fa

ف

The Arabic letter fa can appear in four different forms: isolated, initial, medial and final.

finalmedialinitialisolated
ـفـفـفـف

When you show the letter on its own, you use the isolated form.

ف

When the letter is the first letter of a word, you use the initial form.

فـ

For example these words:

happiness
faraH
فَرَح
difference
farq
فَرق
art
fann
فَنّ

When the letter is not the first and not the last but somewhere in the middle of a word, you use the medial form in most cases.

ـفـ

For example these words:

cage
qafaS
قَفَص
traveling
safar
سَفَر
eyelid
jufn
جُفن

When the letter is the last letter of a word, you use the final form in most cases.

ـف

For example these words:

halv
niSf
نِصف
cave
kahf
كَهف
shoulder
katif
كَتِف

Now you know that:

In most cases...
Let us look at the other cases!

The letter fa has dual joining, like most Arabic letters. It wants to join with both the letter before it and the letter after it.
But some letters has right joining. They only want to join with the letter before it (which is the letter to the right since Arabic is written from right to left).

When the letter is in the middle of a word, and follows a right joining letter, you use the initial form.

فـ
according to
wifq
وِفق
lifting
raf3
رَفع

When the letter is the last letter of a word, and follows a right joining letter, you use the isolated form.

ف
goal
hadaf
هَدَف
circumstance
Zarf
ظَرف
end
Taraf
طَرَف

Now you know that:

That's it!
The rules you just learned can be applied to all Arabic letters with dual joining, which is most of them.

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