Arabic alphabet

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Arabic alphabet_table_infobox_0

Arabic alphabetArabic alphabet_header_cell_0_0_0
TypeArabic alphabet_header_cell_0_1_0 AbjadArabic alphabet_cell_0_1_1
LanguagesArabic alphabet_header_cell_0_2_0 ArabicArabic alphabet_cell_0_2_1
Time periodArabic alphabet_header_cell_0_3_0 3rd or 4th century AD to the presentArabic alphabet_cell_0_3_1
Parent systemsArabic alphabet_header_cell_0_4_0 EgyptianArabic alphabet_cell_0_4_1
DirectionArabic alphabet_header_cell_0_5_0 Right-to-leftArabic alphabet_cell_0_5_1
ISO 15924Arabic alphabet_header_cell_0_6_0 Arab, 160Arabic alphabet_cell_0_6_1
Unicode aliasArabic alphabet_header_cell_0_7_0 ArabicArabic alphabet_cell_0_7_1
Unicode rangeArabic alphabet_header_cell_0_8_0 Arabic alphabet_cell_0_8_1

The Arabic alphabet (Arabic: الْأَبْجَدِيَّة الْعَرَبِيَّة‎, al-abjadīyah l-ʿarabīyah or الْحُرُوف الْعَرَبِيَّة, al-ḥurūf l-ʿarabīyah, IPA: [ʔalʔabd͡ʒadiːjaʰ lʕarabiːjaʰ), or Arabic abjad, is the Arabic script as it is codified for writing Arabic. Arabic alphabet_sentence_0

It is written from right to left in a cursive style and includes 28 letters. Arabic alphabet_sentence_1

Most letters have contextual letterforms. Arabic alphabet_sentence_2

The Arabic script is also a religious text, it is used mainly in Islamic countries, namely in Arabia, North Africa, Persia, Central Asia and the Northwestern Indian Subcontinent. Arabic alphabet_sentence_3

The Arabic alphabet is considered an abjad, meaning it only uses consonants, but it is now considered an "impure abjad". Arabic alphabet_sentence_4

As with other impure abjads, such as the Hebrew alphabet, scribes later devised means of indicating vowel sounds by separate vowel diacritics. Arabic alphabet_sentence_5

Consonants Arabic alphabet_section_0

The basic Arabic alphabet contains 28 letters. Arabic alphabet_sentence_6

Adaptations of the Arabic script for other languages added and removed some letters, as for Persian, Ottoman Turkish, Central Kurdish, Urdu, Sindhi, Malay, Pashto, Arwi and Malayalam (Arabi Malayalam), all of which have additional letters as shown below. Arabic alphabet_sentence_7

There are no distinct upper and lower case letter forms. Arabic alphabet_sentence_8

Many letters look similar but are distinguished from one another by dots (ʾiʿjām) above or below their central part (rasm). Arabic alphabet_sentence_9

These dots are an integral part of a letter, since they distinguish between letters that represent different sounds. Arabic alphabet_sentence_10

For example, the Arabic letters ب (b), ت (t) and ث (th) have the same basic shape, but have one dot below, two dots above and three dots above, respectively. Arabic alphabet_sentence_11

The letter ن (n) also has the same form in initial and medial forms, with one dot above, though it is somewhat different in isolated and final form. Arabic alphabet_sentence_12

Both printed and written Arabic are cursive, with most of the letters within a word directly connected to the adjacent letters. Arabic alphabet_sentence_13

Alphabetical order Arabic alphabet_section_1

There are two main collating sequences for the Arabic alphabet: abjad and hija. Arabic alphabet_sentence_14

The original ʾabjadīy order (أَبْجَدِيّ), used for lettering, derives from the order of the Phoenician alphabet, and is therefore similar to the order of other Phoenician-derived alphabets, such as the Hebrew alphabet. Arabic alphabet_sentence_15

In this order, letters are also used as numbers, Abjad numerals, and possess the same alphanumeric code/cipher as Hebrew gematria and Greek isopsephy. Arabic alphabet_sentence_16

The hijā’ī (هِجَائِي) or alifbāʾī (أَلِفْبَائِي) order, used where lists of names and words are sorted, as in phonebooks, classroom lists, and dictionaries, groups letters by similarity of shape. Arabic alphabet_sentence_17

Abjadī Arabic alphabet_section_2

The ʾabjadī order is not a simple historical continuation of the earlier north Semitic alphabetic order, since it has a position corresponding to the Aramaic letter samekh/semkat ס, yet no letter of the Arabic alphabet historically derives from that letter. Arabic alphabet_sentence_18

Loss of sameḵ was compensated for by the split of shin ש into two independent Arabic letters, ش (shīn) and ﺱ (sīn) which moved up to take the place of sameḵ. Arabic alphabet_sentence_19

The six other letters that do not correspond to any north Semitic letter are placed at the end. Arabic alphabet_sentence_20

Arabic alphabet_table_general_1

Common abjadī sequenceArabic alphabet_table_caption_1
غArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_0 ظArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_1 ضArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_2 ذArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_3 خArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_4 ثArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_5 تArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_6 شArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_7 رArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_8 قArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_9 صArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_10 فArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_11 عArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_12 سArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_13 نArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_14 مArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_15 لArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_16 كArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_17 يArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_18 طArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_19 حArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_20 زArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_21 وArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_22 هArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_23 دArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_24 جArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_25 بArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_26 أArabic alphabet_cell_1_0_27
ghArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_0 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_1_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_1_2 dhArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_3 khArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_4 thArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_5 tArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_6 shArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_7 rArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_8 qArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_9 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_1_10 fArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_11 ʿArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_12 sArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_13 nArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_14 mArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_15 lArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_16 kArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_17 yArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_18 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_1_19 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_1_20 zArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_21 wArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_22 hArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_23 dArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_24 jArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_25 bArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_26 ʾArabic alphabet_cell_1_1_27
1000Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_0 900Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_1 800Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_2 700Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_3 600Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_4 500Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_5 400Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_6 300Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_7 200Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_8 100Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_9 90Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_10 80Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_11 70Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_12 60Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_13 50Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_14 40Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_15 30Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_16 20Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_17 10Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_18 09Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_19 08Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_20 07Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_21 06Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_22 05Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_23 04Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_24 03Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_25 02Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_26 01Arabic alphabet_cell_1_2_27
Arabic alphabet_cell_1_3_0 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_3_2 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_3_3 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_3_7 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_3_8 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_3_10 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_3_11 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_3_13 Arabic alphabet_cell_1_3_14

This is commonly vocalized as follows: Arabic alphabet_sentence_21

Arabic alphabet_description_list_0

  • ʾabjad hawwaz ḥuṭṭī kalaman saʿfaṣ qarashat thakhadh ḍaẓagh.Arabic alphabet_item_0_0

Another vocalization is: Arabic alphabet_sentence_22

Arabic alphabet_description_list_1

  • ʾabujadin hawazin ḥuṭiya kalman saʿfaṣ qurishat thakhudh ḍaẓughArabic alphabet_item_1_1

