The Glossary of Islam

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(al-)Abad: Eternity in the future

(al-)Azal: Eternity in the past

(al-)‘Abd: The servant; the servant of God by creation; the servant of God who beliefs in and worships Him

 (al-)‘Adhāb: Punishment. The Qur’ān uses seven different names for the places or types of punishment in the Hereafter: Jahannam (Hell), Nār (Fire), Sa‘īr (Blaze), Jahīm (Blazing Flame), Hutamah (Consuming Fire), Saqar (Scorching Fire), and Lazā (Raging Flame). Most probably, these are the levels or degrees of punishment, each prepared for those who deserve it and each having a gate.

(al-)Adhān: The call to the Prayer. It is as follows: Allāhu akbar (God is the All-Great: 4 times); Ashhadu an lā ilāha illa’llāh (I bear witness that there is no deity but God: twice); Ashhadu anna Muhammadan Rasūlu’llāh (I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of God: twice); Hayya ‘alā’s-salāh (Come on, to the Prayer: twice), Hayya ‘alā’l-falāh (Come on, to salvation: twice); Allāhu akbar (God is the All-Great: twice); Lā ilāha illa’llāh (There is no deity but God: once).

(al-)‘Afw:Pardoning, granting remission; excusing

(al-)‘Ahd:Covenant; contract

‘Ahdu’llāh:God’s covenant. It is the promise that God has taken from His servants that they should believe in Him and worship Him alone. Besides this cardinal one, God has made different covenants with His Prophets and many peoples in different times.

Ahl al-Bayt:The household. As a term, it refers to the household of the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, including Fātimah, his daughter, and her husband, ‘Ali, and their sons, Hasan and Husayn.

Ahl al-Kitāb: The People of the Book, that is any people who have been given a Divine Book. The Qur’ān tends to use this term particularly for the Jews and Christians. The term also includes the Sabeans and the Magians.

Ahl al-Kitāb wa’s-Sunnah: The People of the Book and the Sunnah. They are the Muslims who strive to follow exactly the teachings of the Qur’an and the way of the Prophet Muhammad upon him be peace and blessings, as reported by his Companions.

(al-)Ākhirah:The next one; afterlife, the Hereafter. This is the other world where conscious, responsible beings will be called to account for their beliefs and deeds in the world and recompensed for them.

(al-)Ahzāb: Parties, confederates. It is particularly used for the remnants of the ancient, destroyed peoples who lived in Arabia during the revelation of the Qur’ān, and for the confederate forces composed of different tribes that besieged Madīnah and fought the Muslims in the Battle of the Trench in 627 CE 5 a.h. AH.

(al-)Ākif: One who abides in devotion to God

(al-)Akhlāq:The science and principles of good conduct and morality. The most distinguishing characteristic of Islam and, when loyal to that characteristic, of the community of Muhammadupon him be peace and blessings, is that it is far from all kinds of extremism. Islam represents the middle way in all aspects of life. For example, it is neither spiritualism nor materialism, neither realism nor idealism, neither capitalism nor socialism, neither individualism nor statism, neither absolutism nor anarchism, neither this-worldly and hedonistic, nor purely other-worldly and monastic. As it is unique in its worldview and social, economic and political aspects, it is also unique in the moral education it gives to individuals.  Islam aims to develop human beings from being potentially human to being truly human, thus perfecting them. It develops the human character in the best way. The parts of Wisdom which the Qur’ān enumerates in CHAPTER? verses 22–39, beginning and ending with the absolute prohibition of associating partners with God in any way in His Divinity and Lordship, are important in developing that character and raising members of a Muslim society.

(al-)‘Ālam (pl. ‘ālamūn):The world, worlds. The word comes from ‘alam, ‘alāmah, meaning something by which another thing is known. Thus, in this perspective, every individual thing or set of things, from the tiniest sub-atomic particles to the largest nebulae and galaxies, is a “world” and indicates God. The plural form (‘ālamūn) is particularly used for conscious beings, giving the sense that everything that is created is as if conscious, and signifying that its pointing to God’s Existence, Unity and Lordship is extremely clear for conscious beings.

(al-)Alaq: The clot clinging (to the wall of the female womb)

(al-)‘amal:An action, deed

(al-)‘amal as-sālih:Good, righteous deed

(al-)Amānah: The trust, that is any responsibility or all the duties which either God or society or an individual places in someone’s charge; the Supreme Trust which only humankind has undertaken, so in this sense, it refers to the human ego

(al-)Amīr: The leader; the commander

(al-)Amr:Command; authority; affair

Amr bi’l-Ma‘rūf: Enjoining and actively promoting what is good and right (in appropriate ways)

(al-)Ansār: The Helpers. It is particularly used for the Muslims of Madīnah who helped the emigrant Muslims of Makkah in the process of the latter’s settling down in Madīnah.

(al-)‘Aql: Reasoning and reflecting to make a conclusion and be able to distinguish between what is right and wrong, and between what is beneficial and harmful; in common terminology, it is the intellect which does this reasoning and reflection

 (al-)‘Arāf: The Heights (between Paradise and Hell, upon which the believers who still have sins unpardoned will be retained to be forgiven so that they can enter Paradise)

(al-)‘Arsh: The throne; the Supreme Throne of God. As the Qur’ān addresses all levels of understanding through all ages, it tends to present certain abstract truths, like those pertaining to Divinity, with concrete expressions, and it uses metaphors and comparisons. It presents the Kursiyy (Seat; see 2: 255) as if it were a platform or seat, and the ‘Arsh as if it were a throne and God were the ruler of the universe seated on His throne, governing all creation. ‘Arsh is the composition of four of God’s Names: the First, the Last, the All-Outward, and the All-Inward. Also, deducing from Said Nursi’s description of water as the ‘arsh (throne) of mercy and earth, the throne of life, we can say that the ‘Arsh (Throne) implies God’s full control of and authority over the universe. Elements such as water and earth are things that conduct God’s decrees, or media by which the decrees are manifested and executed.

(al-)‘Asabiyyat (al-Jāhiliyyah):Tribal or racial attachment; racism. Islam eradicated all blood-, culture-, language-, and color-based discrimination, condemning it as an attitude arising from sheer ignorance and carnality.

Asbāb an-nuzūl: Occasions on which verses of the Qur’ān were revealed

Ashāb al-Kahf:The young people from the royal class of the Romans in Syria-Jordan region who gave up idol-worship and believed in God as the only Deity and Lord, and had to take shelter in a cave. They stayed in the cave in a death-like sleep for 300 years, and then woke up as a sign of resurrection.

Ashāb al-Uhdūd:A tyrannical people who dug ditches and burnt the believers alive in them.

‘Ashāb al-Yamīn (al-Maymanah):The people of the Right, the people of happiness and prosperity (who will be given their Records in their right hands in the Hereafter)

‘Ashāb ash-Shimāl (al-Mash’amah): The people of the Left, the people of wretchedness (who will be given their Records in their left hands in the Hereafter)

al-Ashhur al-Hurum:The months of Dhu’l-Qa‘dah, Dhu’l-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab (the 11th, 12th, 1st, and 7th months of the lunar year) during which warfare, killing, and pillage are prohibited.

(al-)Asmā’ al-Husnā: The All-Beautiful Names (of God). These Names are either included in the Qur’ān or were taught by God’s Messenger, and God is and should be called by them.

(al-)Asmā’ wa’s-Sifāt:God’s Names and Attributes.Besides His Names, God has Attributes. Some Attributes are essential to His being God. They are Existence, Having No Beginning, Permanence, Oneness, Being Unlike the Created, and Self-Subsistence. God has another kind of Attributes, called the Positive Attributes, which describe God as what He is. They are Life, Knowledge, Will, Power, Hearing, Seeing, Speech, and Bringing into Existence. These Attributes are the origin of certain Names such as Giver of Life and the All-Reviver, the All-Knowing, the All-Willing, the All-Powerful, the All-Hearing, the All-Seeing, the All-Speaking, and the Creator, etc. Having such absolute, unrestricted Attributes and All-Beautiful Names means that their manifestation is “inevitable.” One Who exists in and of Himself, and Whose Existence is absolutely perfect, will manifest Himself, as “required” by His very “nature.” Thus, the universe is the collection of the manifestations of God’s Attributes and Names, and those manifestations are focused on humankind. God also has a third kind of Attributes which describe what God is not. They are almost endless. For example, God is not One Who begets or is begotten, nor One Who has any partners, nor One who has any need, etc.

(al-)‘Asr:Time; afternoon; the last part of time replete with important events

(al-)‘Awrah: Parts of the body that are not supposed to be exposed to others. For men, this is from the navel to the knee. For women, it is the entire body except the hands, feet, and face.

(al-)‘Āyah: A manifest sign; miracle; lesson to be taken from an event; each of the Qur’ān’s independent sentences between two points (verses)

Āyātun bayyināt: The signs or messages which are clear in meaning and content (as evidence of the truth)

(al-)Āyat al-Kursīyy: The verse of the Divine Seat of Dominion. It is verse 255 of Sūrat al-Baqarah, which makes God known through some of His Names and Attributes.

