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I have a heavy nasal sound over all of my reading, maybe because I have an American Midwest accent.  My teacher says I have ghunnah (nasalization) in all my reading.  How can I get rid if this? 


Many people have the problem of an overwhelming nasalization throughout their reading.  This is common in Arabs as well as non-Arabs especially on the three medd letters (lengthenings).  What is needed is for the sound to be focused totally out the mouth and not to let the sound (or air flow while emitting the sound) flow up to the nose from the nasopharynx passage.  If you close off your nostrils while reciting, you will be able to determine whether the ghunnah is present or not.  You can practice saying a long wow, ya’, or alif with your nostrils closed and see if the sound is partially imprisoned.  If this occurs, you have an unwanted ghunnah.  At the beginning you will probably need to force the sound forward and out the mouth to try and get rid of the nasalization.  After practicing for a bit (it may take a long time, don’t worry), you will get used to the sound coming out the mouth, and you will be able to tell without closing your nose whether the sound has an unwanted ghunnah with it or not.  A word of caution: the letter  and  have a ghunnah inherent in their make up, so there will always be a ghunnah present when saying these two letters.  If you have your nostrils closed, do not think it is incorrect to hear the sound cut off when reciting these two letters.