Arabic alphabet_table_general_2

Maghrebian abjadī sequence (probably older)Arabic alphabet_table_caption_2
شArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_0 غArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_1 ظArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_2 ذArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_3 خArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_4 ثArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_5 تArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_6 سArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_7 رArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_8 قArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_9 ضArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_10 فArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_11 عArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_12 صArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_13 نArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_14 مArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_15 لArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_16 كArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_17 يArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_18 طArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_19 حArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_20 زArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_21 وArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_22 هArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_23 دArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_24 جArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_25 بArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_26 أArabic alphabet_cell_2_0_27
shArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_0 ghArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_1_2 dhArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_3 khArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_4 thArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_5 tArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_6 sArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_7 rArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_8 qArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_9 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_1_10 fArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_11 ʿArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_12 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_1_13 nArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_14 mArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_15 lArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_16 kArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_17 yArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_18 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_1_19 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_1_20 zArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_21 wArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_22 hArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_23 dArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_24 jArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_25 bArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_26 ʾArabic alphabet_cell_2_1_27
28Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_0 27Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_1 26Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_2 25Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_3 24Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_4 23Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_5 22Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_6 21Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_7 20Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_8 19Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_9 18Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_10 17Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_11 16Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_12 15Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_13 14Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_14 13Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_15 12Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_16 11Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_17 10Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_18 09Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_19 08Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_20 07Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_21 06Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_22 05Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_23 04Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_24 03Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_25 02Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_26 01Arabic alphabet_cell_2_2_27
Arabic alphabet_cell_2_3_0 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_3_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_3_3 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_3_7 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_3_8 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_3_10 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_3_11 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_3_13 Arabic alphabet_cell_2_3_14
The colours indicate which letters have different positions from the previous tableArabic alphabet_cell_2_4_0

This can be vocalized as: Arabic alphabet_sentence_23

Arabic alphabet_description_list_2

  • ʾabujadin hawazin ḥuṭiya kalman ṣaʿfaḍ qurisat thakhudh ẓaghushArabic alphabet_item_2_2

Hijā’ī Arabic alphabet_section_3

Modern dictionaries and other reference books do not use the abjadī order to sort alphabetically; instead, the newer hijāʾī order is used wherein letters are partially grouped together by similarity of shape. Arabic alphabet_sentence_24

The hijāʾī order is never used as numerals. Arabic alphabet_sentence_25

Arabic alphabet_table_general_3

Common hijāʾī orderArabic alphabet_table_caption_3
يArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_0 وArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_1 هArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_2 نArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_3 مArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_4 لArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_5 كArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_6 قArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_7 فArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_8 غArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_9 عArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_10 ظArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_11 طArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_12 ضArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_13 صArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_14 شArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_15 سArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_16 زArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_17 رArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_18 ذArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_19 دArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_20 خArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_21 حArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_22 جArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_23 ثArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_24 تArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_25 بArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_26 اArabic alphabet_cell_3_0_27
yArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_0 wArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_1 hArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_2 nArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_3 mArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_4 lArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_5 kArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_6 qArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_7 fArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_8 ghArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_9 ʿArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_10 Arabic alphabet_cell_3_1_11 Arabic alphabet_cell_3_1_12 Arabic alphabet_cell_3_1_13 Arabic alphabet_cell_3_1_14 shArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_15 sArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_16 zArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_17 rArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_18 dhArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_19 dArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_20 khArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_21 Arabic alphabet_cell_3_1_22 jArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_23 thArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_24 tArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_25 bArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_26 āArabic alphabet_cell_3_1_27
Arabic alphabet_cell_3_2_0 Arabic alphabet_cell_3_2_3 Arabic alphabet_cell_3_2_7 Arabic alphabet_cell_3_2_11 Arabic alphabet_cell_3_2_13 Arabic alphabet_cell_3_2_15 Arabic alphabet_cell_3_2_17

Another kind of hijāʾī order was used widely in the Maghreb until recently when it was replaced by the Mashriqi order. Arabic alphabet_sentence_26

Arabic alphabet_table_general_4

Maghrebian hijāʾī orderArabic alphabet_table_caption_4
يArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_0 وArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_1 هArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_2 شArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_3 سArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_4 قArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_5 فArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_6 غArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_7 عArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_8 ضArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_9 صArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_10 نArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_11 مArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_12 لArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_13 كArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_14 ظArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_15 طArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_16 زArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_17 رArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_18 ذArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_19 دArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_20 خArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_21 حArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_22 جArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_23 ثArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_24 تArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_25 بArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_26 اArabic alphabet_cell_4_0_27
yArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_0 wArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_1 hArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_2 shArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_3 sArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_4 qArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_5 fArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_6 ghArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_7 ʿArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_8 Arabic alphabet_cell_4_1_9 Arabic alphabet_cell_4_1_10 nArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_11 mArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_12 lArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_13 kArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_14 Arabic alphabet_cell_4_1_15 Arabic alphabet_cell_4_1_16 zArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_17 rArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_18 dhArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_19 dArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_20 khArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_21 Arabic alphabet_cell_4_1_22 jArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_23 thArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_24 tArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_25 bArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_26 āArabic alphabet_cell_4_1_27
Arabic alphabet_cell_4_2_0 Arabic alphabet_cell_4_2_3 Arabic alphabet_cell_4_2_5 Arabic alphabet_cell_4_2_9 Arabic alphabet_cell_4_2_11 Arabic alphabet_cell_4_2_15 Arabic alphabet_cell_4_2_17
The colours indicate which letters have different positions from the previous tableArabic alphabet_cell_4_3_0

Letter forms Arabic alphabet_section_4

The Arabic alphabet is always cursive and letters vary in shape depending on their position within a word. Arabic alphabet_sentence_27

Letters can exhibit up to four distinct forms corresponding to an initial, medial (middle), final, or isolated position (IMFI). Arabic alphabet_sentence_28

While some letters show considerable variations, others remain almost identical across all four positions. Arabic alphabet_sentence_29

Generally, letters in the same word are linked together on both sides by short horizontal lines, but six letters (و ,ز ,ر ,ذ ,د ,ا) can only be linked to their preceding letter. Arabic alphabet_sentence_30

For example, أرارات (Ararat) has only isolated forms because each letter cannot be connected to its following one. Arabic alphabet_sentence_31

In addition, some letter combinations are written as ligatures (special shapes), notably lām-alif لا, which is the only mandatory ligature (the un-ligated combination لـا is considered difficult to read). Arabic alphabet_sentence_32

Table of basic letters Arabic alphabet_section_5

For other uses, see Arabic script. Arabic alphabet_sentence_33

Notes Arabic alphabet_sentence_34

Arabic alphabet_unordered_list_3

  • See the article Romanization of Arabic for details on various transliteration schemes; however, Arabic language speakers may usually not follow a standardized scheme when transcribing names. Also names are regularly transcribed as pronounced locally, not as pronounced in Literary Arabic (if they were of Arabic origin).Arabic alphabet_item_3_3
  • Regarding pronunciation, the phonemic values given are those of Modern Standard Arabic, which is taught in schools and universities. In practice, pronunciation may vary considerably from region to region. For more details concerning the pronunciation of Arabic, consult the articles Arabic phonology and varieties of Arabic.Arabic alphabet_item_3_4
  • The names of the Arabic letters can be thought of as abstractions of an older version where they were meaningful words in the Proto-Semitic language. Names of Arabic letters may have quite different names popularly.Arabic alphabet_item_3_5
  • Six letters (و ز ر ذ د ا) do not have a distinct medial form and have to be written with their final form without being connected to the next letter. Their initial form matches the isolated form. The following letter is written in its initial form, or isolated form if it is the final letter in the word.Arabic alphabet_item_3_6
  • The letter alif originated in the Phoenician alphabet as a consonant-sign indicating a glottal stop. Today it has lost its function as a consonant, and, together with ya’ and wāw, is a mater lectionis, a consonant sign standing in for a long vowel (see below), or as support for certain diacritics (maddah and hamzah).Arabic alphabet_item_3_7
  • Arabic currently uses a diacritic sign, ء, called hamzah, to denote the glottal stop [ʔ], written alone or with a carrier:Arabic alphabet_item_3_8
    • alone: ءArabic alphabet_item_3_9
    • with a carrier: إ أ (above or under an alif), ؤ (above a wāw), ئ (above a dotless yā’ or yā’ hamzah).Arabic alphabet_item_3_10

