Glossary of Islamic terms in Arabic


478 technical terms currently listed. Please click on required letter to proceed to relative listings.

 
A, B, C, D, E
F, G, H, I, J
K, L, M, N, P
Q, R, S, T, U
W, Y, Z
 

A

'Abd 'Abd
Servant, worshipper, slave. Muslims consider themselves servants and slaves of God. Common Muslim names such as Abdullah (Servant of God), Abdul-Malik (Slave of the King), Abdur-Rahmān (Slave of the most Beneficent), Abdus-Salām (Slave of Peace), all refer to names of God.
Adab 
Traditionally describes good manners, as in etiquette. For example, being courteous is good adab. However, the term can be used very broadly, and the proper translation would be "the proper way to go about something," as in the example, Aadaab al Qitaal, or, "The Proper Way of Fighting in War," (Qitaal in Arabic means mortal combat) in which the word "etiquette" does not befit the context. Literally meaning literature.
Ādhān or Azaan 
Call to prayer.
'Adl 
Justice especially distributive justice: social, economic, political, environmental.
A.H.
"After Hijrah" The Islamic calendar starts counting years starting from the time when Muhammad had to leave Mecca and go to Medina, an event known as the Hijra: July 16 622.
Aḥad 
literally "one." In Islam, ahad means One Alone, unique, none like God. Al-Wahid is one of the names of God.
Aḥkām 
rulings and orders of the Qur'an and Sunnah. Five kinds of orders: Wajib, Mustahab, Muharram, Makruh, and Halal.
Ahlul-Bayt  
members of Muhammad's Household. Also known among Shi'ah as the Masumin (infallibles; spiritually pure).
Ahlul-Fetrah 
people who live in ignorance of the teachings of a revealed religion, but according to the "Fitra", the "Natural Religion" innate to human nature as created by God.
Ahl ul-Kitāb 
"People of the Book", or followers of pre-Islamic monotheistic religions with some form of scripture believed to be of divine origin which were mentioned in Qur'an: Jews, Christians, Sabians, Magians or Zoroastrians. Sometimes said to include also Hanifs. Has at times been extended to include pre-Islamic religious traditions with scriptures which were not mentioned in Qur'an, e.g.: Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, Confucians.
Ākhirah 
hereafter or eternal life
Akhlāq 
The practise of virtue. Morals.
Al-Ikhlas 
Genuine in religious beliefs.
Al-Birr  
Piety and righteousness and every act of obedience to God.
'Ālamīn 
Literally "worlds", humankind, jinn, angels and all that exists
Alayhis Salam 
"Peace be upon him" This expression normally follows after naming a prophet (other than Muhammad), or one of the noble Angels (i.e. Gabriel Michael, etc.)
Al-Ḥamdu lillāh 
"Praise be to God!" Qur'anic exclamation and also same meaning as hallelujah.
Allāh 
God (in monotheistic understanding of the word); the only entity worthy of worship
Allahumma 
"O God."
Allāhu Akbar 
"God is the Greatest." Islamic expression.
'Ālim 
One who knows. A scholar (in any field of knowledge); a scientist (who knows science) or a theologian (who knows religion); similar to Japanese sensei, "teacher". Also meaning "world"
Amānah 
the trust. Of all creation, only human beings carry the "trust", which is free will.
Āmīn 
Amen, a supplication meaning, "O God, accept our invocation!"
Amīrul-Mu'minīn 
In some countries like Morocco, a Amīrul-Mu'minīn or Commander of the faithful is the religious chief.
Aminah 
Muhammad's mother. Aminah fell sick and died in Abwa, near Madina (then Yathrib) when Muhammad was six years old.
Al Amr Bi'l Maruf
Islamic doctrine of enjoining right.
anfal
Property of the Imam
Anṣār 
"Helpers." The Muslim converts at Medina who helped the Muslims from Mecca after the Hijrah.
'Aqīdah 
The Islamic creed, or the six article of faith, which consists of the belief in God, Angels, Messengers and Prophets, Scriptures, the Day of Judgement, and Destiny.
Aqiqah 
Islamic practise of shaving the head of the new born male and contributing the weight in silver for charity as well as 2 lambs. One lamb is slaughtered for a baby girl.
'Aql 
Intelligence, intellect, mind, understanding
Arkan singular rukn 
The five rukn "pillars" of Islam.
Alayhis-salaam or A.S.  
This acronym evokes a blessing and is appended to the names of the prophets who came before Muhammad. It will also be applied the mothers of those prophets. When following a woman's name, the feminine form is 'Alayhas-salaam.
Asl - plural. usool
Root, origin, source; principle.
Aslim Taslam 
"Submit to Islam"
Asmā' Allah al-Ḥusnā )
List of God's 99 names. According to Hadith, the one who enumerates them all will enter Paradise.
'Aṣr 
The third salat prayer. The time of the day before sunset and after noon. also means "era".
Aṣ-Ṣirāṭ
The bridge on which judgement of where a person's Akhira (afterlife) will lie is passed.
al-Asharatu Mubashsharun bil-Jannah or just Asharatu Mubashsharah Arabic
'Asharatul-mubashshirūn or 'Asharatul-mubashshirūne bil Jannah): The ten companions of Muhammad who were promised paradise
'Āshūrā' ;
Tenth day of the month of Muharram. It is the day God saved Moses and the children of Israel from the Pharaoh.
As-Salāmu 'Alaikum 
The Islamic greeting; literally "Peace be upon you"; In addition, wa-Raḥmatullāhi wa-Barakātuh means "and the Mercy of God and His blessing". The response to this greeting is wa-'Alaikum us-Salām wa-Raḥmatullāhi wa-Barakātuh --"And on you be the Peace and Mercy of God and His Blessing".
Astaghfirullāh 
"I seek forgiveness from God." Islamic expression.
A'udhu billah 'A'ūdhu billāh)
"I seek refuge in God". This is a paraphrase on the beginnings of the two last suras in the Qur'an.
Awliyā'  - singular: wali
Friends, protectors, helpers, caretaker, maintainer.
'Awrah 
The parts of the body, male or female, must be covered in public but not between spouses, such as, body parts must be concealed of a woman before non-related men.(non-related men means she can marry those men lawfully).
Āyahplural āyat  
A sign. More specifically, a verse in the Qur'an.
Āyatollāh  , also spelt Ayatollah)
Sign of God Title given to highly ranked religious scholars in Sh'ia sect.

