Glossary of Islamic Terms

a.s. :An abbreviation of ‘alaihis salaam’, that is “Peace be on him”.

a.t.f.s. :An abbreviation of ‘ajjil allaahu ta’ala farajahu shareef’, that is “May Allah hasten his reappearance”.

Aale Muhammad :Progeny of Muhammad

Aamal : Rituals

Ahlul Sunnat wal Jamat : Majority Muslims who believe Abu Bakr to be the first caliph

Ahlul Bayt :People of the house. They are The Holy Prophet (S), Janabe Fatima Zahra (s.a.), Ali (as) and his eleven successors.

Allamahs :Plural of Allamah, a learned scholar

Amirul Momineen :Leader of the believers. Title of Imam Ali bin Abi Talib (as)

Amr-e-Takveeni :Things beyond the control of man. Natural factors etc.

Amr-e-Tashri :Things under the control of man. Voluntary deeds etc.

Arsh :Throne or heavens

Ashura :10th of Muharram, day of the martyrdom of Imam Husain (as) and the tragedy of Kerbala

Asr :Afternoon (prayer)

Ayat :Verse of the Holy Quran

Azan :Call for prayer

Bada :Change in divine will

Baseer :All-seeing

Bismillah :In the Name of Allah

Dirham :Unit of currency

Dua :Invocation

Fajr :Morning

Faqih :Jurisprudent

Firon :Pharaoh

Ghusl :Ritual bath

Hadith-e-Nabawi :A statement of the Holy Prophet (S) or a Masoom (as)

Hadith-e-Qudsi :A saying of Allah apart from the verses of Quran

Hafiz :One who knows the Quran by heart

Hajj :Annual pilgrimage to Mecca during the month of Zilqad

Halaal :Permissible, legal

Haraam :Prohibited, illegal

Hasanah :Unit of heavenly rewards

Hijrat/Hijrah :Flight of the Holy Prophet (S) from Mecca to Medina. Beginning of the Islamic calendar

Hourul Eein :Black eyed Houries of Paradise

Hujjat :Proof

Iblis :Satan

Iddah :Waiting period for women before they could remarry

Ijma :Consensus

Insha-Allah :If Allah wills

Iqamah :Shorter call for Prayer

Isha :Late evening

Janabat :A state of ritual impurity that can be removed by performing Ghusl (Bath)

Juz :Arabic word for part. 30th part of Quran

Ka’ba :The Holy House of Allah, the directions that Muslims face during prayers.

Kaffarah :Fine, penalty

Khariji :A group which arose against Ali bin Abi Talib (as) after the battle of Siffeen. A heretic sect

Khilqat :Creation

Liaan: : Sworn allegation of adultery committed by either husband or wife

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

Maghrib :Evening prayer, time of sunset

Mahram(pl. Mahrams) :Relatives between whom marriage is prohibited

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

Makruh :variant spelling of above term

Maliki :Followers of the Sunnite Imam Malik

Maraja’ Taqleed :The Mujtahid whom people follow in matters of practical law

Masjidul Haram :The sacred mosque in Mecca

Masoomeen :(Singular- Masoom): Infallible

Mehr :Dower

Mithqal :A measure of weight of about 4.6 gms.

Momin :Believer

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

Mullahs :Muslim scholars/leaders

Mureed : The Restorer

Mus’haf :Scroll

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

Mutawatir :A tradition related through so many narrators that it is considered absolutely authentic

Najis :Unclean

Nawafil :Recommended prayers

Para :30th part of Quran

q.s. :An abbreviation of ‘Quddasa Sirruhu’, which literally means: “May his resting place remain pure.”

Qaem :One would rise. A title of Imam Mahdi (as)

Qibla :Prayer direction

Qunut :Supplication recited in ritual prayers, usually in the second unit (rakat)

Quraish :the tribe of the Messenger of Allah (S)

Rajm :Stoning, punishment for adultery

Rakat :A unit of ritual prayer

Ruku :Bowing down or genuflection in the ritual prayers

s.a. :An abbreviation of ‘sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam’, that is “Blessings be on him and peace”.

s.a.w.s. :An abbreviation of ‘sallallaahu alaihi wa aalihi wa sallam’, that is “Blessings be on him and his Progeny and peace”.

Sadaqah :Voluntary charity, alm

Safar :Second month of the Islamic calendar

Salaam :Salute, Islamic greeting

Salaat :Ritual prayers

Salawat :Allaahumma S’alle a’laa Muha’ammadinw wa aali Muh’ammad

Samee :All-hearing

Saqifah :The place where Abu Bakr took caliphate

Sayyid :Lit. chief. A term for descendants of Lady Fatima through Imam Husain (as)

Sayyidush Shohada :Chief of the Martyrs, a title of Imam Husain (as)

Shabaan :The eighth month of the Muslim (Lunar) calendar

Shab-e-Qadr :The Night of Power or 19th, 21st and 23rd nights of the month of Ramadan

Shahadatain :the two testimonies of Islamic faith.

Shariat/ Shariah :Islamic law

Shaykh :Lit. elder. A genealogical division among Muslims

Sheb-e-Abi Talib :Valley in Mecca where the Messenger of Allah (S) and the early Muslims took refuge for some time

Shura :Consultation committee formed by Umar for selecting Uthman as the next caliph

Siraat :Path

Sujud :Plural of Sajdah, prostration

Sunnah :Practice (esp. of the Messenger of Allah)

Surahs :Chapter of Quran

t.s. :Abbreviation of Taaba Saraa. See the meaning of ‘q.s.’

Tabi’in :Followers of the companions of the Prophet

Takbir :Allaho Akbar, God is the Greatest

Takbiratul Ihram :Saying Allaho Akbar at the beginning of the ritual prayer

Taqiyyah :Dissimulation

Taqleed :Emulation of a scholar in Islamic practical law

Taqwa :Piety

Tasbeehaat :Plural of Tasbih, glorification of Allah (esp. in bowing and prostrations in the ritual prayers)

Tasbih :Rosary

Tashahud :Recitation in the sitting position in the second and the last unit of the ritual prayer

Tawfeeq (pl. Tawfeeqaat) :Divine inspiration

Tawheed :Belief in the absolute Oneness of Allah

Tayammum :Substitute of ablution/ritual bath when use of water is not possible or advisable

Taziyah :A replica of the tomb of Imam Husain (as)

Thawaab :Divine rewards

Thawr, cave of :The cave where the Messenger of Allah (S) hid on way to Medina

Torah :The Old Testament

Two Shaykhs :Abu Bakr and Umar

Umrah :Optional pilgrimage to Mecca

Umratul Qaza :Lapsed Umrah

Wajib :Obligatory

Wilayat :Guardianship, belief in the guardianship of Ahlul Bayt (as) and love towards them

Wudhu :Ritual ablution

Zakat :Obligatory Islamic wealth tax

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

Zihar : Pre-Islamic form of divorce, consisting in the words of repudiation: You are to me like my mother’s back. (anti a’layyah ka-zahri ummi).

Zinnoorain :Master of two lights. Uthman, the third caliph

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

Zuhr : Noon prayers

Zuhrain :The two ritual prayers of Zuhr (noon) and Asr (afternoon)