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Glossary

 
This glossary has been compiled to assist readers not familiar with Islamic terminology in understanding the above recollections. 
 
(as)
Short for ‘peace be upon him.’
 
Adhaan
Call to prayers.
 
Agha
Persian form of address for males.
 
Ashura
10th of Muharram in the Islamic calendar.  This is the day the 3rd Imam of the Shias, Imam Husayn (as), was martyred in the Islamic year 61 A.H.
 
Ayatul Kursi
Verses 255-257 of the second chapter of the Holy Qur’an.
 
Baaligh
Age at which certain actions and duties become compulsory for Muslims. Typically this is approximately 9 lunar years for girls and 15 years for boys.
 
Dhikr
Remembrance of Allah (By recitation of His Names, etc.)
 
Dua
Supplication.
 
Eid
Islamic day of celebration
 
Haraam
Acts which are forbidden in Islam.
 
Hazrat Ali Akbar (as)
The son of Imam Husayn (as)
 
Hijab
The Islamic requirements of covering of the body and adhering to modesty.
 
Imam Ali (as)
The 1st Imam of the Shias.
 
Imam Husayn (as)
Grandson of the Holy Prophet and 3rd Imam of the Shias, who was martyred in Kerbala, Iraq.  Also known as the Master of Martyrs.
 
Imam Mahdi (as)
The 12th and last Imam of the Shias, who is still alive today but in occultation.  He is also known as The Awaited as it is believed he will reappear and bring peace and justice back in this world.
 
Jamaaraan
Area where Imam lived in Qom
 
Khanom
Persian form of address for females.
 
Khums
Compulsory tax to be paid by Muslims representing generally one-fifth of savings.
 
Madressa
School.
 
Mafatihul Jinan
A book of supplications.  Also called Mafatih.
 
Marhum
Title given to someone who is deceased.
 
Marja
A person who has attained the highest form of Islamic jurisprudence, who has the authority to issue religious rulings for others to follow.
 
Masaib
Narrration of the events of the martyrdom of the 3rd Imam of the Shias (Imam Husayn (as)) and his family and companions.
 
Mashad
City in North-Eastern Iran where the 8th Imam of the Shias (Imam Redha (as)) is buried.
 
Mohr
Prayer tablets upon which mainly Shia Muslims prostrate whilst praying.
 
Mu'adhdhin
Person who recites the Adhaan.
 
Muharram
1st month of the Islamic calendar.
 
Mujtahid
A person who has achieved the second highest form of Islamic jurisprudence, who has the authority to deduce precise inferences regarding the commandments from the Qur'an and the traditions of the Prophet and Imams (but is not followed by others).
 
 
Nafs
Soul that enjoins evil, also called the ego.
 
Prayers (Fajr, Dhuhr, Asr, Maghrib, ‘Isha)
Names of the 5 compulsory daily prayers for Muslims consisting of 2, 4, 4, 3, and 4 rak'ats respectively.
 
Qibla
Direction towards Ka'ba, located in Mecca (Saudi Arabia) which Muslims face to pray.
 
Qom
City in Northern Iran.  Centre for religious learning and place where the sister of 8th Imam of the Shias (Imam Redha (as)), Lady Fatema Ma’suma is buried.
 
Qur’an
Muslims’ Holy Book revealed by God to Prophet Muhammad
 
Rak'at
Unit of prayer
 
Rajab
7th month of the Islamic calendar.
 
Ramadan
9th month of the Islamic calendar in which fasting has been prescribed for Muslims.
 
Saheefe Sajjadiya
A book of supplications from the 4th Imam (as) of the Shias (Imam Zain-ul-Abidin (as)).
 
Sha’ban
8th month of the Islamic calendar.
 
 
Salaam and Ziyaraats
Prescribed greetings and prayer salutations usually recited when visiting the shrines of the Prophet and Imams.
 
Salaat-ul-Layl
Recommended prayers of 11 units to be recited before the dawn prayers.
 
Salawat
Sending blessings of the Prophet and his family.
 
Shawwal
10th month of the Islamic calendar.
 
Shaytan
Satan.
 
Sura
Chapter of the Holy Qur’an
 
Takbir
Short for Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest)
 
Taqlid
Accepting and following the verdicts of Marja in their interpretation of Islamic law.
 
Tasbih
Glorification of God
 
Tayammum
Actions to be performed when no water is available for the performance of wudu.
 
Wilayat
The concept of guardianship of the 12 Imams over human beings.
 
Wudu
Ablutions performed before reciting prayers.
 
Ziyarat
Please see Salaams and Ziyaraats.

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