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Learn Qalqalah Letters & Rules the Easy Way!

learning Qalqalah letters

Allah SWT revealed the Quran to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in the Arabic language. His Companions (RAA) wrote and gathered it in the form of a book. It was then transferred from Prophet Muhammad’s Companion Abu Bakr (RA), Umar (RA), and then Uthman (RA).

At the time of the Abbasid Caliphate, several improvements were made to the script of the Quran, which included Fatha, Kasra, Dummah, and tanween. Shaddah was also added, the sign of Iddhaar, the Madd signs, and the Ishmaam and Imaalah signs, which are certain terms in the science of Tajweed, having Qalqalah letters.

In this post, we cover everything about it from Qalqalah definition to the examples and how to apply it. To learn about Qalqalah letters in detail, keep reading this post until the end!

What Is Qalqalah in Tajweed

Qalqalah is an echoing sound. It is a technique of pronouncing particular letters that have a Sukoon on them or when one stops at these letters. They need the tone to be strong and create an echo-like sound.

Qalqalah Letters in Arabic:

Qalqalah meaning in Arabic is vibration. Whilst Qalqalah Tajweed meaning is to disturb the letter having Sukoon. This means a Saakin but with no corresponding movement of the mouth that is linked to vowel letters (letters with Fatha, Dummah, or Kasra). Qalqalah shakes to echo that letter without taking up the succeeding or preceding letter’s diacritic.

When it comes to its letters, there are 5 Qalqalah letters. The Huruful Qalqalah are:

  • ق
  • ط
  • ب
  • ج
  • د

In order to remember these Qalqalah letters meaning, you can remember the phrase made up قطب جد. These five letters have the attribute of Jahr – preventing the airflow when pronouncing them – and Shiddah – preventing the flow of sound when pronouncing them.

It is only observed on these letters when they have a Sukoon. In the case of a vowel sign, they are pronounced normally with no Qalqalah or echo-like sound.

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Rules of Qalqalah

letters of Qalqalah in a van

Like everything else, there are some Qalqalah rules to apply in Tajweed. There are a couple of conditions for a letter to produce the Qalqalah sound:

1- The first Qalqalah rule is that the letter must be one of the five Qalqalah letters:

  • ق
  • ط 
  • ب
  • ج         
  • د

2- The qalqalah letter, occurring either in the center of the word or at the end of the word, is Sakin. This indicates that it has a Sukoon on it. If the Qalqalah letter has Fatha, Kasra, Dummah, or Tanween on it, it does not create an echoing or bouncing sound and we normally pronounce them.

Common Qalqalah Mistakes

It may become easier to get the concept of Qalqalah using a non-Qalqalah letter. When we read the word ٱل, we notice that at the end of the word, the front part of the tongue touches the upper gums. On moving our tongue away from this point, without interrupting the sound, we get the Qalqalah effect.

But, as the letter Laam is not among the Qalqalah letters, we should not make a bouncing sound for this letter. This is quite a common mistake, making Qalqalah sound for non-Qalqalah letters.

Types of Qalqalah

There are three levels/types of Qalqalah:

  • Level 3 – Strong
  • Level 2- Medium or Intermediate
  • Level 1 – Weak or Light
levels of qalqalah

Strong Qalqalah

This type has a Shaddah and it comes at the end of the verse. Qalqalah becomes strong when the word is in the end, has a Shaddah, you drop the last Harakah, and say it with Qalqalah.

Qalqalah Kubra Examples:

The Qalqalah examples in Quran for the strong type are mentioned here. An example is the last ب in the following verse. Here, you will hold the Qalqalah for some time as it has Shaddah and Sukoon.

You drop the last Harakah and leave the Shaddah as it is part of the word. So, if it is Wa Tabba, you make it Wa Tabb.

  • (ِAl-Masad: 1) تَبَّتْ يَدَآ أَبِى لَهَبٍۢ وَتَبَّ
  • (Al-Baqarah: 189) …قُلْ هِىَ مَوَٰقِيتُ لِلنَّاسِ وَٱلْحَجِّ…
  • (َQaf: 19) …وَجَآءَتْ سَكْرَةُ ٱلْمَوْتِ بِٱلْحَقِّ

Medium or Intermediate Qalqalah

Qalqalah is medium or intermediate when the letter that appears at the end of the word has no Shaddah. It doesn’t matter if the letter has an original or presented Sukoon. These words are read with a great bouncy sound on the Qalqalah letters.

Qalqalah Wusta Examples

The Qalqalah letters examples of the medium type in the Quran are mentioned here. The following verses of Surah Al-‘Adiyat contain the medium or intermediate Qalqalah.

  • (Al-Buruj: 20) وَٱللَّهُ مِن وَرَآئِهِم مُّحِيطٌۢ
  • (Al-Masad: 2) مَآ أَغْنَىٰ عَنْهُ مَالُهُۥ وَمَا كَسَبَ
  • (Al-Qiyamah: 29) وَٱلْتَفَّتِ ٱلسَّاقُ بِٱلسَّاقِ
  • (Qaf: 8) تَبْصِرَةًۭ وَذِكْرَىٰ لِكُلِّ عَبْدٍۢ مُّنِيبٍۢ

Weak Qalqalah

Qalqalah is weak if it is within the middle of recitation. The letters of Qalqalah often appear within the center of the word or at the top having a Sukoon. But, as the reciter decides to continue, a weak Qalqalah occurs because the reciter quickly moves on to the subsequent letter.

Qalqalah Sugra Examples

Qalqalah letters in Quran of the weak type are mentioned below. The Huruf Qalqalah Sugra can be seen in the following verses. The example of this type in the first verse is تُجْ. In the second verse, خَلَقْ is its example.

  • (Ya-Sin: 54) فَٱلْيَوْمَ لَا تُظْلَمُ نَفْسٌۭ شَيْـًۭٔا وَلَا تُجْزَوْنَ إِلَّا مَا كُنتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ
  • (An-Naba: 8) وَخَلَقْنَـٰكُمْ أَزْوَٰجًۭا

Learn More Tajweed with Us!

At Riwaq Al Azhar, we aim to teach our Muslim brothers and sisters Tajweed the easy way. Hence, we have made it our mission to explain the basic rules in a special Tajweed series with clear examples. Check these useful blogs and master the recitation of the Holy Quran:

Final Words

In conclusion, Qalqalah is an Arabic term that means echoing or shaking. This post covers everything basic about Huroof Qalqalah that you should know about. But if you wish to learn more about the letters of Qalqalah in Arabic, you can always get our assistance!

At Riwaq Al Azhar, we have qualified professionals with a strong command of the Arabic language and the method of reading the Quran. They can not only teach you about this in detail, but you can also get Qalqalah worksheets. So, if you or your kids wish to learn more about Qalqalah letters in detail, Join our Online Tajweed Course.

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