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Arabic non connecting letters

arabic non connecting letters

If you’re familiar with the typography function, you’ll be aware of the significance of letters in all languages, including Arabic. Arabic has non-connecting letters, which complicate the writing style, simultaneously making it a beautiful language that gave rise to an entire branch of calligraphy art for its fonts. How does this impact the speed and flow of your Arabic writing?

What Are Arabic Non-connecting Letters?

Arabic Non-connecting letters are simply isolated letters that are written not linked with the letters following them, however, they are either linked or not linked to the preceding letters. Therefore, they form a visual break in the middle of any word they’re part of, whether they’re put in the middle or the beginning. They include:

Alif ( أ ) Dal ( د ) Dhal ( ذ )
Raa ( ر ) Zay ( ز ) Waw ( و )

Each letter will be represented separately in charts to illustrate them in examples that will help you comprehend the concept. 

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The Reason Behind Non-connecting Letters in Arabic

There is a clear reason behind forming these non-connecting letters in Arabic which is to avoid confusion when writing and reading Arabic sentences as they might look like other letters in the case of connection.

Imagine Alif (ا), what if it is connected to the following letter? Simply, it will look like Lam (لـ) in writing, which will confuse the reader at the end.

Non-connecting Arabic letters succeeded in reducing reading complexity. So, the reason for this linguistic phenomenon is mainly a writing phenomenon, not a phonetic one. Therefore, you pronounce the word as a whole without creating any pauses or gaps.

You might be interested in: The Arabic Alphabet: From Basics To Practical Exercises

Arabic Non-Connecting Letters Chart  (Isolated – Initial – Medial – Final)

Each letter has a specific and special sound that cannot be repeated by any other letter. Also, the shape of the same letter varies according to its position. This applies to the connecting arabic letters and non-connecting letters. 

In the following charts, you will notice that every Arabic letter has three main positions; initial, medial, and final. Based on the letters’ arrangement, you can tell the non-connecting letter adopts the right form. It has two forms:

  • The isolated form: It is the form of the Arabic letter when it is on its own, not connected to either the preceding or the following letter. The non-connecting Arabic letter is naturally not connected to the following, so it depends on the status of the preceding letter. It appears in many positions in the case of:
    • Two consecutive non-connecting letters at the end of the word, like the Alif at this word مَبْدَأ Mabda’ (Principle).
    • Two consecutive non-connecting words in the middle of the word, like the Raa’ at this word, أدري Adri (Know).
    • Two consecutive non-connecting words at the beginning of the word, like the Waw at this word, وأد Wa’ada (Buried).
  • The preceding link form: The form appears when the non-connecting Arabic letter has a preceding letter that can connect to what is following. This happens in two positions:
    • Two consecutive letters; one is a non-connecting letter and the other is connecting at the end of the word, like the Alif at this word, مَلْجأ Malga’ (Shelter).
    • Two consecutive letters; one is a non-connecting letter and the other is connecting at the middle of the word, like the Waw at this word مُؤن Mo’n (Supplies).

To know more about the non-connecting Arabic letters, you should study the patterns and forms that every position produces. In the next lines, we’ll discuss every non-connecting letter separately and introduce charts that support you along your learning journey. The letters, as previously mentioned, are:

  • Alif ( ا )

The Alif (ا) letter sounds (Aa/ A) according to its position from the word and the movement used with it.

There are many types of Alif:

  • It could carry Hamzet kat’ (إ/أ), it might be written as Alif Wasl (ا), or it could carry Madd and become an Alif Mamdoda (آ).

Here is how the different forms of Alif (ا) are illustrated in every position:

  • Alif Wasl (ا)

Isolated Initial Medial Final
ا ا ا/ـأ ـا
Ibn ابْن Nam نَام ʿasa عَصَا
Wanted Slept Stick
  • Alif With Hamza Maftoha (Hamzet Kat’) (أ)

Isolated Initial Medial Final
أ أ أ/ـأ ـأ / أ
Asad أَسَد Ra’s رَأْس ‘Bada بَدَأَ
Lion Head Started
  • Alif With Hamza Maksora (إ)

Isolated Initial Medial Final
إ إ
Intaj إنتاج
Production
  • Alif Mamdoda (Madd) (آ)

Isolated Initial Medial Final
آ آ ـآ
Aameen آمين Mofaga’at مفاجآت
Amen Surprises

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  • Dal ( د )

The Dal (د) letter sounds the same (D).The movement used with it is the reason that makes the letter slightly different.

Here are the positions that the Dal could be used at:

Isolated Initial Medial Final
د د د/ـد د/ـد
Domiya دُمْية Qader قَادِر  Semad سِمَاد 
Doll Capable Fertilizer
  • Dhal ( ذ )

The Dhal looks the same as the Dal; the only difference is adding a dot at the top, which makes it sound more like (Th) in English. Also, the movement is the factor that changes how it sounds. Here, we find Dhal is non connected to the preceding letters when it’s at the end. However, it is not connected to any letters following it.

Isolated Initial Medial Final
ذ ذ ـذ ذ/ـذ
Dhayl ذَيْل Hadhar حَذَّر Maladh مَلَاذ
Tail Warn  Refuge
  • Raa’ ( ر )

The Raa’ letter is typically pronounced as the Latin R. This letter can be used in every position in thousands of words in Arabic. It is a non-connecting letter that might have no linking letters preceding it at any position. But, it is not connected to any letters following it.

Isolated Initial Medial Final
ر ر ر/ـر ر/ـر
Ra’s رَأْس Dharra ذَرَّة Hadhar حَذَّر
Head Atom Warn 
  • Zay ( ز )

The Zay letter is typically pronounced as the English “Z” letter. It is written just like Raa’ but features a dot at the top. It is a non-connecting letter in all positions.