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B

B.B.H.N ;
Blessed be His Name acronym for SAWS see P.B.U.H.
Baghawat
insurgency against a legitimate government
Bai'a 
pledge
Batil 
void
Baitullah baytullāh
A mosque, literally "house of God".
Barakah 
a form of blessing. Also, spiritual wisdom and blessing transmitted from master to pupil. The special favour or divine grace which is possessed by the "friends of God," or Sufi masters in particular.
BarakAllahu Feekum
may God bless you; response to expression of thanks.
Barzakh 
The one-way barrier between the mortal realm and the spirit world which the deceased soul crosses and waits for qiyamah judgement.
Basher  
Human(s). Literally means 'face' but generally it refers to a person (man/woman).
Baṣīrah 
Insight, discernment, receptivity, deep knowledge. Sometimes used by Sufis to denote the ability to directly perceive a transcendental Truth.
Batin 
The interior or hidden meaning. A person who devotes himself to studying such hidden meanings is a batini.
Bid'ah 
Innovation in religion, i.e. inventing new methods of worship. Bad Bid'ahs in Islam are considered a deviation and a serious sin by many Muslims.
Bid'ah sayyi'ah 
Enquiry prohibited in Islam.
Bint  
daughter
Bismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi  
"In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful".
Burda 
not an Arabic term; means "curtain" in Persian. Means covering or to cover.
Bay'ah 
an oath of allegiance to a leader, traditionally the Imam.

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C

Caliph  khalīfah
literally successor; refers to the successor of the Prophet Muhammad, the ruler of an Islamic theocratic monarchy

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D

Dahri
atheist - from the root ad dahr meaning time. In Islam, atheists are seen as those who think that time only destroys, hence the term ad dahriyyah for the concept of atheism.
Dajjal 
an Islamic figure similar to the Antichrist; means "liar" or "deceiver".
Dallal  
going astray.
Dar al'Ahd 
the Ottoman Empire's relationship with its Christian tributary states.
Dar al-Amn 
means house of safety; refers to status of a Muslim living in some of the Western world.
Dar ad-Dawa 
a region where Islam has recently been introduced.
Dar al-Harb 
means house of war; refers to areas outside Muslim rule at war with Muslim states.
Dar al-Islam 
the abode, or land, of Islam.
Dar al-Kufr 
means domain of disbelief; the term originally refers to the Quraish-dominated society of Mecca between Prophet Mohammed's flight to Medina (the Hijra) and the city's conquest.
Dar as-Sulh 
domain of agreement
Dar ash-Shahada 
See Dar al-Amn
Darūd  
blessing
Da'wah 
The call to Islam
Darwīs 
an initiate of the Sufi Path, one who practises Sufism
Deen 
the way of life based on Islamic revelation; the sum total of a Muslim's faith and practise. Din is often used to mean the faith and religion of Islam.
Dhikr 
A devotional practise whereby the name of God is repeated in a rhythmical manner
Dhikr  or zikr (in Farsi/Urdu)
remembrance of God; spiritual exercise; Muslims believe that the primary function of prophets is to remind people of God.
Dhimmi  
"Protected person"; Jews and Christians (and sometimes others,[1] such as Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, and Zoroastrians), living in an Islamic state whose right to practise their religion is tolerated under Islamic law.
Dhuhr 
the second obligatory daily prayer.
Dīn 
the way of life based on Islamic revelation; the sum total of a Muslim's faith and practise. Dīn is often used to mean the faith and religion of Islam.
Diyya 
fine for unintentional murder.
Dua 
personal prayer, supplication
Dunya 
The physical Universe, as opposed to the Hereafter

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E

Eid 
festival or celebration.
Eid ul-Adha  or Eid al-Adha
The "feast of sacrifice." It is celebrated from the tenth through the thirteenth days of dhul-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Muslim calendar.Another Eid is Eid Al-Fitr
Eid ul-Fitr 
The Festival of Breaking the fast. A religious festival that marks the end of the fast of Ramadan.
Ethiaat
Also Ahwat. A Precaution, either obligatory or optional.
Ethiaat-Mustahabbi
A preferred precaution.
Ethiaat-Waajib
An obligatory precaution.

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F

Fajarah 
Wicked evil doers. Plural of "Fajir" 
Fajr 
morning, as in the morning prayer. The time of the day when there is light in the horizon before sunrise.
Falāḥ 
deliverance, salvation, well-being
Falsafah
"philosophy" The methods and content of Greek philosophy which were brought into Islam. A person who tries to interpret Islam though rationalist philosophy was called a faylasuf ("philosopher").
Fanā' 
Sufi term meaning extinction - to die to this life while alive. Having no existence outside of God.
Faqih - plural. fuqaha 
One who has a deep understanding of Islam, its laws, and jurisprudence.
Al-Faraj
the return of the Shi'ah Mahdi
Farḍ , plural Fara'id  
a religious duty, or an obligatory action: praying 5 times a day is fard Neglecting a fard will result in a punishment in the hereafter.
Fard ayn 
obligatory on every individual Muslim to aid in any way he can.
Fard kifayah 
an obligation on the Muslim community as a whole, from which some are freed if others take it up such as for jihad.
Fāsiq   - plural fasiqun
anyone who has violated Islamic law; usually refers to one whose character has been corrupted.
Fatiha
the short, opening sura of the Qur'an, which begins "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds..." These words hold an important place in Muslim liturgies and forms the core of the salat.
Fatwā 
legal opinion of an (alim) binding on him and on those who follow his taqlid
Fi Amanillah
May God protect you. Said when a person departs.
Fiqh 
jurisprudence built around the shariah by custom (al-urf). Literally means "deep understanding", refers to understanding the Islamic laws.
Fi sabil Allah 
for the sake of God; common Islamic expression for performing acts such as charity or Jihad and for 'qatlu' (fighting in mortal combat for the sake of God
Fitna   - plural fitan
trial or tribulation; also refers to any period of disorder, such as a civil war, or the period of time before the end of the world or any civil strife.
Fiṭrah 
innate disposition towards virtue, knowledge, and beauty. Muslims believe every child is born with fitrah.
Furqān 
the criterion (of right and wrong, true and false); for example, the Qur'an as furqan.

