Many a times, I miss to pronounce various Arabic letters correctly, which leads to reading the Holy Quran incorrectly. Some of the tricky alphabets include:

  1. 'ط' and 'ت'
  2. 'ظ' and 'ز' and 'ذ' and 'ض'
  3. 'د' and ض'

and some more.

I want to mention that I already know Arabic, but I am facing difficulty in understanding the true pronunciation of certain alphabets.

Can anyone please help me out on this?

  • 1
    Why did't you quote 'د'? I think the difference between 'د' and 'ض' might be difficult to conclude from the transliteration. While many people may have issues with 'ظ' and 'ز' and 'ذ'. Indeed this is an off-topic question, but many major terms on our site are traditionally transliterated a wrong way like zuhr/zohr for ظهر as the 'ظ' has the same origin in the pronunciation as a 'ط' and 'ض' unlike the 'ز' which I would set equal to a "z".
    – Medi1Saif
    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:19
  • @Medi1Saif I have mentioned that there are some more occurrences which includes the one which you are talking about. I don't think it is off topic as it prevents me from reading the Quran in a correct way. I hope it is taken positively into that context.
    – Ali_Waris
    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:25
  • Then please add this connection in your post (by editing it), else one needs to agree with Rebecca's comment! I'd also recommend you to follow and ask this question on that proposal site as we need good questions and active followers, read my post here meta.islam.stackexchange.com/questions/1311/…
    – Medi1Saif
    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:28
  • 1
    @Medi1Saif I followed the topic on Arabic language on Area51 as you suggested, and for now, I have edited the question to convey it more precisely.
    – Ali_Waris
    Jan 23, 2017 at 7:36

1 Answer 1


To know where the letters Arabic are "pronounced" from is important to learn reading the Quran and speaking Arabic correctly. The first thing a student of tajweed learns is the so called مخارج الحروف Articulation of sound, there he learns how each Arabic letter is pronounced and where the phonation is localized. Unfortunately I'm neither a great linguist in Arabic nor do I have good enough translation skills to explain it well. I hope this picture gives you an idea where in the phonation of each Arabic letter is "done"enter image description here

This picture already shows a big difference of the origin of the phonation of each of the letters you quoted!

For example 'ز', 'ص','س' are all placed at the end of the tongue (near the teeth) while 'ط', 'ت', 'د' are still a bit further (inside).

Here a kind of explanation for some of your examples (as this is in first place my interpretation, be aware that it could be wrong to some extent):

The major difference between the 'ط' and 'ت' is that the first sounds more like a strong emphasized "t" like in "total" while a similar letter to 'ت' doesn't really exist it is like a not emphasized "t" even less emphasized as in "split".

"ض" is like a strong emphasized "d" like in "Donation" (but much stronger), while 'د' could be pronounced equal to a "d" at the end of an English word "extend".

'ظ' is near to a "th", but generally I would prefer to transliterate it as a "dh" as the sound of "d" must appear while pronouncing it at last to some extent (therefore I think transliterating ظهر zuhr or zohr is wrong and it should be dhohr or dhuhr).
'ز' is generally similar to the English/French "z" like in "Zoo".
'ذ' is a bit tricky it has elements of "d" and "dh" so it is a "dh" based on the correct pronunciation of 'د'.

Here's a video (youtube) teaching the مخارج الحروف in Arabic by a scholar.

  • Sharing the link of youtube video is great. Can you please provide a better quality image of the one which you have attached with the answer? Jazakallah.
    – Ali_Waris
    Jan 23, 2017 at 8:42
  • @Ali_Waris if you found any better picture here google.de/… you can replace it or let me know which one you prefer!
    – Medi1Saif
    Jan 23, 2017 at 8:45

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