Hamzah is a special symbol which looks as follows:
We met it in the elementary lessons on the Arabic alphabet when learning the letter «alif». In this lesson we are going to look at it in more detail.
Depending on which vowel is used to vocalize it, hamzah is pronounced as «a», «i» or «u»:
Hamzah can be written on the line or seated on one of the letters
These letters can be used as a «chair» for hamzah, that is, hamzah can be written on them, but they do not express any sound and are only graphically used just to place hamzah on them. So, hamza, regardless of a «chair», has the same sound.
This is how hamzah looks when it is written on alif:
It's important to notice that hamzah is written under alif when it is vocalized by
Hamzah when it is seated on «yaa»:
Above you can see «yaa» in its initial, medial and final forms (from right to left) being used as a chair for hamzah. Note that when hamzah is seated on «yaa», «yaa» is written with no dots under it.
Hamzah when it is seated on «waaw»:
Now let's have a look at examples of words with hamzah when it is seated on different letters (alif, waaw and yaa) and when it is written on the line.
Seated on an alif:
Seated on an yaa:
Seated on an waaw:
If there is sukoon above hamzah, the word is read with a sudden pause of air, that is, you need to make an abrupt stop at the part where the hamzah with sukoon is.
The cutting and connecting hamzah
The type of hamza that we have considered above is called a cutting hamza. There are two types of hamza in total:
1. The cutting hamzah (Hamzatul Qat )
2. The connecting hamzah (Hamzatul Wasl)
Now let's get to know the connecting hamzah and understand the difference between the two.
And here you can see the connecting hamzah itself, i.e. alif with
It is important to mention that there can be no vowel written on top of hamzatul wasl. Usually, a vowel is pronounced with it but not written. We will talk about it in more detail next. Also you need to know that hamzatul wasl can be written only at the beginning of a word, that is, you will not see it in the middle or at the end.
The differences between the connecting hamzah and the cutting hamzah:
1. The connecting hamzah is read only at the beginning of the sentence.
2. The cutting hamzah is read always and everywhere.
An example of when hamza is read and not read:
In the word «usjud» what we read is hamzatul wasl with a vowel and in the second example, the word «usjud» has been joined by the word «wa», as a result, we skip hamzatul wasl and read «wasjud». This is the rule of reading hamzatul wasl:
The connecting hamza is read only when it is at the very beginning of the sentence. If the connecting hamza is within the sentence, i.e. between the words, it is simply skipped, as if it does not exist at all. Thus, hamzatul wasl helps to connect two words.
Let's consider some more examples:
How to choose the correct vowel for the connecting hamzah?
The connective hamzah never has a vowel, i.e. you will not find fathah, kasrah or dammah under or on top of it, but at the same time we need to choose the correct vowel and read the word with it. For example, you are reading the Quran, and at the beginning of the sentence you see connecting hamzah. How to understand what kind of vowel it should be read with? To choose the correct vowel, you need to know Arabic, but because you do not know Arabic and want to be able to read the Quran at the same time, you need to ask knowledgeable people what kind of vowel you need to put. Another option is to find an audio recording of the surah on the Internet, scroll through the recording to the desired verse and listen to how this verse is read by the reader, and what kind of vowels they use.
Sometimes the wasla symbol on top of alif may not be written at all:
It should be mentioned that this variant (alif without wasla) is not found in the Quran, but is often found in ordinary Arabic texts.
We have learned that there are 2 types of hamzah.
1. The cutting hamzah is read always and everywhere — both at the beginning and in the middle of a sentence (between words). The cutting hamzah can have various «chairs» in the form of the letters «alif», «yaa» and «waaw», but in this case they do not have any influence on how the word or letter is read.
2. The connective hamzah is read only at the beginning of the sentence. If hamzatul wasl occurs in the middle of a sentence (between words), then it is not read. It is depicted only in the form alif with wasl symbol right above it.
Summing up, we can say that alif is used in the following three cases:
1. As a carrier (chair) for
2. As a carrier (chair) for the
3. To indicate the