Isolated Initial Medial Final
ز ز ز/ـز ز/ـز
Zarafa زرافة Wazan وَزَن Mawz مَوْز
Giraffe Weighed Banana
  • Waw ( و )

The Waw letter has many forms of pronunciation that vary according to the movement. Sometimes, it sounds like Aw/Ouh, other times it is heard like the English letter W. 

Isolated Initial Medial Final
و و و/ـو ـو
Ward وَرْد Dawr دَوْر Nomouh نُمو
Flowers Role Growth

There is another form of Waw (و) that includes Hamza, which is called Waw mahmotha (ؤ), it is mainly found in the middle and the end of words.

Isolated Initial Medial Final
ؤ ؤ/ـؤ ـؤ
Ro’iya رؤية Lo’lo لؤلؤ
Vision Pearls

read more: Sun & Moon Letters Simplified – Your Easiest Guide

Example of Arabic Non-connecting Letters With Phrases

In this section, we will deliver words that include Arabic non-connecting letters and compose sentences that make you perfectly digest this section of typography.

  • Alif ( ا )

  • مال رأس العجوز على العصا حين نام.

The old man’s head inclined on the stick when he fell asleep.

  • ظهور أسد طليق في أحد شوارع العاصمة من الحوادث البارزة بهذه السنة.

One of the year’s top incidents is the appearance of a free lion on one of the capital’s streets.

  • يعد ابن تميمة من العلماء المسلمين المؤثرين.

Ibn-Taimiya is considered one of the most remarkable Muslim scholars. 

  • Dal ( د )

  • دنا العدو من خنادق الجنود المرابطين.

The enemy approached the soldiers stationed in the trenches.

  • 25 دولة هو عدد البلاد التي يتحدث سكانها اللغة العربية كلغة رسمية أو مشتركة.

There are 25 countries that speak Arabic officially or as a local popular tongue.

  • استخدام الأسمدة يضمن نمو محاصيل وفيرة.

Utilizing fertilizers guarantees rich crop growth.

  • Dhal (ذ )

  • ظهرت محاصيل الذرة ذهبية وتلمع تحت ضوء الشمس.

The corn crops appeared gold and shining under the sunlight.

  • تظل مصر ملاذ آمن لجميع الشعوب المنكوبة والمصابة باضطرابات داخلية.

Egypt has been a safe shelter for all peoples afflicted by internal political issues.

  • اقتلعت العاصفة شجرة الصفصاف من جذورها.

The storm has removed the willow from its roots.

  • Raa’ (ر)

  • رحل عن عالمنا عميد الأدب العربي طه حسين سنة 1973.

Taha Hussein, the dean of Arabic literature, passed away in 1973.

  • تغطي أشجار الأرز جبال لبنان.

Cedar trees cover the mountains of Lebanon.

  • أبو بكر الرازي أحد أشهر العلماء المسلمين الذين أثْرُوا الطب والفلسفة.

Abu Bakr Al-Razi is one of the most famous Muslim scholars who enriched medicine and philosophy.

  • Zay (ز)

  • زار أحمد حديقة الحيوان وشاهد الزرافات والفيلة.

Ahmed has visited the zoo and has seen the giraffes and elephants

  • توجد بالأسواق الخضروات والفاكهة مثل: الجزر والموز.

The markets contain vegetables and fruits including; carrots and bananas.

  • وقد شيعت الجنازة من مسجد الحامدية الشاذلية بالجيزة.

The funeral was held from the Al-Hamidiya Al-Shadhiliyya Mosque in Giza.

  • Waw (و)

  • تنمو ورود وزهور الياسمين في الحديقة مع بداية فصل الربيع.

Roses and jasmine flowers grow in the garden with the onset of spring.

  • لون السماء الأزرق الصافي ينعكس على مياه البحرهادئ الأمواج.

The clear blue sky is reflected in the calm waves of the sea.

  • وجود القرآن الكريم بالمنزل يذكر المسلم بالمداومة على تلاوته.

The presence of the Holy Qur’an in the home reminds the Muslims to persevere in reciting it.

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Writing Practice

Exercise 1:

Classify the following letters into connecting and non-connecting Arabic letters:

ا، ب، ن، و، ت، ج، ي، ر، ز، س، ض، ف، ذ، ق، ك، هـ، د

Answer:

ا – و – ر – ز – ذ – د > Non-connecting Arabic letters

ب – ن – ت – ج – ي – س – ض – ف – ق – ك – ه > Non-connecting Arabic letters

Exercise 2:

Match the following words with the word that describes the non-connecting letter position in the following words:

Row A: Initial, Final, Medial

Row B:نوم، بدأ، أمن 

Answer: 

  • Initial > أمن
  • Medial > نوم
  • Final > بدأ

Conclusion

Knowing the differences between connecting and non-connecting letters helps you build a clear comprehension of the Arabic Typography basics. It is crucial to practice writing and reading to get used to the forms of letters and applied patterns.

FAQs

1- What letters don’t connect in Arabic?

  • Alif ( أ )
  • Dal ( د )
  • Dhal ( ذ )
  • Raa ( ر )
  • Zay ( ز )
  • Waw ( و )


2-What are disconnected letters in the Quran?

  • Alif Lam Mim الم
  • Alif Lam Mim Sad المص
  • Alif Lam Ra الر
  • Alif Lam Mim Ra المر
  • Kaf Ha Ya Ain Sad كهيعص
  • Ta Ha طه
  • Ta Sin Mim طسم
  • Ta Sin طس
  • Ya Sin يس
  • Sad ص
  • Ha Mim حم
  • Ha Mim; Ain Sin Qaf حم عسق
  • Qaf ق
  • Nun ن

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