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I have a question on behalf of a sister who is learning tajweed.  She says that when she listens to the reading of the Qur'an and especially when she recites herself, she can barely hear any difference between a hamzah
 ( ) and an 'ain ( ).  Would you have any suggestions for her?

Thank you and may Allah reward you.


Wa iyyakum.  Allah knows best, it may be that this sister is new to the Qur’an and tajweed.  She needs to develop two things, insha’ Allah.  The first, an ear for the difference in sound between the two letters,  and .  The second, a feel for the difference in articulation point of the two letters.  She may have studied the articulation point, and knows theoretically that the  is emitted from the deepest part of the throat, and the  from the middle, but she needs to feel where the two letters are coming from when she attempts to pronounce them.  This can only be done with a qualified teacher telling her, “Yes, this is the correct ”, or “No, that wasn’t an  it was a ,” until she can differentiate the two.  She should also, while listening to the Qur’an recited by a good reciter, look at her copy of the Qur’an as he is reciting, and focus on every  and , and listen to the difference in sound. 

Her problem is not an uncommon one with non-Arabs, and with dua’, perseverance, and practice, insha’ Allah she will accomplish pronouncing and hearing the two different letters correctly.