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Laam saakinah rules, part 1 (Laam of the definite article "the") PDF Print E-mail

The definite article  

The definition of the definite article is:  It is an extra laam saakinah added to the basic makeup of the word. This noun is preceded by a hamzah al-wasl
( ) that is read with a fat-hah when starting the word, dropped when continuing from a previous word.  This definite article  is like the English word “the”. 

The noun that follows the definite article maybe a regular noun that stands on its own without the definite article (such as  or ), or it maybe irregular in that it cannot be broken down further from the   (such as  ).  The of the definite article can precede a noun beginning with any of the Arabic letters.

When there is the definite article  preceding a noun (it only enters nouns) there are only two possible rules for the :



 We will now explain when each of these occurs.

The clear pronunciation of the definite article (  of   )

If the definite article precedes a noun beginning with any of the fourteen letters in the group :

The  of the definite article is said clearly or with .  The of the definite article is then is called .

Examples of this are in the following two words:                

The  saakinah of the definite article is pronounce clearly in these words.  A reminder: the first letter of the word is a hamzah wasl, and it is only used if we are starting on the word.  If we start a word that has the definite article  as the second letter, we start on the hamzah al-wasl with a fat-hah. 

The merging of the definite article (  of )

If the  of the definite article “the” precedes any of the fourteen remaining letters of the Arabic alphabet, there is then an  (merging) of the  of the definite article into the next letter.  The fourteen letters that  merges into are:  .  As we know, when there is an , the two letters merge into one, and the letter that the two merge into acquires a shaddah  In this case then, the letter immediately following the , will have a shaddah on it.  This is called

Examples of laam shamsiyyah are in the following two words: 


In the above cases, the  of the definite article “the” is not pronounce at all, instead the reciter proceeds from the letter before the , which will be the fat-hah on the hamzah al-wasl if started the word, or the last letter and its accompanying vowel of the previous word if continuing, to the letter immediately following the .  This letter will have a shaddah on it, so will have two mechanisms of formation: first, collision
( )of the two articulating parts for the saakin part of the shaddah, then separation 
( ) of the two articulating parts with the appropriate jaw and mouth movement for the voweled part of the shaddah.

The Glorious Name of Allah has a   shamsiyyah, but it is an example of a word that cannot be broken down into a noun that stands by itself without the added definite article
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