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Understanding Sukoon in Tajweed: A Comprehensive Guide

Sukoon in Tajweed

Table of Contents

Tajweed, the art of Quranic recitation, includes various rules that enhance the pronunciation and beauty of the reading. One such rule is the concept of Sukoon. This guide aims to provide a clear understanding of Sukoon and its application in Tajweed.

Introduction to Sukoon

In the science of Tajweed, which governs the art of reciting the Quran, Sukoon (ـــْــ) is a fundamental concept. It is an Arabic term that signifies the absence of a vowel after a consonant. In Arabic script, Sukoon is represented by a small, circle-like diacritic that is placed above a letter.

What is Sukoon?

  • Definition: Sukoon is a phonetic marker in Arabic script that indicates a consonant is to be pronounced without any following vowel.
  • Symbol: It is denoted by a small circle (ْ) placed above a consonant.
  • Pronunciation: When a letter has Sukoon, it is pronounced without any vowel sound, leading to a non-voweled pronunciation of that consonant.

Understanding Sukoon is essential for proper recitation of the Quran as it directly affects the clarity and pronunciation of words. Mastery of Sukoon allows for a more melodious and accurate recitation, adhering to the traditional articulation passed down through generations.

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Rules of Sukoon

Proper application of Sukoon is essential for the correct recitation of the Quran. Below are the foundational rules that govern its use.

Basic Rules

Non-voweled Letters

  • Definition: A non-voweled letter is one that is not followed by a vowel sound. In Arabic, this is indicated by the presence of Sukoon.
  • Application: When you encounter a letter with Sukoon, you must ensure not to add an ‘a’, ‘i’, or ‘u’ sound (known as “fatha”, “kasra”, and “damma” in Arabic) after it.
  • Example: In the word “الْمُصْطَفَى” (al-Mustafa), the letter ص (Sad) has a Sukoon and is pronounced without any following vowel sound.


  • Articulation: A letter with Sukoon should be articulated clearly without elongation. The sound is produced by stopping the flow of air at the point of articulation.
  • Technique: The technique involves a precise movement of the mouth and tongue to produce the consonant sound sharply and briefly without any trailing vowel sound.
  • Example: In the phrase “وَالْعَصْرِ” (wal-‘asr), the letter ص (Sad) has Sukoon and is pronounced with a full stop of the voice at the end of the consonant, without dragging the sound.

Understanding and adhering to these rules is fundamental for anyone seeking to recite the Quran with Tajweed accurately

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Advanced Concepts of Sukoon

Beyond the basic rules, Sukoon interacts with other Tajweed concepts to create nuanced pronunciations in Quranic recitation.


  • Qalqalah is the phonetic feature that gives a slight echoing or bouncing sound to certain letters when they are in a state of Sukoon.
  • Letters: The letters that produce Qalqalah are ق (Qaf), ط (Taa), ب (Baa), ج (Jeem), and د (Dal) when they carry a Sukoon.
  • Example: In the word “اقْتَرَبَتْ” (iqtarabat) from Surah Al-Qamar (54:1), the letter ق (Qaf) has Sukoon and is pronounced with a bouncing sound.

Combination with Other Rules

Sukoon’s application is often combined with other Tajweed rules, creating a layered complexity in recitation.

Interaction with Tanween

  • Tanween refers to the double vowels at the end of a word, which can be affected by the presence of Sukoon in the following word.
  • Dual Sukoon Rule: When a word ending with Tanween is followed by a word starting with a letter that has Sukoon, the two Sukoons merge, leading to special pronunciation rules.
  • Example: In the phrase “مِنْ قَبْلُ” (min qablu), the ن (Noon) with Tanween in “مِنْ” is followed by the letter ق (Qaf) with Sukoon in “قَبْلُ”. This requires the application of the “Izhar” rule, where the ن (Noon) sound is clearly pronounced.

Interaction with Madd

  • Madd refers to the lengthening of the vowel sound, and its interaction with Sukoon can affect the duration of the sound.
  • Controlled Lengthening: When a Madd letter is followed by a letter with Sukoon, the elongation is measured, and the length of the Madd is maintained according to specific rules.
  • Example: In the word “الْمَدُّ” (al-maddu), the letter د (Dal) has a Sukoon, and the preceding Madd (elongation) is controlled.

Interaction with Other Tajweed Rules

Ikhfa (Concealment)

  • Ikhfa occurs when a non-voweled letter with Sukoon follows a nasal sound, which is typically the sound of ن (Noon) with a sukoon (Noon Sakinah) or a Tanween.
  • Detailed Application: The sound of the Noon is not completely pronounced but is instead ‘hidden’ or ‘concealed’ with a ghunnah (nasalization) that lasts for two counts (harakat).
  • Letters of Ikhfa: There are 15 letters that trigger Ikhfa when they follow a Noon Sakinah or Tanween. These are ت, ث, ج, ح, خ, د, ذ, ز, س, ش, ص, ض, ط, ظ, ف.
  • Example: In the word “أَنْجِيلَ” (anjeela), the Noon with Sukoon (نْ) is followed by the letter ج (Jeem). The nasal sound is concealed with a ghunnah before the Jeem is articulated.


