The Meem Sakinah, a significant aspect of Arabic pronunciation, is the Meem with no harakah or vowel. Here, we will guide you through a clear explanation of each rule, ensuring a comprehensive understanding of how they are employed in practice.

Meem Sakinah operates under three fundamental rules: Ikhfaa Shafawi, Idgham Shafawi, and Izhar Shafawi. These rules are classified as “Shafawi” due to the involvement of lips in producing both letters. Ikhfaa, Idgham, and Izhar represent distinct applications of Meem Sakinah, each with its unique pronunciation nuances. Read more in detail!

What is Meem Sakinah

To understand Meem Sakinah, let’s break it down. Meem is a letter in Arabic, written as (م). Now, what’s Sakinah? In Arabic, Sakinah refers to something at rest, without movement.

When we talk about Meem Sakinah in Tajweed, it’s a Meem without a Harakah (like Fatha, Dummah, Kasrah), basically a stationary Meem with a fixed Sukoon when continued or paused.

Here’s what doesn’t count as Meem Sakinah:

  • Meem with a vowel or Harakah on it: For example, in (نَارُ الله المُوقَدَة), the Meem has a vowel, so it’s not Sakinah.
  • Meem with Shaddah: In (مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله), the Meem has a Shaddah, not Sakinah.
  • Meem that becomes Mutaharrik to avoid two successive Sukoon: In (تَجْرِي مِن تَحْتِهمُ الأَنْهَار), the Meem moves to avoid two Sukoons, so not Sakinah.

Now, what Rasulullah SAW said about reciting the Quran is inspiring: “A believer who recites the Qur’an is like a citron whose fragrance is sweet and whose taste is sweet” (Mishkat Al-Masabih). This underlines the profound benefits of engaging with the holy Quran.

3 Rules of Meem Sakinah

1. Idgham Shafawi

This rule is all about a concept called Idgham Shafawi, where the Meem with no vowel, also known as Meem Sakinah, merges into a Meem with a vowel that comes after it. This happens when different words appear after the letter Meem in the Quranic recitation.

So, imagine a scenario where a non-voweled Meem is followed by a voweled Meem. In this case, the Meem Sakinah combines with the voweled Meem, creating a stressed Meem (Meem and Shaddah).

This specific type of Idgham is called Idgham Mithlain Sagheer because one of the two letters involved is silent, while the other has the same attributes as Harakah, Makhraj, and Sifah. “Mithlain” means “the same as the other,” and “Sagheer” emphasizes that the first letter is not a vowel, and the second one is.

The vowelless Meem meets the Meem with a Harakah in the other letter. When they join forces, a nasal sound called “Gunnah” is produced, creating a strong connection between the two Meems and giving voice to the previously silent one.

This phenomenon is crucial in maintaining the flow and harmony of Quranic recitation. Examples of Idgham Shafawi can be found in verses like

  1. أَلَا يَظُنُّ أُولَئِكَ أَنَّهُم مّبْعُوثُون
  2. وَاللهُ مِن وَرَائِهِم مُّحِيط

These examples illustrate how Meem Sakinah smoothly integrates with the following Meem, demonstrating the application of Ikhfaa Shafawi in Tajweed. Online tajweed course is best to learn tajweed quran so that you can recite quran perfectly.

2. Ikhfaa Shafawi

The second rule of Meem Sakinah, known as Ikhfaa Shafawi. Ikhfaa means to hide, and in this context, it refers to concealing the labial movement that happens when pronouncing Meem Sakinah. When the letter “ب” (ba) follows Meem Sakinah, causing the lips to close, Ikhfaa comes into play. This closure is then smoothly transitioned into the ‘ba’ sound with a subtle nasal touch called Gunnah.

In cases of Ikhfaa, Meem Sakinah remains somewhat hidden in the subsequent letter, forming a bridge between the pronunciation styles of Izhar and Idgham. It’s crucial to note that during Ikhfaa, Meem carries a Ghunnah, a nasal sound that adds a distinct touch to the pronunciation.

For a practical example, consider instances where Meem is followed by the letter “ب” (ba) and occurs between two words. An Ikhfaa Shafawi scenario arises in verses like.

  1. (وَمَا صَاحِبُكُم بِمَجْنُون)
  2. (فَإِذَا هُم بِالسَّاهِرَة)
  3. (أَمْ لَكُم بَرَاءَةٌ فِي الزُّبُر)

3. Izhar Shafawi

The third and simplest rule of Meem Sakinah— I’m talking about Izhar Shafawi. In this rule, the Meem is boldly and clearly pronounced without any concealment or merging with the following letter. Now, when does this happen? Izhar Shafawi takes the stage when Meem Sakinah encounters any letter in the Arabic alphabet except for ب (ba) and م (meem). This can occur within a single word or between two words.

So, let’s look at some examples to solidify our understanding. In verses like

  1. (عَلَيْهِمْ نَارٌ مّؤْصَدَة)
  2. (فَلَهُمْ أَجْرٌ غَيْرُ مَمْنُون)
  3. (أَلَمْ يَجْعَلْ كَيْدَهُمْ فِي تَضْلِيل)

You’ll notice that Meem Sakinah is followed by letters other than ب (ba) and م (meem). In these instances, there’s no hiding or merging happening—the Meem is confidently pronounced on its own.

3 Different Ways to Apply Meem Sakinah

Here’s how to apply Meem Sakinah in different ways:

1. Idgham Shafawi with Ghunnah (Meem Sakinah + Another Meem)

Idgham Shafawi involves the merging of Meem Sakinah with another Meem, accompanied by Ghunnah. Consider the verse (وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ), where the Meem Sakinah in “مُؤْمِنُونَ” merges seamlessly with the following Meem, accompanied by Ghunnah.

2. Iqlab Shafawi with Ghunnah (Meem Sakinah + Letter Ba)

Iqlab Shafawi occurs when Meem Sakinah encounters the letter ب (ba), resulting in a subtle change with Ghunnah. For instance, in the phrase (وَمِن شَرِّ حَاسِدٍ إِذَا حَسَدَ), observe how the Meem Sakinah in “حَاسِدٍ” undergoes Iqlab when meeting the following ب, accompanied by Ghunnah.

3. Izhar Shafawi Without Ghunnah (Meem Sakinah + Any other letter)

In Izhar Shafawi, Meem Sakinah stands boldly without any Ghunnah, clearly pronounced before any letter except ب (ba) and م (meem). For example, in the phrase (قَدْ جَاءَكُم مِّنَ اللَّهِ نُورٌ), notice how the Meem in “مِّنَ” is distinctly articulated without Ghunnah.

Final Words

Navigating the nuanced rules of Meem Sakinah adds precision to Quranic recitation. Izhar Shafawi asserts clarity, Idgham Shafawi merges with elegance, and Iqlab Shafawi subtly transforms. These types of tajweed rules, illustrated through examples, ensure the accurate rendition of Meem Sakinah in diverse linguistic contexts, enriching the profound experience of Quranic recitation with both fluidity and meaning.