Ayyāmu’llāh:Days of God (momentous historical events such as the destruction of communities, turning-points in history, and eschatological events)

(al-)Baghy: Envious rivalry and insolence (which the Qur’ān stresses as being the cardinal reason for internal conflicts in a community)

(al-)Balā’:A trial, testing. Although it usually comes in the form of disaster,God tries people with both good and evil. When He tries with good, such as success, wealth, a high position, and physical beauty, it requires gratitude to God and attributing it to Him. When He tries with evil, such as a misfortune, illness or poverty, it requires patience without complaint. This, however, does not mean that one stricken by an evil should not try to escape from it. Being tried with evil may sometimes be the result of a sin. Therefore, it also requires repentance, seeking forgiveness, and reformation.

(al-)Baqā: Permanence, persistence

(al-)Barāah:Disavowal, proclamation of disavowal; ultimatum

(al-)Barzakh: A barrier (between the dead and the other world), the intermediate world of the grave (between this world and the next)

(al-)Basāir:“Lights” of discernment and insight

(al-)Bashīr:A bearer of glad tidings; a Messenger who bears glad tidings (of prosperity in return for faith and righteousness)

(al-)Basīrah:Discernment, insight, sagacity

(al-)Basmalah:The phrase, Bismi’llāhir-Rahmāni’r-Rahīm, meaning in (and with) the Name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate

(al-)Ba‘th: Revival; sending a Messenger (to “revive” people); restoration of the dead to life; resurrection

(al-)Bātin: What is inward; the inward or internal dimension of something; the metaphysical dimension of existence

(al-)Bātil:What is false; falsehood; any system of belief, thought, or action that is based not on the Revelation, but on human desires and fancies, and that do not conform to, but instead contradict, God’s Religion and ways of acting in the universe

(al-)Bay‘ah(al-)Bī‘ah: An allegiance sworn by the citizens etc., to their Imam (Muslim Ruler) to be obedient to him according to the Religion of Islam 

Bay‘at ar-Ridwān: The oath and pledge taken by God’s Messenger from his Companions under a tree at al-Hudaybiyah in the year of 6 a.h.AH (628 c.e.CE), to fight the Quraysh in case of necessity

(al-)Bayān: Intelligent speech, as opposed to sounds which have no power of expression or meaning

Baytu’llāh: God’s House (the Ka‘bah)

(al-)Bayyinah:The Clear Proof

(al-)Bayyināt: All evidence of the truth; clear signs or documents of the truth; miracles

bi-ghayri’l-haqq: As a sinful act (or attitude) that can never be right or just; against all right

Bi’l-haqq: With the truth (embodying it, and with nothing false in it); all meaningfully, and for meaningful purposes, and on solid foundations of the truth

(al-)Bukhl: Niggardliness, meanness

(al-)Birr:Godliness, virtue; a high degree in faith and practice of Islam, especially having acquired the spiritual refinement that enables one to spend in God’s cause or to give others of what one loves

(al-)Burūj: The constellations, (which are the names of some fixed star-groups)

(ad-)Dābbah:Any living, moving creature

(ad-)Dābbat min al-Ard:A living creature which God will bring forth from the earth towards the end of time. It will speak to the disbelieving, criminal people, to make them understand that they have no certainty of faith in God’s signs and Revelations.

(ad-)Dahr: “Time”; processes of progress and decline

(ad-)Dajjāl: An impostor or impostors who will appear towards the end of time to mislead humanity; the Dajjāl who will appear in the Muslim world is generally called as-Sufyān.

(ad-)Dāl: One who has gone astray; the straying

(ad-)Dalāl(ah): Straying from the Straight Path. It refers to a broad range of straying from the Path – from the slightest lapse of a believer, to complete deviation from the Straight Path. As a term, it denotes returning to unbelief after belief, exchanging unbelief for belief (2: 108), associating partners with God either in His Essence, His Attributes or acts (4: 116), or rejecting faith in all or any of the pillars of faith.

(ad-)Dawlah:As a Qur’ānic term, it means fortune. The Qur’ān declares:What God has bestowed on His Messenger as war-gains from the peoples of the townships: (one-fifth of) it belongs to God, and to the Messenger, and his near kinsfolk, and orphans, and the destitute, and the wayfarer (lacking means to sustain a journey), so that it should not become dawlatan (a fortune) circulating among the rich among you.” (CITATION REQUIRED)

(adh-)Dhanb: Sin in various degrees. Sin and pardoning have different types and degrees. These are disobeying religious commandments, and forgiveness thereof; disobeying God’s laws of creation and life, and forgiveness thereof; and disobeying the rules of good manners or courtesy (adab), and the forgiveness thereof. A fourth type, which is not a sin, involves not doing something as perfectly as possible, which is required by the love of and nearness to God. Some Prophets may have done this, but such acts cannot be considered sins according to our common definition of that word.

(adh-)Dhikr: Remembrance; recollection; mentioning; reminder; recitation of one or some of God’s Names. It is also used to refer to a Divine Book.

(ad-)Dīn: The collection of moral, spiritual, and worldly principles; a system and way of conduct; judging; rewarding and punishing; way; law; constitution; servanthood and obedience; and peace and order

(ad-)Du‘ā’: Prayer and supplication, having kinds and degrees.The first kind is the prayer of all organisms, plant, animal and human, through the natural disposition of their bodies and their functioning in line with their duties in creation. The second kind is that which is uttered by all organisms, plant, animal and human, in the tongue of vital needs. The third kind of prayer is that which is done by human beings. This falls into two categories. The first category is the active prayer. It means complying with the laws that God has set for life. For example, a farmer’s plowing the soil is knocking on the door of Divine providence. A patient’s going to the doctor’s is appealing to God for a cure. This kind of prayer is usually accepted. The second category is the verbal prayer that we do.

(ad-)Dunyā: The world. It has three aspects. Regarding its first aspect, the world is the realm where God’s Names are manifested and, therefore, whatever is there, and whatever takes place in it, is a mirror to God with His Attributes and Names. The second aspect of the world is the tillage for the Hereafter. The building-blocks which make up one’s Paradise or Hell in the Hereafter are the seeds of one’s belief or unbelief, and the deeds that one sows here. The third aspect of the world is that which looks to our carnal desires, passions, lusts and ambitions. It is this aspect that the Qur’ān condemns, as these consist of games, pastimes, greed (hoarding things), and competing in having more goods; in short, this aspect is the source of all vice and evil.

(al-)Fahshā, (al-)Fāhishah (pl. al-fawāhīsh):Indecency;any whose abominable character is self-evident. In the Qur’an, all extra-marital sexual relationships, sodomy, nudity, and false accusations of unchastity are specifically reckoned as shameful deeds.

(al-)Falāh:Prosperity. It has many degrees and types according to the needs and aspirations of people and the degrees of their spiritual enlightenment. For example, some want to be saved from eternal punishment, while others desire Paradise. There are still some who aim at the higher ranks in Paradise, and others who aspire to obtain God’s good pleasure.

(al-)Faqīh: A person who is an expert on Islamic jurisprudence (Law); one who has correct and profound comprehension of Islam who can give an authoritative legal opinion or judgment regarding Islamic matters

(al-)Fard:Any obligatory religious act

(al-)Farā’id:Plural of al-fard. It is also used to mean the science of sharing inheritance.

Fard ‘Ayn: Any act which is obligatory on every Muslim who is mature, healthy, and sane  

Fard Kifayah:A collective duty of the Muslim commun­ity, so that if some people carry it out, no Muslim is considered blameworthy, but if no one carries itout, all incur a collective guilt.

(al-)Fasād:Disorder and corruption – one which appears as a result of following a path other than God’s

(al-)Fāsiq: A transgressor of the bounds set by God; one who commits any of the major sins

(al-)Fatā:A youth, usually a chivalrous young man who has dedicated himself to God’s cause

(al-)Fath:The Victory which functions as a door to further victories

(al-)Fatwā: A legal verdict given on a religious basis

(al-)Fayy:Gains of war obtained without fighting

(al-)Fidyah: Compensation for a missed or wrongly practiced religious act of worship or order, usually in the form of money,foodstuff or offering (animal)

(al-)Fiqh: Correct and profound comprehension (of Islam); the science of Islamic Jurisprudence

(al-)Fisq:Transgression of the bounds set by God; committing any of the major sins

(al-)Fitnah: Disorder and corruption rooted in rebellion against God and recognizing no laws. It denotes associating partners with God and adopting that as a life-style, spreading unbelief and apostasy, committing major sins with willful, insolent abandon, open hostilities to Islam, destroying collective security or causing public disorder, and oppression; the term fitnah covers all of these.

