Hamzatul Wasl is a term that might sound unfamiliar to many people. However, it is a crucial concept in the Arabic language, especially in terms of pronunciation and grammar and it is worth learning in order to know how to recite Quran properly and get one step closer to understanding the Book of Allah.
If you want to know more about what is hamzatul wasl and Hamzatul wasl rules, you will find what you need in this article where we will delve deeper into the details of Hamzatul Wasl and provide answers to some common questions related to this topic.
What is Hamzah?
First, it is necessary to touch upon the meaning of Hamzah (همزة) in Arabic. Hamzah is one of the letters of the Arabic alphabet that has a sound similar to the letter “A” in English. In writing, the Hamzah (ء) looks like the top part of the letter (ع) and appears sometimes above or below the letter. These are some examples of words with Hamzah (همزه): إنسان- مؤمن- ألهاكم.
Types of Hamza in Arabic
The Arabic language has two types of Hamza:
- Hamzatul Qat’
As in the words: أجل- إن- أحسن
- Hamzatul Wasl
In words such as: اتل- استكبار- ارتد
Let’s look into the difference between them in detail:
Difference between Hamzatul Wasl and Qat
In Arabic grammar, Hamzatul Wasl and Qat’ are two distinct concepts. They differ in pronunciation and form in the following ways:
What is Hamzatul Qat’?
The literal meaning of the word Qat’ in Arabic is cutting and thus, Hamzatul Qat’ gets its name from the fact that it cuts through the word. It is pronounced as a glottal stop that briefly cuts the air flow from the vocal cords.
Hamzatul Qat’ isn’t affected by its position whether at the beginning, middle or end of the word. This means that it isn’t omitted in the written form and it isn’t skipped in pronunciation regardless of its position.
Hamzatul Qat’ could be spotted in words that have a visible Hamza symbol which contain a Harakah above it when it is a Fatha or Dummah, or under it when there is a Kasrah.
These are some examples of Hamzatul Qat’:
- – (إنَّكُمْ لَفِي قَوْلٍ مُخْتَلِف)
- – (مَا أَنتَ بِنِعْمَةِ رَبِّكَ بِمَجْنُون)
- – (وَأَذِنَتْ لِرَبِّهَا وَحُقَّت)
What is Hamzatul Wasl?
On the other hand, Hamzatul Wasl gets its name from the Arabic word meaning to connect or join. Additionally, Hamzatul Wasl is identified through a symbol on the Alif that resembles a small ص which stands for the word صلة in Arabic meaning connect.
Unlike Hamzatul Qat’, Hamzatul Wasl doesn’t have a visible Hamza sign on the Alif and it is only detectible in pronunciation when it occurs at the beginning of speech.
Sounds tricky? We’ll break it down in a bit but first let’s look into the reason why we needed Hamzatul Wasl in the first place!
- Why we need Hamzatul Wasl
One of the fixed rules in Arabic is that a word cannot start with a Saakin letter. Therefore, when Arabs came across a word like هْدنا where the first letter is Saakin, they had to find a way out of this dilemma and that’s where Hamzatul Wasl comes in handy. Starting the word with it enabled Arabs to avoid starting the word with a Saakin letter so it became: اهْدِنا.
Now, let’s go over the rules for Hamzatul Wasl!
Hamzatul Wasl Rules
The way you pronounce Hamzatul Wasl depends on its position in speech. A similarity could be found between English and Arabic in this regard:
- According to the rules of linking in English, if a word that ends in a consonant is followed by a word that begins with a vowel, the final consonant should be connected to the following vowel as in: I like it. In the previous sentence, the sound /k/ should be connected to the /I/ vowel sound.
However, if the sentence started with “it” such as it rained, the /I/ would be articulated.
- Likewise, Hamzatul Wasl will be skipped or omitted in pronunciation in the case of connecting or linking as in the verse: (سَبِّحِ اسْمَ رَبِّكَ الأَعْلَى). Here, Hamzatul Wasl in the word اسم isn’t detectible in pronunciation when you recite it in the middle of the verse. Since the presence of Hamzatul Wasl is only needed to avoid starting a word with a Saakin, it is skipped in the case of linking words.
