What is hamza in Arabic?

What is hamza in Arabic?

What is hamza in Arabic? [hamza] is the first letter of the Arabic Alphabet [alif, ba, ta …], so it is basically the [alif]. However, there are two types of [alif]. As for its position in the word, [hamza] occurs at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end. When it occurs at beginning of the word, it is part of the root word or an addition. Also, it indicates the imperfective المُضَارِع or a yes-no question. As for its shape, it is determined by short vowels [al-Harakaat al-qasiirah].

What is hamza in Arabic?

Types of [alif]:

There are two types of [alif]: the [hamza] and [alif madd]. In Arabic grammar, the [hamza] is the first letter of the alphabet, and it is called the firm [alif], while [alif madd] is the long vowel [ ا ], and it is called the flaccid [alif].

Being firm, the [hamza] is accompanied by the short vowels [al-Harakaat al-qasiirah]. By the same token, being flaccid the [alif madd] is not accompanied by short vowels; it is always [saakin], that is, it is accompanied by [sukuun].

The [hamza] occurs at the beginning, in the middle, and at the end of words, while [alif madd] occurs in the middle or at the end of words.

The [hamza]

(a) For being firm, the [hamza] is always accompanied by a short vowel: [fatHah], as in (1), (3), (4), and (6) [kasrah], as in (7) and إِلَى in (3), or [DHammah], as in (5).

(b) The [hamza] of the definite article اَلْ always has [fatHah] over it.

(1) أَكَلْتُ تُفَاحَةً    I ate an apple

(2) جَاءَ اَلْطَّبِيْب    the physician came

(3) أَذْهَب إِلَى اَلْمَدْرَسَة    I go to school

(4) بَدَأَتْ اَلْمُبَارَاة    the match started

(5) اُكْتُبِ اَلْوَاجِب    write the lesson!

(6) سَــأَلْنَا اَلْمُدَرِّس    we asked the teacher

(7) اِفْتَح اَلْبَاب    open the door!

The [alif madd]

(a) The [alif] in these words is called [alif madd], also known as [alif layyinah] which literally means ‘flaccid’.

(b) Being flaccid, it does not accept a short vowel, so it is always [saakin], i.e. accompanied by [sukuun], as in the examples.

(1) قَــاْمَ اَلْوَلَد    the boy stood up

(2) أَجَــاْبَ اَلْطَّالِب    the student answered

(3) شَــاْهَدْنَا اَلْفِيْلم    we watched the film

(4) دَعَــاْ مُحَمَّد صَدِيْقَه    Mohd called his friend

(5) قَــاْلَ إِنَّهُ مَرِيْض    he said that he was sick

Position of the [hamza]:

Unlike the [alif madd], the [hamza] occurs at the beginning of the word (as أ, إ, or ا), in the middle of the word (as ـأ, ـئـ / ئـ, ـؤ , or ء), or at the end of the word (as أ / ـأ, ـيء, ـئ, ـؤ , or ء).

(a) In these examples, the [hamza] occurs at the beginning of the word.

(b) In (1) and (2), it is part of perfective root verb.

(c) It occurs at the beginning 2nd person pronouns and the 1st person singular, as in (3) and (4).

(d) In (5) and (6), it indicates the imperfective form the verb referring to the first person singular.

(e) It is used at the beginning of the imperative verbs. Here it is [hamzat al-wasl].

(f) It is also used at the beginning of some nouns and particles, as in (9) and (10).

(1) أَغْلَقَ عَلِي اَلْبَاب    Ali closed the door

(2) أَكَلْنَا اَلْكَعْكَة    we ate the cake

(3) أَنْتَ مُشَاغِب    you are naughty

(4) أَنَا نَعْسَان    I am sleepy

(5) أُرِيْدُ عَصِيْرًا    I want juice

(6) أَعْرِف اَلْإِجَابَة    I know the answer

(7) اُكْتُبِ اَلْوَاجِب    write the homework!

(8) اِسْمَعنِي    listen to me!

(9) أُخْتِي كَاتِبَة    my sister is a writer

(10) إِنَّهَا جِمِيْلَة    she is really beautiful

(a) In these examples, it occurs in the middle of the word.

(b) It has different shapes ـأ, ـئـ / ئـ, ـؤ , or ء

(c) Its shape is determined by the short vowel over it or over the letter that precedes it, as explained below.

(1) شَرِبْتُ كَــأْسًا مِنَ اَلْعَصِيْر    I drank a glass of juice

(2) هُوَ جَائِــع    he is hungry

(3) سَــأَلْنَا اَلْمُدَرِّس    we asked the teacher

(4) هَذَا مُــؤْلِم    this is painful

(5) فِي اَلْصَّحْرَاء بِــئْــر    there is a well in the desert

(6 هَذَا كِتَاب اَلْقِرَاءَة    this is the reading book

(a) In these examples, it occurs at the end of the word.

