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Glossary

Ada’:  On time: when prayer, or any other act of worship is performed on its appointed time. (See qadha’).
 
 
 Adhan: The call for prayer.
 
 
Al’amr bil ma’rouf wan nahi anil munkar: Enjoining what is good and forbdding what is evil.
 
 
Aqiqah: A sacrificial offering on the seventh day of the newly born child.
 
 
(a.s.): An acronym for “Alaihis salaam”: May peace be with him.
 
Asr: Afternoon prayer.
 
 
 
Aya: (Lit. a sign): verse, or unit, of the Holy Qur’an.
 
 
 
Ayas of Sajdah:   The four Qur’anic Verses in the Chapters: Iqra’, an-Najm, as-Sajdah, and Fussilat; it is obligatory to prostrate oneself on hearing them recited.
 
 
Ba’adaz zawaal:   After the disc of the sun descends towards the West from its emith (noon). (See zawaal)
 
 Basmalah: An acronym for “Bismillahir Rahman ar Rahim”: In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.
  
Batil: Null, void, invalid or unlawful, e.g.A contract becomes batil when it does not satisfy the divine practical laws of Islam.
 
Dhuhr: Noon, or lunchtime, prayer.
 
Dhikr: Remembrance: The utterances during the third ruku’ and fourth of a prayer.
 
Eid: Festivities marking the end of the fasting season, or festivities of the sacrifice after hajj.
 
Farsakh: A unit of distance, equivalent to approx. 5.5 kilometer.
 
Fatwa:  Religious edict, or legal opinion.
 
Fidya: Redemption (from certain religious obligations by a material donation or ritual act).
 
Fiqh: Jurisprudence.
 
Ghusl: Obligatory bathing that is required after certain acts or occurrences.

Hadith: Prophetic tradition: sayings and actions of Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.)
 
Hady: Sacrificial offering, as part of hajj rituals.
 
Hajj: The pilgrimage to Mekkah undertaken according to the prescribed ritual during the month of Thil Hijja:
 
Hajjatul Islam: A Muslim’s maiden pilgrimage to Mekkah, that is obligatory when you can afford the journey.
 
Halal: Lawful for use, consumption, or to act upon.
 
Haraam/Muharram: Unlawful or forbidden for use, consumption, or to act upon.
 
Harakaat: Diacritical marks, such as shaddah, maddah, tanween, hamzatul wasl or qat’, appearing above the Arabic characters or below them that denote and aid the proper pronunciation of the words, both independently and in relation to other words in the sentence.
 
Haydh: Menstruation.
 
Heddet-tarakhus: The point at the periphery of a town where, for example, adhan could be heard. This concerns distances to determine whether prayer should be said tamam or qasr.
 
Ibadaat: Acts of worship.
 
Ijarah: Hire, rent, lease etc.
 
Ihram: The special two-piece seamless attire worn by pilgrims. Also, the state of consecration during which the pilgrim should refrain from certain acts, such as not combing, not shaving, and observing sexual continence.
 
Ihtiyat: Precaution: a level of legal judgement.
 
Ihtiyat wujubi: Obligatory precaution that must be followed.
 
Ijtihad: (lit. exertion) - the process of arriving at judgements on points of religious law using reason and the principles of jurisprudence (usul al-fiqh).
 
Inshallah: God willing.
 
Iqamah: A shortened form of adhan, heralding the inauguration of prayer.
 
Isha: Evening prayer.
Istihadhah: Undue menses.
 
Istihalah: Transformation.
 
Istikharah: The process of asking Allah for proper guidance in certain matters you are unable to decide on, through, for example, consulting the verses of the Holy Qur’an.
 
Jabirah: (lit. splint): a generic name used for any form of dressing any part of the body as a result of injury or illness.
 
Jamarat: Places of the three stone pillars representing the devil, at Mina. (See rami)
 
Janabah: The state of being ceremonially unclean, especially after a sexual act that may or may not lead to ejaculation.
 
Kaffarah: Atonement, or expiation: making repayment for some failure to act, harm done to others, etc.
 
Khums: A type of religious levy, equivalent to one fifth of taxable income.
 
Kurr: A unit of volume, equivalent to 384 litres.
 
Madhalim: Material or moral restitution or compensation to people you have wronged.
 
Maghrib: Sunset prayer.
 
Maghsoub: Usurped.
 
Mahaarim: One’s immediate relatives - according to a certain classification detailed in Shari’a law.
 
Makrouh: Abominable act.
 
Manasikul Hajj: Pilgrimage rituals.
 
Marji’: (lit. reference point for emulation, or religious authority) - A jurist who, by virtue of whose knowledge and probity, is qualified to be followed in all points of religious practice and law by the generality of Shia Muslims.
 
Meeta: Animal carcass.
 
Mujtahid: A jurist who has studied sufficiently and achieved the level of competence necessary to interpret shari’a law (see Ijtihad).
 
Mu’amalaat: Transactions.
 
Mubah: Permissible.
 
Mukallaf: Comopos mentis (The person obligated to observe the precepts of religion).
 
