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Assalaamu alaikum
I have come across your site a few days ago and am already very impressed
and pleased by it.  It is exactly the type of information that I need. 
May Allah reward you, and make this project successful.

My problem is with pronouncing both r (raa) and w (waw).  When I say one
of them, they both sound the same in my ears.  Also when I say them they
sound the same (NB. the problem is also with my English pronunciation of
these letters).

I have read your descriptions of "r" i.e. hit/strike the gums of the front
incisors with the tongue tip (and the top of the tip).  But can you tell
me what shape my mouth/jaw/lips should be.  In what position do they
start, go into, and end in.

May Allah give you Jannah.  


Wa alaikum assalaam wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakaatuh.

Jazakum Allahu khairan for your dua’ and comments.

If the letter  and the letter   are sounding similar to your ears, it very well may be that you are pronouncing the letter  with a circling of the lips.  This is not an uncommon problem and there are several steps that can be taken to correct the pronunciation, with Allah’s Will. 

If the hitting of the tip and top of the tip of the tongue to the gums does not happen or is weak, there tends to be an incorrect compensation in the lips, in other words, the lips circle and the sound of “w” comes out instead of the correct  .  It does take practice to get used to hitting the tongue up to the gums for this letter, since in many languages this doesn’t occur for the “r”.  The lips move with the letter  according to the vowel on the .  If there is a fat-h, the mouth should open vertically while hitting the tip and back part of the tip of the tongue against the gums of the two front incisors, as stated in the question.  If there is a kasrah on the , there should be a lowering of the jaw, and if there is a dhammah on the , there should be a circling of the lips and the lips should protrude forward with the circling, as they do in the word “refuge”, but there is more outer lip movement while circling the lips in the correct Arabic dhammah sound than the English example.

We suggest that you listen to surah Al-Muddath-thir (surah number 74), read by either Sheikh Al-Husary or Sheikh Abdullah Basfar and concentrate on how the  sounds at the end of the aayaat that end with a ; there are quite a few aayaat in this surah ending in a .  You will need to listen many times to absorb the correct sound of the , then after listening several times, try imitating just the last word of each aayah that ends in a .  Beginning with trying to say the   saakinah will make you focus more on the articulation point.  You should be able to feel your tongue hitting the gums, if you are not sure, then you are most likely not hitting the tongue on the gums.  Since the   is saakinah at the end of many of these aayaat (we always stop with a sukoon), there should be no lip or jaw movement accompanying it.  Look in a mirror while you practice saying the  saakinah, after listening to the recording of the sheikh, and make sure your mouth is not circling, and the lips are not protruding forward.

After you are sure that the tongue tip and top of the tip are hitting the gums of the two front incisors with the  saakinah, start practicing with the three different vowels.  Do not rush to this step, try to make sure you are really saying the letter well in its saakin state before moving on to the vowels. 

Make a lot of dua’, for verily Allah is the One who teaches us.  Ask Allah for the ability to pronounce the letter  correctly and at the same time, employ the reasons for success: listening to proper pronunciation, and practicing a great deal. 

We ask Allah to make it easy for you to recite the Qur’an with proper articulation points of the letters and application of tajweed, and give you Jannah also.  Ameen.