Support this site with a membership: For only $2.99 a month or $29.99 a year, you can have a true AD-FREE experience. You also get a 15% discount in my shop and a monthly premium newsletter. Find out more here.


Passion doesn't need money. Unfortunately, my web provider does. Your contribution ensures that this site will grow and grow.

Buy Me A Coffee

PayPal Donate
amazon wishlist button
Free monthly newsletter

Subscribe to my FREE newsletter and get 10% off in my store!


How do you pronounce Allah correctly?

The word Allah (الله) is a special word in many ways. Especially the pronunciation can be tricky if you don’t know the rules. Here is how it works.

Last updated: 1 year ago

The correct pronunciation of the word Allah is tricky. Let's see why.

The most important rules to pronounce Allah

You have to focus on the second “l” (ل) in Allah (الله). Let's analyze the so-called Grand Word and derive two rules that are easy to remember.

What I mean here by correctly is the reading of the Qur'an accord­ing to the rules of Tajwīd (تجويد).

The word Tajwīd is derived from the triliteral root j-w-d (جود). Tajwīd literally means to make better; to ameliorate. It is the way of reciting the Qur'an according to well-established rules of pronunciation and intonation.

Tajwīd () is a religious duty, a so-called Fard (فَرْض), whenever a Muslim recites the Qur'an. A Muslim must try to read the Qur'an according to certain rules as good as he can and knows.

Two more rules which bring us closer to the correct pronunciation of the word Allah:

RULE 1: Mufakhham / Tafkhim

The emphatic Arabic consonants خ ص ض ط ظ غ ق – known as Mufakhkham (مُفَخَّم) – are pronounced with a heavy accentuation, so-called Tafkhim (تَفْخِيم). To produce this sound, the tongue elev­ates towards the roof of the mouth in order to force a thick and heavy sound that fills the mouth.

This can be achieved either by pharyngealisation (pro­nounced while squeezing one's voicebox) or by velarisation. The voice box (larynx) is the part of the breathing tract which contains the vocal cords. Velarisation means that the tongue is drawn far up and back in the mouth towards the soft palate (velum).

RULE 2: Muraqqaq / Tarqiq

The remaining let­ters – known as Muraqqaq (مُرَقَّق) – have a light accentuation, so-called Tarqiq (تَرْقِيق).

They are pronounced nor­mally, without pharyngealisation (except ع, which is often considered a pharyngeal sound). To produce this sound, the back of the tongue lowers, so that a flat sound is produced.

Two Arabic letters are special

  1. The Rā' (ر) is pronounced with a heavy accentuation when accompan­ied by the vowel a (فَتْحة) or vowel u (ضَمّة). The Rā' is light when it is accompanied by the vowel i (كَسْرة).
  2. The Lām (ل) in general is a Tarqīq-letter. However, this is not the case in the word Allah. The Lām in the word Allah can be pronounced as a thick (Tafkhīm) or thin (Tarqīq) letter depend­ing on the vowel before. The rules are similar to the ones mentioned above for the letter Rā'.

Let's check the Arabic word for God, Allah (الله), in detail.


Scholars refer to this word as the Grand Word – in Arabic: Lafz al-Jalāla (لَفْظ الجَلالة).

The word Allah is a special word in Arabic. It has a distinct appearance and is written with two Lam (ل) along with a Shadda (شَدّة).

The word Shadda literally means strengthening and is marked by a small w on top (ّ_) in the . It indicates a doubling/gemination of a . This is found over the second Lām: الله.

This is because Allah literally means the God; the first Lām is part of the def­inite article: al (ال).

The correct pronunciation of Allah

  • When the word Allah is preceded by the vowel “a” (فَتْحة) or the vowel “u” (ضَمّة), then the Lām is pronounced in a distinct heavy manner – with Tafkhīm. This heavy Lām is thus articulated with the entire body of the tongue rather than its tip alone.
  • Let's take for example the term Hezbollah (ِحِزْبُ الله), literally Party of Allah, which is the name of a Shia Islamist group and political party based in Lebanon. Or a part of the verse 58:22: “man had­daAllah” (ِمَنْ حَادَّ الله) which means: those who oppose Allah.
  • If, however, the pre­ceding vowel is “i” (كَسْرة), then the Lām in Allah is light, such as in the Basmala: Bismillahi… (ِبِسْمِ الله الرَّحْمٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ). So if a Muslim says “Bismillahi”, he should not pronounce the Lam with a heavy – instead, just with the tip of the tongue.

Do you know how you can write Allah in a beautiful way on your computer?

Some further readings:

Picture (free to use): pixabay.com (chzaib)

Notify of
1 Comment
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
5 years ago

Shukran for writing a very clear explanation of the pronunciation.
I look forward to learning more from you.
Amd perhaps a chanced meeting.
Best Regards,
Kuala Lumpur
Aspiring arabic learner

Previous Article

How to I’rab (إعراب): A Step-by-Step Guide

Next Article
cropped cypher numbers

One of the first cryptologists was an Arab - did you know?

Related Posts

Subscribe to our FREE newsletter

Don't miss any updates and get your regular dose of Arabic.