(al-)Fitrah:The original Divine pattern or system governing the universe; the totality of the attributes God has given to a particular thing or being; the Divine Religion (Islam) as the translation of the Divine pattern or system

(al-)Fujūr:A shameless, sinful act

(al-)Furqān:The Criterion to distinguish between truth and falsehood, and the knowledge, insight, and power of judgment to put it into effect; an inner sense or faculty of insight, discernment, inspiration, and power of judgment to distinguish between right and wrong

(al-)Futuwwah:Youth and chivalry as a composite of virtues, such as energy, revolutionary vigor, heroism, generosity, munificence, modesty, chastity, trustworthiness, loyalty, mercifulness, knowledge, humility, and piety

(al-)Ghadab:  Wrath. When used for God, it denotes punishment and condemnation.

(al-)Ghāfil: Heedless, unmindful

(al-)Ghaflah:Heedlessness,  lack of awareness

(al-)Ghanīmah:Gains of war obtained through fighting

(al-)Ghayb:The (absolutely or relatively) Unseen or unsensed; beyond the reach of human perception

(al-)Ghiybah: Backbiting

(al-)Ghurūr:Deception, delusion

(al-)Ghusl:The full ritual washing of the body with water alone to be pure for the prayer. To do Ghusl: (1) Wash your private parts; (2) Do wudū; (3) Wash your entire body from the top to bottom, and from right to left

Hablu’llāh: The rope of God, usually used to denote the Qur’ān or Islam

(al-)Hadd(pl. Hudūd): Any bound God set and ordered His creatures not to transgress. It is also used for the cardinal penalties Islam has laid down in return for cardinal offenses, such as killing, unlawful sexual relations, usurpation, theft, causing disorder and corruption in the society, and drinking intoxicants.

(al-)Hadīth: Communication, narration, word or saying. As a term, itdenotes the record of whatever the Prophet (upon him be peace and blessings) said, did, or tacitly approved. According to some scholars, the word hadīth also covers reports about the sayings and deeds, etc., of the Companions of the Prophet, in addition to those of the Prophet himself. The whole body of Traditions is termed Hadīth,and the science which deals with it is called ‘Ilm al-Hadīth.

Hadīth qudsī: A saying of God narrated by His Messenger but not included in the Qur’ān

(al-)Hady: Cattle brought to the sacred precincts of Makkah to be sacrificed during the days of ‘Īd al-Adhā

(al-)Hajj:Major Pilgrimage which the Muslims do in Makkah duringDhu’l-Hijjah, the last month of the lunar year. It is one of the five pillars of Islam, a duty one must perform during one’s life-time if one has the financial resources for it. In addition to tawāf and sa‘y, there are a few more other requirements of the Hajj, including especially staying for some timein al-‘Arafāt (al-waqfah) from mid-day to sunset on 9th of Dhu’l-Hijjah.

(al-)Halāk:Destruction, ruin

(al-)Halāl:Religiously lawful

Hamalat al-‘Arsh: The eight beings (angels?) that bear God’s Throne (the greatest of beings who carry out God’s order in the universal order)

(al-)Hamd: All praise and gratitude that is due to and for God

(al-)Hanīf: One who has a sincere, sound faith in God and worships God with purity of intention

al-Haqq:The truth, what is ever-constant and true

(al-)Harām:Religiously forbidden or unlawful; sacred and inviolable; any sacred and inviolable thing

(al-)Hasanah:Good; reward

(al-)Hashr:Gathering together;the raising of the dead and gathering them on the Plain of the Supreme Gathering on Judgment Day

(al-)Hawā: The fanciful inclinations and lusts of the human carnal soul

(al-)Hayā’: Shame, bashfulness, and refraining from saying or doing anything improper or indecent; seeking to avoid displeasing God out of awe of Him

(al-)Hayāh:Life. Human life has five degrees: (1) Our life, which depends on certain conditions and the fulfillment of certain needs. (2) The life of al-Khadr and Ilyās (Elijah), which is free to some extent from the necessities of our life. (3) The life of the Prophets Jesus and Enoch, who live in heaven free of the necessities of human life in their “astral” bodies. (4) The life of martyrs, those who are killed in God’s cause, who do not feel the pangs of death and know themselves to be transferred into a better world where they enjoy the blessings of God. (5) The life of the dead, who are discharged from worldly duties with their spirits set free.

(al-)Hayāt ad-dunyā: The present, worldly life or the life of this world (see ad-dunyā)

(al-)Hidāyah: True or right guidance; following God’s Path in belief, thought, and action

(al-)Hijrah:Emigration; the emigration of God’s Messenger from Makkah to al-Madīnah in 622 c.eCE.

(al-)Hikmah: Wisdom. Knowledge of creation, life, right and wrong, and of the Divine system prevailing in the universe, so as to enable persuasive, convincing answers for such questions as, “Who am I? What is the purpose of my existence in this world? Who has sent me to this world and why? Where did I come from and where am I heading? What does death ask of me?” It also signifies the true nature of and purpose behind the things and events in the universe, including especially in human life. The Qur’ān is the source of knowledge in all these vital matters. The Sunnah of the Prophet,(upon him be peace and blessings,being the system or principles by which to understand and practice the Qur’ān in daily life, comes to mind first of all when speaking of the “Wisdom.”

(al-)Hubb (al-mahabbah): Love. God declares: Say (O Messenger): “If you indeed love God, then follow me, so that God will love you and forgive you your sins.” God is All-Forgiving, All-Compassionate (3: 31).

(Musālahat) Hudaybiyah: The Treaty of Hudaybiyah. Almost a year after the Battle of the Trench in 627 c.e., 5 a.h., the Messenger left for Makkah for a minor pilgrimage with his 1.400 and so Companions. However, the Quraysh did not let them do the pilgrimage. After negotiations, a treaty was signed at al-Hudaybiyah 12 miles away from Makkah.

(al-)Hukm(pl. al-ahkām): Authority; authority with knowledge and sound judgment; judgment; verdict; legal ordinance(s)

(al-)Husn:Good, beautiful

(al-)Hutamah:The Consuming Fire. One of the degrees or places of Divine Punishment in the Hereafter (see al-adhāb)

(al-)‘Ibādah: Worship, devotion;humbleworshipping or devotion to God

Iblīs: The chief Satan; the jinn who persistently disobeyed God and was eternally rejected from His Mercy. It was allowed to try to tempt humans for wise purposes as God decreed for human earthly life

(al-)‘Iddah: The waiting period that a woman is required to observe for a new marriage after divorce or because of her husband’s death. It is three menstrual courses for divorced women, and four months and ten days for women who have lost their husbands.

(al-)Ifk:Slander, calumny; ungrounded accusation

(al-)Ifsād: To cause or provoke disorder and corruption

(al-)Ihram:The special Pilgrimage attire and the state in which pilgrims are held for some time during which they must wear that attire and perform the prescribed rituals of the Pilgrimage and observe certain prohibitions such as abstention from all sex acts, the use of perfume, hunting or killing animals, cutting the beard or shaving the head, cutting the nails, plucking blades of grass, and cutting green trees

 (al-)Ihkām:Making firm and explicit in meaning

(al-)Ihsān: Highest level of obedience in worship; devotion to doing good and doing it as if seeing God or in the awareness of God’s seeing His servants; kindness, kind treatment

(al-)İjmā‘:Consensus of Muslim faqīhs (jurisprudents) on a ruling for a new issue

(al-)Ijtihād: Faqīh’s exerting the sum total of their capacity in order to deduce rulings or laws on new issues from the basic sources of law, namely the Qur’ān, Sunnah, and Ijmā‘

(al-)Ikhlās:Believing in God sincerely and without associating any partners with Him; purity of intention in faith and practicing the Religion only for God’s sake

(al-)Ikhtilāf: Differences of view and attitude; differences in intelligence, ability, ambition, and desire etc. in life and character; being at variance and in conflict with one another

(al-)Īlā’: The oath taken by a husband that he will not approach his wife for a certain period. If this continues for longer than four months, then it is considered a divorce. Reversing this vow requires atonement.


(al-)‘Ilm:Knowledge. (True) knowledge based on the Revelation. Knowledge is a product, like milk, that is the result of many processes in the mind, like the imagination, conceptualization, reasoning, inquiry, verification, judgment, adoption, conviction, and certainty. Islam accepts Revelation, intelligence (reason), sound sense, and scientific inquiry as being the means of knowledge.

(al-)Imām:The leader in the prayer; the leader of the Muslims, especially in religious matters

(al-)Imām al-Mubīn:The Manifest Record; the Record in which the future lives of all things and beings, including all the principles governing those lives and all their deeds and the reasons or causes, are kept pre-recorded

(al-)Īmān:Certain belief, or faith (in whatever God wants to be believed in). Like unbelief, belief or faith is an acknowledgment and an act of confirmation by the heart. Faith does not consist in a simple acceptance or confession. Just as there are many stages or degrees in the growth of a tree from its seed until it is in its fully-grown, fruit-bearing state, and just as there are countless degrees and ranks in the manifestations of the sun from its manifestations of light and heat in all things on the earth up to its reflection on the moon and then back to itself, so too does faith have almost uncountable degrees and ranks, from a simple acknowledgment of reason and confirmation of the heart, up to degrees of penetration in all the parts and faculties of the body that control and the degrees that direct the entire life of a person – from the faith of a common person to that of the greatest of the Messengers.