(b) In this position, it has different shapes. The shape is determined by the shorts over the preceding letters, as explained below.

(1) جَاءَ اَلْوَزِيْر    the minister came

(2) بَدَأَ اَلْسِبَاق    the race started

(3) أَنْتَ بَطِيء    you are slow

(4) لَم يَتَنَاوَل اَلْدَّوَاء    he did not take the medicine

(5) ذَهَبْنَا إِلَى اَلْصَّحْرَاء    we went to the desert

(6) هُوَ قَارِئ جَيِّد    he is a good reader

[hamza] and Yes-no Question:

[hamza], namely أَ with fatHah over it, is used to ask a yes-no question in Arabic. It is used in the same way as هَلْ. The only difference between the two is that questions with [hamza] are formal.

أَ ….؟

هَل …؟

أَأَنْتِ نَادِيَة؟

هَلْ أَنْتِ نَادِيَة؟    are you Nadia?  

أَهَذَا كِتَابُكَ؟

هَلْ هَذَا كِتَابُكَ؟    is this your book?

أَذَهَبَ إِلَى المُؤْتَمَر؟

هَلْ ذَهَبَ إِلَى اَلْمُؤْتَمِر؟    did he go to the conference?

أَيُحِبُّونَ اَلْفَاكِهَة؟

هَلْ يُحِبُّونَ اَلْفَاكِهَة؟    do they like fruit?

(أَاْ) آلْكِتَاب مَعَك؟

هَلْ اْلْكِـتَاب مَعَك؟    is the book with you?

The Shape of the [hamza]:

At the Beginning of the Word:

(a) If the [hamza] (ء) has [fatHa] or [DHammah] over it, it always placed over the [alif], as in (1) and (3).

(b) If the [hamza] (ء) has [kasrah] below it, it is written below the [alif], as in (2).

(1) أَكَلَ  he ate، أَغْلَقَ  he closed ، أَكْتُبُ   I write، أَنْ  .. that .. ، أَنْتُم  you (f, p)

(2) إِلَى  to ، إِذَا  if ، إِغْلَاق  closing ، إِسْلَام  Islam

(3) أُغْلِق  I close ، أُشَاهِدُ  I watch ، اُكَلِّمُ  I talk to

In the Middle of the Word:

(a) If the letter before the [hamza] has [fatHah] over it, the [hamza] is placed over the [alif], as in (1).

(b) If the letter before has [kasrah] below it, the [hamza] is placed on the line ـئـ, as in (2).

(c) If the letter before has [DHammah] over it, the [hamza] is placed on و , i.e. ـؤ, as in (3).

(d) If the letter before it has [sukuun] over it, the [hamza] is written on the line by itself ء, as in (4).

(1) رَأس  a head ، كَأس  a glass ،  سَأَلَ  he asked

(2) بِئْر  a well ،  جِئْتُ  I came ،  رِئَة  a lung

(3) مُؤْلِم  painful ،  مُؤْمِن  a believer

(4) تَوْءَم  a twin ،  قِرَاءَة  reading

At the End of the Word:

(a) If the letter before the [hamza] has [fatHah] over it, the [hamza] is placed over the [alif], as in (1).

(b) If the letter before it has [sukuun] over it the [hamza] is placed by itself on the line, as in (2).

(c) If the letter before it has [DHammah] over it, the [hamza] is placed on و, i.e. ـؤ, as in (3).

(d) If the letter before it has [kasrah] below it, the [hamza] is written on ى, i.e. [yaa’] without the two dots below it, as in (4).

(1) بَدَأ  he started ، مَلْجَأ  shelter ،  يَقْرَأ  he reads

(2) جَاْءَ  he came ، شَيْء  a thing ، عِبْء  burden

(3) لُؤلُؤ  pearl ، بَطُؤَ  it became slow

(4) مَلَاجِئ  shelters ، قَارِئ  a reader

Note: there are other rules for writing the [hamza], but these are the most common.

Two Types of [hamza]:

From the above explanation and from the previous lesson, you can see that there are two types of [hamza]: [alif al-wasl] or [hamzat al-wasl] and [alif al-qaT‘] or [hamzat al-qaT‘], which means ‘disjunctive alif’. Both refer to the [alif] at the beginning of words.

[alif al-qaT‘] is the [alif] that has [hamza] (ء) over or below it, while [alif al-wasl] is not accompanied by [hamza]. While [alif al-wasl] is only pronounced at the start of sentences, [alif al-qaT‘] is always pronounced even if the word in which it occurs is in the middle of the sentence. For this reason, it is called ‘disjunctive’, that is, it disallows blending / linking with the preceding word.

There are no comment for this article at this moment. Add new comment .

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

@