Mechanism of the formation of letters (Part 2)
letters occur by the parting
() of two components of the
articulating parts. The sound of
all letters occurs like this when voweled.
Accompanying the parting of the articulation bodies is the appropriate
mouth and jaw movements for the written vowel.
of the mouth. This occurs with a fat-h
of the lips. This happens with a dhammah.
of the jaw. This happens with a kasrah.
example is in the following:
by the separation of the two lips and the opening of the mouth.
by the separation of the two lips and the circling of the lips.
by the separation of the two lips and the lowering of the bottom jaw.
vowels must sound like a shortened version of its origin.
The alif is the origin of the fat-h, the long
the origin of the dhammah, and the long
the origin of the kasrah. The
reader must be careful not to pronounce these vowels incorrectly, such as when
the kasrah is pronounced in between a kasrah and a
fat-hah. Some readers mistakenly
open the sides of the mouth for a fat-hah instead of opening the mouth
vertically; the result of this mistake is called imaalah, which means tilting.
Other readers do not make a complete circle of their lips for a dhammah
and the resulting sound is like that of the English “O”.
Another mistake readers may make is not lowering the jaw completely for
the kasrah, and the resulting sound is that of a short i. We should not let
our mouths be lazy; the correct way of pronouncing vowels need more mouth and
jaw action than the incorrect way. The
vowel and letter formation is one of the most important items of research in
the knowledge of tajweed because it is linked to all 29 letters of Arabic.
We must be careful to pronounce these vowel sounds correctly and at the
same time be careful not to put a vowel on a saakinah letter. For example the word:
a dhammah, the
sukoon, the second
a dhammah, and the
sukoon. We have to be sure to say
the dhammah on the
, then return our mouths to
a neutral position for the
, then make a dhammah
for the second
, then back to a neutral
position for the
This takes practice in the mirror to accomplish the mouth movement in
the proper sequence. The most common mistake in a word like this is leaving the
mouth in a dhammah for the letters that have a sukoon on them.
The resultant sound is like half a dhammah instead of the pure sukoon
sound required. This is even more
pertinent with the letter is a qalqalah letter, such as is the case of the
when it has a sukoon on it.
The qalqalah should have no vowel sound accompanying it.
The mechanism of the qalqalah will be covered in future tidbit lessons,