Learning the rules of Laam Shamsiya and Laam Qamariya is an important step in Learn Arabic Language for Beginners. If you are new to Arabic, it may seem odd, and maybe it should escape your notice, but sometimes you will see Arabic words starting with ‘AL’. This letter changes the noun from an indefinite to a definite one — just like the English word ‘The’.
However, sometimes ‘AL’ is pronounced as ‘A’. Words with ‘AL’ are Laam Qamariya (also known as the Moon letters) while the words with ‘A’ are Laam Shamsiya (also known as the Sun letters or Al Lam Al Shamsiya). In this article, we will walk you through the rules of Laam Shamsiya and Laam Qamariya to make the process of learning the Arabic language easier for you.
In the Arabic language, consonants are categorized into two major groups; the Sun letters (حروف شمسية) and the Moon letters (حروف قمرية). The rules of Laam Shamsiya and Laam Qamariya are as follows:
There are 28 consonants in total, 14 out of which are the Sun letters and the other 14 are the Moon letters. Words starting with Sun letters make ‘AL’ sound like ‘A –’, while those starting with Moon letters pronounce ‘L’ as it should really be. In other words, an initial Sun letter right after the definite ‘L’ will double the initial Sun letter and result in the L sound being lost in ‘AL’. As for the Moon letters, they allow the ‘L’ before them to be pronounced fully as ‘AL’.
(ﻥ ,ﻝ ,ﻅ ,ﻁ ,ﺽ ,ﺹ ,ﺵ ,ﺱ ,ﺯ ,ﺭ ,ﺫ ,ﺩ ,ﺕ)
Listed below are some Lam Shmasiya words:
The Notebook: الدَّفْتَر
The Window: النَّافِذَة
The Man: الرّجل
( هـ ,ﻱ ,ﻭ ,ﻡ ,ﻙ ,ﻕ ,ﻑ ,ﻍ ,ﻉ ,ﺥ ,ﺡ ,ﺝ ,ﺏ ,أ)
Listed below are some Moon letters Arabic examples:
The House: الْبَيْت
The Mosque: الْمَسْجِد
The Day of Judgment: الْقيامة
There are several instances in the Quran where you will find Huroof Ash-Shamsiya and Huroof Al-Qamariya.
Here are some of the prime examples of Haroof Ash-Shamsiya from Quran:
الرَّحْمٰنِ – النَّاصِرِين – ٱللَّطِيفُ – ٱلظَّـٰلِمِينَ – ٱلطَّآمَّةُ – السَّمِیْعُ
الْفَجْرِ – الْعِمَادِ – الْبِلَادِ – الْفَلَقِ – الْجِنَّةِ
The rule of the Arabic moon and sun letters is so simple and easy to learn as follows:
Initially, remembering the Sun and Moon letters by mastering the rules of Laam Shamsiya and Laam Qamariya might seem a bit tricky but once you understand the concept, you will be surprised that remembering the Sun and Moon letters is so easy.
The trick of remembering the rules of Laam Shamsiya and Laam Qamariya lies in their names. For instance, الشمس (meaning the Sun) is pronounced as Ash-Shams in Arabic, which means there is no ‘L’ sound in the letter. This implies that all the letters falling under this category will be pronounced without the ‘L’.
On the other hand, القمر (meaning the Moon) is pronounced as Al-Qamar in Arabic, which means there is a significant ‘L’ sound. This implies that all the letters falling under this consonant’s category will be pronounced with the ‘L’.
As for the relation between the rules of Laam Shamsiya and Laam Qamariya and Tajweed, it goes without saying that Tajweed plays an important role when you are trying to learn to read Quran with Tajweed rules, as you do not want to pronounce any letters incorrectly.
In terms of the Sun and Moon letters, the Sun letters in Arabic are pronounced from points of articulation that are close to the articulation point of the letter “Lam” while the Moon letters are pronounced from far points. This would be the reason for merging the Laam Shamsiya in the Sun letters.
Regardless of how it is pronounced, the ‘AL’ cannot be spelled differently in written language. A Shaddah sign can be added to the consonant after the Laam to identify Laam Shamsiya. A Sukoon can be placed over the Laam to showcase the Laam Qamariya.
Now that we have gone through all the basics and rules of Laam Shamsiya and Laam Qamariya, let’s have a look at why learning Shamsiya and Qamariya letters, and other Laam basics, is of great importance:
A consonant indicates a sound that one produces by obscuring the airflow into the vocal tract. It is an alphabet letter that represents a basic speech sound. A consonant sound makes a speaker’s speech clear and crisp, allowing other people to understand him/her easily.
While we sign off, we would like to go through the important points we mentioned in this post about the rules of Laam Shamsiya and Laam Qamariya one last time.
In this article, we learned about the consonants of the Arabic language and mentioned that Laam Shamsiya and Laam Qamariya are two broad categories of them. But the main difference between them is that Laam Shamsiya letters make the A sound, while Laam Qamariya letters make the AL sound.
We would also like to end this article with a simple prayer: رَبِّ زِدني عِلمًا
Translation: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge (20:114)