The Arabic alphabet has 28 letters, each with different sounds that should be pronounced based on specific rules to avoid any confusion when reading out loud. Tajweed, also called tajwid or tajwid al-Quran, refers to the rules of reciting the Quran Classes, and it uses the Arabic alphabet as its foundation. This article will cover all of the ins and outs of tajweed, including how to read and write the Arabic alphabet with tajweed and how to use the Uthmani script of the Quran for correct pronunciation of Allah’s word.
The First Sound – Alif
The first letter of the alphabet, is pronounced by touching tongue on roof of mouth just behind front teeth and then gently blowing air. The sound is aa.
The Second Sound – Ba
This sound is similar to b in English, but it’s longer, more pronounced and comes from deep within your chest. To make it, purse your lips together as if you were saying Ooh! then blow out gently through pursed lips. It should sound like a hissing noise coming from deep within your chest. Practice making that sound before moving on. Then start slowly combining all three sounds into words and sentences: Baa baa black sheep have you any wool?
The Third Sound – Ta
There are three sounds in Arabic that do not exist in English. These sounds are called radicals because they appear at the beginning of a word or syllable, such as in تامّة (tamma), كامل (kāmil), or رجل (rajul). These letters may represent an entire word by themselves, but more often than not, they serve as markers for vowels.
The Fourth Sound – Tha
The letter thāʾ is formed by placing two dots over one letter, as shown in Figure 4. The dot which falls below (in a more vertical position) represents thaṣḥah, which refers to falling or sinking. Thus, when you make a vowel into a diacritic, you change its pronunciation from what it would normally be.
The Fifth Sound – Da
This letter has a very soft sound when isolated. However, it can take on many different sounds depending on its position in a word. In general, it takes on a d sound; however, if it is paired with another Da, then it takes on an N sound instead.
The Sixth Sound – Ra
The sixth sound, Ra, is an isolated sound. That means there isn’t a letter before or after it that makes a complete word. The Ra can only be said by itself. Because of its isolated form, the rules for pronouncing it are slightly different from all other sounds in Arabic.
The Seventh Sound – Zaa
الزا The letter zaa زهْ. This is a voiced alveolar consonant, which means it’s produced by touching your tongue at a specific place of your mouth (alveolar ridge), creating a slight obstruction of air moving through that point, sounding like a z in English. Its sound is much like that of ذ, but pronounced further back in your mouth. Tajweed
The Eighth Sound – Gha (resembles ch in chew)
The first thing we must do is break our mind of what ‘Gha’ sounds like in English. When you hear it in English, your mind instantly translates it into a hard G sound. To pronounce gha, open your mouth as wide as possible, stick out your tongue and make a shhh sound (don’t let any air come out). Now allow yourself to be loose enough that you can feel vibrations coming from deep within your throat. Feel how tight it feels?