Hello and welcome to the Kaleela blog where we’ve once again been focusing on the Arabic alphabet. We’ll continue our journey today as we look at the letter ه/ haa’/.
The consonant letter ه/ haa’/ is equivalent to the letter “h” in English and pronounced the same as in house, hint or hat but not as in hour (where the “h” is silent).
One thing to note is that, for clarity’s sake, we always transliterate the letter ه as a small letter /h/ so you can distinguish ه/haa’/ as in هُــدهُــد /hudhud/ or “hoopoe” from the letter حاء /Haa’/ as found in حِـرباء /Hirbaa’/ or “chameleon”. (Incidentally, you can find more information on the Arabic letter حاء /Haa’/ in our blog post here.)
The letter ه/haa’/, like many other letters of the Arabic alphabet, takes on several different shapes depending on whether it comes at the beginning of the word (initial), middle of the word (medial), or ending of the word (final).
We’ll start with the basic shape of ه /haa’/ which as you can see, looks like a small circle.
When ه/haa’/ comes at the beginning of the word, as it does in هاتِف /haatif/ or “telephone”
It looks like two triangles drawn inside each other.
When ه/haa’/ comes in the middle of a word (or anywhere except the first or last letters), two things can happen:
First, ه/haa’/ is connected on both sides as in مُهَندِس /muhandis/ “engineer”
and takes on the shape of the English number “8”.
The other thing that can happen when ه/haa’/ is in the medial position is that it can be disconnected from the right side as in زَهــر /zahr/ “blossom”
and it once again takes on the “two triangles” shape mentioned above.
When ه/haa’/ comes at the end of a word, once again, two things can happen:
First, it can fall at the end while being connected to the previous letters as in وَجــه /wajh/ or “face”
where it takes on the shape of the number 9 in English preceded by a straight line.
If it falls at the end and is disconnected from the previous letters in the word as in مُنتَزَه /muntazah/ or “park”
It becomes disconnected and looks like a small circle once again.
Speaking of all of these connections, it’s important to know that some Arabic letters can only be connected from the right side. These letters are:
Likewise, there are some Arabic letters that can be connected from both sides. They are:
ه/haa’/ is disconnected from the right when it is preceded by letters from the first group as in زَهــر /zahr/ “blossom” where zayn (ز) falls in the first group.
As seen above ه/haa’/ falls into the group that can be connected from both sides. As a result, we can also conclude that ه/haa’/ can be connected from the right when it is preceded by letters from the second group as in مُهَندِس/muhandis/”engineer where meem (م) falls in the second group.
See the table below for a summary and notice how the letters are connected or not:
Well, there’s your lesson for today where you learned all you need to know about the letter ه/haa’/.
To find out more about how really easy it is to learn your Arabic ABCs the right way with the Kaleela Arabic language learning app, visit our website today at kaleela.com!