Names of Arabic letters

May 10, 2013 at 5:47 PM
I seek clarification with regards to names of the Arabic letters. For example the names of the letter yaa or haa or raa, etc. are addressed and pronounced with hamza like ياء- هاء - راء.

But In reciting the horof al-muqataa, these letters are pronounced just as ya, ha, ra. يا - ها -را etc. without the hamza. Why is this the case? How come the hamza is omitted or is it that the name of theses letters have no hamza in the first place ?
Many thanks,
May 10, 2013 at 9:35 PM
Edited May 11, 2013 at 4:37 AM
ws wrA wb lightbeing (== angel :)

Normally, the name of a letter is not how it is pronounced but rather the name is an example of a word using the sound of that letter preferably alone just as in English where for example letter A is named "Ay" but pronounced as "a".

However, when a letter comes alone (not part of a word) as the case with the initial letters of 29 chapters in the Quran, then it should be pronounced as per its name UNLESS it has some med or haraka on/below it which then cause it to be read as if inside a word.

In the Quran if a letter has "med" == "~" == (elongation sign) then the sound (not the name) of the letter should be pronounced for the duration of 3 vowels. If "med" is followed by "shadda" as the case of the last word of chapter Al-Fatiha ("al-dhaaaaaaleen") then it should pronounced for the duration of 6 vowels instead of 3.

Ali Adams
God >
May 10, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Salaams silverlight5

Thank you for your kind reply but I do not think I am satisfied with the answer you have given me.

So let us take this example كهيعص as in the first aya of Sura Maiyam (as).

Now all the recitors will read the aya as كــــــاف ها يا عيـــــــن صــــــاد . So my question is why have they not recited the aya as كـــــاف هـــــاء يــــاء عيـــــن صــــاد ?

As i understand Kaf,ein & sad each has a med because it is med 3arithee due to the sukoon on the last letter of each of these letter name. And if the hamza for haa and yaa are acknowledged then both haa and yaa will have long med too?

Grateful for more clarification!

Lots of blessings,

May 10, 2013 at 11:35 PM
Salam brother and you are absolutely correct.

I just listened to all recitors in QuranCode for aya 19:1 and all (except the non-Arabs) recited the "Yaa" and "Haa" as "Ya" and Ha". We know there is no "med" on these two letters but there is on the other three, but still one would expect to hear the full letter name without "med".

I will ask others and find the answer in sha Allah and post it here asap in sha Allah. I just hope they will not say because it is inside a word, because there Initial Letters are meant to be chapter modifiers to bring them into "Readable Text" status. Allah A3lem.

Thank you for the wonderful question and in sha Allah we will all learn something new in sha Allah.


May 11, 2013 at 12:24 AM
Edited May 11, 2013 at 4:37 AM
Salam brother Ali,

I found the following answer at may Allah bless them with more knowledge in sha Allah.

.نحن نتلفظ بالحروف المقطعة في أوائل السور كما في هجائها ،باستثناء حذف الهمزة في بعض الحروف مثل (الطاء والهاء والياء) ؛ لأنه يترتب على إبقائها حكم تجويدي , وهو المد
"All initial letters are to be recited as per their names except those ending with hamza (e.g. Taa طاء , Haa هاء , Yaa ياء , ...) which must have their hamza silent to prevent the default hamza elongation (or medd ~) which is apparently a requirement in Tajweed ." Allah A3lem.

Hope this answers your question and if you come across anything else please let me know immediately.

Barak Allah feek and jazak Allah kul khair.


May 11, 2013 at 7:14 PM
Best Salaams Br Ali,

Thank you very much for your prompt reply!

I am confused by the outlined reason that is kindly provided within your last response. I mean so what if the hamze is to remain and therefore we would have the appropriate med due to the hamza by applying the tajweed rule? and if so then why would it be so bad? I simply do not understand.

Is it not that the rest of the letters like kaf 3een and sad have med too because of another type of tajweed rule?

Many thanks again and I really appreciate your sincere dedication!

Salami to you with lots of blessings,
May 11, 2013 at 8:14 PM
Exactly :)