There are 2 ways to read the letter Ra “ر“:
- Either with emphasis; That is, you fill your mouth when you say it. The mouth is then vertical. This is called the tafkheem.
- Either lightly; That is, you read it lightly, without filling your mouth.
The mouth is then horizontal. This is called the tarqeeq.
When we encounter the letter Ra ر, three possibilities are available to us depending on its vocalization or its place in the word:
- With tarqeeq
- With tafkheem
- The possibility of doing both.
1. The case when the letter Ra “ر” must be read lightly, with tarqeeq
When the letter Ra ر carries a kasra
مِن شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ
From the evil of the retreating whisperer (114:4)
When the letter Ra ر carries a sukoon at the end of the word, a kasra precedes it.
يَا أَيُّهَا الْمُدَّثِّرُ ﴿١﴾ قُمْ فَأَنذِرْ ﴿٢﴾ وَرَبَّكَ فَكَبِّرْ
O you who covers himself [with a garment], Arise and warn, And your Lord glorify (74: 1 to 3)
When the letter ر carries a sukoon, in the middle of the word, preceded by an original kasra followed by a non-emphatic letter ه
فَسَبِّحْ بِحَمْدِ رَبِّكَ وَاسْتَغْفِرْهُ
Then exalt [Him] with praise of your Lord and ask forgiveness of Him. (110:3)
When the letter ر carries a sukoon, and it is preceded by a non-emphatic letter carrying a sukoon, which is also preceded by a kasra.
يُعَلِّمُونَ النَّاسَ السِّحْرَ
teaching people magic(2:102)
2. The case when the letter Ra “ر” must be emphatic, with tafkheem
When the letter ر carries a damma
إِذَا جَاءَ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ وَالْفَتْحُ
When the victory of Allah has come and the conquest, (110:1)
When the letter ر carries a fatha
بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ
In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful. (1:1)
When the letter ر carries a sukoon and its preceded by a damma
أُولَـٰئِكَ يُجْزَوْنَ الْغُرْفَةَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا
Those will be awarded the Chamber for what they patiently endured (25:75)
When the letter ر carries a sukoon, and it is preceded by fatha.
وَأَرْسَلَ عَلَيْهِمْ طَيْرًا أَبَابِيلَ
And He sent against them birds in flocks, (105:3)
When the letter ر carries a sukoon, it is preceded by an original kasra in the same word, followed by an emphatic letter. The emphatic letters are:
ظ – خ – ص – ض – غ – ط – ق
There are 5 examples of this rule in the Holy Quran:
وَلَوْ نَزَّلْنَا عَلَيْكَ كِتَابًا فِي قِرْطَاسٍ
And even if We had sent down to you, [O Muhammad], a written scripture on a page (6:7)
وَإِرْصَادًا لِّمَنْ حَارَبَ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ مِن قَبْلُ
and as a station for whoever had warred against Allah and His Messenger before. (9:107)
فَلَوْلَا نَفَرَ مِن كُلِّ فِرْقَةٍ مِّنْهُمْ طَائِفَةٌ لِّيَتَفَقَّهُوا فِي الدِّينِ
For there should separate from every division of them a group [remaining] to obtain understanding in the religion (9:122)
إِنَّ جَهَنَّمَ كَانَتْ مِرْصَادًا
Indeed, Hell has been lying in wait (78:21)
إِنَّ رَبَّكَ لَبِالْمِرْصَادِ
Indeed, your Lord is in observation. (89:14)
When the letter ر carries a sukoon and is preceded by a non-original Kasra due to the Hamza al wasl
ارْجِعِي إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةً مَّرْضِيَّةً
Return to your Lord, well-pleased and pleasing [to Him], (89:28)
When the letter ر carries a sukoon at the stop, it is preceded by a Sakeen letter, different from ي and this letter carries a fatha or a damma.
By the time, (103:1)
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3. Cases when the letter ر can be recited lightly or with emphase
When the letter ر carries a Sukoon, it is preceded by a letter carrying a kasra and an emphatic letter carrying a kasra.
There is only one case in the Quran of this rule:
فَانفَلَقَ فَكَانَ كُلُّ فِرْقٍ كَالطَّوْدِ الْعَظِيمِ
and it parted, and each portion was like a great towering mountain. (26:63)
If we continue the recitation, it is possible to choose between a light (muraqaqa) or an emphatic (mufakhama) recitation. In that case, both recitations are permissible:
- Emphatic – Tafkheem because the letter ق is a letter of al isti’la (always emphatic)
- Light – tarqeeq because the letter ق is weakened because it carries a kasra
If you want to stop on the word فِرْقٍ:
In that case, the letter Ra will be emphatic. Because we are in the case when the letter ر carries a sukoon and its preceded by an original kasra in the same word and followed by an emphatic letter.
If you want to stop on the word نُذُرِ in Sura al Qamar, the tafkheem and tarqeeq are both possible.
But the tarqeeq is preferable on the tafkheem because originally the word is نُذُرِي, the tarqeeq came here to remember the origin of the word.
كَذَّبَتْ عَادٌ فَكَيْفَ كَانَ عَذَابِي وَنُذُرِ
‘Aad denied, and how [severe] were My punishment and warning. (54:18)
The tarqeeq and tafkheem of the letter Ra Sakina رْ are possible for the words: يَسْر and أَسْر when you stop
The letter Ra carries a sukoon when we stop on it, but normally it should be followed by a letter ya originally, which has been suppressed.
وَاللَّيْلِ إِذَا يَسْرِ
And [by] the night when it passes, (89:4)
When the letter ر carries a sukoon due to a stop on it, it is preceded by an emphatic Sakeen letter.
There is a difference of opinions between scholars. This case is available in the Holy Quran only 4 times for only 2 words:
وَأَسَلْنَا لَهُ عَيْنَ الْقِطْرِ
and We made flow for him a spring of [liquid] copper. (34:12)
قَالَ ادْخُلُوا مِصْرَ إِن شَاءَ اللَّهُ آمِنِينَ
and said, “Enter Egypt, Allah willing, safe [and secure].” (12:99)
the word مِصْرَ in Sura Yunus verses 7 and 99 and Sura Zukhruf verse 51.
Among the scholars, some have applied the tafkheem and others tarqeeq. Al-Imam ibn al Jazari has chosen:
- the tafkheem of the letter ر when we stop on the word مِصْرَ
- the tarqeeq when we stop on the word قِطْرِ