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Leftover Letters

This lesson covers the remaining diacritics or special forms of the letters. These are all less common/important than the material covered up till now.

dagger alif - ـٰ
In a small number of words (some of which are very important) the dagger 'alif is used instead of the regular 'alif to represent a long 'aa' when it occurs in the middle of a word.

Writing: dagger alif is like a fatHah but completely vertical.

dagger alif

The word 'this' is an important example:

This - Haathaa

Like other diacritics this will not actually be written out in most texts so you need to know which words have it.

'alif maqsuura -
Like the dagger 'alif the 'alif maqsuura is used in a small number of words to represent a long 'aa' when it occurs at the end of a word.

Notice how it looks just like a yaa without the dots. However it is pronounced 'aa'.

'alif maqsuura

'alif maqsuura will be written out even in unvocalized texts.

Coffee shop - maqhaa

tanwiin - ـً ـٍ ـٌ
The tanwiin are used to show an 'n' after a short vowel. They only occur at the end of a word.

an un in
ـً ـٌ ـٍ

tanwiin may or may not be written out in unvocalized texts.

They are used for grammatical reasons that we will not be covering here.

maddah - آ
The maddah is written like a tilde (~) over an 'alif.

It is used when you want a hamza (glotal stop) followed by a long 'aa'.


I eat - 'aakkul

'alif waslah - ٱ
The 'alif waslah is used to denote an 'alif that is not pronounced.

It is pretty rare so don't worry about it yet.

alif waslah