In the Arabic langue, the assimilation – idgham is the act of making something entering into another.
At the tajweed level, this means that the first letter “enters” or is assimilated in the letter which follows it.
So we find al-idgham in three forms:
- Al idgam al mutamathilayn: the two “identical”: Two letters with the same exit point and the same characteristics. They are, therefore, the same letters, like ت and ت.
- Al idgham al mutajanissayn: the two “assimilated”: These are two letters with the same exit point but have different characteristics. Like ت and ط.
- Al idgham al mutaqaribayn: The two “close”. These are two letters that have their exit point close to each other, as well as their characteristics, such as س and د, or ق and ك.
At the level of the different recitation, there are two types of idgham:
- The great assimilation – al idgham Al Kabeer
- The small assimilation – al idgham as sagheer
1. The great assimilation – al idgham Al Kabeer
The great idgham is applied to al mutamathilayn, al mutajanissayn and al mutaqaribayn if the first letter is vocalized (carrying a vowel mark).
وَإِذَا النُّفُوسُ زُوِّجَتْ
And when the souls are paired (81:7)
In this example, The letter س disappears completely in the letter ز.
This is specific to the reading of Abi Amroo and Ya’qub, with a divergence on their subject.
This does not apply to Asim and Nafi’s readings, where this rule is to assimilate two letters provided that the first is sakeen.
2. The small idgham – al idgham as sagheer
Common to all the recitations, the small idgham is applied during the meeting of mutamathilayn, mutajanissayn and mutaqaribayn, when the first of the two letters carry a sukoon, then it “enters” or disappears in the next which is vocalized (mutaharika).
The small idgham can be:
Regarding the permissible idgham, it is a wide subject between the different recitation.
1. The compulsory idgham
we can cite a few examples:
كَلَّا ۖ بَل لَّا تُكْرِمُونَ الْيَتِيمَ
No! But you do not honour the orphan (89:17)
فَإِن كَذَّبُوكَ فَقُل رَّبُّكُمْ ذُو رَحْمَةٍ
So if they deny you, [O Muhammad], say, “Your Lord is the possessor of vast mercy (6:147)
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2. The forbidden idgham
As we mentioned previously, some idgham are prohibited, certain cases are exceptions to the rule and which do not allow merger:
- When the first letter is a letter from madd (prolongation)
تَعْرُجُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ إِلَيْهِ فِي يَوْمٍ كَانَ مِقْدَارُهُ خَمْسِينَ أَلْفَ سَنَةٍ
The angels and the Spirit will ascend to Him during a Day the extent of fifty thousand years. (70:4)
قَالُوا وَهُمْ فِيهَا يَخْتَصِمُونَ
They will say while they dispute therein, (26:96)
Here, care must be taken to respect the madd of the first letter and pronounce it clearly, and that the idgham is not applied. We then apply the rule of madd at tamkeen.
- When the letter lam – ل meets the letter noon – ن
All the scholars agree that it is forbidden to make the assimilation – idgham of the lam and the noon letters excepted for the Lam of the definite article ال. Examples:
قُلْ نَعَمْ وَأَنتُمْ دَاخِرُونَ
Say, “Yes, and you will be [rendered] contemptible.” (37:18)
قُلْ هَلْ نُنَبِّئُكُم بِالْأَخْسَرِينَ أَعْمَالً
Say, [O Muhammad], “Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds? (18:103)
- When the letter lam ل meets the letter Ta – ت
فَالْتَقَمَهُ الْحُوتُ وَهُوَ مُلِيمٌ
Then the fish swallowed him while he was blameworthy. (37:142)
- When the first letter is a throat exit point letter, and it is followed by a letter close to it
وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ وَأَدْبَارَ السُّجُودِ
And [in part] of the night exalt Him and after prostration. (50:40)
وَمِنَ اللَّيْلِ فَسَبِّحْهُ وَإِدْبَارَ النُّجُومِ
And in a part of the night exalt Him and after [the setting of] the stars. (52:49)
رَبَّنَا لَا تُزِغْ قُلُوبَنَا بَعْدَ إِذْ هَدَيْتَنَا وَهَبْ لَنَا مِن لَّدُنكَ رَحْمَةً ۚ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْوَهَّابُ
[Who say], “Our Lord, let not our hearts deviate after You have guided us and grant us from Yourself mercy. Indeed, You are the Bestower. (3:8)
3. The obligatory Idgham
According to Hafs, it is compulsory to make the idgham as sagheer in the following cases:
- The two identical letters assimilation: al idgham al mutamathilayn
أَيْنَمَا تَكُونُوا يُدْرِككُّمُ الْمَوْتُ
Wherever you may be, death will overtake you (4:78)
Technically, the letter of al idgham al mutamathilayn will be read with the pressure due to the shadda, and we will also make a 2-stroke ghunna when it comes to the letters noon or meem.
