Best Tajweed Course lesson 7, Joined Up Arabic Alphabets

Joined Up Arabic Alphabets

In this lesson we will cover:

  • We learn how to recognize joined up letters in Arabic.
  • We will see how letters are joined at the beginning, middle and end of a word.
  • We will see when letters cannot join to the other letters.

Example of a Joined letter:

Here we have a letter ج written on its own.

Now we have ججج:

We can see that the letter jeem written at the beginning, middle and end of the word. Hence, we have to recognize that when we have a joined-up letter, some of the parts of letters may be lost. As you can see above that we have written the top part of the letter jeem with a dot and we have lost the main curve of the jeem. Also, we can see that the letter jeem is allowed to get join to the next letter and itself it can be joined to the previous letter.

Another Example:

Here we have a letter د.

Now we have جدج:

Here we can see that the first letter is jeem which is connected with the letter daal’. So jeem can join to the next letter. And daal’ can be joined to the previous letter.

However, daal’ itself cannot join to the next letter. So, we put another jeem after the daal’ but you can see it does not connect and is not allowed to join. So, you never see daal’ joined up to the next letter but it can be joined with the previous letter.

So, going through the alphabets.

Alphabets 1-4:

أ                              أ إ لأ لإ

Here we have hamza seated on the top of an alif, then we have written it two times: written on its own i.e. hamza on the top of an alif and hamza written underneath of an alif. Then we have hamza joined with the letter laam two times i.e. with hamza written on the top of alif and hamza written underneath of alif.

 ب                                        ببب

The next letter is baa’ and this letter is joined to itself three times. You can see the joining at the beginning, middle and at the end. Again, the number of dots that you need to look at.

ت                                        تتت

The next letter is taa’. This letter is joined in the same sort of way and you can see the same curves going on. The number of dots differentiate these two letters. So, this letter can also be joined at the beginning, middle and at the end.

ث                                       ثثث

This letter is also written on the same pattern as the above letters. So, all the above letters follow the same pattern and you have to look just for the number of dots to differentiate.

Alphabets 5-7:

ج                                  ججج
ح                                  ححح
خ                                   خخخ

This set of the letters follow the same pattern. Again, here only the number of dots differentiate these letters. The first letter has only one dot underneath it. The second letter has no dot and last letter has one dot above it. You can see the only the top part of a letter is written, and it can be joined at the beginning, middle and at the end.

Alphabets 8-11:

د                                 دلدل
ذ                                 ذلذل
ر                                رلرل
ز                                زلزل

Now these all letters follow the same pattern. And in the sense that none of these letters can actually be joined to the letter after. However, they can be joined to the letter before.

So, again if we take the example of daal’, we have got daal on its own then we hav lam joining to a daal and then daal joining to a previous letter but you can see that daal itself cannot join to the laam after it because the daal is not allowed to join to the letter after it and this is the same for all of these letters.

Alphabets 12-15:

س                         سسس 
ش                         ششش
ص                        صصص
ض                        ضضض

To recognize these letters, for the seen and sheen letters you will look the small double curves, so they have effectively taken two small curves and left the big one out unless it is joined at the end.

Here you see that it can be joined to the previous letter and it can be joined to the next letter as well. For the last two letters, they keep the main first loop and drop the big curve after it and you will see at the end of the letter it is drawn as normal. So that should be quite reasonably easy to recognize.

For the last letter ض it has one dot above.

Alphabets 16-19:

ط                       ططط
ظ                       ظظظ
ع                       ععع
غ                       غغغ

The first two letters ط and ظ are very easy to recognize and again they can join to the letter in front or before and you just need to look for the dots. The first letter ط has no dot and ظ has one dot above.

The last two letters ع and غ are one of the more difficult to spot in written format because they change the shape quite substantially behind. If we have the letter ع you have drop the curve underneath when it is at the beginning of a word but the middle and ending you can see that the top part of ع letter itself actually changes to small sort of filled in curves. You must try to memorize what they look like and you will see the end of the letter is still got the big curve but the top of the letter changes.

Now one thing you should notice that you can confuse the first beginning ع with a hamza. However, you must know that ء will never join directly itself to the next letter. For the letter غ there is a dot that will differentiate these two letters.

Alphabets 20-23:

ف                 ففف
ق                  ققق
ك                  ككك
ل                 للل لا

The first two letters follow the same sort of pattern you just look for the difference in dots. The letter ف has one dot above while the letter ق has two dots above. They both can join to next letter or the previous letter. The letter ك is one of the difficult ones to spot.

At the end of a word it looks exactly the same as you would expect, but in the beginning or the middle of the word though it changes to these symbols or the shapes that is quite difficult to recognize. So, this is one of the letters that you need to memorize how it actually changes. Again, it can join to previous or next letters. The letter ل is reasonably easy to see. Here we have written this letter three times by joining it with itself and that’s why you have got this continuous sort of curve.

One thing people do get confused with is laam and alif. You must know that the letter alif will never join to the next letter whereas the lam can join to the next letter. And if laam is joined to the previous letter then it will have a curve going off to the left whereas an alif will not.

Then we have the lam joined with the alif and again it has drawn as the lam coming down, join it backwards and then go up onto the alif itself.

Now this is definitely an alif because it does not have the small hamza on it. However, in the Majeedi script, you may see hamza on an alif.

Alphabets 24-26:

م                             ممم
ن                             ننن
و                            ولو

Here the letter م can be very difficult to recognize because we see here three meems joined together. So, the first meem is like a filled circle. Then we have a second meem and in the Usmani script this can be very difficult to recognize.

Sometimes people can get confused and they consider it a top of the letter haa’ but it is not, it is a meem. The letter ن is drawn three times here again and it is quite easy to recognize by a single dot.

The letter و is very easy to spot. The only thing that you should notice is this letter is like a د.

Alphabets 27-29:

ی                           ییی
ہ                           ھھہ
ء                   لأ لإ لؤ ئ

The letter yaa’ is in the shape of small curves and you just look for the two dots underneath. So, it is quite easy to recognize this letter. The next letter is a soft haa’ which comes from the lowest part of throat can be drawn in many ways.

However, writing it on its own, it looks like a small circle. In the beginning of a word you will see two loops, and, in the middle, it looks like a butterfly wings and at the end it is normal haa’. So, this letter also needs some sort of memorization.

The hamza is one of the easier letters to recognize. Once you know how many different ways it can be written, and we have covered this in the previous lesson. So here we have hamza in different formats.

ۃ                           لۃ

This is the taa’ MarboTa and it has the shape of haa’ with two dots. And we have written it in a joined format.


Now you should be able to recognize the Arabic alphabet letters when they are joined up.

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