Alphabets (Haroof)  حروف



In Arabic Alphabet is called “Harf”, two alphabets are called “Harfein” and more than two alphabets are called “Haroof”.  Note unlike English, in Arabic we have a special term used for a pair (i.e. two alphabets are called “Herfein”).

Arabic language consist of 30 (28 + 2) letters and Contrary to the Latin scripts Arabic is written from right to left (in horizontal lines), but numerals are written from left to right.

Alphabet Pronunciation Guide or Ikhraaj

Where the letters are pronounced from?


Please note the place each Alphabet is pronounced from as illustrated in the picture above.

Commonly Mispronounced Alphabets


Note the place these alphabets are pronounced from since its very important to pronounce them the right way.

Shapes and Joining Alphabets

Arabic language has 28 basic alphabets which take different shapes depending on the positioning within the word itself i.e. it may have a different form if used as a first, middle or last letter. Some letters can be combined with the next letter while other can’t be combined and have to be written by themselves. All basic Arabic letters are consonants. The following table summarises all letters, their shapes (as isolated, or when used in the beginning, middle or end of the word).


Nearly every-Arabic Alphabet can be joined to its next Alphabet from both sides (normal letters), and they can have up to four contextual shapes:

(1) Isolated

(2) Initial

(3) Medial

(4) Final

Orphan Alphabets

These letters are called “orphan letters” because they do not join the following letters (in the direction of writing from right to left). If they are in initial or median position, they cause a “graphic rupture” in the word. So they have only two positions: single and final. The letter which follows is automatically in initial position.
Orphan Alphabets
Below are the exercises for the beginners to identify alphabets when they are combined.







4 Responses to Alphabets

  1. syedammar says:

    assalaamu alaikum i request u to pl send complete qaida.

  2. Mohammed Jamshaid Kiani says:

    I am a beginner and trying to learn arabic.

  3. Heather says:

    Thank you for the helpful information! I just wanted to let you know that in English, we only use the word “alphabet” to describe the whole system of letters. Like “I know the 26 letters of the alphabet.” For the individual characters, we say “letters.” It would make what you wrote more clear if you would change the places where you said “alphabets” to say “letters” instead.

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