Dagger alif

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Alif maksura with alif khanjariah above

The Dagger alif or superscript alif (Arabic: ألف خنجريةalif khanjariyya) is written as a short vertical stroke on top of an Arabic letter. It indicates a long /aː/ sound where alif is normally not written, e.g. هٰذَا hādhā or رَحْمٰن raḥmān. The dagger alif occurs in only a few modern words, but these include some common ones; it is seldom written, however, even in fully vocalised texts, excepting the Qur'an. As Wright notes "[alif] was at first more rarely marked than the other long vowels, and hence it happens that, at a later period, after the invention of the vowel-points, it was indicated in some very common words merely by a fetha [i.e. the dagger alif.]" Most keyboards do not have dagger alif. The word الله (Allāh) is usually produced automatically by entering "alif lām lām hā’". The word consists of alif + ligature of doubled lām with a shadda and a dagger alif above lām.

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