(al-)Indhār:A warning

(al-)Infāq: Spending of whatever God provides (of wealth, knowledge, power, etc.) in God’s cause or to those in need purely for the good pleasure of God and without placing others under obligation

(al-)Injīl: The Divine Book which God gave to the Prophet Jesus(upon him be peace)

(al-)Insān (pl. an-nās): Human, humankind

(al-)Inshā’:Producing, bringing about, building

(al-)Inshirāh:The expansion of the breast so that one can fully understand God’s religion, feel exhilaration coming from knowledge of Him, and show patience with whatever one encounters in God’s way

(al-)Inzāl:A sending down of the Qur’ān or the Qur’ānic verses

Iqāamat as-Salāh: The offering of the Payer perfectly (in conformity with all its conditions)

(al-)Irādah:Willpower (by which a person can direct his or her thoughts and actions). Al-Irādah is also an Attribute of God, denoting His absolute Will. It has another meaning, which is decree, or command.

(al-)Irshād: Guiding to spiritual and intellectual excellence

‘Ishā’:The Night or Late Evening Prayer

(al-)Islāh: Setting things right; reformation; mending one’s way

(al-)Islām:The Divine Religion which God has appointed for humankind and revealed through all His Prophets. It was lastly and universally revealed through, and conveyed by, the Prophet Muhammad,upon him be peace and blessings.

(al-)Ism:Name; the word by which a thing or person is known

(al-)Isrā’:The (miraculous) Night Journey (which the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings, made from Makkah to Masjid al-Aqsā,’ in Jerusalem)

(al-)Isrāf:Being wasteful of God-given faculties and committing excesses

(al-)Istibrā: Ensuring that the drops of urine have ceased, and that one’s heart is content according to one’s general habit, either by walking, coughing, lying down, or any other method

(al-)Istidrāj:Leading to perdition by degrees

(al-)Istifā:Choosing and making pure and distinguished

(al-)Istighfār: Imploring God for forgiveness of one’s misdeeds or sins

(al-)Istihsān: Adoption of what is good and beneficial in legislation

(al-)Istinjā:Cleaning the private parts after urinating or passing stool, preferably using water

(al-)Istiqāmah: Straightforwardness (as avoiding all deviation and extremes, and as following in the footsteps of the Prophet, upon him be peace and blessings

(al-)Istisqā’: Invoking God for rain at a time of a drought

(al-)Istishāb: (Law) Maintaining without change what has already been approved

 (al-)Istiwā:Literally: a plant or a tree rising firmly on its stem; a human being reaching his or her full man/womanhood and growing to maturity: God directing His Will (Power and Favor) to something

Istiwā alā’l-‘Arsh:God, or a sovereign, being established on the throne

Istiwā ila’s-samāi: God directing (His Knowledge, Will, Power, and Favor) towards heaven

(al-)‘Isyān:Disobeying, defiance, rebellion


(al-)I’thār:Altruism, preferring others to oneself, thinking of the needs and desires of others over one’s own; giving precedence to the common interests of the community over one’s own; devoting oneself to the lives of others in complete forgetfulness of all concerns of one’s own

(al-)Ithm:A blatant sin

(al-)I‘tidā: Exceeding the bounds (set by God); offending

al-I‘tikāf: Retreat in the mosques for the purpose of worship; especially the practice of spending some time in Ramadān in a mosque in devotion to God

(al-)Itmi‘nān:Being at rest; contentment; full conviction and satisfaction

(al-)Ittiqā: Keeping one’s duties to God and avoiding all kinds of sins in reverence for God and piety; attaining reverent piety toward God and His protection (against any kind of straying and its consequent punishment in this world and the Hereafter)

(al-)Jahālah:Ignorance; a lack of knowledge and behaving like one devoid of knowledge; an instance of being defeated to the evil-commanding carnal soul

Jahannam:Hell; the place where the disbelieving criminals will go in the Hereafter

(al-)Jāhiliyyah:Any doctrine or worldview and way of life based on rejection or disregard of heavenly guidance communi­cated to humankind through the Prophets and Messengers of God; the attitude of treating human life – either wholly or partly – as independent of the directives of God

(al-)Jamrah: One of the three stone-built pillars situated at Minā in Makkah, which represent Satan. The pilgrims throw pebbles at them during the three ‘Īd days, during the Pilgrimage

(al-)Janābah: The state of major ritual impurity caused by coitus, discharge of semen, menses, and post-childbirth bleeding. People who are in this state cannot pray, circumambulate the Ka‘bah (tawāf), enter a mosque or place of worship unless necessary, or touch the Qur’an or any of its verses, except with a clean cloth or something similar.

(al-)Jannah:Paradise; the heavenly realm of blessings where, in the Hereafter, God will admit those who believe and do good, righteous deeds

Jannatu’l-Ma’wā: The Heavenly Garden of Refuge and Dwelling

Jannāt ‘Adn: Heavenly Gardens of perpetual bliss

Jannatu’l-Khuld: The Heavenly Garden of Immortality

Jannātu’n-na‘īm: Heavenly Gardens of bounty and blessing

(al-)Jibt:Any false deity

(al-)Jihād:Striving,doing one’s utmost to achieve something; striving in God’s cause with one’s possessions and person

(al-)Jinn: A species of invisible, conscious, and responsible beings created from smokeless “fire,” penetrating through the body

(al-)Jizyah:Thetax of protection and exemption from military service which non-Muslim citizens of a Muslim state are required to pay

The Jumu‘ah Congregational Prayer: The Friday Congregational Prayer enjoined on every free, adult, sane, and resident Muslim male. It is offered during the time of the Noon Prayer, and the normaN noon Prayer is not performed on Fridays.

(al-)Kabāir: The major sins. They are those which, in return for committing them, God or His Messenger threatens a severe punishment in the Hereafter, and for some of which there is (also) a prescribed punishment in this world.

(al-)Kafālah: The pledge given by somebody to a creditor to guarantee that the debtor will be present at a certain specific place to pay the debt or fine, or to undergo a punishment, etc.

(al-)Kaffārah:Atonement, expiation; the prescribed way of making amends for wrong actions, particularly missed obligatory actions

(al-)Kāfir (pl. al-Kuffār):An unbeliever; one who denies any of the things which must be believed in, although the truths of faith have been thoroughly and convincingly conveyed to him

(al-)Kalālah:One who dies leaving behind no lineal heirs

(al-)Kalām: Speech; an Attribute of God; any of God’s Words manifested as a Scripture

(al-)Kalimah:The word; any of God’s words. God has two kinds of words, one issuing from His Attribute of Speech, and the other from His Power. His words that issue from His Attribute of Speech are His Scriptures that He sent to some of His Messengers. His words that issue from His Attribute of Power are all of His works.

 (al-)Kalimat al-Khabīthah: A corrupt word (is like a corrupt tree uprooted from upon the earth, having no constancy).

(al-)Kalimat at-Tayyibah:A good or pure word. A good word is like a good tree – its roots holding firm (in the ground) and its branches in heaven; it yields its fruit in every season due by its Lord’s leave.

(al-)Kasb: Earning; earning reward or punishment in return for one’s belief and doing

(al-)Kawthar: Unceasing, abundant good

(al-)Khabīth:The corrupt

(al-)Khalīfah:Vicegerent or one who exercises the authority delegated to him by his principal, and does so in the capacity of deputy and agent; one having the status or duty of khilāfah (see al-Khilāfah); caliph

(al-)Khalq:Creating; creation

(al-)Khamr:Anything that acts as an agent of intoxication

(al-)Khāshi‘:One humbled by one’s deep reverence and awe of God

(al-)Khayr: What is better; the property one has

 (al-)Kharāj:Tax imposed on the revenue out of land taken from non-Muslim citizens of an Islamic state

Khātam al-Anbiyā’: A title of the Prophet Muhammad,(upon him be peace and blessings, related to the meaning of the seal (last) of the Prophets

(al-)Khāsir: A loser, one ruined in loss

(al-)Khawf:Fear; fear leading one to abstain not only from all that is forbidden, but also from those deeds from which it is advisable to refrain

(al-)Khilāfah: Succession; vicegerency; the status or duty of improving the earth on the basis of knowledge of things and the laws of creation (which we wrongly call the “laws of nature”), and ruling on the earth according to the dictates of God, thus establishing justice

 (al-)Khizy: Disgrace


(al-)Khuluq:Conduct; pattern of conduct; morality, good morals

(al-)Khums:Literally one-fifth. One-fifth of the gains of war or any buried treasure dug out, which must be paid to the state

(al-)Khushū‘: Humility; deep reverence and awe

(al-)Khutbah: Sermon; the sermon given during the Friday Congregational Prayer; a sermon given during the marriage ceremony

(al-)Kitāb: Book; any of the Divine Books given or revealed to some among the Messengers of God

(al-)Kitāb al-A‘māl: A record of one’s deeds in the world to be displayed in the Hereafter

(al-)Kitāb al-Mubīn:The Divine Book, particularly the Qur’an, clear in itself and clearly showing the truth; the Manifest Book in which the lives of all things and beings are recorded in detail

(al-)Kufr:Literally meaning concealing and covering, it denotes rejection of, and unbelief in, any of the pillars of faith and the established religious commandments

(al-)Kursī:The platform on which the ‘Arsh (the Throne) is set up (see al-‘Arsh); when used for God, it must signify His Knowledge, Will, Power, and Sovereignty.