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G

Ghafara  
(verb in past tense) to forgive, to cover up (sins). A characteristic of God.
Ghaflah 
heedlessness, forgetfulness of God, indifference
Ghayb 
the unseen, unknown.
Ghasbi  
possessed unlawfully
Ghusl  
full ablution of the whole body. Ghusl janaba is the mandatory shower after having sexual discharge.

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H

Hadath akbar  
major ritual impurity which requires Niyyat for cleaning.
Hadath asghar 
minor ritual impurity
Hadeeth Mashhoor 
Well-known Hadith; a Hadith which reported by one, two, or more Companions from the Prophet or from another Companion, but has later become well-known and transmitted by an indefinite number of people during the first and second generation of Muslims.
Hadha min fadhle Rabbi 
Qur'anic expression and phrase meaning This is by the Grace of my Lord.
Hādī 
a guide, one who guides; A Muslim name for God is The Guide, or Al-Hadi.
Hadith ḥadīth) plural ahādīth 
literally "speech"; recorded saying or tradition of the Prophet Muhammad validated by isnad; with sira these comprise the sunnah and reveal shariah
Ḥāfiz 
someone who knows the Qur'an by heart. Literal translation = memoriser or Protector.
Haid 
menstruation
Hajj 
pilgrimage to Mecca. The fifth Pillar of Islam
Hajj al Tamattu
performing 'Umrah during the Hajj season, and on the Day of Tarwiah a pilgrim gets into the state of Ihram for Hajj. Before making 'Umrah, approach the Miqat and declare the intention. End by sacrificing an animal.
Hajj al Qiran 
At Miqat, declare intention to perform both Hajj and 'Umrah together. After throwing the Jamrah of Al-'Aqabah, and getting hair shaved or cut that take off his Ihram garments and sacrifice animal.
Hajj al Ifrad 
At Miqat, declare intention for Hajj only. Maintain Ihram garments up to the Day of Sacrifice. No offering is required from him.
Ḥākim 
a ruler's or gubernatorial title.
Hakmiya 
sovereignty.
Ḥalāl 
lawful, permitted, good, beneficial, praiseworthy, honourable. mustahabb, mandub)
Halaqa 
A gathering or meeting for the primary purpose of learning about Islam.
Ḥanīf 
pre-Islamic non-Jewish or non-Christian monotheists. Plural: ḥunafā' .
Haqq 
truth, reality, right, righteousness. Al-Haqq is one of 99 names of God.
Ḥarām 
forbidden. An individual is rewarded for keeping away from haram done out of obedience, (rather than out of fear, shyness or the inability to do it.) Antonym: halal. mazur,
Ḥaram 
sanctuary.
Ḥasan 
Good, beautiful, admirable. Also a categorisation of the authenticity of a Hadith as "acceptable". (other categories include authentic and fabricated).
Hawaa - plural. ahwaa'
Vain or egotistical desire; individual passion; impulsiveness.
Hidāyah 
guidance from God.
Ḥijāb 
literally "cover". It describes the self-covering of the body for the purposes of modesty and dignity; broadly, a prescribed system of attitudes and behaviour regarding modesty and dignity. abayah, al-amira, burnuk, burqa, chador, jilbab, khimar, milfeh, niqab, purdah, shayla)
Hijra 
Muhammad and his followers' emigration from Mecca to Medina. Literally, "migration". This holiday marks the beginning of the Muslim New Year on the first day of the month of Muharram. See Rabi Al-Awwal and abbreviation A.H..
Hikmah 
Literally this means "wisdom" and refers to the highest possible level of understanding attainable by a Muslim. In particular, it refers to the illuminative, mystical sort of wisdom which a Gnostic or Sufi might accomplish.
Ḥimā 
wilderness reserve, protected forest, grazing commons, important to khalifa
Ḥizb 
One half of a juz', or roughly 1/60th of the Qur'an
Houri ḥūrīya; pl. ḥūrīyāt  
beautiful and pure young men and women, that Muslims believe inhabit Paradise, or Heaven.
Hudā 
Guidance.
Hudna 
Truce. Cease-fire (often temporary)
Ḥudūd  - singular hadd
Literally, limits or boundaries. Usually refers to limits placed by God on man; penalties of the Islamic law sharia) for particular crimes described in the Qur'an - intoxication, theft, rebellion, adultery and fornication, false accusation of adultery, and apostasy.
Hujjaj
Pilgrim
Ḥukm 
ruling in the Qur'an or Sunnah