On the contrary, it is pronounced as a clear Hamza in the verse: (اقرأ باسم ربك الذي خلق) because you started reciting with the word “اقرأ”.
Hamzatul wasl examples in Quran:
- – (فَادْخُلِي فِي عِبَادِي)
- – (وَأَمَّا مَن بَخِلَ وَاسْتَغْنَى)
- – (وإلى ربِّكَ فَارْغَب)
Hamzatul Wasl and ال
As shown in the previous Hamzatul Wasl examples, you can see that it does not only occur with verbs, but it can also be found in nouns that start with the definite article ال.
We have discussed in great detail all the rules related to the two kinds of definite articles in Arabic, Lam Shamsiya and Lam Kamariya, in a previous article, but we’ll mention it briefly here as it relates to our topic.
Hamzatul Wasl is found in both kinds of the definite article and the same rules apply:
Hamzatul Wasl with Lam Kamariya:
The word (الحمد) in the verse: (الْحَمْدُ لِلهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِين) starts with Hamzatul Wasl followed by Lam Kamariya. Consequently, it will be pronounced as a clear Hamza since it occurred at the beginning of speech.
Hamzatul Wasl with Lam Shamsiya:
Nonetheless, the word (الشمس) in the verse (والشمس وضحاها) has Hamzatul Wasl as well but it is skipped in pronunciation as we link the letter و to the following sound ش because the article here is Lam Shamsiya.
How to Pronounce Hamzatul Wasl
This part deals with the pronunciation of Hamzatul Wasl when it is NOT skipped i.e. when it occurs at the beginning of the verse as you recite it.
To make it easier, all you need to do is go over a checklist that will help you determine what Harakah will accompany the Hamza; Fatha, Dummah or Kasrah.
You’ll need to go over these steps:
- Check if Hamzatul Wasl is followed by the definite article ال. In this case, the Hamza should be assigned a Fatha on top of it as in: (القارعة)- (النار)
- If not, check if it occurs at the beginning of one of these nouns (ابن- ابنت-اثنين- اثنتين- امرؤا- امرأة- اسم). Here, you will need to pronounce the Hamza, when you start reciting with this word, by assigning a Kasrah under it.
- If it is not one of these two cases, you need to check the third letter of the word which starts with Hamzatul Wasl:
- If the third letter has Fatha or Kasrah, then pronounce the Hamza with Kasrah such as (انقَلبوا- انفَطرت-اصْبِر)
- If the third letter has a Dummah, we should assign a Dummah to the Hamza as well such as (اسجُد).
- Note that there are exceptions to this last point in the following words (ابنوا- امشوا- اقضوا- ائتوا- ائتوني)
Q: What is the difference between Alif and Hamza?
A: Hamza and Alif are two Arabic letters that are often confused due to their similar shapes and sounds. Hamza is produced by closing the throat briefly, while Alif is a long vowel that is pronounced by opening the mouth and elongating the sound.
Hamza is written as a small symbol above or below other letters, while Alif is a standalone letter that can be written in various positions within a word as found in words like دعآء- أسرى- معاد.
Q: How can we pronounce two consecutive Hamzas?
A: If the word contains Hamzatul Wasl followed by another Hamza that is Saakin, then we change the second Hamza into a Madd letter that suits that Harakah of the preceding Hamzatul Wasl. Consider the following two examples:
Here, Hamzatul Wasl is followed by a Saakin Hamza and the Harakah that accompanies Hamzatul Wasl is Kasrah. As a result, the second Hamza should be changed into a Madd letter with Yaa’.
However, this word has a similar case of two consecutive Hamzas but the second Hamza will be turned into a Madd letter و that suits the Dummah on Hamzatul Wasl.
Q: How can I learn more about Hamzatul Wasl?
A. You can learn more about Hamzatul Wasl by consulting Tajweed books or by taking classes in Tajweed classes. Almuhammadi Academy offers a comprehensive online Tajweed course that will help you master tajweed in no time. Our experienced instructors provide one-on-one guidance and personalized feedback to ensure that every student reaches their full potential. Join us today and take the first step towards fluency!