Rules of Qalqalah

Rules of Qalqalah

Can you solve this riddle?

What is something that is heard but not seen and it only speaks when it is spoken to?

The answer is the echo. This riddle is related to the Tajweed rule that we are about to explain “Rules of Qalqalah” , since it resembles the echo, so much so that the name itself contains an echo or a repetition. This article discusses Qalqalah Rule. 

What is Qalqalah

Before we get into Qalqalah rules, let’s discuss first what is meant by the word Qalqalah. Linguistically, Qalqalah means shaking or disturbance but in Tajweed, it refers to the echoing of the sound when it is Saakin as in:

  • (وَالفَجْر)
  • (قل أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ الفَلَق)

In both verses from Quran, the underlined Saakin sounds were pronounced with Qalqalah or a light echo sound. You might have noticed that in the case of the first two examples, the letters were originally Saakin but the last example (الفلق) does not have a similar original Sukoon but it is only assigned a Sukoon when pausing. In both cases, the letters were pronounced with Qalqalah.  

Letters of Qalqalah

Does that mean that we apply this Qalqalah to every letter that is Saakin? In fact, no. This only applies to few letters which are considered as Qalqalah letters in Arabic.

Qalqalah letters

The pronunciation of the Saakin letter is the result of the complete closure of the articulation point. For instance, the word (أُمْ) has a Meem Saakin that is produced by the joining of the lips and hereby, closing the articulation point. However, the pronunciation of the Saakin letter does not entail difficulty or pressure on the articulation parts.

On the other hand, letters of Qalqalah are pronounced through the parting of the articulation parts but without a Fatha, Kasrah or Dummah on the letter. Letters of Qalqalah are part of the letters of strength which are grouped in (أجد قطٍ بكت) and because their pronunciation which includes a closure of the articulation point causing pressure and discomfort when they are pronounced as Saakin, Qalqalah was needed to release this pressure by parting of the articulation parts when pronouncing one of the Qalqalah letters that make up the words (قطب جد).

To notice this, try pronouncing the letter Qaf with Sukoon only (أقْ) and you will recognize the pressure that is created but as you add the light echo sound or Qalqalah, you will find that the pressure was released.

Let’s practice making Qalqalah with each one of the Qalqalah letters:

  1. With ق:

(وَقِيلَ مَنْ رَاق)

  • With ط:

(وَلَمْ نَكُ نُطْعِمُ المِسْكِين)

  • With ب:

(إِنّهُ هُو يُبْدِئ وَيُعِيد)

  • With ج:

(فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ المَسْجِدِ الحَرَام)

  • With د:

(إنْا أَنزَلْنَاهٌ فِي لَيْلَةِ القَدْر)

Types of Qalqalah

To further explain Qalqalah letters and rules, we will dive into the different types of Qalqalah. Qalqalah is divided into the following three types based on the condition of the Saakin letter:

types of Qalqalah

The Lesser Qalqalah

This occurs when one of the letters of Qalqalah is found in the middle of words. In this case, the letter is produced with an echoing quality that is weak before continuing to read the remaining parts of the word. For example: (إِنَّ اللهَ يُحِبُّ المُقْسِطِين). Here, the ق in (المقْسطين) is Saakin and it occurred in the middle of the word, so the sound of Qalqalah is weak.

The Intermediate Qalqalah

The quality of the Qalqalah sound becomes intermediate when one of the letters of (قطب جد) is at the end of the word but does not have Shaddah. For Example: (النَّجْم الثَّاقِب). As the ب was found at the end of the word and it was pronounced as Saakin due to pausing, the Qalqalah was intermediate because there was no Shaddah.

The Greater Qalqalah

Otherwise, if the Shaddah is found on one of the Qalqalah letters that come at the end of words, then the Qalqalah will be strong. This is found in verses such as (وجاءت سكرة الموت بالحقّ) where the ق came at the end of the word and it had Shaddah so the quality of the Qalqalah was much stronger than the first two types.

Mistakes to avoid in the rules of Qalqalah

Now that we have explained Qalqalah rules and Qalqalah letters in English, we will briefly mention some mistakes that learners make when they try to produce Qalqalah:

Rules of Qalqalah
  1. The first mistake that some learners make while producing the sound of Qalqalah is adding a Dummah, Kasrah or Fatha as it causes adding a Harakah to the words of Quran that does not exist. So as you recite (قل أعوذ برب الفلق), avoid adding a Fatha to the ق when you make the sound of Qalqalah
  2. Similarly, the second mistake happens when learners sometimes add the sound of Hamza at the end of Qalqalah because this also entails adding a letter that does not exist in the scripture of the Quran. Hence, producing Qalqalah when you recite (إن هذا لشيء عجاب) must not be followed by adding a Hamza after the sound of Qalqalah.
  3. The third mistake that learners need to keep away from is stretching or lengthening the sound of Qalqalah letters, meaning that the echoing sound of Qalqalah is a short one that must not be extended.  
  4. One final mistake that calls for clarification is creating a short pause between the sound of Qalqalah and the following sound which could be caused by some teaching methods that aim at highlighting the sound of Qalqalah. However, this does not mean that when you recite (عند سدرة المنتهى), you ought to pause after the sound of Qalqalah that accompanies the د.


That is all you need to know about Qalqalah rules but there is much more knowledge you can acquire about Quran and Tajweed rules through our courses at Almuhammadi Academy such as

Our native Arab tutors can provide you with the necessary guidance to enhance your recitation of the Qur’an. So, join our Online classes today.