Glossary of the Arabic and Islamc Terms


Adhan: The special call announcing that it is now time for performing the Salat.

Ahlul-Bayt: The family of the Messenger of Allah (s) consisting of the Prophet (s) himself, his daughter Fatimah (a.s.), her husband Imam Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.), and their offspring who became Imams.

Alim (pl. Ulama): An Islamic scholar.

Akhlaq: ethics, manners, morality.

Akhaqi: ethical, moral

Asr: Afternoon.


Basmalah: Short for "Bismillahir-Rahmanir-Rahim", i.e. "In the name of Allah, the Merciful the Beneficent".

Batil: A ritually invalid or incorrect act.


Dhimmi: A follower of a Divine Book (a Christian or a Jew) who lives under the Islamic Rule, and gets protection for fulfilling his obligations towards the Islamic state.

Dhul-Hijjah: The 12th month of the Islamic calendar.

Du'a: Invocation; benediction; prayer, supplication.


Faqih: (Pl. Fuqaha): An Islamic jurisprudent.

Fatwa: (Pl. Fatawa): A decree issued by a religious authority on the religious matters.

Fiqh: The Islamic Jurisprudence.


Ghurub: Sunset

Ghusl: A ritual bathing in a specified manner


Hadath: A state or act which either invalidates Wudu only or requires ritual Ghusl

Al-Hadathul-Akbar: The act or state of impurity requiring Ghusl, such as the states of Janabah, Hayd, etc.

Al-Hadathul-Asghar: The state or act which invalidates Wudu, such as, urinating excreting faeces, sleeping, and passing (breaking) intestinal wind.

Hadith: A narrative (narration) quoted from the Prophet (s), his Companions and our 12 Imams (a.s.).

Hady: The animal offered for the sacrifice during the Hajj rituals.

Hayd: A woman in the state of menstruation.
Hājj: A person who is performing the Hajj rituals.
Hajj: The ritual pilgrimage to Mecca.

Halal: Religiously lawful, permitted, allowed.

Haram: Religiously unlawful, forbidden, prohibited.
Hayd: Menses, menstruation, monthly Period.

Hijrah: The year on which the Prophet (s) and his Companions migrated from Mecca to Al-Madinah.

Hilal: The new moon.


Ibnus-Sabil: A wayfarer (traveller) who is cut off his means

Eid: Feast.

Eidul-Adha: The feast on the 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah.

Eidul-Fitr: The feast on the 1st day of Shawwal.

Iftar: Breaking the fast, breakfasting.

Ihram: The wrappings, the dresses worn by the Hājj during the Hajj, the period of wearing them.

Ijtihad: The capability and endeavouring of the Mujtahid to deduce the Islamic precepts from their basic sources: the Qur'an and the Sunnah by means of valid proofs.

Al-Ikhfat: Reciting inaudibly (softly) [in prayers].

Iman: Faith or belief in Allah and His Messenger.

Iqamah: A traveller's stay for a specified period in a place, a Mustahabb preparatory recitation before performing the Salat.

Irtimasi: By immersion in water.

Isha: The period following sunset at dusk time

Istita'ah: Ability, capability.

Itmam / Tamam: To perform the 4 Rak'ah Salats completely not in the Qasr form.


Jabirah: A splint, bandage, ointment, etc. put on a wound.

Al-Jahr: Reciting audibly. [esp. in prayers]

Jama’ah: Congregation (al), in congregation, a group.

Janabah: The state of being Junub after masturbation or sexual intercourse.

Jihad: Holy war, campaign for the sake of Allah.

Jima: Sexual intercourse.

Jumu'ah: Friday.
Junub: One who is impure because of being in a state of Al-Hadathul-Akbar Al-Janabah which requires the Ghusl for the Salat.


Ka'bah: The holy place in Mecca, and is the goal of Islamic pilgrimage, and the direction of the Qiblah.

Kafan: The cloths in which a dead body is wrapped, shroud.

Kaffarah: Atonement, expiation.

Kafir: A disbeliever, infidel.

Khutbah: A speech, an oration, a sermon.

Khums: One-fifth of the acquired wealth.

Kurr: A quantity of water regarded as Tahir and Mutahhir if not less than 377.5 kg or in volume 384.0 litres.


