IntroductionThe Arabic alphabet is consider an abjad which means it only contains consonants, leaving the reader to use their knowledge of the language to supply the omitted vowels.
However, because of the importance in Islam of precise recitation of the Qur'an, diacritical vowel markers called harakat (حَرَكَات) have been added to the language. Most of these markers represent short vowel sounds and are included in this lesson. The two other harakat that do not represent vowels are included in the Modified Letters lesson.
Harakat are also used today in education materials such as those you will find in Salaam Arabic. As you progress in learning Arabic however, you will be expected not to rely on harakat as they are rarely used in everyday writing.