Arabic alphabet_description_list_4

Arabic alphabet_description_list_5

  • Arabic alphabet_item_5_12
    • The hamzah has a single form, since it is never linked to a preceding or following letter. However, it is sometimes combined with a wāw, yā’, or alif, and in that case the carrier behaves like an ordinary wāw, yā’, or alif.Arabic alphabet_item_5_13

variations Arabic alphabet_section_6

Arabic alphabet_table_general_5

The modern hijā’ī sequence and abjadī sequence in 15 fonts:Arabic alphabet_table_caption_5
ي و ه ن م ل ك ق ف غ ع ظ ط ض ص ش س ز ر ذ د خ ح ج ث ت ب اArabic alphabet_cell_5_0_0 hijā’ī sequenceArabic alphabet_cell_5_0_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_1_0 Arabic alphabet_cell_5_1_1 Noto Nastaliq UrduArabic alphabet_cell_5_1_2
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_2_0 ScheherazadeArabic alphabet_cell_5_2_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_3_0 LateefArabic alphabet_cell_5_3_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_4_0 Noto Naskh ArabicArabic alphabet_cell_5_4_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_5_0 Markazi TextArabic alphabet_cell_5_5_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_6_0 Noto Sans ArabicArabic alphabet_cell_5_6_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_7_0 El MessiriArabic alphabet_cell_5_7_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_8_0 LemonadaArabic alphabet_cell_5_8_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_9_0 ChangaArabic alphabet_cell_5_9_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_10_0 MadaArabic alphabet_cell_5_10_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_11_0 Noto Kufi ArabicArabic alphabet_cell_5_11_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_12_0 Reem KufiArabic alphabet_cell_5_12_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_13_0 LalezarArabic alphabet_cell_5_13_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_14_0 JomhuriaArabic alphabet_cell_5_14_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_15_0 RakkasArabic alphabet_cell_5_15_1
غ ظ ض ذ خ ث ت ش ر ق ص ف ع س ن م ل ك ي ط ح ز و ه د ج ب أArabic alphabet_cell_5_16_0 abjadī sequenceArabic alphabet_cell_5_16_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_17_0 Arabic alphabet_cell_5_17_1 Noto Nastaliq UrduArabic alphabet_cell_5_17_2
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_18_0 ScheherazadeArabic alphabet_cell_5_18_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_19_0 LateefArabic alphabet_cell_5_19_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_20_0 Noto Naskh ArabicArabic alphabet_cell_5_20_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_21_0 Markazi TextArabic alphabet_cell_5_21_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_22_0 Noto Sans ArabicArabic alphabet_cell_5_22_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_23_0 El MessiriArabic alphabet_cell_5_23_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_24_0 LemonadaArabic alphabet_cell_5_24_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_25_0 ChangaArabic alphabet_cell_5_25_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_26_0 MadaArabic alphabet_cell_5_26_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_27_0 Noto Kufi ArabicArabic alphabet_cell_5_27_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_28_0 Reem KufiArabic alphabet_cell_5_28_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_29_0 LalezarArabic alphabet_cell_5_29_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_30_0 JomhuriaArabic alphabet_cell_5_30_1
Arabic alphabet_cell_5_31_0 RakkasArabic alphabet_cell_5_31_1

Alif Arabic alphabet_section_7

Arabic alphabet_table_general_6

ContextArabic alphabet_header_cell_6_0_0 FormArabic alphabet_header_cell_6_0_1 ValueArabic alphabet_header_cell_6_0_2 Closest English EquivalentArabic alphabet_header_cell_6_0_3
Without diacriticsArabic alphabet_cell_6_1_0 اArabic alphabet_cell_6_1_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_6_1_2 Arabic alphabet_cell_6_1_3
With hamzah over

(hamzah alif)Arabic alphabet_cell_6_2_0

أArabic alphabet_cell_6_2_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_6_2_2 Arabic alphabet_cell_6_2_3
With hamzah under

(hamzah alif)Arabic alphabet_cell_6_3_0

إArabic alphabet_cell_6_3_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_6_3_2 Arabic alphabet_cell_6_3_3
With maddahArabic alphabet_cell_6_4_0 آArabic alphabet_cell_6_4_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_6_4_2 Arabic alphabet_cell_6_4_3
With waslahArabic alphabet_cell_6_5_0 ٱArabic alphabet_cell_6_5_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_6_5_2 Arabic alphabet_cell_6_5_3

Modified letters Arabic alphabet_section_8

The following are not individual letters, but rather different contextual variants of some of the Arabic letters. Arabic alphabet_sentence_35

Arabic alphabet_table_general_7

Conditional formsArabic alphabet_header_cell_7_0_0 NameArabic alphabet_header_cell_7_0_4 Translit.Arabic alphabet_header_cell_7_0_5 Phonemic Value (IPA)Arabic alphabet_header_cell_7_0_6
IsolatedArabic alphabet_header_cell_7_1_0 FinalArabic alphabet_header_cell_7_1_1 MedialArabic alphabet_header_cell_7_1_2 InitialArabic alphabet_header_cell_7_1_3
آArabic alphabet_cell_7_2_0 ـآArabic alphabet_cell_7_2_1 آArabic alphabet_cell_7_2_3 ʾalif maddah

(أَلِفْ مَدَّة)Arabic alphabet_cell_7_2_4

ʾāArabic alphabet_cell_7_2_5 /ʔaː/(aka "lengthening/ stressing 'alif")Arabic alphabet_cell_7_2_6
ةArabic alphabet_cell_7_3_0 ـةArabic alphabet_cell_7_3_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_7_3_2 Arabic alphabet_cell_7_3_3 tāʾ marbūṭah

(تَاءْ مَرْبُوطَة)Arabic alphabet_cell_7_3_4

h or
t / ẗArabic alphabet_cell_7_3_5
(aka "correlated tā'")

used in final position only and for denoting the feminine noun/word or to make the noun/word feminine; however, in rare irregular noun/word cases, it appears to denote the "masculine"; singular nouns: /a/, plural nouns: āt (a preceding letter followed by a fatḥah alif + tāʾ = ـَات‎)Arabic alphabet_cell_7_3_6

ىArabic alphabet_cell_7_4_0 -ـىArabic alphabet_cell_7_4_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_7_4_2 Arabic alphabet_cell_7_4_3 ʾalif maqṣūrah (أَلِفْ مَقْصُورَة)Arabic alphabet_cell_7_4_4 ā / á / ỳArabic alphabet_cell_7_4_5 The letter is called أَلِفْ مَقْصُورَة alif maqṣūrah or ْأَلِف لَيِّنَة alif layyinah, and it is only used at the end of words, representing /aː/ in Modern Standard Arabic.

