Ottoman Style Arabic Script in Qur'an
Fatwa No: 168537

Question

Assalaamou Alaikum. My question is in regards to the Arabic language regarding some words found in Al-Qur'an. For example, with the words الصلوة and الزكوة there is ألف قصيرة over the واو. Therefore, I want to know if the واو serves as a chair for ألف قصيرة and is therefore not pronounced, or is the واو part of the makeup of the word itself and just not pronounced. Jazakallahukhair

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds.  I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.

The Ottoman Style Arabic Script writes some words with  واو"" (و)instead of ألف  (ا) contrary to the Arabic language dictation script, and these words are eight words which are as follows:

الصلاة ، الحياة ، الربا ، مشكاة ، الزكاة ، النجاة ، مناة ، الغداة

As regards whether or not the واو is written as a rule so that the ألف  (ا) will be written on it, then the answer is no because the Companions  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them did not write a small ألف  (ا) on the واو but it was the scholars of Arabic language dictation who wrote it to make its recitation easier for the public as they wrote the vowels and dots and the words الصلاة and  الزكاة with واو to indicate that the ألف  (ا) was changed from a واو as stated by the scholars of the Arabic language dictation.

Az-Zarqaani  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote in his book Manaahil Al-‘Irfaan, “To indicate the origin of the letter like الصلاة and  الزكاة as they were written like this   الصلوة  and    الزكوة to understand that the ألف  (ا) in these words is changed to واو  without dots or vowels. ...

Allaah Knows best.

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