(al-)La‘nah:Cursing; for God, it denotes rejection from His Mercy and the condemnation to punishment

(al-)Lawh al-Mahfūz:The Supreme Preserved Tablet (or Record) where the Divine principles that determine the archetypal “plan and program” of creation, and the future lives of all beings, including all their deeds, are kept recorded. In one respect, it is identical with the Imām al-Mubīn.

(al-)Lawh al-Mahw wa’l-Ithbāt:The Tablet of Effacement and Confirmation, or the metaphorical page of time, along which God manifests or hangs whatever He wills, and decrees for the beings and/or things and events, which are recorded on the Supreme Preserved Tablet

Laylat al-Qadr:The Night of Power and Destiny. Any of the last ten nights of the Month of Ramadān, during which the Divine Destiny identifies all the things and events to come into existence or happen in the new year, each with its particular nature, and entrusts to the Divine Power

(al-)Li‘ān:An oath which is taken by both the wife and the husband when he accuses his wife of committing illegal sexual intercourse (sūrah 24: 6–9)

(al-)Mā’:Water; rain; the seminal fluid; ether filling space

(al-)Maghfirah: Forgiveness

(al-)Mahr: Thebridal-due. It signifies the amount of payment that is settled between the spouses at the time of marriage, and which the husband is required to make to his bride.

(al-)Mahram: The group of people who are unlawful for a woman to marry due to marital or blood and milk relationships

(al-)Makrūh: Disliked and disapproved of, but not prohibited by God

(al-)Mala’:A council; a board of ministers or leaders in a community

(al-)Malau’l-a‘lā: The heavenly high assembly (of angels)

(al-)Malak (pl: al-Malāikah):The spiritual beings of light endowed with great might, who absolutely obey God and carry out His commands. Angels have different kinds or species but are not differentiated as male or female. There is nothing to cause quarrels or disputes among them because they are innocent, their realm is vast, their nature is pure, and their stations are fixed. Each of the heavenly bodies is a place of worship for the angels.

(al-)Malakūt:Thespiritual and transcendental dimension of existence; God’s absolute dominion of the creation where His Power operates without the medium of matter or material causes


(al-)Manāsik: All the rites of the Hajj

(al-)Mansūkh: Any command or verdict abrogated or canceled; a statement utterly canceled and removed or abrogated in regard with its meaning or the command it contains, or both

(al-)Maqām al-Mahmūd: The highest station or rank of being praised by God and the whole body of believers as particular to the Prophet Muhammad,upon him be peace and blessings,by virtue of which he will be honored with the permission to intercede on behalf of all people on the Plain of Supreme Gathering

(al-)Ma‘rifah:Knowledge of God;the appearance and development of knowledge of God in one’s conscience, or knowing God by one’s conscience or heart

(al-)Ma‘ruf:Any norm of behavior or practice generally accepted by a community and not opposed to the basic principles of Islam

Masālih al-mursalah: (aw) Taking what is suited to the public benefit and discarding what is harmful

Māshā’allāh:Whatever God wills (occurs); What excellent things God wills and does!

(al-)Mashī‘ah:Will. God’s absolute Will for the creation and direction of the universe and guidance of people

(al-)Mashwarah: Consultation

(al-)Masīh: The Christ – Jesus son of Mary

(al-)Masjid:The building where the Prayer is offered in congregation; the parts of human body with which one prostrates

(al-)Matā‘:Enjoyment of the worldly life

(al-)Mathal:Parable, comparison, example

(al-)Mawlā: Lord; emancipated slave; master; guardian; friend

(al-)Mihrāb:ThePrayer niche of a mosque, in front of which the imam stands when leading the congregational prayers

(al-)Millah:The way of belief and life; life-style

(al-)Minnah:Favoring; favoring and putting under obligation

(al-)Mīqāt: The specific places where pilgrims or people intending to perform Hajj or ‘Umrah must declare their intention to do so and enter the state of ihrām

(al-)Mi‘rāj: The Ascension. The miraculous journeying of the Prophet Muhammad, (upon him be peace and blessings, through the realms of existence beyond the limit of forms

(al-)Miskīn (pl. al-masākīn): A destitute one in greater distress than the ordinary poor people, and yet whose sense of self-respect prevents him from begging and whose outward demeanor fails to give the impression that he is deserving of help

(al-)Mīthāq: A solemn binding

(al-)Mīzān:The balance, the equilibrium 

(al-)Muadhdhin: The person who calls the adhān – who makes the call to the Prayer

(al-)Mubārak:Blessed; provided with blessings

(al-)Mubīn:Clear in itself and clearly showing (the truth)

(al-)Muhaddith: An Islamic scholar of Hadīth

(al-)Muhājir:One who emigrates to another land for God’s sake; a Companion of the Prophet who emigrated to al-Madīnah before the conquest of Makkah

(al-)Muhāsabah:Self-criticism or self-interrogation

(al-)Muhkam:Firm and valid; any of the verses of the Qur’ān that are explicit in meaning and content and consist the core of the Qur’ān and foundations of the Islamic belief and life. They also serve as principles to understand the whole of the Qur’ān (see al-mutashābih)

 (al-)Muhsanāt:The chaste, free Muslim women

(al)Muhsin: One who tries to do well whatever he does and is devoted to doing good, aware that God sees them

(al-)Mujāhid: One who strives to be a good Muslim in God’s cause with his wealth and person

 (al-)Mu‘jizah:Any extraordinary, supernatural achievement which God creates at the hand of a prophet

(al-)Mujrim: A (disbelieving) criminal lost in accumulating sin

(al-)Mujtahid: One who exerts the sum total of his capacity in order to deduce rulings or laws on new issues from the basic sources of law, namely the Qur’ān, Sunnah, and Ijmā‘.

(al-)Mukhlas:One endowed with sincerity and purity of intention in faith and practicing the Religion for God’s sake

(al-)Mukhlis:One sincere in faith in the Only One God and pure of intention in practicing the Religion only for God’s sake

(al-)Mulk: Sovereignty; absolute ownership and dominion

(al-)Mu’min: The Believer.A person who has faith in whatever must be believed in and is a righteous and obedient servant of His

(al-)Munāfiq:One who is a believer outwardly or professes faith, while one is an unbeliever inwardly and in reality

(al-)Munīb: A servant of God who, sincere in quest of the truth, turns to Him in contrition

(al-)Munkar:Evil; anything disapproved of by God, as well as by common sense and public view

(al-)Muqarrab: One who is foremost in faith and practicing the Religion, and near-stationed to God

(al-)Murāqabah:(Self-)supervising and controlling, and living in the consciousness of being controlled (by God)

(al-)Murtad:An apostate; one who has become an unbeliever after having believed

(al-)Mursal:A Prophet sent or charged with calling to God’s Religion; an angel sent to the world with a special mission

(al-)Musallī: One who regularly does the prescribed Prayers

(al-)Mushaf: A copy of the Qur’ān

(al-)Mushrik: A polytheist: a person who commits Shirk (see Shirk) – who associates partners with God in His Divinity, Lordship, and Sovereignty, or in any of these

(al-)Muslih: One who sets things right; one who mends his ways

(al-)Muslim:One who believes in whatever is to be believed in and practices Islam in his daily life in submission to God;(law)one who professes faith and, as a citizen of a Muslim state, joins a Muslim congregation in the Prayer and pays the Zakāh

(al-)Musrif: One who, having wasted his God-given faculties, commits excesses; one given to wastefulness

(al-)Mustad‘af: One bereft of any means to find true guidance; one bereft of any means to carry out the required religious obligation, like emigrating in God’s cause

(al-)Mustakbir:An oppressive, arrogant one

(al-)Mutashābih: The allegorical, multi-faceted (verses of the Qur’ān). They are those which, having more than one meaning, contain relative truths which can be understood by considering the relevant verses and referring to the muhkam ones.

 (al-)Mutraf: Self-indulgent; lost in the pursuit of pleasures without moral limit or consideration

(al-)Muttaqī: One trying to keep his duties to God, required by both the Religion and the Divine laws of life, and avoiding the forbidden things, in reverence for God and piety

(al-)Mudtarr:In strained circumstances

(an-)Nabiyy:A Prophet; one who receives Revelation from God and has the duty of communicating it to people. The last of the Prophets is the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings.b Basically, a Prophet who, (in addition to giving the glad tidings of prosperity in return for faith and righteousness –(see al-Bashīr, d warned of the evil consequences of all kinds of misguidance.