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I

'Ibādah 
worship, but not limited to ritual: all expressions of servitude to God, including the pursuit of knowledge, living a pious life, helping, charity, and humility, can be considered ibadah.
Iblīs 
a jinn banished to Hell for his arrogance and disobedience; aka Satan : derived from the Greek Diabolos or Devil He is the equivalent of Lucifer.
I'dad Al-'oda 
"preparation for battle" according to Qur'an
Ifṭār 
a meal eaten by Muslims breaking their fast after sunset during the month of Ramadan.
Iḥrām 
state of consecration for hajj. Includes dress and or prayer.
Iḥsān 
perfection in worship, such that Muslims try to worship God as if they see Him, and although they cannot see Him, they undoubtedly believe He is constantly watching over them.
Ijaz 
miracle, the character of the Qur'an in both form and content.
Ijazah 
a certificate authorising one to transmit a subject or text of Islamic knowledge
Ijmā' 
the consensus of either the ummah (or just the ulema) - one of four bases of Islamic Law. More generally, political consensus itself. Shi'a substitute obedience to the Imam; opposite of ikhtilaf
Ijtihād 
During the early times of Islam, the possibility of finding a new solution to a juridical problem. Has not been allowed in conservative Islam since the Middle Ages. However, Liberal movements within Islam generally argue that any Muslim can perform ijtihad, given that Islam has no generally accepted clerical hierarchy or bureaucratic organisation. The opposite of ijtihad is taqlid Arabic for "imitation".
Ikhtilaf 
disagreement among the madhhabs (scholars) of a religious principle; opposite of ijma.
Ikraam 
honouring, hospitality, generosity - Dhul jalaali wal ikraam is one of the 99 names of God.
Ilāh 
deity, a god; including gods worshipped by polytheists.
'Ilm 
all varieties of knowledge, usually a synonym for science
Imām 
literally, leader; e.g. a man who leads a community or leads the prayer.
Imamah or imamate 
successorship of Prophet Muhammad and the leadership of mankind.
Imān 
personal faith
Innaa Lillaahi Wa Innaa Ilayhi Raaji'oon 
To God we belong and to Him is our return - said to mourners
Infāq 
the habitual inclination to give rather than take in life; the basis for charity
Injīl 
Arabic term for the holy book called The Gospel said to have been given to Jesus, who is known as Isa in Arabic; Muslims believe the holy book has been lost and the New Testament Books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are regarded as Christian stories about Jesus due to having been written long after Jesus died.
Insha'Allah 
God Willing.
Iqamah 
the second call to prayer. Similar to the azhan.
Irtidad 
Apostasy also riddah 
'Isā 
Jesus - Jesus son of Mary (Arabic: 'Isa ibn Maryam), a matronymic as Jesus had no biological father. The Qur'an asserts that God has no sons and therefore, Jesus is not regarded as the literal son of God. Muslims honour 'Isa as a nabi (a man sent by God to give guidance to humanity) and Ra's (a messenger of the one God)l.
'Ishā' 
night; the fifth salat prayer
Islam  
"submission to God". The Arabic root word for Islam means submission, obedience, peace, and purity.
Isnād 
chain of transmitters of any given Hadith
Isra  
The night journey during which Muhammad visited Heaven.
Istigfar  
requesting forgiveness
Istihada 
vaginal bleeding except Haid and Nifas
Istislah 
public interest - a source of Islamic Law.
Istish'hād 
martyrdom.
Itaqu
The faithful who fear (are in awe of) God.
Ithim 
Negative reward for bad deeds that is tallied on qiyamah(judgement day.) Opposite of thawab.
Itikaf
seclusion in the masjid for the purpose of worship usually performed during the last 10 days of Ramadan.
Itmām al-hujjah 
clarification of truth in its ultimate form.

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J

Jaa'iz 
That which is allowed or permissible. As a rule, everything that is not prohibited is allowed.
Jahannam 
the Hell-fire; Hell
Jāhiliyyah 
the time of ignorance before Islam was realised. Describes polytheistic religions.
Jahl 
ignorance, arrogance.
Jalsa - sitting.
Jāmi'ah 
"gathering"; i.e. a university, a mosque, or more generally, a community or association.
Janaba  
A ceremonial impurity that necessitates full ghusl ablution
Janaza ;
funeral prayer
Jannah 
Paradise, Heaven, the Garden
Jazakallahu Khayran 
"May God reward you for the good." Islamic expression of gratitude.
Jihād 
struggle. Any earnest striving in the way of God, involving personal, physical, for righteousness and against wrong-doing;
Jihād al Saghir 
Offensive jihad declared by caliph.
Jihād al talab
Offensive jihad.
Jihād al daf'a 
Defencive jihad
Jilbāb 
(pl. jalabib) a long, flowing, baggy garment worn by some to fulfil the mandates of hijab.
Jinn 
An invisible being of fire
Jizya 
A tax specified in the Qur'an (9:29) to be paid by non-Muslim males living under Muslim political control.
Juhud 
To deny. Jaahid (the denier). Disbelief out of rejection. When there comes to them that which they [should] have recognised, they refuse to believe in (kafaru) it. ( 2:89) Accordingly, juhud includes rejection (kufr at-taktheeb) and resistance (kufr al-'inaad)
Jumu'ah 
Friday prayer
Junub 
an unclean state of body as in breaking Wuduu
Janabat 
an unclean state of body caused by discharge of semen or sexual intercourse
Juz'  
one of thirty parts of the Qur'an