In some special cases, denoting the neutral/non-feminine aspect of the word (mainly verbs), where tā’ marbūṭah cannot be used. The undotted version has been the traditional way of writing the letter ي yāʾ in the final position, and it remains to be used in the Nile Valley region.Arabic alphabet_cell_7_4_6

Ligatures Arabic alphabet_section_9

The use of ligature in Arabic is common. Arabic alphabet_sentence_36

There is one compulsory ligature, that for lām ل + alif ا, which exists in two forms. Arabic alphabet_sentence_37

All other ligatures, of which there are many, are optional. Arabic alphabet_sentence_38

Arabic alphabet_table_general_8

Contextual formsArabic alphabet_header_cell_8_0_0 NameArabic alphabet_header_cell_8_0_4 Trans.Arabic alphabet_header_cell_8_0_5 ValueArabic alphabet_header_cell_8_0_6
FinalArabic alphabet_header_cell_8_1_0 MedialArabic alphabet_header_cell_8_1_1 InitialArabic alphabet_header_cell_8_1_2 IsolatedArabic alphabet_header_cell_8_1_3
Arabic alphabet_cell_8_2_0 Arabic alphabet_cell_8_2_2 lām + alifArabic alphabet_cell_8_2_4 laaArabic alphabet_cell_8_2_5 /lā/Arabic alphabet_cell_8_2_6
Arabic alphabet_cell_8_3_0 Arabic alphabet_cell_8_3_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_8_3_2 Arabic alphabet_cell_8_3_3 yāʾ + mīmArabic alphabet_cell_8_3_4 īmArabic alphabet_cell_8_3_5 /iːm/Arabic alphabet_cell_8_3_6
Arabic alphabet_cell_8_4_0 Arabic alphabet_cell_8_4_1 Arabic alphabet_cell_8_4_2 Arabic alphabet_cell_8_4_3 lam + mīmArabic alphabet_cell_8_4_4 lmArabic alphabet_cell_8_4_5 /lm/Arabic alphabet_cell_8_4_6

A more complex ligature that combines as many as seven distinct components is commonly used to represent the word Allāh. Arabic alphabet_sentence_39

The only ligature within the primary range of Arabic script in Unicode (U+06xx) is lām + alif. Arabic alphabet_sentence_40

This is the only one compulsory for fonts and word-processing. Arabic alphabet_sentence_41

Other ranges are for compatibility to older standards and contain other ligatures, which are optional. Arabic alphabet_sentence_42

Arabic alphabet_unordered_list_6

  • lām + alifArabic alphabet_item_6_14
    • لاArabic alphabet_item_6_15

Note: Unicode also has in its Presentation Form B FExx range a code for this ligature. Arabic alphabet_sentence_43

If your browser and font are configured correctly for Arabic, the ligature displayed above should be identical to this one, U+FEFB ARABIC LIGATURE LAM WITH ALEF ISOLATED FORM: Arabic alphabet_sentence_44

Arabic alphabet_description_list_7

  • Arabic alphabet_item_7_16
    • Arabic alphabet_item_7_17

Arabic alphabet_unordered_list_8

  • U+0640 ARABIC TATWEEL + lām + alifArabic alphabet_item_8_18
    • ـلاArabic alphabet_item_8_19

Note: Unicode also has in its Presentation Form B U+FExx range a code for this ligature. Arabic alphabet_sentence_45

If your browser and font are configured correctly for Arabic, the ligature displayed above should be identical to this one: Arabic alphabet_sentence_46

Arabic alphabet_unordered_list_9

    • Arabic alphabet_item_9_21

Another ligature in the Unicode Presentation Form A range U+FB50 to U+FDxx is the special code for glyph for the ligature Allāh ("God"), U+FDF2 ARABIC LIGATURE ALLAH ISOLATED FORM: Arabic alphabet_sentence_47

Arabic alphabet_description_list_10

  • Arabic alphabet_item_10_22
    • Arabic alphabet_item_10_23

This is a work-around for the shortcomings of most text processors, which are incapable of displaying the correct vowel marks for the word Allāh in Koran. Arabic alphabet_sentence_48

Because Arabic script is used to write other texts rather than Koran only, rendering lām + lām + hā’ as the previous ligature is considered faulty: If one of a number of fonts (Noto Naskh Arabic, mry_KacstQurn, KacstOne, DejaVu Sans, Harmattan, Scheherazade, Lateef, Iranian Sans) is installed on a computer (Iranian Sans is supported by Wikimedia web-fonts), the word will appear without diacritics. Arabic alphabet_sentence_49

Arabic alphabet_unordered_list_11

  • lām + lām + hā’ = LILLĀH (meaning "to Allāh [only to Allah])Arabic alphabet_item_11_24
    • لله  or   للهArabic alphabet_item_11_25
  • alif + lām + lām + hā’ = ALLĀH (the Islamic name for "God")Arabic alphabet_item_11_26
    • الله  or   اللهArabic alphabet_item_11_27
  • alif + lām + lām + U+0651 ARABIC SHADDA + U+0670 ARABIC LETTER SUPERSCRIPT ALEF + hā’Arabic alphabet_item_11_28
    • اللّٰه   (DejaVu Sans and KacstOne don't show the added superscript Alef)Arabic alphabet_item_11_29

An attempt to show them on the faulty fonts without automatically adding the gemination mark and the superscript alif, although may not display as desired on all browsers, is by adding the U+200d (Zero width joiner) after the first or second lām Arabic alphabet_sentence_50

Arabic alphabet_unordered_list_12

  • (alif +) lām + lām + U+200d ZERO WIDTH JOINER + hā’Arabic alphabet_item_12_30
    • الل‍ه   ‎   لل‍هArabic alphabet_item_12_31

Gemination Arabic alphabet_section_10

Further information: Shadda Arabic alphabet_sentence_51

Gemination is the doubling of a consonant. Arabic alphabet_sentence_52

Instead of writing the letter twice, Arabic places a W-shaped sign called shaddah, above it. Arabic alphabet_sentence_53

Note that if a vowel occurs between the two consonants the letter will simply be written twice. Arabic alphabet_sentence_54

The diacritic only appears where the consonant at the end of one syllable is identical to the initial consonant of the following syllable. Arabic alphabet_sentence_55

(The generic term for such diacritical signs is ḥarakāt). Arabic alphabet_sentence_56

Arabic alphabet_table_general_9

General UnicodeArabic alphabet_header_cell_9_0_0 NameArabic alphabet_header_cell_9_0_2 Name in Arabic scriptArabic alphabet_header_cell_9_0_3 TransliterationArabic alphabet_header_cell_9_0_4
0651Arabic alphabet_cell_9_1_0 ــّـArabic alphabet_cell_9_1_1 shaddahArabic alphabet_cell_9_1_2 شَدَّةArabic alphabet_cell_9_1_3 (consonant doubled)Arabic alphabet_cell_9_1_4

Nunation Arabic alphabet_section_11

Main article: Nunation Arabic alphabet_sentence_57

Nunation (Arabic: تنوين‎ tanwīn) is the addition of a final -n  to a noun or adjective. Arabic alphabet_sentence_58

The vowel before it indicates grammatical case. Arabic alphabet_sentence_59

In written Arabic nunation is indicated by doubling the vowel diacritic at the end of the word. Arabic alphabet_sentence_60

Vowels Arabic alphabet_section_12

Users of Arabic usually write long vowels but omit short ones, so readers must utilize their knowledge of the language in order to supply the missing vowels. Arabic alphabet_sentence_61

However, in the education system and particularly in classes on Arabic grammar these vowels are used since they are crucial to the grammar. Arabic alphabet_sentence_62

An Arabic sentence can have a completely different meaning by a subtle change of the vowels. Arabic alphabet_sentence_63

This is why in an important text such as the Qur’ān the three basic vowel signs (see below) are mandated, like the ḥarakāt and all the other diacritics or other types of marks, for example the cantillation signs. Arabic alphabet_sentence_64

Short vowels Arabic alphabet_section_13

Further information: Arabic diacritics Arabic alphabet_sentence_65

In the Arabic handwriting of everyday use, in general publications, and on street signs, short vowels are typically not written. Arabic alphabet_sentence_66

On the other hand, copies of the Qur’ān cannot be endorsed by the religious institutes that review them unless the diacritics are included. Arabic alphabet_sentence_67