(an-)Nāfilah:Any optional or supererogatory good deed, which when done brings reward and when not done causes no sin

(an-)Nafl (al-anfāl):Any worldly reward coming as the result of services rendered in God’s cause; war-gains

(an-)Nafs: The self of a living being; the faculty (soul) which is the source or mechanism of the worldly life possessed by humankind and the jinn. Self-training, or the training of the soul, has been accepted as an extremely important element of the Divine Religion. This training, according to some schools in Islam, has ten stages, and according to others and some Qur’ānic allusions, seven stages. If the soul lives only a life of ease in the swamp of carnal appetites, it is “the evil-commanding, carnal soul” (annafs al-ammārah); if it falters time and again while following the way of the Religion to attain piety and righteousness, but each time that it falters it criticizes itself and turns to its Lord, then it is “the self-accusing soul” (annafs al-lawwāmah). The soul which always resists evil in devotion to God and is favored with certain Divine gifts in proportion to its purity is called “the soul receiving inspiration” (annafs al-mulhimah). When it reaches the point where it has a relation with its Lord in perfect devotion and sincerity so that its consciousness is at rest, then it is “the soul at rest” (annafs al-mutmainnah). If it has reached the station where it abandons all its choices and is a representative of Divine will, it is “the soul pleased with God” (annafs ar-rādiyah). When its greatest aim is acquiring God’s good pleasure and approval and it is always acting to this end in consideration of, “I am pleased with You, so be pleased with me,” then it is “the soul with which God is pleased” (annafs al-mardiyyah). Finally, the soul which has been perfectly purified of all sins and evil morals and has the capacity to be completely adorned with the full manifestations of Divine Qualities and Prophetic will-power and resolution is called “the soul perfected” or “the soul pure” (annafs az-zakiyyah or annafs as-sāfiyah).

(an-)Najāh:Delivery, being saved, salvation

Nahy ‘ani’l-munkar: Forbidding and trying to prevent evil (in appropriate ways)

(an-)Nār: Fire; the Fire – Hellfire


(an-)Naskh:Abrogation. Canceling a legal verdict or commandment, or removal of a statement

(an-)Nāsikh: A new legal verdict or command in place of an abrogated one; a new statement in place of another canceled or removed

(an-)Nasr: Help leading to victory

(an-)Nifāq:Hypocrisy; profession of faith while being an unbeliever at heart; underground and secret activities to undermine an Islamic order

(an-)Nikāh: Marriage according to God’s law; marriage contract

(an-)Ni‘mah: Favor and blessing; any favor or blessing of God, prominently His favor of guidance

(an-)Nisāb: The minimum amount of property liable to payment of the Zakāh or animal sacrifice, or Sadaqat al-fitr (payment made to the needy before the prayer of ‘Īd al-Fitr)

(an-)Nubuwwah: Prophethood

(an-)Nūr: Light. It is not exactly identical with the energy coming from the sun (diyā’) or another light-giving object. It is as if it is more substantial than the known light, and having precedence over light in the process of creation. The Qur’ān uses it in a spiritual sense in many of its verses.

(an-)Nusuk:All forms of devotion andworship

(an-)Nutfah: A drop of seminal fluid

(an-)Nuzūl: The coming down of the Qur’ān from God

(al-)Qadar wa’l-Qadā:The Divine Destiny and Decree; the Divine Destiny and its enforcement

(al-)Qādī: Judge

(al-)Qalb:The heart; the spiritual intellect;the center of all emotions and (intellectual and spiritual) faculties, such as perception, consciousness, sensation, reasoning, and willpower

Qālū balā: They said, “Yes!”the event (mentioned in 33: 172) describing the human profession of God’s Lordship in spirit or conscience, or in a dimension of existence unknown to us with its exact nature

(al-)Qard al-Hasan:A goodly loan (to God), signifying any expenditure made in God’s cause or for the needy purely for God’s sake

(al-)Qasam:The oath which especially God swears by certain phenomena (in the Qur’ān)

(al-)Qawwām orqayyim:  A protector and maintainer;one who is responsible for administering or supervising the affairs of either an individual or an organization, for protecting and safeguarding them and taking care of their needs

(al-)Qiblah: The direction to face for the Prayer. For Muslims, it is the direction of the Sacred Mosque of the Ka‘bah in Makkah.

(al-)Qisās:Inviolate values (especially in the sense of basic human rights), being of the same value and demanding retribution; a principle which gives rise to retaliation in law

(al-)Qitāl:Fighting, war, warfare

(al-)Qiyām:The standing position during the Prayer; “rising” to make an evaluation and adopt a new attitude or position; maintenance

(al-)Qiyāmah: The overall destruction of the world and subsequent resurrection and rebuilding of the world

(al)Qiyās: Analogy

(al-)Qunūt:Humble, devout obedience;supplication in the Prayer, particularly in the standing position just before the rukū‘ (bowing down) in the third rak‘ah (cycle) of the Witr Prayer, following the Late-Evening or Night Prayer

(al-)Qur’ān:The Qur’ān; the last Book of God which He revealed to the Prophet Muhammad,upon him be peace and blessings, as His last and universal Message to conscious, responsible beings

(al-)Qurūn al-‘Ūlā:The earliest generations and ages in human history until the Prophet Abraham or Moses, upon them both be peace

(al-)Quūd:The sitting position during the Prayer

(ar-)Rabb:Lord, master; the Lord (God as the Creator, Provider, Trainer, Upbringer, and Director of all creatures)

(ar-)Rajā’:Expectation,waiting for what one wholeheartedly desires to be

(ar-)Rak‘ah:A unit or cycleof the Prayer

(ar-)Rahm:Mercy; womb;blood relations

(ar-)Rahmah:Mercy, compassion, grace

(ar-)Rajīm:Rejected (from God’s Mercy)

Ramadān: The 9th month of the (Islamic) lunar calendar which the Muslims spend fasting

(ar-)Rasūl:A Prophet given a Scripture and charged with conveying God’s Revelations


(ar-)Ridā:Resignation, willing submission to God’s treatments; being pleased with God and pleasing to Him

(ar-)Ridwān: God’s good pleasure; God’s being pleased with someone

(ar-)Risālah: Messengership (see ar-Rasūl); the message (Divine Message)

(ar-)Rizq:Provision, anything which God provides

(ar-)Rubūbiyah:Lordship; God’s being the Lord of all creatures

(ar-)Rūh:The spirit; the center or source of conscious life which continues to live after a person dies; the Revelation; the spiritual, angelic being responsible for, or representing, all spirits

Rūhu’l-Quds:The Spirit of Holiness; the Spirit of extraordinary purity, cleanliness, and blessing

(ar-)Rushd: Integrity and maturity in thought and action, and right conduct and correct behavior

(as-)Sabīl:Road, path, way, a means to an end (fī sabīli’llāh:in God’s cause)

(as-)Sābiqūn:The foremost in faith and good deeds, and serving God’s cause

(as-)Sabirūn: The patient and steadfast

(as-)Sabr:Patience; steadfastness in carrying out the obligations and refraining from prohibitions, resisting the temptations to sin of the evil-commanding, carnal soul and Satan, enduring any disaster, and showing no haste in pursuing those of one’s hopes or plans that require a stretch of time to achieve

(as-)Sabt: The Sabbath; Saturday of every week, which the Children of Israel must consecrate for rest and worship

(as-)Sab‘u’l-Mathānī (Sab‘an mina’l-Mathānī): Another name for Sūrat al-Fātihah, meaning the Seven Doubly-Repeated Verses

(as-)Sadaqah:Anything given away in alms or done supererogatorily for the good pleasure of God

Sadaqat al-fitr:The obligatory payment made to the needy in Ramadān until the Prayer of ‘Īd al-Fitr

Sadd az-zarā‘ī: Blocking corruption and what is unlawful

(as-)Safīh:A foolish one, devoid of common sense and reasoning

(as-)Sahābī (pl. al-Ashāb): A Companion of the Prophet Muhammad,upon him be peace and blessings, who saw and heard him at least once and who died as a believer

(as-)Sajdah: Prostration;it signifies the utmost and most sincere submission

(as-)Sakīnah: Inner peace and reassurance, perfect calmness due to the Presence of God being made clear and apparent

(as-)Salāh:The Prayer; the cardinal form of worship Muslims do for the good pleasure of God

(as-)Salām: Peace, the wish of peace and security from all kinds of deviations and sufferings

Salāt al-Khawf: The Prayer of Fear;the Prescribed Prayer done in shortened form during a journey or when in a state of fear or insecurity, including times of war or disaster, such as fire and flood

Salāt al-Musāfir: The Prayer of Journey; the Prescribed Prayer done in shortened form during a journey

(as-)Sālih:Good andrighteous, sound

(as-)Sawm:Fasting;total abstinence from food, liquid, and any sexual pleasure (either from sexual relations or self-satisfaction) from dawn to sunset, with the intention of worshipping God as His order