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K

Ka'bah 
cube-house; the cube-shaped building i.e. in Mecca toward which Muslims pray.
Kāfir 
from the word kafara - "to hide." Those who deliberately hide the truth; truth-concealers. Plural: Kāfirūn.
Kalam 
Literally, 'words' or 'speech,' and referring to oration. The name applied to the discipline of philosophy and theology concerned specifically with the nature of faith, determinism and freedom, and the nature of the divine attributes.
Khair
Every kind of good
Khalīfah 
Caliph, more generally, one performing the duties of khilafa.
Khalil 
devoted friend
Khalq
Creation - the act of measuring; determining, estimating and calculating. Khalq is the noun form of the verb khalaqa.
Al-khaliq
The Creator, God.
Khamar
Intoxicant: wine.
Khāṭib 
the speaker at the Friday Muslim prayer, or Jummah prayer.
Khatm
Complete recitation of the Qur'an.
Kharāj 
a land tax.
Khayr  
Goodness.
Khilaaf 
Controversy, dispute, discord.
Khilāfah 
Man's trusteeship and stewardship of Earth; Most basic theory of the Caliphate; Flora and fauna as sacred trust; Accountability to; God for harms to nature, failure to actively care and maintain. Three specific ways in which khalifa is manifested in Muslim practise are the creation of haram to protect water, hima to protect other species (including those useful to man), and by resisting infidel domination over Muslim lands, in jihad.
Khalīfāt Rashīdūn 
four first caliphs. Sunnis consider the first four caliphs as the "orthodox" or "rightly guided" caliphs. They were Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman and 'Ali.
Khimār  (pl. khumur) 
headcovering (Q. 24:31).
Khuluq  
ethics
Khushu'
humility, devotion, concentration (especially in prayer).
Khuṭbah 
the sermon at Jummah prayer.
Kibr
pride, arrogance
Kibar
old age
Kitāb 
book; The Qur'an is often referred to as "Al-Kitāb" (The Book).
Kufr 
ungratefulness and disbelief in God and denial of the truth.
Kufrul-hukmi
Disbelief from judgement.
Kufrul-'Inaad 
Disbelief out of stubbornness
Kufrul-Inkaar 
Disbelief out of arrogance and pride.
Kufrul-Istibdaal 
Disbelief because of trying to substitute God's Laws.
Kufrul-Istihaal 
Disbelief out of trying to make haram into halal.
Kufrul-Istihzaha 
Disbelief due to mockery and derision
Kufrul jahli
Disbelief from not being aware of or not understanding.
Kufrul-juhudi
Disbelief from obstinacy after being presented with truth.
Kufrul-Nifaaq 
Disbelief out of hypocrisy.
Kufrul-I'raadh 
Disbelief due to avoidance.
Kun 
God's command to the universe, "Be!" is sufficient to create it.

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L

Lā ilāha ill-Allāh 
"There is no god other than God." The most important expression in Islam. It is part of the first pillar of Islam. This is the message of all the Prophets, such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.
Labbayk Allahuma
God, Here I am (said during hajj)
Laghw 
Dirty, false, evil vain talk
Laylat al-Qadr 
the Night of Power, towards the end of Ramadan, when Muhammad received the first revelation of the Qur'an.

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M

Madh'hab 
(pl. Madhahib) school of religious jurisprudence, school of thought
Madrasah 
School, university
Maghrib 
the fourth daily salat prayer
Mahdi 
"A guide". More specifically al-Mahdi (the guide).
Mahram 
A relative of the opposite gender who who one cannot marry and can therefore appear before without observing Islamic male, or female dress requirements.
Makrūh
Means "detested", though not ḥarām (forbidden); something that is disliked or offensive. If a person commits the Makruh, he does not accumulate ithim but avoiding the Makhruh is rewarded with thawab.
Malā'ikah 
Angels . In Islam angels are messengers of God. They have no free will, (unlike humans or jinn) and can do only what God orders them to do. It was one of these mala'ika, Gabriel (Jibril) who delivered God's revelation to Muhammad. (Singular. Malāk).
Ma malakat aymanukum 
one's rightful spouse (literally: what your right hands possess)
Mandub 
commendable or recommended. Failure to do it would not be a sin.
Mansukh 
That which is abrogated. The doctrine of al-Nasikh wal-Mansukh (abrogation) of certain parts of the Qur'anic revelation by others. The principle is mentioned in the Qur'an (2:106).
Manzil 
one of seven equal parts of the Qur'an.
Ma'rūf 
consensus of the community
Maqaṣid 
goals or purposes; such as the purposes of Islamic law
Masaleh
Public interests
Masha Allah 
God has willed it.
Masīḥ 
the (Biblical) Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Masjid pl. masājid, 
place of prayer; mosque
Masjid al-Haram 
the area around the Kaaba.
Maulvi 
an honorific Islamic religious title often, but not exclusively, given to Muslim religious scholars or Ulema preceding their names. Maulvi generally means any religious cleric or teacher.
Mawlā  (pl. mawli)
Protector or supporter.
Mawlānā 
An Arabic word literally meaning "our master". It is used mostly as a title preceding the name of a respected religious leader, in particular graduates of religious institutions. The term is sometimes used to refer to Rumi.
Mecca  Often transliterated as Makkah)
The holiest city in Islam
Medina Often transliterated as Madīnah
Literally "City"; Medinat-un-Nabi means "The City of the Prophet".
Mi'ād 
The Resurrection; God will resurrect all of humankind to be judged.
Mihrab 
A niche in the wall of all mosques, indicating the direction of prayer
Millah
In Arabic, millah means "religion," but it has only been used to refer to religions other than Islam, which is din.
Millet
In an Islamic state, "Ahl al Kitab" may continue to practise their former religion in a semi-autonomous community termed the millet.
Minaret 
A tower built onto a mosque from the top of which the call to prayer is made. In many non-Islamic countries minaret are symbolic and no call to prayer is broadcast from them in consideration to non-Muslim neighbours.
Minbar 
a raised pulpit in the mosque where the Imam stands to deliver sermons
Minhaj 
methodology, e.g. methods, rules, system, procedures.
Miqat 
Intended place
Miraj 
the Ascension to the Seven Heavens during the Night Journey.
Mu'adhdhin Muezzin
a person who performs the call to prayer
Mu'awwidhatayn 
Suras Al-Falaq and an-Nas, the "Surahs of refuge", should be said to relieve suffering (also protect from Black Magic)
Mubāḥ 
literally permissible; neither forbidden nor commended. Neutral.
Mubaligh 
A person who recites Qur'an
Muftī 
an Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law (Sharia), capable of issuing fataawa (plural of "fatwa").
Muhajabah 
A woman who wears hijab (polite form of hijabi).
Muhammadun rasulullah 
"Muhammad is the messenger of God." This statement is the second part of the first pillar of Islam. This is the second most important statement in Islam and in accepting Muhammad as the messenger of God it also accepts all the prophets who came before him from Abraham to (and including) Jesus PBUT.
Mufsidūn 
evil-doer a person who wages jihad (war) not in accordance with the Qur'an. Plural mufsideen.
Muhsin 
a person who performs good deed. Plural muhsineen. Opposite of Mufsidun.
Muhājirūn 
The first Muslims that accompanied Muhammad when he travelled to Medina.
Muhartiq
heretic.
Mujāhid 
a fighter for Islam. Plural mujahidīn.
Mujtahid 
a scholar who uses reason for the purpose of forming an opinion or making a ruling on a religious issue. Plural: Mujtahidun.
Mullah 
Name commonly given to local leaders in Islam or mosque leaders educated in Islamic theology and sacred law ideally, they should have studied the Qur'an, Islamic traditions (Hadith), and Islamic law (fiqh).
Mū'min 
A Muslim who observes the commandments of the Qur'an.
Munafiq 
hypocrite. Plural: Munafiqun
Muntaqabah  pl. muntaqabāt 
A woman who wears niqab
Murabaha 
a type of sharia-compliant mortgage
Murshid 
A Sufi teacher
Murtadd 
apostate
Murtadah
female apostate
Mushaf 
A copy or codex of the Qur'an.
Mushrik
One who associates others in worship with God; a polytheist. (pl. mushrikoon)
Muslim 
a follower of the religion of Islam. One who submits their will to God
Mustaḥabb 
commendable or recommended.
Mut'ah 
literally joy; a type of temporary marriage practised only by the Shī'ah; or a practise between 'Umrah and Ḥajj.
Muta'sibūn 
fanatics
Mutawātir 
"agreed upon" used to describe Hadith that were narrated by many witnesses through different narration chains (isnads) leading back to Muhammad
Mutaween  Singular = mutawa
Religious police of Saudi Arabia - plural.

