The Alif Maqsura, or another form of the final Alif, is used when Alif cannot occur at the end of a word. It makes the same sound as Alif, and takes markings such as Hamza, like a regular Alif.
- Alif Maqsura (ى) is strictly used at the end of words; never at the beginning, or middle.
- In cases where a suffix must be added to a word with ى, a regular Alif (ا) will take its place; i.e. مُوسِيقى "music" becoming مُوسِيقاهُ "his music".
- Alif Maqsura is commonly used for proper nouns, such as names; i.e. عِيسَى Jesus, مُوسَى Moses, لَيْلَى Laila.
- It is also used in some verbs. Verbs with an alif maqsura in past-tense singular-masculine form will generally take yaa' for the same person in the present tense.; i.e. غَنَّى "he sang" becoming يُغَنِّي "he is singing / he sings".
- Inversely, verbs with a yaa in the past-tense sing. masc. form will take alif maqsura in the present; i.e. نَسِيَ "he forgot" becoming يَنْسَى "he forgets / he is forgetting"; or بَقِيَ "he/it stayed, he/it remained" becoming يَبْقَى "he/it stays, he/it remains".
- In the event that a verb ending with ى must take a suffix as a noun would, it will turn into a regular Alif just as the noun would. In other words, just as ممُوسِيقَى must become مُوسِيقَاهُ، so, too, will a verb like إشْتَرَى "he bought" become إشْتَرَاهُ "he bought it".