Our lesson today is about Arabic sun and moon letters, which are important for pronouncing and understanding Arabic words. In Lesson # 3, we have seen how to use the article al- before words to make them definite, such as “the” in English. However, since al- becomes part of the word, its pronunciation sometimes changes according to the first letter of the word.
This pronunciation can change by removing the “L” sound from al-, and doubling the sound of the next letter, using shaddah, which we learned in Lesson # 2.
Example: al-nahr (the river) >> an-nahr
When does this happen? It happens when the first letter of the word belongs to a group of letters called al-huroof ash-shamseyyah (sun letters). However, if the first letter is from the other group (al-huroof al-qamareyyah), al- is pronounced normally.
In this lesson, we will see which letters are sun letters and which are moon letters, and we will show an example sentence for a word beginning with each letter, together with al- .
A phrase for memorizing moon letters:
ابغ حجك وخف عقيمه
(roughly meaning “pursue your pilgrimage, and be concerned about it being futile”)
Any letter among these is a moon letter:
The rest are sun letters
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