What are The 7 Heavy Letters in Arabic?

The heavy letters in Arabic, also known as “full mouth letters,” are pronounced by fattening and thickening the letter at its point of articulation. This technique fills the mouth with echoes, making the sound strong and resonant. The seven heavy letters are:

The 7 Heavy Letters in Arabic (Isti’laa Letters)

  • خ (Kha)
  • ص (Sad)
  • ض (Dhad)
  • غ (Ghain)
  • ط (Ta)
  • ق (Qaf)
  • ظ (Zha)

These letters are pronounced with a distinctive heaviness that gives them their characteristic thick and strong sound.

7 heavy letter in arabic

The 7 heavy letters in Arabic, known as Isti’laa letters, differ in their levels of heaviness.

Importance of Tajweed in Reading the Quran

Tajweed, the set of rules for the correct pronunciation of the letters with all their qualities and applying the various traditional methods of recitation, is crucial for proper reading of the Quran. It ensures that the Quran is recited in the manner it was revealed, preserving the meaning and the beauty of the recitation.

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How to pronounce the 7 Heavy Letters in Arabic? 7
How to pronounce the 7 Heavy Letters in Arabic

How to pronounce the 7 Heavy Letters in Arabic

Tajweed Rules for Heavy Letters

Tafkheem (Heaviness) Rules:

The following table summarizes the rules for heaviness of the letters:

RankCondition
1. Heavy letter with Fatha followed by AlifExample: خَافَ (Khaafa)
2. Heavy letter with FathaExample: صَدَقَةٍ (Sadaqatin)
3. Heavy letter with DammahExample: ضُرِبَ (Duriba)
4. Heavy letter with Sukoon after Alif or DammahExample: طُورِ (Toor)
5. Heavy letter with SukoonExample: قَلْبٌ (Qalbun)

10 Qira’at of Quran recitation.

Practice the heavy letters

Examples of Heavy Letters from the Quran

خ (Kha)

  1. {خَتَمَ} – Surah Al-Baqarah (2:7)
  2. {خَالِدِينَ} – Surah Al-Baqarah (2:25)
  3. {خَلَقَ} – Surah Al-Alaq (96:1)
  4. {يَخْتَصُّ} – Surah Aal-E-Imran (3:74)
  5. {خُذُوا} – Surah Al-Hajj (22:29)

ص (Sad)

  1. {صِرَاطَ} – Surah Al-Fatihah (1:6)
  2. {صَدَقَةٍ} – Surah At-Tawbah (9:79)
  3. {صَبْرٌ} – Surah Al-Asr (103:3)
  4. {يَصْلَحُ} – Surah Al-Anbiya (21:89)
  5. {صِرَاطِكَ} – Surah Yaseen (36:61)

ض (Dhad)

  1. {ضُحَىٰ} – Surah Ad-Duha (93:1)
  2. {ضَلَّ} – Surah Al-Fatihah (1:7)
  3. {يَضُرُّكُمْ} – Surah Aal-E-Imran (3:111)
  4. {ضَرَبَ} – Surah Al-Baqarah (2:26)
  5. {يَضِلُّ} – Surah An-Nisa (4:60)

غ (Ghain)

  1. {غَفُورٌ} – Surah Al-Baqarah (2:173)
  2. {يَغْفِرُ} – Surah An-Nisa (4:48)
  3. {يَغْشَىٰ} – Surah An-Nazi’at (79:6)
  4. {تَغْفِرُ} – Surah Yusuf (12:29)
  5. {غَسَّاقًا} – Surah An-Naba (78:25)

ط (Ta)

  1. {طَيْبَةً} – Surah Al-Maidah (5:100)
  2. {يَطُوفُ} – Surah Al-Baqarah (2:158)
  3. {طُورِ} – Surah At-Tur (52:1)
  4. {طَلَعَ} – Surah Ar-Rahman (55:6)
  5. {طَيِّبَاتِ} – Surah Al-Araf (7:32)

ق (Qaf)

  1. {قُلْ} – Surah Al-Ikhlas (112:1)
  2. {قَرِيبٌ} – Surah Al-Baqarah (2:186)
  3. {قُرْآنَ} – Surah Yusuf (12:2)
  4. {قَدْ} – Surah Al-Fath (48:1)
  5. {قَوْلِهِ} – Surah Al-Kahf (18:5)

ظ (Zha)

  1. {ظُلُمَاتٍ} – Surah Al-Baqarah (2:17)
  2. {ظَلَمُوا} – Surah Al-Baqarah (2:57)
  3. {يَظُنُّونَ} – Surah Al-Baqarah (2:46)
  4. {ظَلَّ} – Surah Al-Baqarah (2:259)
  5. {ظَاهِرِينَ} – Surah Al-Hashr (59:2)

Tajweed Rules of heavy letters

In Tajweed, the rules of Tafkheem (emphasis) apply to the Isti’laa letters, which are grouped in the phrase “خص ضغط قظ” (Kha, Sad, Dhad, Ghain, Ta, Qaf, Zha). Scholars have differing opinions on the levels of heaviness, with some proposing three levels and others five. Here, five levels of heaviness are considered, ranked from strongest to weakest:

  1. The heavy letter followed by an Alif with a Fatha.
  2. The heavy letter with a Fatha, not followed by an Alif.
  3. The heavy letter with a Dammah.
  4. The heavy letter with Sukoon after an Alif or Dammah.
  5. The heavy letter with Sukoon.