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N

Nabī 
literally, prophet. In the Islamic context, a Nabi is a man sent by God to give guidance to man, but not given scripture. The Prophet Abraham was a Nabi. This is in contrast to Rasul, or Messenger who are given scripture. Moses, David, Jesus and Mohammed are considered messengers. All messengers are considered prophets, but not all prophets are Rasul given scripture . Plural of nabi is Anbiya.
Nafs 
soul, one's self
Nafila 
A voluntary, optional practise of worship, in contrast to farida
Najāsah 
Impurity
Najasat, Najis  
an unclean thing
Naji
Impure
Nakir and Munkar 
Two angels (malaikah) who test the faith of the dead in their graves
Naqîra 
A speck on the back of a date stone
Nasīha 
advice
Naskh 
The doctrine of al-Nasikh wal-Mansukh (abrogation) of certain parts of the Qur'anic revelation by others. The principle is mentioned in the Qur'an (2:106).
Nass 
A known, clear legal injunction
Nifas
The bleeding after childbirth
Nifaq 
falsehood; dishonesty
Niyyat 
Intention
Niqāb 
A veil covering the nose, mouth, throat, hair and forehead
Nubuwwah 
Prophethood. Shi'as regard this as the third Pillar of Islam.
Nukra
A great munkar - prohibited, evil, dreadful thing.
Nūr 
Light. Muslims believe angels were created from light and jinn from fire.

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P

P.B.U.H. 
An English acronym which stands for "peace be unto him" or "Peace and Blessings Upon Him" a blessing which is affixed to Muhammad's name whenever it is written. The Arabic acronym. version is S.A.W.
P.B.U.T. 
An English acronym which stands for "peace be unto them" or "Peace and Blessings Upon Them" a blessing which is affixed to the mention of multiple prophet's name whenever they are written.
Prophet
A person who has had messages from God.
Prayer (salah )
Prayer is performed five times a day. It is the direct link between the worshipper and God. Muslim across the world say their prayers in Arabic. For further details go to http://www.iman.co.nz/ed/pray.php.

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Q

Qadhf 
false accusation of unchasteness specifically punished by sharia.
Qadar 
predestination.
Qādī 
judge of Islamic Law
Qatlu nafsi-hi
suicide is forbidden in Islam
Qiblah 
the direction Muslims face during prayer
Qitaal fee sybil Allah 
fight in the cause of God, a Qur'anic commandment.
Qiyāmah 
resurrection; return of the dead for the Day of Judgement
Qiṣāṣ 
equitable retribution - a fine for murder if the heirs forgive the perpetrator.
Qiyam  
to stand, a position of salah prayer
Qiyās 
analogy - foundation of legal reasoning and thus fiqh
Qudsī 
classification of a Hadith that are believed to be narrated by Muhammad from God.
Qurbat 
closeness to God. Term is associated with Sufism.
Qur'ān 
Muslims believe the Qur'an to be the literal word of God and the culmination of God's revelation to mankind, revealed to prophet Muhammad in the year AD 610.

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R

Rabb 
Lord, Sustainer, Cherisher, Master.
Radiyallahu anha
May God be pleased with her.
Radiyallahu anhu
May God be pleased with him.
Radiyallahu anhuma
May God be pleased with them.
Radiyallahu anhum
May God be pleased with them.
Rahim 
Compassionate; Ar-Rahim means "The Most Compassionate" as in the Basmala
Rahman 
Merciful; Ar-Rahman means "The Most Merciful"
Rajm  
the practise of stoning - our prophet and messenger Jesus taught us that "he who has not sinned shall cast the first stone".
Raka'ah 
one unit of Islamic prayer (Salat). Each daily prayer is made up of a different number of raka'ah.
Ramadhan 
month of fasting when the Qur'an was first revealed
Rashidun 
Sunnis consider the first four caliphs as the "orthodox" or "rightly guided" caliphs. They were Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman and 'Ali.
Rasul 
Messenger; Unlike prophets messengers are given scripture. Moses, David, Jesus and Mohammed are considered messengers. All messengers are considered prophets, but not all prophets are given scripture.
Riba 
interest, the charging and paying of which is forbidden by the Qur'an
Ribat 
Guarding Muslims from infidels
Riddah 
apostasy, in which a person abandons Islam for another faith or no faith at all.
Risalah 
literally, message or letter. Used both in common parlance for mail correspondences, and in religious context as divine message.
Ruh 
spirit; the divine breath which God blew into the clay of Adam.
Rukn plural arkan 
means what is inevitable. One of the five pillars of Islam.
Ruk'u 
the bowing performed during salat (prayer). Bending, making the head and back level and putting the hands with the fingers spread on the knees. For further details go to http://www.iman.co.nz/ed/pray.php.