(as-)Sa‘y:Labor, working, striving; slight running or speedy walking between the hills of as-Safā and al-Marwah as a rite of Hajj and ‘Umrah

(ash-)Shafā‘ah: Intercession. Expecting God’s help or favor through an intermediary agent, either in the world or in the Hereafter. On Judgment Day, intercession is made on behalf of one and by one whom God permits

(ash-)Shahwah:Passion, passionate attachment, lust

(ash-)Shahādah:What is observable or sensed; witnessing and bearing witness; martyrdom

(ash-)Shāhid: Witness; one who observes and bears witness to; one who sees the hidden Divine truths and testifies to them with their lives; one who testifies for or against

(ash-)Shahīd:Witness; one who observes and bears witness to; martyr (one who sacrifices one’s life in God’s cause and thereby proves the truth of God’s way)

(ash-)Shākir: A thankful one

(ash-)Sharī‘ah: The way God has laid down for His creatures to follow in their daily lives;the practical aspect of the Religion of Islam; the body of all Islamic injunctions or laws, based on the Qur’ān and the Sunnah, and then further developed by jurists to apply Islamic concepts to daily life

(ash-)Sharī‘at at-Takwīniyyah:The body of God’s laws related to the lives of all creatures and the creation and operation of the universe

(ash-)Shaytān: The jinn who persistently disobeyed God and was eternally rejected from His Mercy. It was allowed to try to tempt human for wise purposes which God appointed for human earthly life. There are many similar shaytāns among the jinn and human beings who try to tempt others from God’s Straight Path.

(ash-)Shi‘ār (pl. ash-sha‘āir):An emblem or public symbol.The call to the Prayer, Prayer in congregation, most particularly the congregational prayers of Jumu‘ah and the two ‘Īds, Hajj with its rituals, mosques, sacrifice, etc., are (as well as having their religious meaning for the individual and the community) among the public symbols that identify Islam and the Muslim community.


(ash)-Shirk: Associating partners with God in His Divinity, Lordship, and Sovereignty, or in any of these

(ash-)Shu‘r:Perception, awareness

(ash-)Shūrā: Consultation. It is among the most important requirements for reaching the right decision, and one of the essentials of Islamic constitution.

(ash-)Shukr:Thankfulness, gratitude, gratefulness

(as-)Siddīq: The sincere and truthful; loyal and faithful; following the Straight Path without deviation

Sidrat al-Muntahā:The Lote-tree of the furthest limit; the boundary between the realm of Divinity and the realm of creation

(as-)Sīrah: Conduct, personality; the personality and life story of God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings

(as-)Sirāt:The path having ups and downs, wide in some of it parts and narrow in others, and difficult to walk on. The path over Hell which leads to Paradise, with ups and downs, one having walls on its sides, and doors and windows opening on the outside. If this Prophetic description is figurative, it means that we cannot know its real identity.

(as-)Sirāt al-Mustaqīm:The only Straight Path to God, which the Prophet Muhammad, upon him be peace and blessings. demonstrated to humankind and the jinn, and was manifested by way of the Qur’an and Sunnah.

Subhānallāh:All-Glorified is God (in that He is absolutely exalted above having any defects, needs, and partners); I glorify God.

(as-)Suffah:A shaded place in al-Masjid an-Nabī in Madīnah where poor people used to take shelter during the Messenger’s time

Ashāb as-Suffah:About three or four hundred Companions who stayed in as-Suffah and spent most of their time in the company of the Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings

(as-)Sulh: Reconciliion Reconciliation, peace

(as-)Suhuf (pl. of as-Sahīfah):Scrolls given to some Messengers

(as-)Sunnah: The way of God’s Messenger,upon him be peace and blessings. It is the record of every act, word, and confirmation of the Messenger. It is the second source of Islamic legislation (the Qur’ān being the first one). All scholars of religious sciences, and sometimes even natural scientists, use it to establish the principles of their disciplines and to solve difficulties. The Qur’ān and authentic prophetic Traditions enjoin Muslims to follow the Sunnah. In addition to being an independent source of legislation, italsodefines what is stated in general terms in the Qur’ān by referring to particular instances, and it defines the general principle underlying statements in the Qur’ān that are in themselves specific and particular. Also, the Sunnah (like the Qur’ān which it embodies) is also concerned with moral guidance, so the  Sunnah provides inspiration and the horizons for moral and spiritual instruction in all spheres of life, as well as  providing the inspiration and horizons  (limits) within which Islamic legislation may be affected.

Sunnah Prayers:They are the Prayersconsidered recommended in view of the fact that God’s Messenger.upon him be peace and blessings, either performed them often and/or made statements about their meritorious character and urged Muslims to do them

Sunnatu’llāh: God’s unchanging way and practice from the beginning of the universe. It has two aspects, one for the life of all creatures, the other for the guidance of humankind and jinn. History mirrors Sunnatu’llāh.

(as-)Sūr:The Trumpet which will be blown by the archangel Isrāfīl. We do not know the exact nature of the Trumpet and what is really meant by its being blown. It will be blown twice, and when it is blown the first time, the entire order of the universe will be disrupted; on its second blowing, all the dead will be raised in a completely fresh world and order.

(as-)Sūrah: An independent chapter of the Qur’ān

 (at-)Tabarrī: Disowning, to be quit of; declaring to longer have any relation with

(at-)Tābiūn: Successors; the generation succeeding the Companions of the Prophet Muhammadupon him be peace and blessings

(at-)Tablīgh:Conveying a message to others as best as possible; conveying Islam or God’s Message to people to the extent that, left to their (carnal) souls or conscience, they can make a free choice between belief and unbelief

(at-)Tabshīr:Giving the good tidings of; making appealing

(The Campaign of) Tabuk: The military campaign which the Muslims, under the command of God’s Messenger, upon him be peace and blessings, made to Tabuk, near the Jordan boundary of Arabia, in the 9th year Hijrah, in order to counter a Byzantine offensive. The Qur’ān relates it in Sūrah 9, especially from the perspective that it served as a decisive separation between faith and hypocrisy in al-Madīnah, and the believers proved their loyalty to God’s cause.

(at-)Tabyīn:Clarifying, making clear

(at-)Tadabbur:Pondering deeply

(at-)Tadarru‘:Humble turning (to God); humble devotion and supplication

(at-)Tadhakkur: Reflecting and being mindful

(at-)Tafaqquh:Discerning and understanding, penetrating the essence of a matter and grasping it

(at-)Tafakkur:Reflecting deeply and systematically

(at-)Tafriqah:Splitting into factions or parties

(at-)Tafsīl: Propounding in detail; spelling out distinctly, making clear, and putting in ordered sequence

(at-)Tafsīr: Expounding, usually referring to expounding studies of the Qur’ān

(at-)Tāghūt: The power or powers of evil who institute patterns of belief and rule in defiance of God

(at-)Tahārah: Purification, cleansing. Purity of soul or spiritual purification can be accomplished through sincere faith in and submission to God, and freedom from egotism and arrogance. Bodily purification occurs through tayammum, wudū’, and ghusl, according to conditions and types of contamination. Clothes and other things are usually purified by washing.

(at-)Tahajjud:A Sunnah Prayer done before dawn.

(at-)Tahmīd: Praising; praising God in that one knows and declares Him with the Attributes belonging and fitting for Him, and thanking Him

(at-)Tajallī al-Wāhidiyah: God’s manifestation of His Names on the whole of the universe or a species or on a whole; His universal manifestation with all of His Names related to the universe

(at-)Tajallī al-Ahadiyah:God’s particular manifestation on an individual thing or being with one or some of His Names

(at-)Takbīr:Saying Allahu Akbar(God is the All-Great); declaring God to be immeasurably and incomparably great

(at-)Takdhīb:A denial, a contradiction

(at-)Talāq: Divorce

(at-)Tanzīl:Sending down (the Qur’ān) in parts

(at-)Taqdīs: Declaring that God alone is All-Holy and to be worshipped as God and Lord. It also means calling God’s blessings upon saintly people, saying: “May God exalt His holiness.”

(at-)Taqwā:Reverent piety towards God;refraining from sins in reverence for God and piety and receiving His protection against deviations and His punishment

(at-)Tartīl:Reciting calmly and distinctly

(at-)Tasbīh:Glorifying God; proclaiming that God is absolutely free from any defect and doing anything meaningless and useless, and that He is absolutely above having any likes and partners, any sons or daughters, or bearing any resemblance with the created. The word of tasbīh is Subhāne’llāh.

(at-)Tashahhud:Giving testimony; a declaration of the Muslim faith during the sitting position in the prayer, saying: “I bear witness that there is no deity but God, and again I witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.”