Musafir: Traveller.
 
Mustahab: A voluntary, and meritorious, act of worship. (See wajib - obligatory).
 
Najasah: A legal term for an impurity of any kind.
 
Najis: Impure: some things are inherently najis, others can become najis through contact with an inherently najis substances.
 
Nifas: Bleeding that occurs after childbirth, miscarriage, or abortion.
 
Niyyah: Intention to designate the prayer, or any other act of worship, one is performing, in that its sole purpose is to seek proximity to, and pleasure of Allah.
 
Niyyah of qurbal mutlaqah: The intention for prayer, or any other act of worship, made with a view to seeking nearness to Allah, i.e. without designating whether it is ada’ or qadha’.
 
Qadha’: When prayer, or any other act of worship, is performed at a later time. (See ada’).
 
Qasr: A shortened form of prayer: A concession for a musafir (traveller) to perform a two-raka’a prayer instead of the full four-raka’a one. (See tamam)
 
Qiblah: The direction, of the Ka’ba, one must face while praying.
 
Qiyam: Standing upright during prayer.
 
Qunoot: The raising of both hands for supplication in prayer.
 
Raka’a, ruku’: The bowing position in prayer.
 
Rami: Symbolically stoning of the devil, using seven pebbles or small stones at Jamarat on Eid day, the 11th and the 12th of Thil Hijjah; part of hajj rituals. (See Jamarat).
 
(s.a.w.) An acronym for “Sallal lahu alaihi wa alihi wasallam”: May peace be with him, i.e. the Prophet, and his pure progeny.
 
Sadaqa: Almsgiving.
 
Sajdatay-as-Sahu: The two compensatory prostrations in lieu of any commissions or omissions in prayer due to forgetfulness.
Salah/t: Prayer.
 
Salatul ayaat: Prayer for signs, or natural phenomena.
 
Salatul ihtiyat: Precautionary prayer.
 
Salatul lail: Optional night prayer.
 
Sawm: Fasting.
 
Sa’y: Seven laps of brisk walking between the mounds of Safa and Marwah - an obligatory part of hajj rituals.
 
Shari’a: Percepts of the divine law.
 
Shari’i: Islamic or legal.
 
Subh: Dawn prayer.
 
Sujood: Prostration.
 
Sunnah: Model practices, customs, and traditions of The Prophet (s.a.w).
 
Surah: A chapter, or part, of the Holy Qur’an.
 
Taharah: Ritual purification.
 
Tahir: The state of ritual purity, the opposite of najis.
 
Takbiratul Ihram: The utterance, at the start of prayer, of “Allahu Akbar”: God is Great.
 
Talbiyah: The utterance of: Labbayka Allahuma Labayk, Labbayka La Sharika Laka Labbayk, Innal Hamda Wani’mata Laka Wal Mulk, La Sharika Laka Labbayk. (Here I am! at Your service, O Lord! Here I am! at Your service, You have no partner. Here I am! at Your service. All the praise is Yours, so is the bounty, and to You belongs the dominion; there is no partner to You. Here I am! at Your service).
 
Tamam: A full four-raka’a prayer. (See qasr).
 
Taqiyyah: Dissimulation about one’s beliefs in order to protect oneself, family, or property from harm.
 
Taqleed: The following, by a lay person, of a learned jurist (Mujtahid) in matters of religious practice.
 
Taqseer: Cutting one’s hair, clipping one’s moustache or beard, or cutting off the nails - hajj rituals that heralds the exit from the state of ihram
 
 Tawaf: Circumambulation - walking seven times around the Ka’ba.
 
Tawafun Nisa’: (lit., women’s circumambulation) - an integral part of hajj devotion, after which and its prayer, sexual relations between man and wife return to normal.
 
Tayamum: (lit. intending or proposing to do a thing). Dry ablution, i.e. using dust instead of water, as in the cases of wudhu and ghusl when, for specific reasons, these acts are not possible).
 
Thawab: Reward from Allah in return for good deeds.
 
Ulema: Scholars or doctors of religion.
 
Umma: Islamic community.
 
Umrah: Lesser hajj, or visitation that can be performed at any time, except on the days of hajj in the month of Thil Hijjah.
 
Umrah Tamattu’: A visitation ritual that is obligatory before performing hajj.
 
Urf:  Generally accepted practice, custom, or usage.
 
Wajib: An obligatory act of worship. (See mustahab - a voluntary act).
 
Wajibun aini: Individual duty: The obligation that falls on every adult Muslim.
 
Wajibun kifa’i: A collective obligation imposed on the Muslim community. Yet, if any member of the community discharges it, the remaining members would be ubsolved of the responsibility.
 
Waqf: Religious endowment, or charity.
 
Wudhu: An act of ablution that is required before the performance of certain actions.
 
Wuquf: Devotional stay at Arafat, Mash’ar and Mina as part of hajj rituals.
 
Zakat: The poor rate: purification of wealth by payment of annual welfare due.
 
Zawaal: The zenith of the sun, just before it declines towards the West.
 
 

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