The Heavy Alif Letter

The letter “Alif” itself is not inherently heavy or light; its heaviness depends on the letter preceding it. If preceded by a heavy letter, the Alif is heavy, and if by a light letter, it is light. Examples include:

  • {خَافَ}
  • {بَارَكَ}
  • {جَاءَ}
  • {قَامَ}

The Heavy Laam Letter

The Laam in the name of Allah (الله) is pronounced heavily if preceded by a Fatha or Dammah and lightly if preceded by a Kasrah.

Heavy Laam Examples:

  • {وَاللهُ}
  • {قالَ الله}
  • {تَالله}
  • {عبدُالله}
  • {رَسُولُ الله}

Light Laam Examples:

  • {فِي الله}
  • {لِله}
  • {قُلِ اللهُم}
  • {بِسْمِ الله}

The Letter Raa

The heaviness or lightness of the letter Raa varies based on its context. Here are some cases:

Cases of Heaviness of the Letter Raa

  1. Raa with Dammah or Fatha:
  • {رَبُّكُم}
  • {الرَّحْمن}
  • {الرُّسُل}
  • {رُزِقُوا}
  1. Sakin Raa preceded by Fatha or Dammah:
  • {العَرْش}
  • {يُرْسِل}
  • {مَرْيَم}
  • {قُرْبَى}
  1. Sakin Raa preceded by Kasrah and followed by a heavy letter with Fatha:
  • {فِرْقَة}
  • {مِرْصَادًا}
  • {إِرْصَادًا}
  • {قِرْطَاس}
  1. Sakin Raa after Hamzatul Wasl:
  • {ارْتَفَع}
  • {ارْزُق}
  • {ارْبَح}
  • {ارْحَم}
  1. Sakin Raa preceded by an original or temporarily Sakin letter:
  • {ربِ ارْحمهما}
  • {لمنِ ارْتضى}
  • {القارِعة}.
  1. Temporarily Sakin Raa at the end of the word preceded by Fatha or Dammah:
  • {النُذُرِ}
  • {القَمَر}
  • {مزدَجَر}
  • {نُكُر}
  1. Temporarily Sakin Raa at the end of the word preceded by Sakin Alif or Waw:
  • {النَّارُ}
  • {الأمُورُ}
  • {النّهَار}
  1. Temporarily Sakin Raa at the end of the word preceded by an original Sakin letter preceded by Fatha or Dammah:
  • {الأَمْرُ}
  • {العُسْرِ}
  • {صُفْر}
  • {خُسْر}
  • {العَصْر}
  • {الفَجْر}

Cases of Lightness of the Letter Raa

  1. Raa with original or temporarily Kasrah:
  • {والفجرِ}
  • {رِزْقِه}
  • {وبشّرِ الذين}
  • {واذكرِ اسم}
  • {القارِعة}
  • {غيرِ}
  1. Raa with original Kasrah and not followed by a heavy letter with Fatha:
  • {استغفِرْ}
  • {الفِرْدُوس}
  • {مِرْيَة}
  • {فِرْعُون}
  • {شِرْذِمة}
  1. Temporarily Sakin Raa at the end of the word preceded by a Kasrah:
  • {مستمِر}
  • {قدِر}
  • {مدكِر}
  1. Temporarily Sakin Raa at the end of the word preceded by a Sakin Yaa:
  • {قَدِير}
  • {خَبِير}
  • {بَصِير}
  • {خَيْر}
  1. Raa preceded by a light Sakin letter preceded by a Kasrah:
  • {حِجْر}
  • {سِحْر}
  1. Inclining Raa in the way of Hafs ‘an Asim:
  • {مَجْرىٰهَا}

Common Mistakes to Avoid

  1. Confusing Heavy and Light Letters: Ensure you differentiate between heavy (tafkhim) and light (tarqiq) pronunciations.
  2. Incorrect Mouth Position: Heavy letters require a full mouth position to produce the echo effect.
  3. Inconsistent Application: Apply the rules consistently throughout recitation, not just in isolated words.
  4. Ignoring Context: Be mindful of the surrounding letters, as they can affect the heaviness of a letter.
  5. Rushing Pronunciation: Take your time to pronounce each letter correctly, especially in complex words.

By understanding and applying these rules, you can improve your recitation and appreciation of the Quran, ensuring that it is read as it was revealed.

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