Page is loading...

Glossary of Islamic Terms

Āq al-Walidayn: One who disobeys or angers his/her parents

Ahl ul-Bayt: “People of the House”. They are the Holy Prophet (S)’s family: Janabe Fatima Zahra (s.a.), ‘Ali (a.s.) and eleven of their descendants who are successors to the Prophet (S) after Imam ‘Ali (a.s.).

Ahsan: Goodness

Amanat: Trust

Amrbil Ma’rūf: Enjoining others to do good

Ayat: Verse of the Holy Qur’an

Barakat: Divine blessings and bounties

Barzakh: Purgatory. The intermediary stage between death and the Day of the Judgement

Bismillah: Literally “In the Name of Allah”. Said before commencing any task.

Dhuhrain: The two ritual prayers of Dhuhr (noon) and Asr (afternoon)

Dhuhoor: Reappearance (of Imam Mahdi [a.t.f.s.]).

Dirham: Unit of currency

Diyah: Blood money

Du’a: Invocation or Supplication

Fajr: Dawn

Faqih: Jurisprudent, Islamic Jurist

Fir’aun: Pharaoh (In this context Ramases II)

Furū ad-Dīn: Branches of Religion or the practical laws of Islam

Hadd: Islamic legal punishment (plural: Hudūd)

Hadith: A statement of the Holy Prophet (S) or of the Holy Imams (a.s.)

Hajj: Annual pilgrimage to Makkah during the month of Dhul Hijja

Halāl: Permissible, legal

Harām: Prohibited, illegal

Hasana: A good deed deserving heavenly rewards

Hijab: Statutory Islamic dress for women, veil, curtain

Iblīs: Satan

Iddah: A prescribed period a woman has to pass after divorce or her husband’s demise before she can remarry.

I’tikāf: A recommended ritual consisting of a continuous stay of at least three days in the mosque during the last ten days of the month of Ramadhan.

Imān: Faith

Imla: Respite given by Allah to the sinners in which they become more heedless of their sins

Insha Allah: Common expression that literally means “If Allah wills” or “God Willing”

‘Isha: Late evening

Jamaat: Congregation

Janabat: A state of ritual impurity that can be removed by performing ghusl (bath)

Jihād: Struggle in the way of Allah (S.w.T.), religious war

Kāba: The Holy House of Allah in Makkah, the directions that Muslims face during prayers.

Kaffara: Religious fine, penalty

Kāfir: One who denies God

Kalima: To say: “I witness that there is no god except Allah and that Muhammad (S) is the Messenger of Allah”. Also called the Shahadayn. This testimony makes one a Muslim.

Kuffār: Plural of Kāfir

Kunniyat: Patronym

Laylat ’l-Qadr: The Night of Power. Believed to be one of the odd numbered nights in the last ten nights of the month of Ramadan

Maghribain: The two prayers of Maghrib (early evening) and ‘Isha (late evening)

Makrūh: Detestable, in the Islamic terminology it denotes an action performing which does not incur sin but refraining from which earns divine rewards

Ma’rifat: Recognition, Realization

Masjidul-Haram: The Holy Mosque in Makkah

Ma’sūmīn: Infallible, Inerrant (Singular: Mas’um)

Mahram: Relatives between whom marriage is prohibited

Mahshar: The field where people will be collected on the Day of the Judgement for their final Accounting

Mi’rāj: Ascension (to heaven)

Mithqāl: A measure of weight of about 4.6 gms.

Muhib: Admirer

Mu’min: Believer

Mubāh: Permitted. It denotes an action performing of which earns no rewards and refraining from it is not punishable

Mujtahids: Doctors of Islamic law

Munāfiq: Hypocrite

Mushrik: Polytheist

Mustahab: Recommended. It is an action performing which earns rewards and refraining from it is not punishable

Mutawātir: A frequently related tradition

Nahy ‘Anil Munkar: Forbidding evil

Najis: Unclean

Nāma-e-Amal: Scroll of deeds (Farsi). Arabic: Kitāb al-Amāl

Non-mahram: Persons between whom marriage is possible

Nawāfil: Recommended prayers (singular: Nāfila)

Nikah: Marriage ceremony

Qasr: Shortening of the ritual prayers during a journey

Qat’a ar-Rahm: Breaking off relations with relatives

Qadha: An unfulfilled obligatory act

Qādhi: Judge, jurist

Qunut: Despondence

Rakat: A unit of ritual prayer

Riwayah: A narration

Riyaa: An act of showing off

Rizq: Sustenance

Sādāt: Descendants of the Holy Prophet (S) through Imam Husain (a.s.)

Sadaqah: Voluntary charity, alm

Salām: Salute, Islamic greeting

Salāt: Ritual prayers

Shābān: A month of the Muslim calender

Shahadatain: See Kalima

Shari’a: Islamic law

Shirāz: A city of Iran

Silat ar-Rahm: An act of goodness towards ones relatives. The opposite of Qat’a ar-Rahm

Sirāt: Path

Siyām: Fast

Taqwa: Piety

Taslim: Acceptance

Tawakkul: Reliance

Tawfīq: Divine inspiration

Tawhid: Belief in the absolute Oneness of Allah

Thawāb: Divine or spiritual reward

Toman: Currency of Iran

Ulil-Amr: One who holds an authoritative position

Umma: Followers (of Prophets)

Uqūq: (Plural of Āq): See Āq al-Walidayn

Wājib: Obligatory

Wājib al-A’ini: An obligation that is to be carried out by every person

Wājib al-Kifai: An obligatory act which if performed by one ceases to be obligatory on the others

Wilāyat: Love and obedience

Yās: Despair

Zakāt: Obligatory Islamic wealth tax

Ziyarat: Visitation or the recitation of salutation while facing the tomb of religious personalities

Zimmi: A non-muslim who lives under the protection of an Islamic government

Share this page