Children's books, elementary school texts, and Arabic-language grammars in general will include diacritics to some degree. Arabic alphabet_sentence_68

These are known as "vocalized" texts. Arabic alphabet_sentence_69

Short vowels may be written with diacritics placed above or below the consonant that precedes them in the syllable, called ḥarakāt. Arabic alphabet_sentence_70

All Arabic vowels, long and short, follow a consonant; in Arabic, words like "Ali" or "alif", for example, start with a consonant: ‘Aliyy, alif. Arabic alphabet_sentence_71

Arabic alphabet_table_general_10

Short vowels

(fully vocalized text)Arabic alphabet_header_cell_10_0_0

CodeArabic alphabet_header_cell_10_0_1 NameArabic alphabet_header_cell_10_0_2 Name in Arabic scriptArabic alphabet_header_cell_10_0_3 Trans.Arabic alphabet_header_cell_10_0_4 ValueArabic alphabet_header_cell_10_0_5 RemarksArabic alphabet_header_cell_10_0_6
ــَـArabic alphabet_cell_10_1_0 064EArabic alphabet_cell_10_1_1 fat·ḥahArabic alphabet_cell_10_1_2 فَتْحَةArabic alphabet_cell_10_1_3 aArabic alphabet_cell_10_1_4 /a/Arabic alphabet_cell_10_1_5 the fathah (half-short "a") sounds properly more like the English "E" (as in "hen", "man") in comparison to the letter alif (ا) which is a full-whole "A" (= like the English letter "A" as in "ark", "up")

e.g. حَرَكَة ḥarakah is pronounced more like "ḥerekeh"; شَمْس shams is pronounced more like "shems"Arabic alphabet_cell_10_1_6

ــُـArabic alphabet_cell_10_2_0 064FArabic alphabet_cell_10_2_1 ḍammahArabic alphabet_cell_10_2_2 ضَمَّةArabic alphabet_cell_10_2_3 uArabic alphabet_cell_10_2_4 /u/Arabic alphabet_cell_10_2_5 English "U" (as "full")Arabic alphabet_cell_10_2_6
ــِـArabic alphabet_cell_10_3_0 0650Arabic alphabet_cell_10_3_1 kasrahArabic alphabet_cell_10_3_2 كَسْرَةArabic alphabet_cell_10_3_3 iArabic alphabet_cell_10_3_4 /i/Arabic alphabet_cell_10_3_5 English "I" (as in "pick")Arabic alphabet_cell_10_3_6

Long vowels Arabic alphabet_section_14

In the fully vocalized Arabic text found in texts such as Quran, a long ā following a consonant other than a hamzah is written with a short a sign (fatḥah) on the consonant plus an ʾalif after it; long ī is written as a sign for short i (kasrah) plus a yāʾ; and long ū as a sign for short u (ḍammah) plus a wāw. Arabic alphabet_sentence_72

Briefly, ᵃa = ā; ⁱy = ī; and ᵘw = ū. Arabic alphabet_sentence_73

Long ā following a hamzah may be represented by an ʾalif maddah or by a free hamzah followed by an ʾalif (two consecutive ʾalifs are never allowed in Arabic). Arabic alphabet_sentence_74

The table below shows vowels placed above or below a dotted circle replacing a primary consonant letter or a shaddah sign. Arabic alphabet_sentence_75

For clarity in the table, the primary letters on the left used to mark these long vowels are shown only in their isolated form. Arabic alphabet_sentence_76

Please note that most consonants do connect to the left with ʾalif, wāw and yāʾ written then with their medial or final form. Arabic alphabet_sentence_77

Additionally, the letter yāʾ in the last row may connect to the letter on its left, and then will use a medial or initial form. Arabic alphabet_sentence_78

Use the table of primary letters to look at their actual glyph and joining types. Arabic alphabet_sentence_79

Arabic alphabet_table_general_11

Long vowels (fully vocalized text)Arabic alphabet_table_caption_11
UnicodeArabic alphabet_header_cell_11_0_0 Letter with diacriticArabic alphabet_header_cell_11_0_1 NameArabic alphabet_header_cell_11_0_2 Trans.Arabic alphabet_header_cell_11_0_3 VariantsArabic alphabet_header_cell_11_0_4 ValueArabic alphabet_header_cell_11_0_5
064E 0627Arabic alphabet_cell_11_1_0 ـَا‎Arabic alphabet_cell_11_1_1 fatḥah ʾalifArabic alphabet_cell_11_1_2 āArabic alphabet_cell_11_1_3 aaArabic alphabet_cell_11_1_4 /aː/Arabic alphabet_cell_11_1_5
064E 0649Arabic alphabet_cell_11_2_0 ـَىٰ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_11_2_1 fatḥah ʾalif maqṣūrahArabic alphabet_cell_11_2_2 āArabic alphabet_cell_11_2_3 aaArabic alphabet_cell_11_2_4
Arabic alphabet_cell_11_3_0 ـِىٖ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_11_3_1 kasrah ʾalif maqṣūrahArabic alphabet_cell_11_3_2 yArabic alphabet_cell_11_3_3 iyArabic alphabet_cell_11_3_4 /iː/Arabic alphabet_cell_11_3_5
064F 0648Arabic alphabet_cell_11_4_0 ـُو‎Arabic alphabet_cell_11_4_1 ḍammah wāwArabic alphabet_cell_11_4_2 ūArabic alphabet_cell_11_4_3 uw/ ouArabic alphabet_cell_11_4_4 /uː/Arabic alphabet_cell_11_4_5
0650 064AArabic alphabet_cell_11_5_0 ـِي‎Arabic alphabet_cell_11_5_1 kasrah yāʾArabic alphabet_cell_11_5_2 īArabic alphabet_cell_11_5_3 iyArabic alphabet_cell_11_5_4 /iː/Arabic alphabet_cell_11_5_5

In unvocalized text (one in which the short vowels are not marked), the long vowels are represented by the vowel in question: ʾalif ṭawīlah/maqṣūrah, wāw, or yāʾ. Arabic alphabet_sentence_80

Long vowels written in the middle of a word of unvocalized text are treated like consonants with a sukūn (see below) in a text that has full diacritics. Arabic alphabet_sentence_81

Here also, the table shows long vowel letters only in isolated form for clarity. Arabic alphabet_sentence_82

Combinations وا and يا are always pronounced wā and yāʾ respectively. Arabic alphabet_sentence_83

The exception is the suffix ـوا۟ in verb endings where ʾalif is silent, resulting in ū or aw. Arabic alphabet_sentence_84

Arabic alphabet_table_general_12

Long vowels

(unvocalized text)Arabic alphabet_header_cell_12_0_0

NameArabic alphabet_header_cell_12_0_1 Trans.Arabic alphabet_header_cell_12_0_2 ValueArabic alphabet_header_cell_12_0_3

اArabic alphabet_cell_12_1_0

(implied fatḥah) ʾalifArabic alphabet_cell_12_1_1 āArabic alphabet_cell_12_1_2 /aː/Arabic alphabet_cell_12_1_3

ىArabic alphabet_cell_12_2_0

(implied fatḥah) ʾalif maqṣūrahArabic alphabet_cell_12_2_1 ā / yArabic alphabet_cell_12_2_2

وArabic alphabet_cell_12_3_0

(implied ḍammah) wāwArabic alphabet_cell_12_3_1 ūArabic alphabet_cell_12_3_2 /uː/Arabic alphabet_cell_12_3_3

يArabic alphabet_cell_12_4_0

(implied kasrah) yāʾArabic alphabet_cell_12_4_1 īArabic alphabet_cell_12_4_2 /iː/Arabic alphabet_cell_12_4_3