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S

Ṣabr 
Patience, endurance, self-restraint
Sadaqah 
Charity; voluntary alms above the amount for zakat (that given as a religious duty and social obligation)..
Sahabah (sing. Sahābi)
Companions of Muhammad. A list of the best-known Companions can be found at List of companions of Muhammad.
Sahih 
"Sound in isnad." A technical attribute applied to the "isnad" of a Hadith.
Sakina 
divine "tranquillity" or "peace" which descends upon a person when the Qur'an is recited.
Salaf 
(righteous) predecessors/ancestors. In Islam, Salaf is generally used to refer to the first three generations of Muslims.
Ṣalah sala(t)
Any one of the daily five obligatory prayers. The second Pillar of Islam
Salaat al-Istikharah
Prayer for guidance is done in conjunction with two rakaahs of voluntary, optional prayer.
Salām 
peace
Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam 
"May God bless him and grant him peace." or "Peace be unto him" The expression should be used after stating Prophet Muhammad's name. Abbreviations: S.A.W. or S.A.W.S. also P.B.U.H.
Samad 
Eternal, absolute; Muslims believe God is "The Eternal."
Salsabil 
a river in heaven (al-firdaus)
Sawa 
Awakening, revival
S.A.W. (or S.A.W.S.) acronym for Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam 
"May God bless him and grant him peace." or "Peace be unto him" The expression should be used after stating Prophet Muhammad's name.
Ṣawm 
Fasting during the month of Ramadhan. The word sawm is derived from Syriac sawmo.
Sayyid 
master or a descendant of a relative of Muhammad, usually a title given to a descendant who comes from Hussayn.
Sema 
refer to some of the ceremonies used by various Sufi orders
Shahādah 
The testimony of faith: La ilaha illa Allah. Muhammadun rasulullah. ("There is no God but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God."). The first Pillar of Islam
Shahīd  pl. shuhada
witness, martyr. Usually refers to a person killed whilst fighting in "jihad fee sybil Allah" (jihad for the sake of God). Often used in modern times for deaths in a political cause (including victims of soldiers, deaths in battle, etc) which are viewed by some Muslims as a spiritual cause not just a political cause. But the real meaning of Jihad is to defend Islam in any way; thus, it could be in an economic way or could refer to fighting for the rights of the oppressed or the believers; most often it refers to mastering one's own inclination for evil and shirk.
Shaykh or Sheikh or Sheik 
A honorific term in the Arabic language that literally means "elder". It is commonly used to designate an elder of a tribe, a revered wise man, or an Islamic scholar. It also refers to a person when they have completed their undergraduate university studies in Islamic studies and are trained in giving lectures.
Sharī'ah 
"The path to a watering hole"; the eternal ethical code and moral code based on the Qur'an and Sunnah; basis of fiqh
Sharīf 
a title bestowed upon the descendants of Muhammad through Hasan, son of his daughter Fatima Zahra and son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib
Shaytan 
Satan, the Devil; also known as Iblis
Shī'ah 
A minority heterodox group in Islam
Shirk 
Idolatry; polytheism; the sin of believing in any divinity except God and of associating other gods with God.
Shūrā 
Consultation
Majlis ash-shūrā 
Advisory council in a Caliphate
Sidrat al-Muntaha 
a lotus tree that marks the end of the seventh heaven, the boundary where no creation can pass.
Sirah 
life or biography of the Prophet Muhammad; his moral example - with Hadith this comprises the sunnah
Sirat al-Mustaqim 
The Straight Path
Subah Sadiq 
True dawn
Subhanahu wa ta'ala (abbreviated S.W.T.) 
expression used following written name or vocalisation of God in Arabic meaning "Highly praised and glorified is He".
Subhan'allah  
An expression used by Muslims to express strong feelings of joy or relief. The Arabic root s-b-h can certainly mean to praise or to glorify, but in a deeper sense, this root also points toward a sense of swimming in something, or being immersed in something, or to be be floating in something, or to have something spread out in front of you as far as the eye can see hence the common translation is something like "Glory be to God" but as is all too often the case with such simple translations, it does not reveal the full depth and magnificence of the phrase.
Ṣūfī ;
a Muslim mystic;
Suhūr 
The meal eaten by fasting Muslims just before dawn.
Sujud 
Prostration during salat (prayer). The forehead, the nose, both hands, both knees and the internal parts of the toes should touch the ground. Knees, fingers and toes should be directed towards the Qibla Makkah, and your hands should be stretched, the fingers closed, not separated. For further details go to http://www.iman.co.nz/ed/pray.php
Sukuk 
bond that generates revenue from sales, profits, or leases rather than interest.
Sulh 
is derived from the Arabic word musalaha it is a tool at the disposal of an Islamic commander to be offered to the enemy as a respite from military Jihad.
Sunnah or sunnah al-Nabi 
the "path" or "example" of the Prophet Muhammad, i.e., what the Prophet did or said or agreed to during his life. He is considered by Muslims to be the best human moral example, the best man to follow.
Sunnat 
an act which the Prophet performed; not required but carries much reward
Sunni 
Orthodox Islam. The vast majority of Muslims are Sunni Muslims
Sūrah 
Chapter; the Qur'an is composed of 114 suras

