The meem saakinah rules, part 1 (ikhfa' shafawee)

The definition of the  saakinah:  It is a  free from any vowel, and which has a fixed sukoon when continuing reading and when stopping.

This excludes the  that was originally without a vowel, but obtained one because the next letter also had a sukoon.  In the Arabic language it is not allowed to have two non-voweled letters next to each other; one will automatically obtain a vowel to eliminate this problem.

The  saakinah can be in the middle of a word or at the end of a word.  It can be in a noun, a verb, or a preposition or particle.

Included in the  saakinah rules is (the meem of plurality).  A  saakinah at the end of a word can sometimes, but not always indicate a plural, such as the possessive “their” or “your” or “them”, such as which means: for you plural, or , which means, “they have”.


The saakinah has three possible rules:

       1.  Hiding

       2.   Merging

       3.   Clear


The Oral Hiding

Its linguistic definition: hidden


Its applied definition: The pronunciation of a non-voweled letter, stripped of any “shaddah”, characterized as between clear
 () and merged (), with the ghunnah remaining on the first letter, which is in this case the .


Its letters: It has one letter which is the.


If a is followed immediately by a  , and this only occurs between two words, we then close our lips for the  with an accompanying ghunnah.  This is called .  It is called because the  has the characteristic of the , meaning in between  and since the lips are close with the letter , then separate with the letter .  It is called   because the  and is articulated from the two lips.  A lip in Arabic is, but the word is also used for “oral”.   could be translated as “the oral hiding”.


The last letter of the second word of this aayah immediately above is a saakinah; the first letter of the next word is a therefore  (oral hiding) rule is applied.  The lips close on with the  the sound is held with a ghunnah for the appropriate period of time, then the lips separate with the letter

Click here to listen to this aayah

In this aayah, the last letter of the first word is a  saakinah, and the first letter of the next word is a , so  (oral hiding) rule is applied as explained above.  

The next tidbit lesson will, insha’ Allah continue with the other  saakinah rules.