In addition, when transliterating names and loanwords, Arabic language speakers write out most or all the vowels as long (ā with ا ʾalif, ē and ī with ي yaʾ, and ō and ū with و wāw), meaning it approaches a true alphabet. Arabic alphabet_sentence_85

Diphthongs Arabic alphabet_section_15

The diphthongs /aj/ and /aw/ are represented in vocalized text as follows: Arabic alphabet_sentence_86

Arabic alphabet_table_general_13


(fully vocalized text)Arabic alphabet_header_cell_13_0_0

NameArabic alphabet_header_cell_13_0_1 Trans.Arabic alphabet_header_cell_13_0_2 ValueArabic alphabet_header_cell_13_0_3
064A 064E

ـَي‎Arabic alphabet_cell_13_1_0

fatḥah yāʾArabic alphabet_cell_13_1_1 ayArabic alphabet_cell_13_1_2 /aj/Arabic alphabet_cell_13_1_3
0648 064E

ـَو‎Arabic alphabet_cell_13_2_0

fatḥah wāwArabic alphabet_cell_13_2_1 awArabic alphabet_cell_13_2_2 /aw/Arabic alphabet_cell_13_2_3

Vowel omission Arabic alphabet_section_16

An Arabic syllable can be open (ending with a vowel) or closed (ending with a consonant): Arabic alphabet_sentence_87

Arabic alphabet_unordered_list_13

  • open: CV [consonant-vowel] (long or short vowel)Arabic alphabet_item_13_32
  • closed: CVC (short vowel only)Arabic alphabet_item_13_33

A normal text is composed only of a series of consonants plus vowel-lengthening letters; thus, the word qalb, "heart", is written qlb, and the word qalaba "he turned around", is also written qlb. Arabic alphabet_sentence_88

To write qalaba without this ambiguity, we could indicate that the l is followed by a short a by writing a fatḥah above it. Arabic alphabet_sentence_89

To write qalb, we would instead indicate that the l is followed by no vowel by marking it with a diacritic called sukūn ( ْ‎), like this: قلْب. Arabic alphabet_sentence_90

This is one step down from full vocalization, where the vowel after the q would also be indicated by a fatḥah: قَلْب. Arabic alphabet_sentence_91

The Qurʾān is traditionally written in full vocalization. Arabic alphabet_sentence_92

The long i sound in some editions of the Qur’ān is written with a kasrah followed by a diacritic-less y, and long u by a ḍammah followed by a bare w. In others, these y and w carry a sukūn. Arabic alphabet_sentence_93

Outside of the Qur’ān, the latter convention is extremely rare, to the point that y with sukūn will be unambiguously read as the diphthong /aj/, and w with sukūn will be read /aw/. Arabic alphabet_sentence_94

For example, the letters m-y-l can be read like English meel or mail, or (theoretically) also like mayyal or mayil. Arabic alphabet_sentence_95

But if a sukūn is added on the y then the m cannot have a sukūn (because two letters in a row cannot be sukūnated), cannot have a ḍammah (because there is never an uy sound in Arabic unless there is another vowel after the y), and cannot have a kasrah (because kasrah before sukūnated y is never found outside the Qur’ān), so it must have a fatḥah and the only possible pronunciation is /majl/ (meaning mile, or even e-mail). Arabic alphabet_sentence_96

By the same token, m-y-t with a sukūn over the y can be mayt but not mayyit or meet, and m-w-t with a sukūn on the w can only be mawt, not moot (iw is impossible when the w closes the syllable). Arabic alphabet_sentence_97

Vowel marks are always written as if the i‘rāb vowels were in fact pronounced, even when they must be skipped in actual pronunciation. Arabic alphabet_sentence_98

So, when writing the name Aḥmad, it is optional to place a sukūn on the ḥ, but a sukūn is forbidden on the d, because it would carry a ḍammah if any other word followed, as in Aḥmadu zawjī "Ahmad is my husband". Arabic alphabet_sentence_99

Another example: the sentence that in correct literary Arabic must be pronounced Aḥmadu zawjun shirrīr "Ahmad is a wicked husband", is usually mispronounced (due to influence from vernacular Arabic varieties) as Aḥmad zawj shirrīr. Arabic alphabet_sentence_100

Yet, for the purposes of Arabic grammar and orthography, is treated as if it were not mispronounced and as if yet another word followed it, i.e., if adding any vowel marks, they must be added as if the pronunciation were Aḥmadu zawjun sharrīrun with a tanwīn 'un' at the end. Arabic alphabet_sentence_101

So, it is correct to add an un tanwīn sign on the final r, but actually pronouncing it would be a hypercorrection. Arabic alphabet_sentence_102

Also, it is never correct to write a sukūn on that r, even though in actual pronunciation it is (and in correct Arabic MUST be) sukūned. Arabic alphabet_sentence_103

Of course, if the correct i‘rāb is a sukūn, it may be optionally written. Arabic alphabet_sentence_104

ٰٰ The sukūn is also used for transliterating words into the Arabic script. Arabic alphabet_sentence_105

The Persian word ماسک (mâsk, from the English word "mask"), for example, might be written with a sukūn above the ﺱ to signify that there is no vowel sound between that letter and the ک. Arabic alphabet_sentence_106

Additional letters Arabic alphabet_section_17

Regional variations Arabic alphabet_section_18

Some letters take a traditionally different form in specific regions: Arabic alphabet_sentence_107

Arabic alphabet_table_general_14

LetterArabic alphabet_header_cell_14_0_0 ExplanationArabic alphabet_header_cell_14_0_4
IsolatedArabic alphabet_header_cell_14_1_0 FinalArabic alphabet_header_cell_14_1_1 MedialArabic alphabet_header_cell_14_1_2 InitialArabic alphabet_header_cell_14_1_3
ڛ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_2_0 ـڛ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_2_1 ـڛـ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_2_2 ڛـ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_2_3 A traditional form to denotate the sīn س letter, rarely used in areas influenced by Persian script and former Ottoman script.Arabic alphabet_cell_14_2_4
ڢ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_3_0 ـڢ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_3_1 ـڢـ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_3_2 ڢـ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_3_3 A traditional Maghrebi variant (except for Libya and Algeria) of fā’ ف.Arabic alphabet_cell_14_3_4
ڧ/ٯ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_4_0 ـڧ/ـٯ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_4_1 ـڧـ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_4_2 ڧـ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_4_3 A traditional Maghrebi variant (except for Libya and Algeria) of qāf ق. Generally dotless in isolated and final positions and dotted in the initial and medial forms.Arabic alphabet_cell_14_4_4
ک‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_5_0 ـک‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_5_1 ـکـ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_5_2 کـ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_5_3 An alternative version of kāf ك used especially in Maghrebi under the influence of the Ottoman script or in Gulf script under the influence of the Persian script.Arabic alphabet_cell_14_5_4
ی‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_6_0 ـی‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_6_1 ـیـ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_6_2 یـ‎Arabic alphabet_cell_14_6_3 The traditional style to write or print the letter, and remains so in the Nile Valley region (Egypt, Sudan, South Sudan... etc.) and sometimes Maghreb; yā’ ي is dotless in the isolated and final position. Visually identical to alif maqṣūrah ى; resembling the Perso-Arabic letter یـ ـیـ ـی ی which was also used in Ottoman Turkish.Arabic alphabet_cell_14_6_4

Non-native letters to Standard Arabic Arabic alphabet_section_19

Some modified letters are used to represent non-native sounds of Modern Standard Arabic. Arabic alphabet_sentence_108

These letters are used in transliterated names, loanwords and dialectal words. Arabic alphabet_sentence_109

