Types of Madd in Tajweed with simple examples

Types of Madd

As you recite the Holy Qur’an, you must have encountered this symbol “~”, This is called in Tajweed: Madd and we are about to explain all about the different types of Madd and the rules of Madd in Tajweed. Through understanding and properly implementing the rules of Madd, you will greatly improve your recitation of the Quran and recite quran beautifully as you’ll learn one of the most important and most recurrent rules in Tajweed.

First, let’s answer these questions: What is Madd in Arabic? And what is Madd in Qur’an?  

Definition of Madd

Madd in Tajweed could be better understood in the light of its linguistic meaning which is to increase or lengthen. Allah SWT says in the Qur’an: (كَلَّا ۚ سَنَكْتُبُ مَا يَقُولُ وَنَمُدُّ لَهُ مِنَ الْعَذَابِ مَدًّا) in which the word Madd in Arabic means that Allah will extend and add to their punishment. Hence, Madd in Tajweed refers to the extension or the stretching of sounds with one of three letters.

Letters of Madd

Before we expound on Madd rules in Tajweed, we will mention the three letters of Madd (واي) that are found in: (نُوحِيهَا). By carefully examining this word, it is clear that the three letters of Madd need to fulfill two conditions;

  • they need to be without Fatha, Dummah or Kasrah, and second,
  • they need to be preceded by a harakah that is homogenous with the letter.

This means that the vowel alif (ا) must be preceded by a Fatha, the vowel ya’ (ي) by a Kasrah, and the vowel wow (و) by a Dummah. 

Madd letters
Madd letters

Types of Madd in Tajweed:

There are two different types of Madd:

  1. Madd Asli/Tabi’y or Natural Madd
  2. Madd Far’ee or Secondary Madd

So how can we differentiate between these Madd types?

Natural Madd (Madd Asli/Tabi’y):

The first type which is Natural Madd gets its name from the fact that it is an integral part of the existence of the letter and is not dependent on the presence of Hamza (ء) or sukoon (ْ). This could be observed in the difference between these two words: سَجَد- سَاجِد where the alif in (سَاجد) cannot exist without the presence of the natural Madd and its absence in (سَجَدَ) completely changed the structure and meaning of the word. Even in length, Madd Asli is natural since it is only stretched for 2 beats or harakahs.

Madd Asli Examples:

(هَلْ أَتَاكَ حَدِيثُ مُوسَىٰ)- (ورأيتَ الناس يدخلون في دين الله أفواجا)


1. Madd Asli can also be found in the letters of the mnemonic: حي طاهر at the beginning of certain surahs of the Qur’an as in:

  • حم (1) وَالْكِتَابِ الْمُبِينِ (2)
  • طسم (1) تلك آيات الكتاب المبين (2)

In these verses, the Madd in the letters (حـ- طـ) is considered Natural Madd and is only lengthened for 2 counts.

2. One type of Madd that falls under the category of Madd Asli is “The Lesser Connecting Madd” which is connected with the use of the masculine pronoun of third person singular in Arabic (هاء). This is one of the types of Madd in Qur’an that occurs when this pronoun, which is not part of the word form, has a Dummah or Kasrah but is not followed by hamza or Sukoon- in case of pausing. Some examples of this type are:

(حكماً من أهلهِ وحكما من أهلها)- (فاعلم أنه لا إله إلا الله)- (كمن زيّن لهُ سوء عمله)

3. Another type of Madd that belongs to Natural Madd is Substitute Madd. When the word ends with alif and tanween and the reader pauses, this alif should be stretched for two counts. These words provide some examples:

﴿ هُدًى ﴾-﴿ سُوًى ﴾- ﴿ أَحَدًا ﴾

Here’s a quick recap of the points mentioned about Natural Madd:

Natural Madd
Natural Madd

Secondary Madd (Madd Far’ee(:

Meanwhile, Secondary Madd or Madd Far’ee is the elongation of vowels but it is dependent on the presence of Hamza or Sukoon. These are some Madd Far’ee examples:

(إلا أن يشاء الله)- (قال ربّ اجعل لي ءاية)

Types of Madd Far’ee:

Therefore, Madd Far’ee is divided into two groups:

  1. Madd Far’ee due to Hamza
  2. Madd Far’ee due to Sukoon
types of madd

Madd Far’ee due to Hamza:

  1. Attached Madd (Madd Muttasil): this type of Madd occurs when the Madd letter is followed by Hamza within a word. It has to be stretched or elongated for 4,5 or 6 counts. Some examples of this Madd in Qur’an are:

(وقالوا لو شاء الرحمن ما عبدناهم)- (فبأي آلاء ربكما تكذبان)

  • Separate Madd (Madd Monfasil): a similar condition is present with this type of Madd but the main difference is that the Madd letter and the Hamza are in separate words instead of being in one. It is permissible for the reader to shorten the vowel for 2 counts or lengthen it for four or five counts. Examine the Madd in the following verses:

(إنا أعطيناك الكوثر)- (واعلموا أن فيكم رسول الله)- (فآمنت طائفة من بني إسرائيل وكفرت طائفة)

Take a minute and test yourself on recognizing Madd Muttasil and Madd Monfasil in the following verse from Qur’an:

(إن هي إلا أسماء سميتموها أنتم وآباؤكم ما أنزل الله بها من سلطان)

  • Exchange Madd (Madd Badal): unlike the previous types of Madd Far’ee, the exchange Madd is found in words where the Hamza precedes the Madd letter and in this case the Madd is lengthened for 2 counts. Some examples of this Madd in Qur’an include:

(وأنهار من ماء غير ءاسن)- (وإن الذين أُورثوا الكتاب)- (وإيتاء الزكاة)

  • Greater Connecting Madd: much like the Lesser Connecting Madd, the Greater Connecting Madd also occurs when the masculine pronoun of third person singular, with the aforementioned conditions, comes at the end of a word and the following word starts with Hamza. The reader is allowed to lengthen this Madd for 2, 4 or 5 counts as in:  

(ومبشراً برسول يأتي من بعدي اسمه أحمد)- (ولا يشرك بعبادة ربه أحدا)

Types of Madd
Types of Madd

Thus, Madd Far’ee or Secondary Madd requires the presence of hamza after the Madd letter but the position of the hamza determines what type of Madd Far’ee is in the verse. Namely, if the Madd letter and the hamza are in succession within one word, it is considered Attached or Muttasil Madd. If they are in succession but in two words rather than one, it is considered Separate or Monfasil Madd.

