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Rules for Writing Hamza

Ways in Which a Hamza can be Written

Hamza is written in one of four ways:

 

         by itself on the line, as in جاءَ

         on a ياء, as in سُئِلَ

         on a واو, as in سُؤال

         on an الف, as in سَأَلَ

 

In order to learn the rules that govern which of these forms will be used, we consider the Hamza as it appears in the beginning of a word, at the end, and in the middle. But note that these rules may have exceptions and this is merely a guideline or rule of thumb.

Word Initial

1.       The Hamza will always be written on an الف. This is despite the vowel on it and despite any preceding particles (like the definite article, conjunctions, etc).

 

Examples

 

 

 

والإِسْتِقْرار

إِقامة

أُقيمَ

أَقامَ

 


 

Word Internal

To facilitate the learning of these rules, consider the following hierarchy of vowels in the language:

 

Priority Low

Priority Medium

Priority High

فتحة

و or ضمة

ي or كسرة

 

1.       If the Hamza is preceded and or followed by ياء or كسرة, itís written on a ياء.

 

Examples

 

 

 

لُـئَيْم

سُئِلَ

هَيْـئَة

جِئْتُ

 

2.       If there is no ياء or كسرة in the vicinity, then if the Hamza is preceded and or followed by واو or ضمة, itís written on a واو.

 

Examples

 

 

 

تَـؤَوَّلَ

يَؤُم

اِسْتَوْؤَرَ *

بُـؤْس

 

3.       If there are none of those vowels in the vicinity, then if the Hamza is preceded and or followed by الف or فتحة, itís written on an الف.

 

Examples

 

 

رَأَى

*

رَأْس

 

* When a Hamza has (is followed by) a فتحة and is preceded by a long vowel الف or واو, it is written on the line:

 

Examples

 

مُرُوْءَة

جاءَت

 

There are plenty of exceptions. Consider, for example:

 

رَأَوْا

 

The rules tell us to use a واو for the Hamza, but it uses an الف. It is better to simply memorize the case for each new word one encounters. And this is how most students approach this.


 

Word Final

1.       The Hamza will be written on the line if it is preceded by a سكون (this includes long vowels and diphthongs).

 

Examples

 

 

 

 

 

شَيْء

ضَوْء

يَجِيْء

وُضُوْء

جاءَ

مَرْء

 

2.       The Hamza will be written according to the Word Internal Rules if it is not preceded by a سكون.

 

Examples

 

 

تَوَكُّؤ

قارِئ

قَرَأَ

 



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