Arabic alphabet_table_general_15

LetterArabic alphabet_header_cell_15_0_0 ValueArabic alphabet_header_cell_15_0_1 NoteArabic alphabet_header_cell_15_0_2
Foreign lettersArabic alphabet_header_cell_15_1_0
پArabic alphabet_cell_15_2_0 /p/Arabic alphabet_cell_15_2_1 Sometimes used when transliterating foreign names and loanwords. Can be substituted with bā’ ب and pronounced as such.Arabic alphabet_cell_15_2_2
ڤArabic alphabet_cell_15_3_0 /v/Arabic alphabet_cell_15_3_1 Used in loanwords and dialectal words instead of fā’ ف. Not to be confused with ڨ.Arabic alphabet_cell_15_3_2
ڥArabic alphabet_cell_15_4_0 Used in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco.Arabic alphabet_cell_15_4_1
چArabic alphabet_cell_15_5_0 /t͡ʃ/Arabic alphabet_cell_15_5_1 Sometimes used when transliterating foreign names and loanwords and in the Gulf and Arabic dialects. The sequence تش tāʼ-shīn is usually preferred (e.g. تشاد for "Chad").Arabic alphabet_cell_15_5_2
/ʒ/Arabic alphabet_cell_15_6_0 Used in Egypt and can be a reduction of /d͡ʒ/, where ج is pronounced /ɡ/.Arabic alphabet_cell_15_6_1
/ɡ/Arabic alphabet_cell_15_7_0 Used in Israel, for example on road signs.Arabic alphabet_cell_15_7_1
گArabic alphabet_cell_15_8_0 Used in northwest Africa and west Asia.Arabic alphabet_cell_15_8_1
ڨArabic alphabet_cell_15_9_0 Used in Tunisia and in Algeria for loanwords and for the dialectal pronunciation of qāf ق in some words. Not to be confused with ڤ.Arabic alphabet_cell_15_9_1
ڭArabic alphabet_cell_15_10_0 Used in Morocco.Arabic alphabet_cell_15_10_1

Arabic alphabet_ordered_list_14

  1. /t͡ʃ/ is considered a native phoneme/allophone in some dialects, e.g. Kuwaiti and Iraqi dialects.Arabic alphabet_item_14_34
  2. /ʒ/ is considered a native phoneme in Levantine and North African dialects and as an allophone in others.Arabic alphabet_item_14_35
  3. /ɡ/ is considered a native phoneme/allophone in most modern Arabic dialects.Arabic alphabet_item_14_36

Used in languages other than Arabic Arabic alphabet_section_20

Further information: Arabic script § Additional letters used in other languages Arabic alphabet_sentence_110

Numerals Arabic alphabet_section_21

Arabic alphabet_table_general_16


(Maghreb, Europe)Arabic alphabet_header_cell_16_0_0


(Mideast)Arabic alphabet_header_cell_16_0_1

EasternArabic alphabet_header_cell_16_0_2
PersianArabic alphabet_header_cell_16_1_0 UrduArabic alphabet_header_cell_16_1_1
0Arabic alphabet_cell_16_2_0 ٠Arabic alphabet_cell_16_2_1 ۰Arabic alphabet_cell_16_2_2 ۰Arabic alphabet_cell_16_2_3
1Arabic alphabet_cell_16_3_0 ١Arabic alphabet_cell_16_3_1 ۱Arabic alphabet_cell_16_3_2 ۱Arabic alphabet_cell_16_3_3
2Arabic alphabet_cell_16_4_0 ٢Arabic alphabet_cell_16_4_1 ۲Arabic alphabet_cell_16_4_2 ۲Arabic alphabet_cell_16_4_3
3Arabic alphabet_cell_16_5_0 ٣Arabic alphabet_cell_16_5_1 ۳Arabic alphabet_cell_16_5_2 ۳Arabic alphabet_cell_16_5_3
4Arabic alphabet_cell_16_6_0 ٤Arabic alphabet_cell_16_6_1 ۴Arabic alphabet_cell_16_6_2 ۴Arabic alphabet_cell_16_6_3
5Arabic alphabet_cell_16_7_0 ٥Arabic alphabet_cell_16_7_1 ۵Arabic alphabet_cell_16_7_2 ۵Arabic alphabet_cell_16_7_3
6Arabic alphabet_cell_16_8_0 ٦Arabic alphabet_cell_16_8_1 ۶Arabic alphabet_cell_16_8_2 ۶Arabic alphabet_cell_16_8_3
7Arabic alphabet_cell_16_9_0 ٧Arabic alphabet_cell_16_9_1 ۷Arabic alphabet_cell_16_9_2 ۷Arabic alphabet_cell_16_9_3
8Arabic alphabet_cell_16_10_0 ٨Arabic alphabet_cell_16_10_1 ۸Arabic alphabet_cell_16_10_2 ۸Arabic alphabet_cell_16_10_3
9Arabic alphabet_cell_16_11_0 ٩Arabic alphabet_cell_16_11_1 ۹Arabic alphabet_cell_16_11_2 ۹Arabic alphabet_cell_16_11_3
10Arabic alphabet_cell_16_12_0 ١٠Arabic alphabet_cell_16_12_1 ۱۰Arabic alphabet_cell_16_12_2 ۱۰Arabic alphabet_cell_16_12_3

Main articles: Western Arabic numerals and Eastern Arabic numerals Arabic alphabet_sentence_111

There are two main kinds of numerals used along with Arabic text; Western Arabic numerals and Eastern Arabic numerals. Arabic alphabet_sentence_112

In most of present-day North Africa, the usual Western Arabic numerals are used. Arabic alphabet_sentence_113

Like Western Arabic numerals, in Eastern Arabic numerals, the units are always right-most, and the highest value left-most. Arabic alphabet_sentence_114

Letters as numerals Arabic alphabet_section_22

Main article: Abjad numerals Arabic alphabet_sentence_115

In addition, the Arabic alphabet can be used to represent numbers (Abjad numerals). Arabic alphabet_sentence_116

This usage is based on the ʾabjadī order of the alphabet. Arabic alphabet_sentence_117

أ ʾalif is 1, ب bāʾ is 2, ج jīm is 3, and so on until ي yāʾ = 10, ك kāf = 20, ل lām = 30, ..., ر rāʾ = 200, ..., غ ghayn = 1000. Arabic alphabet_sentence_118

This is sometimes used to produce chronograms. Arabic alphabet_sentence_119

History Arabic alphabet_section_23

Main article: History of the Arabic alphabet Arabic alphabet_sentence_120

The Arabic alphabet can be traced back to the Nabataean alphabet used to write Nabataean. Arabic alphabet_sentence_121

The first known text in the Arabic alphabet is a late 4th-century inscription from Jabal Ramm (50 km east of ‘Aqabah) in Jordan, but the first dated one is a trilingual inscription at Zebed in Syria from 512. Arabic alphabet_sentence_122

However, the epigraphic record is extremely sparse, with only five certainly pre-Islamic Arabic inscriptions surviving, though some others may be pre-Islamic. Arabic alphabet_sentence_123

Later, dots were added above and below the letters to differentiate them. Arabic alphabet_sentence_124

(The Aramaic language had fewer phonemes than the Arabic, and some originally distinct Aramaic letters had become indistinguishable in shape, so that in the early writings 15 distinct letter-shapes had to do duty for 28 sounds; cf. Arabic alphabet_sentence_125

the similarly ambiguous Pahlavi alphabet.) Arabic alphabet_sentence_126

The first surviving document that definitely uses these dots is also the first surviving Arabic papyrus (PERF 558), dated April 643, although they did not become obligatory until much later. Arabic alphabet_sentence_127

Important texts were and still are frequently memorized, especially in Qurʾan memorization. Arabic alphabet_sentence_128

