This is one of the few Arabic letters which isn’t found in the English alphabet and requires some imitation to pronounce. The Arabic letter ق is named قاف (qaf).

The Arabic qaf sound is slightly different to a ‘q’ in for example, ‘queen’. When pronounced, it sounds a bit like the start of ‘caught’ but further back in the throat. Here is an example of the pronunciation:

When travelling around the Middle-East you are most likely to encounter this letter in stop signs on the road.

Some more Arabic words with qaf that you might know

Here examples of words in the English language that have come from Arabic. Normally, the ‘q’ in English is followed by a ‘u’, as in queen. This is not the case when the words have an Arabic root.

A veiled garment worn by some Muslim women
From: Urdu and Persian burqa, from Arabic burqu`

A Muslim ascetic
From the root f-q-r, to be poverty-stricken

A veil for the lower-face worn by some Muslim women
From the root n-q-b, to veil one’s face.

A Muslim judge
From the root q-D-aa, to settle something.

A Muslim tribal chief
From the Arabic ,’leader’ or ‘commander’ with the root q-aa-d, to lead

An Arabian poem of praise or satire
From the root q-S-d, direct, designed and economical

An Arab marketplace
Arabic سوق‎ – souq or market

A Sufi method of spiritual development, or a Sufi missionary

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