(at-)Taskhīr:Subjugation; subjugating to one’s will and putting under one’s service

(at-)Tasrīf: Setting out the signs (of God’s Existence and Unity and other truths of faith) in diverse ways, from different perspectives

(at-)Tawāf:The rite of going round the Ka‘bah

(at-)Tawakkul:Reliance on, or putting one’s trust (in God)

(at-)Tawbah:Turning to God in repentance

(at-)Tawbat an-Nasūh: A sincere, reforming repentance. ‘Ali, the Prophet’s cousin and son-in-law and the fourth Caliph, describes a sincere, reforming repentance as follows: “In order that your repentance can be a sincere, reforming, and valid one, you should (1) sincerely feel remorse for the sin you have committed, (2) fulfill all the obligatory religious duties and make up the missed ones, (3) return any right you have usurped to its owner, (4) beg the pardon of those you have offended, (5) resolve not to commit again the sin you have committed, and (6) make your carnal soul taste the difficulty of obedience to God as you have caused it to taste the pleasure of sinning.”

(at-)Tawhīd:God’s Oneness and Unity; believing in and declaring God’s Oneness and Unity; the belief and world-view Islam teaches. By saying God is One (Wāhid), we mean that He is the Single Divine Being, and that no one or thing is like or comparable to Him. By His Unity, or by saying that He is One of Absolute Unity, and the Unique One (Ahad), we mean that He is beyond all human conceptions and without partners (i.e., parents, sons, or daughters). Believing in God’s Oneness entails accepting Him as the sole Deity and Lord of humankind, and so the sole Object of Worship. That, in turn, means recognizing Him as having the exclusive authority to make things lawful or unlawful.

(at-)Tawhīd al-‘Ubūdiyah:Total devotion, submission and subjection to God, and declaring that none other than God deserves worship

(at-)Tawhīd al-Rubūbiyah: God’s being and affirming Him as the soleole Creator, Provider, Upbringer, Trainer, Sustainer, Nourisher, Lord and Master of all creatures

(at-)Tawhīd al-Ulūhiyah: Believing that there is no deity but God, and that only God has the sole and exclusive right to be worshipped

(at-)Ta’wīl:Referring a word, an attitude, or an action to, or explaining it with, one of its probable meanings; expounding something read or seen or heard with other than what first comes to mind and with a rational knowledge that is not instantly comprehended. Ta’wīl implies the preference for one of the probable meanings.

(at-)Tayammum:Purification for the Prayer using clean dust, earth or stone, when water for Ghusl or Wudū’ is either unavailable or would be detrimental to one’s health. It is done by striking the hands lightly on some clean earth and passing the palms over the face once, and striking the pure earth again with one’s palms and rubbing the right and left arms alternately from the fingertips to the elbows.

(at-)Tayyib: Pure and wholesome (in composition and religiously)

(at-)Tazkiyah:Purification (from false beliefs and doctrines, sins, and all kinds of filth)

(at-)Tilāwah: Studying the Qur’an in order to understand it in the way it should be understood; reciting the Qur’ān; reciting the Qur’ān and conveying its meaning and message to others

(at-)Tughyān: Rebellion, insubordination

(al-)‘Ubūdiyah:Servanthood; devoted servanthood to God

(al-)Ukhuwwah:Brotherhood and sisterhood

Ulu’l-absār: Those having the power of “seeing” and discerning

Ulu’l-albāb: People of discernment

UIu’l-amr:Those entrusted with directing Muslims in matters of common concern; those who are in charge or in authority, or who are leaders

(al-)Ulūhiyah:God’s being the Deity (of the whole creation)

(al-)Ummah:A community following the same way (of belief and lifestyle)

Ummat Muhammad: The community of Muhammad (upon him be peace and blessings); the whole body of the Muslims

Umm al-mu’minīn: The “Mother of the Believers.” A title given to each wives of the Prophet Muhammad,upon him be peace and blessings

(al-)Ummī: Unlettered, illiterate; following no Book revealed by God; (Prophet) one who neither reads nor writes (and has therefore remained preserved from any traces of the existing written culture, and is thus free from any intellectual and spiritual pollution)

(al-)‘Umrah:The minor pilgrimage; an Islamic rite consisting of al-ihrām, and at-tawāf, and assa’y

(al-)‘Urf:A generally accepted and established social practice and norm of conduct, one which is not opposed to Islam

(al-)Wācib:What is incumbent or necessary

(al-)Wa‘d: A promise

(al-)Wa‘īd:A threat

(al-)Wahy:Divine Revelation; God’s conveying His Message to a Prophet in a special way.It occurs in three ways. One is that God suddenly puts the meaning in the Prophet’s heart and the Prophet knows that this meaning is from God. The second way or form is that God speaks to a Prophet from behind a veil. The third way is that God sends an angel to convey His Message to the Prophet.

(al-)Wajh: A face; a face as representing the person him/herself; good pleasure and approval

(al-)Wakīl:An authorized representative acting on behalf of someone; one chosen to direct the affairs of another

(al-)Walāyah:Guardianship; friendship; mastership; the relationship of mutual support between the Islamic state and its citizens, and between the citizens themselves; special nearness to God  

(al-)Waliyy (pl. al-awliyā’):Guardian; intimate friend; confidant; master; one enjoying special nearness to God

(al-)Warāthah: Inheritance

(al-)Wārith: An heir, inheritor

(al-)Wāsi:Guardian (of a child, an incompetent person); executor (of an estate or will)

(al-)Wasiyyah:Testament, will

(al-)Witr:  Odd number; Witr rak‘ahs are odd numbers of rak’ahs such as 1, 3, 5, etc. – usually 1 or 3 – which are performed after the last Prayer at night

(al-)Wudū’:Ablution. It requires washing the face from the top of the forehead to the chin and as far as each ear, and the hands and arms up to the elbow; and wiping with wet hands a part of the head, and washing the feet up to and including the ankle. It has also some other acts that are Sunnah to perform.

(al-)Yahūd:The Jews.In Muslim history, the Jews are usually referred to as Yahūdī, meaning one who belongs to Yahūda –Judah in the Old Testament. Judah – Yehudah in Hebrew – is the name of one of the two kingdoms which emerged with the division of the Prophet Solomon’s kingdom after his death, upon him be peace, and takes this name from Judah, one of the sons of Prophet Jacob, upon him be peace. According to another opinion, Yahūdī means one who follows the Law established by Judah, an Israelite jurist who lived in the second century after Prophet Jesus, upon him be peace. The Jews themselves name their religion – Judaism – after Judah. The Qur’ān uses the term Yahūdī for the most rigid enemies of Muslims among the Children of Israel and those who regard and call themselves as Yahūdī among them.

(al-)Yaqīn:Certainty of faith; having no doubt about the truth of a matter and arriving at accurate, doubt-free knowledge. This knowledge can come from either Revelation, or study and verification. Yaqīn has three degrees: first, that which comes from knowledge (‘ilm al-yaqīn); second, that which depends on vision and observation (‘ayn al-yaqīn); and third, that which comes from direct experience (‘haqq al-yaqīn).

(al-)Yawm:Day. The Qur’ān uses the word “day” not only in the sense of our normal day, but also as time unit and period.

Yawm ad-Dīn:The Day of Judgment

Yawm al-Fasl: Another name for the Day of Judgment, meaning the Day of Judgment and Distinction (between people)

Yawm al-Jaza’: Another name for the Day of Judgment, meaning the Day of Recompense

Yawm al-Qiyāmah:  The Day of Destruction of the World and Resurrection

(az-)Zakāh:The Prescribed Purifying Alms. It is among the five pillars of Islam, and refers to the mandatory amount that a Muslim must pay out of his property. A Muslim who has money beyond a certain quantity is to pay the Zakāh. It is to be used in eight categories for the welfare of the society, as mentioned in the Qur’ān.

Zakāt al-Fitr: See Sadaqat al-fitr.

(Az-)Zaqqūm:An extremely bitter and thorny tree that grows at the bottom of Hellfire and of which the people of Hell will eat

Zihār:A husband’s saying to his wife, “You are henceforth as my mother’s back to me,” meaning he seeks divorce.This was a custom among the pagan Arabs. When a husband said this to his wife, he meant that he would remove himself from conjugal relations with his wife. This was the equivalent of an irrevocable divorce, but a woman thus divorced could not marry again. Islam decisively prohibited and abolished this custom.

(az-)Zinā:Any sexual intercourse between a man and woman who are not husband and wife, thus denoting both “adultery” and “fornication” in English. The Qur’ān not only forbids any unlawful sexual intercourse, but also orders that all ways to it must be blocked.

(az-)Zuhd:Renouncing worldly pleasures and resisting carnal desires for God’s good pleasure

(az-)Zālim: A wrongdoer. One who does something not at the proper time and place, and/or in the wrong way, thus causing “darkness” and the wronging of his own self; having a very wide area of usage, the term includes everyone from one who does a small wrong, to another who commits the unforgivable sin of associating partners with God (or denying Him).

(az-)Zulm:Wrongdoing, or doing something not at the proper time and place, or in the wrong way, thus causing (spiritual) darkness and the wronging of one’s own self.Having a very wide area of usage, in the terminology of the Qur’ān, zulm includes a broad range of wrong actions from deviancy in a small matter to the unforgivable sin of associating partners with God (or denying Him).

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