What is Qalqalah? Qalqalah Letters explained.

What is Qalqalah

One of the major basic rules if Tajweed is Qalqalah. And today we will learn its meaning, its letters and how to apply it. Let’s get started.

What is Qalqalah? Qalqalah is on of the tajweed rules that are used to recite the holy Quran, it is an echoing sound that you make when finding any of the Qalqalah letters which are daal, jeem, baa, tah, qaaf. However, the rule doesn’t apply unless there is a sukoon sign on the letter.

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What is Qalqalah?

Quran to explain what is qalqalah

The English meaning of the word Qalqalah is shaking or disturbance. But in tajweed, it means to make an echoing sound when finding a sukoon sign on any of the five letters of Qalqalah. Which are daal, jeem, baa, tah, qaaf. But remember, the rule doesn’t apply unless there is a sukoon sign on the letter.

Sometimes the sukoon is not written above the letters but the rule should be applied. An example of this is in surah falaq, as follows:

قُلْ أَعُوذُ بِرَبِّ ٱلْفَلَقِ ١

Say, ˹O Prophet,˺ “I seek refuge in the Lord of the daybreak

مِن شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ ٢

from the evil of whatever He has created,

وَمِن شَرِّ غَاسِقٍ إِذَا وَقَبَ ٣

and from the evil of the night when it grows dark,

وَمِن شَرِّ ٱلنَّفَّـٰثَـٰتِ فِى ٱلْعُقَدِ ٤

and from the evil of those ˹witches casting spells by˺ blowing onto knots,

وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ ٥

and from the evil of an envier when they envy.”

Explanation:

I bolded the letters so that it becomes clear for you. Now you might wonder “why the sign of sukoon is not written. That’s because the Qalqalah letters came at the end of the verse. And some readers don’t stop at the end of the verse they continue to the next verse. Therefore, Diacritics have been put in place. However, it is better to pause at the end of every verse. In that case, you should make a strong Qalqalah.

Qalqalah rule is applied when you find any of the five letters:

“ق , ط , ب , ج , د”.

If you find it hard to memorize then put it in the sentence:

“قطب جد”

now it becomes easier to remember.

\the rule is applied whether the letters are at the beginning, middle, end of the word. As long as the sukoon sign is on it, you apply the rule. When it comes at the end of the verse and you pause then the sound of Qalqalah should be strong. If you find a Shaddah it will be even stronger.

The three types of Qalqalah:

  • The Lesser Qalqalah (weak): when any of the five letters is found in the middle of the word, the echoing of the letter becomes weak, and you move directly to the rest of the word. For example:

في جيدها حبل من مسد

The letter ‘ب’ in the word ‘حبل’ is in the middle therefore the echoing will be weak.

  • The Greater Qalqalah (strong): When any of the letters comes in the end of the word or the end of the verse and has a shaddah and you stop at it then the echoing of the letter will be strong.

For example:

تبت يدا أبي لهب وتبّ

The letter ‘ب’ came at the end of the word “وتبّ” with a shaddah on it and at the end of the verse, there for the qalqalah of this letter is strong.

  • The Intermediate: When one of the Qalqalah letters comes at the end of the word with no shaddah then the echoing of the letter will be something in between the other two types. For Example:

ما أغنى عنه ماله وما كسب

The letter ‘ب’ at the end of the word “كسب” came at the end of the verse and doesn’t have a shaddah on it.

1-     Qalqalah kubra examples.

We talked previously about the three types of Qalqalah. Qalqalah kubra or Greater Qalqalah happens when any of the letters comes in the end of the word. It also happens when it comes the end of the verse and has a shaddah and you stop at it then the echoing of the letter will be strong.

Here are some examples of it:

In the word Al-falaq (الْفَلَقِ) we can see the letter “ب”  at the end of it. In the word Kasab “كَسَبَ”, we can see the letter “ب” at the end. But what about the other letters? Here are some examples of them:

The word Muheet “مُحِيطٌ” ends with a’ ط’, the word Masad “مَسَدٍ” ends with a ‘د’, and the word Al-ma’aarij ‘الْمَعَارِجِ’ ends with a ‘ج’. If you noticed none of them have a sukoon sign, and the reason is that the Qalqalah letters came at the end of the verses and some readers don’t stop at the end of the verse they continue to the next verse. Therefore, Diacritics have been put in place. However. It is better to pause at the end of every verse. In that case, you should make a strong Qalqalah.

2-     Qalqalah sughra examples.

When any of the five letters is found in the middle of the word, the echoing of the letter becomes weak, and you move directly to the rest of the word. Here are some examples of this type:

In the word khalaqna (خَلَقْنَا) we can see the letter “ق”  at the middle of it. In the word tat-heeran “تطْهِيرًا”, we can see the letter “ط” at the middle of the word. The word abnaa’akum we can see the letter “ب” at the middle of the word. And we can the sukoon sign above all of them.

The Wusta (intermediate):

when one of the Qalqalah letters comes at the end of the word with no shaddah then the echoing of the letter will be something in between the other two types. Here are some examples:

in the sentence qad aflaha “قَدْ أَفْلَحَ” we can see the letter “د”at the end of the word with no shaddah sign. In the sentence najid lahu “نَجِدْ لَهُ” we can see the letter “د”at the end of the word with no shaddah sign. Therefore the intermediate Qalqalah rule is applied.

What are the letters of qalqalah?

There are five letters of Qalqalah, and they are daal, jeem, baa, tah, qaaf in Arabic they are written as “ق , ط , ب , ج , د”. To memorize them easier just put them in the following sentence “قطب جد”. 

The rule is applied whether the letters are at the beginning, middle, end of the word as long as there is the sukoon sign on it.

Why is Qalqalah important?

Qalqalah makes the pronunciation of the letter easier, for example, try to pronounce the following (أط), did you manage to read it without making and echoing sound? Of course not, now try to say  (أق), the same thing happens. You can’t pronounce them without the echoing sound which is called Qalqalah.

If you try to say it without echoing one of two things will happen, the end of your tongue will get stuck and it will be hard to loosen it and breathe. The other thing that could happen is that your tongue will just slip which makes the echoing sound, that is called Qalqalah.

The qabalah comes from the slipping of the tongue on the back of the mouth without moving the jaw or mouth. You can try to pronounce the rest of the letters (أد) and (أج) and (أب).    

Now try to pronounce the word “أبْناء” an you will notice how the echoing sound comes naturally without you even know it. End of the line, Qalqalah makes the pronunciation of the words easier. An Imam once said:

“The Qalqalah is necessary for these letters because they have the attributes of jahr (stoppage of the flow of breath) and shiddah (stoppage of the flow of sound), so without Qalqalah, there would be no sound!”

How do you pronounce Qalqalah?

There are five letters of Qalqalah, and they are daal, jeem, baa, tah, qaaf in Arabic they are written as “ق , ط , ب , ج , د”. To memorize them easier just put them in the following sentence “قطب جد”. 

The rule is applied whether the letters are at the beginning, middle, or end of the word as long as there is the Sukoon sign on it.

The Qalqalah comes from the slipping of the tongue on the back of the mouth without moving the jaw or mouth. If you’re wondering about the Qalqalah meaning in Urdu and its letters it will be the same.

That’s it for today’s article I hope you found it useful, and if you still have any questions visit our website, Quran Classes.

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