The Silent & Pronounced Alif

Have you ever noticed some people who seem to be present, can also seem to be invisible? Or sometimes they’re loud, and at other times they’re so quiet, they’re not even noticed…? Alif can do the same. Did you ever know? Find out below..

There are seven “alifs” in the Quran that that are sounded when stopping and silenced when continuing through in recitation. These alifs are signalled by the round sukoon-like shape above them: ( o )

These seven alifs are as follows:

– All occurrences of the word anaa ( ??? ) which have this symbol. When stopping, the alif is sounded for two counts (madd tabee’ee), but when continuing recitation, the alif is just sounded as a fat-ha. Example,

Read as:

when continuing: ana lakum ??? ??? )

when stopping: anaa .. lakum (  ??? .. ???  )

– This rule applies for the following words, in its own respective manner:

[Kahf 38]     Read as:

when continuing: laakinna huwa ( ?????? ?? )

when stopping: laakinnaa .. huwa (  ?????? .. ??  )

[Al-Ahzaab 10]     Read as:

when continuing: al-thunoona hunaalika (  ??????? ?????  )

when stopping: al-thunoonaa .. hunaalika (  ??????? .. ?????  )

[Al-Ahzaab 66]     Read as:

when continuing: al-rasoola wa qaaloo (  ??????? ? ??????  )

when stopping: al-rasoolaa .. wa qaaloo (  ??????? .. ? ??????  )

[Al-Ahzaab 67]     Read as:

when continuing: al-sabeela rabbanaa (  ??????? ?????  )

when stopping: al-sabeelaa .. rabbanaa (  ??????? .. ?????  )

Let’s note this case. Scholars of the Quran have noted that it is permissible to stop on the word salaasilaa with a sukoon, or to stop on it with two counts on the alif:

[Al-Insaan 4]     Read as:

when continuing: salaasila wa aghlaalan (  ?????? ? ???????  )

when stopping: salaasilaa .. wa aghlaalan (  ?????? .. ? ???????  )

when stopping: salaasil .. wa aghlaalan (  ?????? .. ? ???????  )

Now let’s note two special cases.

The word qawaareeraa in surat Al-Insaan, verse 16 is never pronounced as a long vowel when stopping. And it is always pronounced with a fat-ha when continuing. This also applies for all the occurrences of the word “thamood” (that contain this silent alif).

[Al-Insaan 15]     Read as:

when continuing (after both words): qawaareera qawaareera (  ??????? ???????  )

when stopping (after the first word): qawaareeraa .. qawaareera (  ??????? .. ???????  )

when stopping (after both words): qawaareeraa .. qawareer (  ??????? .. ???????  )

Read as:

when continuing: wa thamooda (  ? ?????  )

when stopping: wa thamood ? ?????  )

Be careful to never mistake these alifs for the other “normal” ones…

That’s all for this tajweed rule. Too easy. ?

Resources Link:

– Sukoon [Gateway To Arabic: page 48]

– Short vowels [Gateway To Arabic:  page 23, 24]

– Long vowels [Gateway To Arabic: page 45, 46]

– Read more about rules of stopping [Tajweed Basics: Foundations and More: page 15]

Note, these documents are found on the resources page.