Persian writing system is inherently cursive. Letters are written joined together from right to left in a flowing manner. Persian letters do not have small and capital forms but positional forms. Letters take different forms depending on their position and neighboring letters in a word. A letter can have up to four forms: isolated, initial, medial and final:

Form Use Case
Isolated When a letter does not attach to its preceding or following letter
Initial When a letter attaches to its following letter but not to its preceding letter
Medial When a letter attaches both to its preceding and following letters
Final When a letter attaches to its preceding letter but not to its following letter

Not all letters have four forms. The letter ب is among the letters that have distinct isolated, initial, medial and final forms.

Isolated Initial Medial Final
ب
کتاب
بـ
باد
ـبـ
خبر
ـب
شب

Analogous Letters

Analogous letters share the same basic shape. For example, the letters ب پ ت ث derive from the same shape and only differ in the number and the place of dots. Analogous letters have identical cursive forms.

Isolated Initial Medial Final
ب بـ ـبـ ـب
پ پـ ـپـ ـپ
ت تـ ـتـ ـت
ث ثـ ـثـ ـث

Grouping analogous letters can help you in learning their cursive forms.

ب پ ت ث ج چ ح خ د ذ
ر ز ژ س ش ص ض
ط ظ ع غ ک گ

Letters that have unique shapes in Persian script are as follows:

ا ف ق
ل م ن
و ه ی

Disjoining Letters

Letters typically join each other on both sides but seven letters break the cursive connection and do not attach to their following letter. Disjoining letters are:

ا د ذ ر ز ژ و

Disjoining letters have identical isolated and initial forms. Medial and final forms are also identical.

Isolated Initial Medial Final
ا ا ـا ـا
د د ـد ـد
ذ ذ ـذ ـذ
ر ر ـر ـر
ز ز ـز ـز
ژ ژ ـژ ـژ
و و ـو ـو

Disjoining letters force their following letter to appear as if there are no letters before it. For example, in ابر the disjoining letter ا forces ب to appear in its initial form بـ rather than its medial form. In خراب the letter ا forces ب to appear in its isolated form as if it is the only letter of the word.

Table of Cursive Forms

The following table lists all of the cursive forms used in Persian along with samples for each form. The letters آ and أ derive from ا. Similarly, ؤ derives from و and ئ derives from ی. These are comparable to extended Latin letters e.g. “â”, “ï” and “ñ”.

Isolated Initial Medial Final
ا
چرا
ا
ابر
ـا
ماه
ـا
شما
آ
قرآن
آ
آب
ـآ
مآخذ
ـآ
-
أ
مبدأ
أ
-
ـأ
متأسف
ـأ
منشأ
ب
کتاب
بـ
باد
ـبـ
خبر
ـب
شب
پ
توپ
پـ
پدر
ـپـ
تپل
ـپ
چپ
ت
پرت
تـ
تو
ـتـ
ستم
ـت
سخت
ث
ارث
ثـ
ثابت
ـثـ
مثل
ـث
باعث
ج
موج
جـ
جارو
ـجـ
کجا
ـج
گنج
چ
پارچ
چـ
چرب
ـچـ
پنچر
ـچ
پیچ
ح
روح
حـ
حالت
ـحـ
سحر
ـح
صبح
خ
کاخ
خـ
خاک
ـخـ
سخت
ـخ
یخ
د
باد
د
دست
ـد
خنده
ـد
سند
ذ
نفوذ
ذ
ذرت
ـذ
مذهب
ـذ
کاغذ
ر
انار
ر
رنگ
ـر
سرد
ـر
هنر
ز
راز
ز
زبان
ـز
مزد
ـز
نیز
ژ
دژ
ژ
ژاله
ـژ
مژه
ـژ
بژ
س
لباس
سـ
سایه
ـسـ
مست
ـس
مس
ش
گوش
شـ
شاد
ـشـ
مشت
ـش
تپش
ص
قرص
صـ
صاف
ـصـ
مصدر
ـص
شخص
ض
قرض
ضـ
ضرب
ـضـ
حضرت
ـض
نبض
ط
خیاط
طـ
طناب
ـطـ
بطری
ـط
خط
ظ
حفاظ
ظـ
ظهر
ـظـ
نظر
ـظ
حافظ
ع
شجاع
عـ
عمل
ـعـ
معنی
ـع
مایع
غ
باغ
غـ
غار
ـغـ
مغز
ـغ
تیغ
ف
برف
فـ
فارسی
ـفـ
نفت
ـف
کیف
ق
برق
قـ
قند
ـقـ
نقل
ـق
عشق
ک
پاک
کـ
کار
ـکـ
عکس
ـک
سبک
گ
مرگ
گـ
گرم
ـگـ
نگاه
ـگ
سنگ
ل
بال
لـ
لباس
ـلـ
کلم
ـل
سیل
م
نام
مـ
مادر
ـمـ
شما
ـم
سیم
ن
زمان
نـ
نامه
ـنـ
فنر
ـن
زمین
و
ناو
و
وبا
ـو
سواد
ـو
جو
ؤ
رؤیا
-
-
ـؤ
سؤال
ـؤ
تلألؤ
ه
ماه
هـ
هلو
ـهـ
مهر
ـه
مه
ی
چای
یـ
یار
ـیـ
سیاه
ـی
بینی
ئ
-
ئـ
رئیس
ـئـ
مسئول
ـئ
متلألئ
ء
سوء
-
-
-
-
ء
شیء

Ligatures

The most important ligature is لا which forms when ا comes after ل. As is evident from the following table, this ligature makes the combination more legible.

Letters Without Ligature With Ligature
ل + ا ل‍ا لا

The following table shows examples of this ligature in various positions. Since the letter ا is a disjoining letter, the ligature لا is also disjoining.

Isolated Initial Medial Final
لا
لولا
لا
لادن
ـلا
سلام
ـلا
طلا