  This means that  saakinah should have the same timing as saakinah, as well as all other letters of this group of . In the same line of thought, all letters of  that have a sukoon are equal in timing to each other.  The  saakinah should have the same timing as  saakinah, etc.    saakinah and

This law of equality among similes was documented by Al-Imam Al-Jazaree, in his poem:
  , when he said:

(and the parallel of an utterance is equal to it). 

 

If we look at the first aayah of the Faatihah, we can analyze this further.

The first letter of the first word:  has a vowel, so it takes the time that all vowels have of one vowel count.  The second letter is a  with a sukoon, and we know that the  has the characteristic of , and we also know that  group of letters has the longest timing of all the other letters, when saakin.  We keep in mind though, that all  letters that are saakinah are equal in length to each other. The third letter, a  has a vowel, so it has the timing that all voweled letters have.  The third letter that is pronounced is the saakin letter of the shaddah, a , in the word: and of  group, so it gets a timing a little shorter than that of the  saakinah that was in the previous word.  The next letter is the second  of the shaddah, a laam with a fat-h , and this gets the timing all voweled letters get.  After this is an alif, which is always in a lengthened state, and it receives the measure of two vowel counts.  After that, there is a  with a kasrah, so it receives the timing of one vowel count, equal to all other vowels.  The next pronounced letter is the first part of the shaddah on the , a  with a sukoon.  The  is of  group of letters, so it receives an in between amount of timing, exactly the same timing of the laam saakinah in the word .  The following letter is the second part of the shaddah, a  with a fath, so it receives one vowel count of timing.  After this there is a  with a sukoon on it.  This letter is of group of letters, and as previously discussed they have the longest timing of all saakinah letters.  The  that follows this has a fat-h, and therefore receives one vowel count.  It is followed by an alif, which receives the equal of two vowel counts.  The  with a kasrah that comes after the alif receives one vowel count. The next pronounced letter is the first part of the  that has a shaddah on it, a  saakinah.  It is of  group of letters, so it receives an in between amount of timing, and equal to all other letters of this same group.  The following letter is the second part of the shaddah, a  with a fath, so it receives one vowel count of timing.  After this, there is a  with a kasrah on it, and it therefore receives one vowel count.  A medd letter comes next, and as previously studied in the mudood section, it receives two vowel counts if not followed be a hamzah or sukoon.  In this case, we will be stopping on the word , so will be putting a presented sukoon on the .  There is then a , and the  therefore will be lengthened 2, 4, or 6 counts. The last letter, a  will be stopped on with a sukoon, and therefore will have an in between amount of timing on it, that the same of all saakinah letters of  group of letters. 

In conclusion, all voweled letters are equal in time to one another; all getting one vowel count.  Saakinah letters have different lengths of timing depending on which group they belong to.  The letters of group have the longest timing, yet they are equal in timing to each other.   group of letters have a shorter amount of timing when saakinah, but again, equal to each other.  The  letters have the shortest timing of all the saakinah letters, and are equal to each other. 

Click here to listen to the basmalah, and analyze the timing of the saakinah letters.
 
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