The other type of Madd Far’ee that is found in two words following each other is Greater Connecting Madd where the first word ends with the pronoun (هاء) precedes another word that starts with hamza. Lastly, if their order is reversed and the hamza comes before the Madd letter, it is a case of Exchange Madd. To practice the previous Madd Tajweed rules, look at the following verses:

  • (واعلموا أنما أموالكم وأولادكم فتنة وأن الله عنده أجر عظيم)

The first two cases of Madd are Madd Monfasil while the last one is Greater Connecting Madd.

  • (كتاب أنزلناه إليك مبارك ليدّبّروا ءاياته)

The first case is the letter of Madd (و) that is followed by hamza in the next word which denotes the Monfasil Madd. The second case is in the word (ءاياته) where the hamza preceded the Madd letter in a clear case of Exchange Madd.

Madd Far’ee due to Sukoon:

  1. Madd ‘Arid lil-sukoon:

This type of Madd Far’ee is the result of the presence of two letters within a word, the first one is a Madd letter and the other is a letter with any Harakah on it but due to pausing, this Harakah turns into a Sukoon. This is found in verses from the Qur’an like:

(الرحمــن الرحيم)- (إن في ذلك لآيات لقوم يؤمنون)

In such cases, it is permissible to lengthen it for 2, 4 or 6 counts. However, if the reader doesn’t stop on it, the letter is only stretched for two counts as a natural Madd.

  • Madd Lazim or Compulsory Madd:

With Madd Lazim, the Sukoon that follows the Madd letter is original as opposed to the Sukoon with Madd ‘Arid lil-Sukoon in which the Sukoon exists only in case of stopping or pausing.

  • Types of Madd Lazim:

There are two types of Madd Lazim; one occurs within a word (kalimi) and the other occurs within a letter (harfi). Each type is divided into heavy Madd and light Madd and the length of each is measured by 6 counts.

  1. Kalimi Muthaqqal (heavy): The first type which occurs within a word is a compulsory Madd that is the outcome of the following combination:

Madd Letter+ a saakin letter with shaddah on it

The following verse of the Qur’an includes two Madd Lazims (with alif and wow) in which the Madd letter is followed by a saakin letter with shaddah within one word:

(قال أتحاجوني في الله وقد هدانِ)

  • Kalimi Mukhaffaf (light): the second type is caused by a similar combination but it differs that the saakin letter doesn’t have shaddah on it     

Madd Letter+ a saakin letter without shaddah on it

The word (آلآن) in this verse illustrates the aforementioned Tajweed Madd rule:

(أثم إذا ما وقع آمنتم به آلآن وقد كنتم به تستعجلون)

If you look closely, you will find that both words (آمنتم) and (آلآن) have what seems to be a similar structure but the key difference between them is that in (آمنتم), the Madd letter occurred after hamza and is not followed by Sukoon so it is a case of Madd Badal while in (آلآن) the Madd letter occurred before a saakin letter without shaddah on it which is Madd Kalimi Mukhaffaf.

  • Harfi Muthaqqal: the third type is spotted in the letters that are at the beginning of certain surahs. These letters are grouped in the mnemonic (كم عسل نقص) and as each letter is read as a three-letter word, this type of Madd only occurs when the last letter of the three is originally saakin. This letter is merged into the following letter as in:

﴿ الم

Here, the first letter (لام) ends with the same letter that begins the next one (ميم); thus, they are merged and the Madd letter is stretched for 6 counts.

  • Harfi Mukhaffaf: it is also in letters that begin some surahs of the Qur’an but it is distinguishable from the Harfi Muthaqqal by observing the letter that follows one of the following (كم عسل نقص) but it is not merged into the next letter. Some examples of this Madd rule are:

﴿ الر ﴾، ﴿ ق ﴾، ﴿ يس ﴾

Madd lazim

In summary, the other type of Madd Far’ee that occurs due to Sukoon has two kinds where the Sukoon is an original part of the word in one unlike the other. In the verse (فإذا جاءت الصاخّة), the Madd letter is followed by a saakin letter that has shaddah which is Madd Kalimi Muthaqqal, a type of Madd Lazim. On the other hand, the verse (الذي هم فيه مختلفون) exhibits another kind of Madd Far’ee where the Sukoon is not an essential part of the word form, rather it only occurs in the case of pausing. This is Madd Arid Lil-sukoon.


We have thus covered Tajweed rules of Madd along with types of madd and examples. The types of Madd in Arabic that were demonstrated in this post are:

  1. Madd Asli/ Natural Madd and some of the types that fall under this category such as Lesser Connecting Madd and Substitute Madd.
  2. Madd Far’ee which has two main types:
  3. One due to Hamza such as Madd Muttasil, Madd Monfasil and Madd Baddal or Exchange Madd
  4. Another due to Sukoon such as Mad Arid Lil-Sukoon and Madd Lazim

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