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The letter ra’ ( ) can sometimes have tafkheem and sometimes not; I have noticed that this takes a lot of practice to get it right.  What is meant when it is said that the ra’ ( ) has also "drifting"?  Does this affect the tafkheem?


The letter  is one of the more challenging letters for the non-Arab to say correctly, especially, but not exclusively, native English speakers.  The  does have tafkheem (heaviness) sometimes and other times tarqeeq (lightness).  Part of the problem in achieving the correct amount of tafkheem often lies in a problem with the articulation point.  If the tip and top of the tip of the tongue are not striking or separating from the gums of the two front teeth, as should be, the mouth tends to go into a dhammah, or circle, in an unconscious attempt to obtain the desired sound of the  when there should be tafkheem with it.  The first thing to work on when trying to get the correct tafkheem or tarqeeq of the  is the articulation point.  If you are certain that you are hitting the tip and top of the tip of the tongue up to the gums, then you can start working on tafkheem and tarqeeq of the .  The tarqeeq, or lightness, is not difficult to achieve if the articulation point is correct, but the correct tafkheem of the  may take a little practice.  The tip of the tongue is used for the articulation, at the same time, the posterior portion of the tongue rises up to the soft palate, the sound is focused to the roof of the mouth, and there is an increased amount of separation between the upper and lower palate. 


The letter  has the intrinsic characteristic of “drifting” or as it is known in Arabic, .  This is defined as a deviation of the sound of the letter at its articulation due to the lack of complete running because of the turning away of the tongue from its path.   In the , this drifting of the sound is from the sides of the tongue inwards towards the middle. 

The letter  has this characteristic whether it has tafkheem or tarqeeq, so then  does not affect the tafkheem of the , instead it is present in both cases.