The Arabic alphabet (in Arabic: أبجدية عربية ’abjadiyyah ‘arabiyyah) has 28 basic consonants (no vowels). Adaptations of the Arabic script for other languages, such as Persian, Ottoman, Sindhi, Urdu, Malay or Pashto, Arabi Malayalam, introduced additional letters. There are no distinct upper and lower case letter forms.
Many letters look similar but are distinguished from one another by dots (’i‘jām) above or below their central part, called rasm.
Both printed and written Arabic are cursive, with most of the letters within a word directly connected to the adjacent letters.
The most common ’abjadī sequence is:
غ ظ ض ذ خ ث ت ش ر ق ص ف ع س ن م ل ك ي ط ح ز و ه د ج ب أ gh ẓ ḍ dh kh th t sh r q ṣ f ‘ s n m l k y ṭ ḥ z w h d j b ’
Note: In this sequence, and all those that follow, the letters are presented in Arabic writing order right to left.