what is harakat in arabic language

What is Harakat in Arabic? A Complete Guide with Videos

What is Harakat in Arabic or what is Harakat in Tajweed are the questions students of the Quran raise in the early stage of learning.

If you want to learn Quran with Tajweed, you must pay attention to Harakat/Al-Harakat before jumping on to the next segment.

In this guide, we will explain Harakat in length.

To learn Harakat in-depth, we will include the following parts of Tajweed in the Harakat section.

1- What is Harakat?

In the Arabic language, the Harakat are the vowels that create a short movement of sound. When the Harakat is applied to a letter, it shows how the letter should be read inside a word.

It is the second step in learning the Quranic Arabic after having done Arabic letters. 

If you struggle to recognize Arabic letters, you must perfect it first before moving onwards.

Harakat is a vital element in Arabic Tajweed, and mastering it provides a solid base for students of the Quran. So simply said, learning the Quran isn’t easy without comprehending Harakat.

How many Harakat are in Arabic?

There are three Harakat in the Arabic language, and they are;

  1. Fathah (moves the sound up)
  2. Kasarah (moves the sound down)
  3. Dammah (moves the sound around)

Those of you who are good with the Urdu language would recognize Fathah as “Zabar”, Kasarah as “Zer” and Dammah as “Paish.” Although, their names appear different, their functionality is similar in both languages.

ArabicUrdu Equivalent

The following video lesson covers Harakat in the Arabic language.

Harakat lesson by Imam Hassan Raza

2- What is Tanween?

It is an extension of the Harakat. It is implied noon that we add to the Harakat and it is pronounced but not written.

For example, if Fatha on the letter meem makes the sound “M’a,” adding another fatha sign on top of the existing one changes the sound, and now it becomes “Munn” instead of “M’a.”

So all three Harakat change in the following way – Fathatayn, Kasratayn, Dammatayn. You can also see the table below.


Watch the video to learn tanween visually with examples.

Tanween lesson by Imam Hassan Raza

Arabic Words Exercise (letters + harakat + tanween)

3- Madd: What is Madd in Quran (Huroof ul Madd)?

In Arabic, we use the term “Madd” to stretch a specific letter in a word. Generally, it is the natural Madd (natural stretch), and it is named “Madd Tabeeiy”

We know that a single Harakat is a short movement of sound, but when this sound is stretched twice, it becomes a Madd.

So technically, a Madd is equal to two Harakat, be it Fathah, Kasarah, or Dammah.

When a Fatha is followed by an Alif, it is stretched by two Harakat. That means one Harakat becomes two Harakat instead.

Adding Madd to Harakat

Similarly, when Dammah is followed by a Wow and Kasra is followed by a Ya, their sounds are stretched twice – two Harakat.

To understand the concept, let’s see the video by Imam Hassan Raza on how they should be spoken.

Understanding the concept of Madd

Now you have understood the concept of Madd, it’s time to move forward and see how Madd actually appears with letters in Arabic.

Madd Illeen

Madd Illeen is part of Madd. Unlike the natural Madd we covered earlier, this one removes some of the natural characteristics, making it a weaker form of Madd.

So how does Madd Illeen work in the Arabic language? Let’s find out in the lecture below.

4- Exercise (Harakat + Tanween + Madd)

Let’s now conclude this section that started with the basics of Harakat. In this segment, we covered the fundamental areas in understanding Quranic Arabic.

Here is a series of videos you must pay attention to as they are the exercises covering all the above we have learned.

I will suggest not to jump to the next section before cementing this part of the Harakat.

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