Idgham (Merging)

  • Idgham involves the merging of a nasal sound with the following letter that has Sukoon, resulting in the two sounds becoming one.
  • Types of Idgham: Idgham is further categorized based on whether the ghunnah is present or not. Idgham with ghunnah involves the letters ي, ن, م, و, while Idgham without ghunnah involves the letters ل, ر.
  • Example: In the phrase “مِنْ وَرَائِهِمْ” (min waraa’ihim), the Noon with Tanween (مِنْ) is followed by the letter و (Waw) with Sukoon. The nasal sound merges with the Waw, creating a prolonged nasal sound.


Iqlab (Conversion)

  • Iqlab is a specific rule that applies when the letter ب (Baa) with Sukoon follows a nasal sound, resulting in the conversion of the “n” sound to a “m” sound.
  • Application: The sound of the Noon Sakinah or Tanween is changed from an “n” sound to an “m” sound, and it is accompanied by a ghunnah.
  • Example: In the phrase “مِنْ بَعْدِ” (min ba’di), the ن (Noon) with Tanween in “مِنْ” is followed by the letter ب (Baa) with Sukoon in “بَعْدِ”. The “n” sound is converted to an “m” sound, and the word is pronounced as “mim ba’di”.

Mastering these advanced concepts is key to achieving the precision and rhythmic beauty that Tajweed brings to Quranic recitation.

Examples of Sukoon in the Quran

When practicing Tajweed and the application of Sukoon, it’s beneficial to work with specific examples from the Quran. Here are a few:

Surah Al-Fatiha (سورة الفاتحة)

  • Verse 1: “الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ” (Alhamdu lillahi rabbil ‘alameen)
    • The word “الْحَمْدُ” (Alhamdu) ends with a “د” with Sukoon.

Surah Al-Ikhlas (سورة الإخلاص)

  • Verse 1: “قُلْ هُوَ اللَّهُ أَحَدٌ” (Qul huwa Allahu ahad)
    • The word “أَحَدٌ” (ahad) has a “د” with Sukoon.

Surah Al-Baqarah (سورة البقرة)

  • Verse 255: “اللَّهُ لَا إِلَٰهَ إِلَّا هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ” (Allahu la ilaha illa huwal Hayyul Qayyum)
    • The word “الْحَيُّ” (al-Hayyu) has a “ي” with Sukoon.

Surah Al-Nas (سورة الناس)

  • Verse 4: “مِنْ شَرِّ الْوَسْوَاسِ الْخَنَّاسِ” (min sharri al-waswasil khanas)
    • The word “الْوَسْوَاسِ” (al-waswasi) has a “س” with Sukoon.

These examples can be used for recitation practice, focusing on the correct pronunciation of letters with Sukoon. It’s important to listen to these verses recited by a qualified teacher or a reliable recitation source to ensure proper application of the Tajweed rules.

Practical Application of Sukoon

Mastering Sukoon requires consistent practice. Below are some common mistakes to avoid and exercises to improve your application of Sukoon in recitation.

Common Mistakes


  • Impact: Excessive force or stress on a letter with Sukoon can lead to a distortion in pronunciation, which may change the meaning of words in Arabic and thus affect the integrity of Quranic recitation.
  • Avoidance: The key to avoiding overemphasis is to practice moderation in articulation. This involves a gentle approach to consonants, ensuring they are pronounced clearly but without undue force. Reciters should aim for a balanced tone that reflects the natural rhythm of Arabic pronunciation.


  • Consequence: Failing to observe Sukoon can lead to the omission of necessary pauses and articulations in speech, which can change the meaning of Quranic text and interrupt the flow of recitation.
  • Prevention: To prevent skipping, reciters should consciously acknowledge each letter and its diacritical marks. This may require slowing down the recitation to ensure that each consonant marked with Sukoon is given its due attention and pronounced correctly.

Exercises for Mastery

Word Examples

  • Practice Method: Regularly practice with words from the Quran that contain Sukoon to familiarize yourself with its application.
  • Example Words: Words like “الْقَمَرِ” (al-qamari) and “مُسْتَقِيمٍ” (mustaqeemin) are good starting points.

Recitation Practice

  • Verse Application: Apply the rules of Sukoon while reciting complete verses to understand its role within the context of Quranic sentences.
  • Recitation Tips: Start with shorter verses and gradually move to longer ones as you become more comfortable with the rules.

By engaging with these exercises and being aware of common pitfalls, students of Tajweed can refine their recitation and enhance their understanding of Sukoon.

Hint: Still eager to learn about Tajweed? Uncover the subtleties of Nabr in Tajweed with our comprehensive guide. Master the rules and exceptions to perfect your Quranic recitation in an authentic and melodious way.


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