- the two assimilated letter: al idgham al mutajanisayn
وَلَا أَنَا عَابِدٌ مَّا عَبَدتُّمْ
Nor will I be a worshipper of what you worship. (109:4)
فَآمَنَت طَّائِفَةٌ مِّن بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ وَكَفَرَت طَّائِفَةٌ
And a faction of the Children of Israel believed, and a faction disbelieved. (61:14)
For Hafs, al idgham al mutajanisayn is applied in 7 cases:
- the letter د in the ت
وَعَادًا وَثَمُودَ وَقَد تَّبَيَّنَ لَكُم مِّن مَّسَاكِنِهِمْ
And [We destroyed] ‘Aad and Thamud, and it has become clear to you from their [ruined] dwellings (29:38)
- the letter ت in the د
فَلَمَّا أَثْقَلَت دَّعَوَا اللَّهَ رَبَّهُمَا لَئِنْ آتَيْتَنَا صَالِحًا لَّنَكُونَنَّ مِنَ الشَّاكِرِينَ
And when it becomes heavy, they both invoke Allah, their Lord, “If You should give us a good [child], we will surely be among the grateful.” (7:189)
- the letter ت in the ط
إِذْ هَمَّت طَّائِفَتَانِ مِنكُمْ أَن تَفْشَلَا وَاللَّهُ وَلِيُّهُمَا
When two parties among you were about to lose courage, but Allah was their ally; (3:122)
- the letter ط in the ت
فَمَكَثَ غَيْرَ بَعِيدٍ فَقَالَ أَحَطتُ بِمَا لَمْ تُحِطْ بِهِ وَجِئْتُكَ مِن سَبَإٍ بِنَبَإٍ يَقِينٍ
But the hoopoe stayed not long and said, “I have encompassed [in knowledge] that which you have not encompassed, and I have come to you from Sheba with certain news. (27:22)
In this case, we will apply weaker assimilation (idgham naqees). We keep the characteristic of al isti’la of the letter ط in the pronunciation of the letter ت.
- the letter ذ in the ظ
وَلَن يَنفَعَكُمُ الْيَوْمَ إِذ ظَّلَمْتُمْ أَنَّكُمْ فِي الْعَذَابِ مُشْتَرِكُونَ
And never will it benefit you that Day, when you have wronged, that you are [all] sharing in the punishment. (43:39)
- the letter ث in the ذ
فَمَثَلُهُ كَمَثَلِ الْكَلْبِ إِن تَحْمِلْ عَلَيْهِ يَلْهَثْ أَوْ تَتْرُكْهُ يَلْهَث ۚ ذَّٰلِكَ مَثَلُ الْقَوْمِ الَّذِينَ كَذَّبُوا بِآيَاتِنَا
So his example is like that of the dog: if you chase him, he pants, or if you leave him, he [still] pants. That is the example of the people who denied Our signs (7:176)
- the letter ب in the م
وَكَانَ فِي مَعْزِلٍ يَا بُنَيَّ ارْكَب مَّعَنَا وَلَا تَكُن مَّعَ الْكَافِرِينَ
“O my son, come aboard with us and be not with the disbelievers.” (11:42)
Thus, technically we do not pronounce the first letter of al idgham al mutajanisayn, but the second letter will be read with pressure due to the shedda.
- the two assimilated letter: al idgham al mutaqaribayn
It is called this when the two letters that follow have close articulation points and different characteristics.
The merger is only mandatory for two cases:
- The letter ل merging with the letter ر
- The letter ق merging with the letter ك
وَقُل رَّبِّ زِدْنِي عِلْمًا
“My Lord, increase me in knowledge.” (20:114)
أَلَمْ نَخْلُقكُّم مِّن مَّاءٍ مَّهِينٍ
Did We not create you from a liquid disdained? (77:20)
In the letter ق merging with the letter ك, there is a divergence on the type of idgham to apply.
Some scholars advocate an idgham “naqis, diminished by pronouncing the ك while keeping the characteristic of isti’ala from the ق.
The other part of the scholars advocating for a pure idgham.
Technically, one does not pronounce the first letter of al idgham al mutaqaribayn, but the second letter will be read with pressure due to the shadda.
This tajweed rules lesson is now finished. The next one will be insha’Allah about the rules of the beginning and the rules for stopping during the recitation.
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