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T

Taba'īn 
Followers of the Sahabah
Tafsīr 
The interpretation, or commentary on the Qur'an or Qur'anic passages.
Taghut (taghout)
Originally Aramaic, meaning "false god"; also may mean tyranny.
Tahajjud 
Voluntary, optional late-night (pre-dawn) prayer
Taharah 
purification from ritual impurities by means of wuduu or ghusl
Tahir 
Pure, ritually clean
Tahlil 
Uttering the formula of faith: "La ilaha illa Allah", i.e. (There is No god but God)
Taḥrīf 
corruption, forgery. The Qur'an is in its original form and is unaltered since revelation to prevent any corruption.
Tajdīd 
To purify and reform society in order to move it toward greater equity and justice, literally meaning to make new in present tense
Tajdif 
Blasphemy
Tajwīd 
a special manner of reciting the Qur'an according to prescribed rules of pronunciation and intonation.
Takaful 
Based on sharia Islamic law, it is a form of mutual insurance.
Takbīr 
A proclamation of the greatness of God; a Muslim invocation. Done during prayer by raising hands up to the level of the shoulders or near to the lobes of the ears, while saying Allahu Akbar God is Great
Takdir
fate, predestination
Takfir 
declaration of individual or group of previously considered Muslim as kaffir.
Tamaninat 
to be motionless
Taqiyya 
The mostly Shi'a principle that one is allowed to hide one's true beliefs in certain circumstances.
Taqlīd 
To follow the scholarly opinion of one of the four Imams of Islamic Jurispudence.
Taqwa 
righteousness; goodness; Piety:
Tarawih 
extra prayers in Ramadan after the Isha prayer.
Ṭarīqah 
A Muslim religious order, particularly a Sufi order
Tarkīb 
The study of Arabic grammar issued from the Qur'an
Tartīl 
slow, meditative recitation of the Qur'an
Tasawwuf 
Sufism
Tasbih 
Uttering the formula: "Subhan Allah", i.e. (Glory be to God)
Tashkīl 
Vocalisation of Arabic text by means of diacritical marks. An integral part of the Arabic writing system. Literally meaning to form or arrange
Taslim 
salutation at the end of prayer
Tawakul
Total reliance on God.
Tawaf 
Circumambulation of the Ka'bah during Hajj.
Tawbah 
repentance
Tawhīd 
monotheism; affirmation of the Oneness of God. Muslims regard this as the first part of the Pillar of Islam. The opposite of Tawheed is shirk (polytheism)
Tawrat 
The Torah as revealed to Musa (Moses.)
Tayyib 
all that is good as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc. Means "pure."
Ta'zeer 
Discretionary punishment - a sentence or punishment whose measure is not fixed by the Shari'ah.
Tazkiyah 
Purification of the Soul.
Thawab 
Reward for good deeds that is tallied on qiyamah (judgement day.) Opposite of ithim.
Tilawa 
Ritual recitation of passages of the Qur'an.

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U

Ubudiyah 
worship
Udhiyah 
sacrifice
'Ulamā'  or ulema
The leaders of Islamic society, including teachers, Imams and judges. Singular alim.
Ummah  or umma
the global community of all Muslim believers
'Umrah 
the lesser pilgrimage performed in Mecca. Unlike hajj, 'umrah can be performed throughout the year.
Uqubat 
the branch of sharia that deals with punishment.
'Urf 
custom of a given society, leading to change in the fiqh
Usul (sing. asl) 
Principles, origins.
Usul al-Fiqh 
the study of the origins and practise of Islamic jurisprudence fiqh)

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W

Wafat
death (Barah-wafat) Muhammad was born on the twelfth day of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the third month of the Muslim year. His death anniversary also falls on the same day, the word 'barah' standing for the twelve days of Muhammad's sickness.
Waḥ dat al-wujūd
"unity of being". Philosophical term used by some Sufis. Related to fanaa
Wahy 
revelation or inspiration of God to His prophets for all humankind
Wahn 
love of this life and hatred of death
Wajib 
Obligatory or mandatory.
Wali 
friend, protector, guardian, supporter, helper
Waqf 
An endowment of money or property: the return or yield is typically dedicated toward a certain end, for example, to the maintenance of the poor, a family, a village, or a mosque. Plural: Awqaf.
Warrāq 
traditional scribe, publisher, printer, notary and book copier
Wasat 
the middle way, justly balanced, avoiding extremes, moderation
Waseelah 
the means by which one achieves nearness to God.
Witr 
a voluntary, optional night prayer of odd numbers rakaats.
Wuduu 
ablution for ritual purification from minor impurities before salat (prayer). See http://www.iman.co.nz/ed/wuduu.php.

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Y

Ya Allah 
O, God!
Yajooj-o-Majooj 
Gog and Magog
Yaqin 
certainty, that which is certain
Yarhamuk-Ullah
May God have mercy on you (said when someone sneezes)
Yaum al-Deen  
Day of Reckoning, Awe
Yaum al-Ghadab 
Day of Rage
Yawm ul-Qiyāmah 
"Day of the Resurrection"; Day of Judgement

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Z

Zabur 
the Psalms revealed to King David
Zabiha 
Islamic method of slaughtering an animal. It from the root word Zakah (to purify). Regarded as the most humane way to slaughter animals and is done Using a sharp knife the animal's windpipe, throat and blood vessels of the neck are severed without cutting the spinal cord to ensure that the blood is thoroughly drained before removing the head.
Zahir 
Exterior meaning
Zaidi 
Islamic sub-sect of Shi'ah, popularly found in Yemen, with similarities to Sunni
Zakat  Al-Maal 
tax, alms, tithe as a Muslim duty; The fourth Pillar of Islam. Neither charity nor derived from Islamic economics, but a religious duty and social obligation.
Zakat Al-Fitr
It is a it is a Prophetic obligation to be paid before the commencement of Eid ul Fitr prayer. The aim behind it is that if something goes wrong unintentionally during the month of Ramadhan while keeping the fast then this may stand as forgiveness and the proceeds are used to feed the poor..
Zalimun 
polytheists, wrong-doers, and unjust.
Zināa 
sexual activity outside of marriage adultery and fornication)
Zulfiqar 
Sword of Ali presented to him by Muhammad


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