|The Qalqalah Mechanism|
To understand this tidbit lesson, please make sure you have read and understood the two lessons on the mechanism for articulation of letters (lessons 14 and 15 from the top of the archive page), located in the tidbit archive section.
Letters other than the three medd letters which have no vowels are produced by collision ( ) of the two components of the articulating parts Voweled letters on the other hand are produced by parting of the two components of the articulating parts
1. Letters of strength ( ). The sound does not run at all when these letters are articulated without a vowel (saakinah), the articulation point is completely closed when a letter of this group is saakin. There are eight letters in this group. They are the letters in the phrase: or as stated in the Jazariyyah prose:
, meaning its [letters of] strength are in the phrase .
2. Letters in Between. ( ) These letters are pronounced with sound running in between the characteristic of imprisonment in the letters and the running of sound in the letters. The letters of this group are five in number:
3. Letters of softness ( ) These letters have clear and obvious running of the sound when they are articulated without a vowel (saakinah). Examples are in the following three saakin letters that are in the category of : . Each of these three letters in the example should have a running of the sound, longer than saakin letters of the other two groups The letters of this group are all the letters remaining when taking out the letters of and .
The letters of qalqalah are in the group , these letters are all in the group of letters. If we attempt to say one of these five qalqalah letters with a sukoon, we would find that the articulation point closes completely, and that it causes an annoyance in the articulation mechanism. This is due to imprisonment of the sound behind the articulation point. When these same five letters have vowels, we do not find this annoyance because voweled letters are pronounced parting of the two components of the articulating parts
Chart comparing the to voweled letters and non-voweled letters
From this chart we can see that a qalqalah letter is similar to a saakin letter, in that there is no accompanying jaw and mouth movement with it. On the other hand, it is unlike the saakin letter in that the qalqalah is articulated by separation
The definition of qalqalah is as follows:
Its linguistic definition: shaking, disturbance
Its applied definition: Disturbance of the letter when it is in the state of being non-voweled until a strong accent is heard when it is articulated by parting of the two components of the articulating parts, not by collision, without accompanying it any opening of the mouth, or circling of the lips, or lowering of the jaw.
A very important note: The qalqalah does not resemble a fat-h or a dhammah or a kasrah. It does not follow the vowel of the preceding letter, nor the following letter.
If the qalqalah letters have a shaddah indicating merging of two of the same letter ( ), the first letter of the shaddah (which is saakin) is then articulated by collision, or . For example: and . If we are stopping on the first word in the previous example, the first of the word is pronounced by collision, or , and the second is recited with a qalqalah. This means that the qalqalah is pronounced with without any accompanying mouth and jaw movement. The of the word would be the same as the in the word .
The Qalqalah is divided into two classes: The Lesser and Greater Qalqalah
The Lesser Qalqalah : This occurs when the qalqalah in is the middle of a word, or at the end of a word, and we are not stopping on that word. In this case we say the qalqalah, and immediately proceed to the next letter, or word. i.e. and
The Greater Qalqalah : This happens when the qalqalah is the last letter of a word, and we are stopping on that word. For example: .The difference between the two divisions is that there is more of a ring to the greater qalqalah because we are stopping on it, than there is on the lesser qalqalah.