Later still, vowel marks and the hamzah were introduced, beginning some time in the latter half of the 7th century, preceding the first invention of Syriac and Hebrew vocalization. Arabic alphabet_sentence_129

Initially, this was done by a system of red dots, said to have been commissioned in the Umayyad era by Abu al-Aswad al-Du'ali a dot above = a, a dot below = i, a dot on the line = u, and doubled dots indicated nunation. Arabic alphabet_sentence_130

However, this was cumbersome and easily confusable with the letter-distinguishing dots, so about 100 years later, the modern system was adopted. Arabic alphabet_sentence_131

The system was finalized around 786 by al-Farāhīdī. Arabic alphabet_sentence_132

Arabic printing presses Arabic alphabet_section_24

Although Napoleon Bonaparte generally receives credit for introducing the printing press to Egypt during his invasion of that country in 1798, and though he did indeed bring printing presses and Arabic script presses to print the French occupation's official newspaper Al-Tanbiyyah ("The Courier"), printing in the Arabic language started several centuries earlier. Arabic alphabet_sentence_133

In 1514, following Gutenberg's invention of the printing press in 1450, Gregorio de Gregorii, a Venetian, published an entire prayer-book in Arabic script; it was entitled Kitab Salat al-Sawa'i and was intended for eastern Christian communities. Arabic alphabet_sentence_134

Between 1580 and 1586, type designer Robert Granjon designed Arabic typefaces for Cardinal Ferdinando de' Medici, and the Medici press published many Christian prayer and scholarly Arabic texts in the late 16th century. Arabic alphabet_sentence_135

Maronite monks at the Maar Quzhayy Monastery in Mount Lebanon published the first Arabic books to use movable type in the Middle East. Arabic alphabet_sentence_136

The monks transliterated the Arabic language using Syriac script. Arabic alphabet_sentence_137

A goldsmith (like Gutenberg) designed and implemented an Arabic-script movable-type printing-press in the Middle East. Arabic alphabet_sentence_138

The Greek Orthodox monk Abd Allah Zakhir set up an Arabic printing press using movable type at the monastery of Saint John at the town of Dhour El Shuwayr in Mount Lebanon, the first homemade press in Lebanon using Arabic script. Arabic alphabet_sentence_139

He personally cut the type molds and did the founding of the typeface. Arabic alphabet_sentence_140

The first book came off his press in 1734; this press continued in use until 1899. Arabic alphabet_sentence_141

Computers Arabic alphabet_section_25

The Arabic alphabet can be encoded using several character sets, including ISO-8859-6, Windows-1256 and Unicode (see links in Infobox above), latter thanks to the "Arabic segment", entries U+0600 to U+06FF. Arabic alphabet_sentence_142

However, none of the sets indicates the form that each character should take in context. Arabic alphabet_sentence_143

It is left to the rendering engine to select the proper glyph to display for each character. Arabic alphabet_sentence_144

Each letter has a position-independent encoding in Unicode, and the rendering software can infer the correct glyph form (initial, medial, final or isolated) from its joining context. Arabic alphabet_sentence_145

That is the current recommendation. Arabic alphabet_sentence_146

However, for compatibility with previous standards, the initial, medial, final and isolated forms can also be encoded separately. Arabic alphabet_sentence_147

Unicode Arabic alphabet_section_26

Main article: Arabic characters in Unicode Arabic alphabet_sentence_148

As of Unicode 13.0, the Arabic script is contained in the following blocks: Arabic alphabet_sentence_149

Arabic alphabet_unordered_list_15

The basic Arabic range encodes the standard letters and diacritics but does not encode contextual forms (U+0621-U+0652 being directly based on ISO 8859-6). Arabic alphabet_sentence_150

It also includes the most common diacritics and Arabic-Indic digits. Arabic alphabet_sentence_151

U+06D6 to U+06ED encode Qur'anic annotation signs such as "end of ayah" ۝ۖ and "start of rub el hizb" ۞. Arabic alphabet_sentence_152

The Arabic supplement range encodes letter variants mostly used for writing African (non-Arabic) languages. Arabic alphabet_sentence_153

The Arabic Extended-A range encodes additional Qur'anic annotations and letter variants used for various non-Arabic languages. Arabic alphabet_sentence_154

The Arabic Presentation Forms-A range encodes contextual forms and ligatures of letter variants needed for Persian, Urdu, Sindhi and Central Asian languages. Arabic alphabet_sentence_155

The Arabic Presentation Forms-B range encodes spacing forms of Arabic diacritics, and more contextual letter forms. Arabic alphabet_sentence_156

The Arabic Mathematical Alphabetical Symbols block encodes characters used in Arabic mathematical expressions. Arabic alphabet_sentence_157

See also the notes of the section on modified letters. Arabic alphabet_sentence_158

Keyboards Arabic alphabet_section_27

See also: Keyboard layout and Arabic keyboard Arabic alphabet_sentence_159

Keyboards designed for different nations have different layouts so proficiency in one style of keyboard, such as Iraq's, does not transfer to proficiency in another, such as Saudi Arabia's. Arabic alphabet_sentence_160

Differences can include the location of non-alphabetic characters. Arabic alphabet_sentence_161

All Arabic keyboards allow typing Roman characters, e.g., for the URL in a web browser. Arabic alphabet_sentence_162

Thus, each Arabic keyboard has both Arabic and Roman characters marked on the keys. Arabic alphabet_sentence_163

Usually the Roman characters of an Arabic keyboard conform to the QWERTY layout, but in North Africa, where French is the most common language typed using the Roman characters, the Arabic keyboards are AZERTY. Arabic alphabet_sentence_164

To encode a particular written form of a character, there are extra code points provided in Unicode which can be used to express the exact written form desired. Arabic alphabet_sentence_165

The range Arabic presentation forms A (U+FB50 to U+FDFF) contain ligatures while the range Arabic presentation forms B (U+FE70 to U+FEFF) contains the positional variants. Arabic alphabet_sentence_166

These effects are better achieved in Unicode by using the zero-width joiner and non-joiner, as these presentation forms are deprecated in Unicode, and should generally only be used within the internals of text-rendering software, when using Unicode as an intermediate form for conversion between character encodings, or for backwards compatibility with implementations that rely on the hard-coding of glyph forms. Arabic alphabet_sentence_167

Finally, the Unicode encoding of Arabic is in logical order, that is, the characters are entered, and stored in computer memory, in the order that they are written and pronounced without worrying about the direction in which they will be displayed on paper or on the screen. Arabic alphabet_sentence_168

Again, it is left to the rendering engine to present the characters in the correct direction, using Unicode's bi-directional text features. Arabic alphabet_sentence_169

In this regard, if the Arabic words on this page are written left to right, it is an indication that the Unicode rendering engine used to display them is out of date. Arabic alphabet_sentence_170

There are competing online tools, e.g. , which allow entry of Arabic letters without having Arabic support installed on a PC, and without knowledge of the layout of the Arabic keyboard. Arabic alphabet_sentence_171

Handwriting recognition Arabic alphabet_section_28

The first software program of its kind in the world that identifies Arabic handwriting in real time was developed by researchers at Ben-Gurion University (BGU). Arabic alphabet_sentence_172

The prototype enables the user to write Arabic words by hand on an electronic screen, which then analyzes the text and translates it into printed Arabic letters in a thousandth of a second. Arabic alphabet_sentence_173

The error rate is less than three percent, according to Dr. Jihad El-Sana, from BGU's department of computer sciences, who developed the system along with master's degree student Fadi Biadsy. Arabic alphabet_sentence_174

See also Arabic alphabet_section_29

Credits to the contents of this page go to the authors of the corresponding Wikipedia page: alphabet.