Heavy Letters In Arabic

Heavy Letters In Arabic

The Arabic alphabet features both heavy and light sounds for each letter. Beginners might wonder how many heavy letters are in Arabic. Well, there are 7 heavy letters in total, which include (خ ص ض غ ط ق ظ). These letters can be combined into one word that is خص ضغط قظ. However, this word does not mean anything. It is just to make the heavy letters of Arabic tajweed easy to remember. We use this word because it contains all the heavy letters in Arabic.

One of the crucial topics that every reciter must pay attention to while reading Tajweed is the heaviness or lightness of the letters. The heaviness of a letter refers to how much effort it takes to pronounce it correctly. This is one of the basic Tajweed rules that every reciter must adhere to when reading the Quran. Light letters are also known as Tarqeeq letters, whilst heavy letters are also known as Tafkheem letters

What Are Heavy Letters?

As we all know that there are two types of letters in the Arabic alphabet: heavy and light. The heaviness or lightness of a letter is determined by the amount of air that is exhaled when pronouncing it.

Heavy letters are pronounced with a full mouth, while light letters are pronounced with a less open mouth. This distinction is important because it can change the meaning of words when they are incorrectly pronounced. For example, the word رجل (rajul) means man. However, if you pronounce the first letter as a light letter, it will change the meaning to “foot.”

There are diverse heavy letters in Arabic examples. They will tell you that you can change the meaning of a word with the wrong pronunciation. That’s why it’s important to be able to correctly identify heavy and light letters in Arabic.

Why Are Heavy Letters So Important?

Differentiating between full mouth heavy letters in Arabic and light letters is important in Tajweed. It is because it affects the meaning of the words. For example, the word كتاب (book) would be read differently if the letter ك is read as a heavy letter or a light letter. A heavy letter is pronounced with a full mouth, while a light letter is pronounced with a lighter mouth. There are also some letters that can be either heavy or light, depending on the context.


Tafkheem is defined as fattening. In general, it is a heaviness that penetrates the letter’s body, causing the reverberation to fill the mouth. Raising the posterior tongue to the roof of the mouth is the technique for creating a letter with the tafkheem feature. The purpose is to increase the distance between the mouth’s roof and the bottom. Moreover, pay attention to how hard the letter is pressing against your mouth’s roof.

Degrees of Tafkheem Cairo

There are 5 degrees in Tafkheem Cairo. Right now, we are going to mention these degrees as follows:

  1.         The first degree is a heavy letter with an alif and a fatha after the fatha.
  2.         A heavy letter with a fatha is the second degree.
  3.         Third Degree is a heavy letter with dhamma.
  4.         A heavy letter with a kasra represents the fourth degree.
  5.         A heavy letter with a sukoon represents the fifth degree.


When it comes to Damascus then there are also five degrees. We are going to mention these degrees as follows:

  1.  Fatha with an alif in the first degree.
  2.  Fatha alone is the second degree.
  3.  Dhamma alone is the third degree.
  4.  Fourth degree is the sound of Sukoon which is not depending on the vowel that comes before it.
  5.  Kasra is known as the fifth degree.

The Rules of Alif Maddiyyah

The alif follows the heaviness and lightness guidelines of the letter to which it is attached.

The Rules of Laam

Laam cannot be made heavy unless two requirements are met. The first is that Lafdh ul Jalalah is where the laam takes place. The other is that it ought to come before a dhamma or fatha. The dhamma or fathas may be permanent. Otherwise, they can be the result of two sukoons not being joined.

The Rules of Ra Heavy

There are diverse rules of Ra Heavy. At the moment, we are going to mention these rules of Ra below:

  • If a fatha is present.
  • If it contains dhamma.
  • If a fatha or dhamma in the same word comes before the ra and it has a permanent sukoon.
  • If the ra has a permanent sukoon and a permanent kasra in the same word came before it. It is nonetheless followed by a heavy letter.
  • The ra will likewise be heavy if it has a permanent sukoon but the kasra is in the prior word.
  • It will also be heavy if the ra has a permanent sukoon but its temporary kasra came before it.
  • The ra will be heavy if it has a temporary sukoon but is preceded by a fatha, dhamma, alif, or wow madiyyah.
  • We intend to analyze the letter before the ra if it is preceded by another letter with sukoon and has a temporary sukoon. The ra will be heavy if that letter contains a fatha or dhamma.

The Rules of Ra Light

         There are different rules of Ra Light. At the moment, we are going to mention these rules of Ra below:

  • Ra contains the kasra.
  • The ra has a permanent sukoon. Also, it is preceded by a kasra in the same word and is followed by no heavy letter.
  • The ra is followed by a kasra in the same word and has a temporary sukoon.
  • The ra is preceded by a ya sakinah and contains a temporary sukoon.
  • We intend to analyze the letter before the ra if it is preceded by another letter with sukoon and has a temporary sukoon. If there is a kasra in that letter, the Ra will be light.
  • The word kasra comes before the ra, which has a permanent sukoon. In the following word, the heavy letter comes after it.

What Are Light Letters in Arabic?

Light letters in Arabic are those that are pronounced with a light touch, such as with the tip of the tongue. They include hamza, fatha, kasra, and lam. On the other hand, heavy letters are those that require a full mouth pronouncement. Differentiating between the two is important in proper Tajweed.


Tarqeeq is characterized as thinness. In general, thinness enters the letter’s body, preventing its reverberation from filling the mouth.

Every other letter in the Arabic alphabet consistently makes the sound light. Therefore, everything else can be pronounced as light letters as long as you can remember the seven heavy letters and a few rules for the other letters.

Heavy and light letters with Fathah

Certain letters produce what is referred to as a light sound when the short vowel is placed on top of them. As of now, we know that adding a fathah to a letter causes it to sound like the letter “a” in the word “apple” in English. The majority of all letters that begin with fathah make the sound “a.” However, some letters have a heavy tone to them. As a result, when you add fathah to those letters, the “A” sound is produced instead of the letter “a.”.

Some Points To Remember About Heavy Letters

There are certain points which you need to remember about heavy letters. Each of these heavy letter points has its own importance. If you do not want to make mistakes while reciting or memorizing Quran then read out these points.

You are changing what the Quran means if you make heavy letters light or light ones heavy.
If the word “lam” in the name of Allah is followed by the letters فتحة or ضمة, we pronounce it as a heavy letter.
Avoid pouting when pronouncing any letter to avoid making it seem heavy.
The deepest section of your tongue must be raised.
Raise the deepest part of your tongue to pronounce any letter like a heavy letter.
We must pronounce this lam as light because it appears in the name of Allah before the letter with كسرة.

How To Pronounce Heavy Letters In Arabic?

The novices usually wonder how to pronounce heavy letters in Arabic. Well, the answer is quite easy as you just need to put pressure on the heavy letters. While reciting, you have to apply pressure with the full mouth on the heavy letters. Also, keep in mind the rules of heavy letters. Do not mistake putting pressure on the light letters. Otherwise, you will be making them heavy which may change the meaning.

In the event that you are wondering how do you say heavy letters in Arabic then no problem! You can get in touch with any popular Quran academy or tutor. They will teach you the basic rules and laws of heavy letters in Arabic. In this way, you will be reading the Quran with its true meaning.

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