I'm Urdu speaking and my teacher said that I'm reciting the Quran in Urdu not in Arabic.

Question

I'm Urdu speaking and my teacher said that I'm reciting the Quran in Urdu not in Arabic. My Fatah is not correct. Please help me in this regard.

Answer

The  Fathah, dhammah and kasrah are the three vowels in Arabic. They are the short versions of the three medd letters. Fathah is the short version of the ألف, dhammah is the short version of the واو and  kasrah is the short version of the ياء. Each vowel requires an appropriate mouth and jaw movement to pronounce it properly. Fathah and ألف require opening of the mouth, the dhammah and واو are pronounced by circling of the two lips and the kasra and ياء  need retraction of the jaw.

Among the common mistakes many non-Arabs have in their fathah and alif is that they make them heavy or they don’t open their mouth enough while pronouncing them.

In order to understand the heavy fathahs or alifaat, we need to know the light and heavy letters in the Arabic alphabet. There are seven letters of tafkheem (heavy letters) grouped in the phrase: خص ضغط قظ . They have the characteristic of استعلاء   that makes them have tafkheem ( heaviness). The rest of the letters in the Arabic alphabet have the characteristic of استفال and they are read wtih tarqeeq (lightness or no takhfeem). The reader should  therefore always pronounce the استفال  letters lightly (meaning not heavy). The letter ألف follows that which precedes it, so it should also be pronounced lightly if preceded by a letter which is read lightly (no tafkheem).

The detailed lessons on these characteristics and the rules of heavy and light letters can be studied on the following links:

http://www.abouttajweed.com/tajweed-rules/52-the-characteristics-of-the-arabic-letters/52-the-characteristics-of-the-letters-part-4-al-isti-laa-al-istifaal

http://www.abouttajweed.com/tajweed-rules/53-tafkheem-and-tarqeeq/58-tafkheem-and-tarqeeq-part-2

Here are some tips to pronounce fathah and alif correctly when they are light.

The reader should open his/her mouth moderately. The upper and lower jaw as well as both sets of teeth should be separated and must not be touching each other. The tongue should be kept flat and its deepest part must not be raised. The sound should be pushed out of the mouth so there is no echo in the mouth. There should not be any pressure on the throat with alif since the articulation point of alif is Jawf, not the throat.

May Allah help you and all Muslims to read the Qur’an in the way it was revealed to Rasul Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).