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Pause Marks


The Arabic text of the Quran contains pause marks to aid recitation. These marks indicate if pausing after a specific word is compulsory, permissible, preferred, or not preferred. Pause marks are rendered in superscript in the middle of verses, at the end of the word they refer to. The six types of pause marks are listed in Figure 1 below:

Pause Mark Pause Type Description
Compulsory It is compulsory to pause.
Not permissible It is not permissible to pause.
Continuation preferred To pause is allowed, although to continue is preferred.
Pause preferred To continue is allowed, although to pause is preferred.
Permissible It is equally permissible to pause or to continue.
   Interchangeable An interchangeable pause, where two marks are found each consisting of three dots. A reciter may pause on either of them but not on both.

Fig 1. Pause marks.


The following examples illustrate the different types of pause marks found in the Quran:

See Also

Language Research Group
University of Leeds