Maghrib: The time of disappearance of the reddish colour of the eastern horizon after sunset.

Makruh: Undesirable, advised not to be done.

Ma'mum: One who performs the Salat behind an Imam.

Manasik: Certain rituals done on certain occasions, such as Manasikul-Hajj.

Mash: Wiping a certain part of the body, as in Wudu.

Masjid: Mosque.

Massul-Mayyit: Touching the dead body of a human being, an act requiring a Ghusl.

Maytah: The dead body of an animal, or the meat of an animal not slaughtered according to the Islamic precepts.

Mayyit: The deceased, a human dead body, corpse.

Mecca: Name of the holy town in Al-Hijaz, where some of the Hajj rituals are performed, and where the Ka'bah is situated.

Mubah: Religiously permissible, allowed.

Mu'adhdhin: One who recites the Adhan aloud.

Muftir: One who is not fasting.

Mufattir: (Pl. Mufattirat): Acts or things which render fasting Batil.

Mujnib: One who is Junub or is in the state of Janabah.

Mukallaf: One who has reached the puberty age and, therefore, has become responsible for the performance of the religious duties.

Muqaddimah: Preparatory act, introductory act.

Muqallid: One who follows the opinions (Fatwas) of a religious authority in the religious matters.

Musafir: A traveller, one who is on a journey.

Musalli: One who is performing the Salat.

Mustahabb: Supererogatory, a recommended and desirable act which procures Divine reward, commendable.

Mustahiqq: One who deserves receiving due-alms.

Mustati': One who is capable of going to the Hajj.

Mutanajjis: That which has become Najis (impure and unclean).

Mutahhir: (Pl. Mutahhirat) That which makes a Mutanajjis thing Tahir.

Mutawaddi: One who has performed the Wudu.


Nafilah: (Pl. Nawafil) Mustahabb Salat, supererogatory prayer.

Nafsa: A woman in the state of Nifas.

Najasah: (Pl. Najasat) Things which are ritually impure or not Tahir, and cannot be made Tahir by itself.

Najis Ayni: adj. impure (not Tahir) in itself.

Nifas: Bleeding period after childbirth.

Nisab: Prescribed quantity, number of items liable to due Zakat and Khums.

Niyyah: intention.


Qiblah: The direction of Ka'bah to which every Musalli must face when performing the Salat.

Qada: Performing a lapsed obligatory Salat or Sawm which had not been performed in its due time.

Qasr: A shortened form of the 4 Rak'ah Salat to a 2 Rak'ah Salat, for the travellers.


Rajab: The 7th month of the Islamic Calendar.

Rak'ah: A unit of the Salat.

Ramadan: The 9th month of the Islamic Calendar.

Rukn: A principal part of the Salat.

Ruku: The ritual bowing in the Salat, ritual genuflection.


Sa'im: One who is fasting.

Sajdah: (or Sujud) The ritual prostration in the Salat: or in worshipping.

Sajdatus-Sahw: Two Sajdahs performed as an atonement for an inadvertent act done in the Salat.

Sawm (or Siyam): Fasting in Ramadan month.

Ash-Shahidatan: The two testimonies: Ashhadu An La Ilaha Illa­Llah, Wa Ashhadu Anna Muhammadan Rasulu-Llah. [I testify that chere is no God except Allah, and that Muhammad (s) is His Messenger].

Shari’ah: The Islamic Divine Law.

Shawwal: The 10th month of the Islamic Calendar.

Subh: Morning.

Sunnah: The traditions and conduce of the Prophet (s)


Tabi'un: Those who lived with, and learnt from the Companions of the Holy Prophet (s)

Tafsir: an exegesis, explantion.

Taghut: Tyrant.

Tahirah: The state of being Tahir.

Tahir: Ritually being pure and clean according to the Shari’ah.

Takbir: To say: "Allahu Akbar".

Takbiratul-Ihram: The first Takbir in the Salat said just after making the Niyyah.

Tamam / Itmam: Performing the 4 Rak'ah Salats completely, not Qasr.

Taqlid: To follow a Mujtahid's Fatwas in performing one's religious duties.

Tarakhkhus: (Limit of) A distance at which a traveller cannot hear the Adhan from the town he has left behind, or a distance from which it is difficult to distinguish the walls of the town.

Tartib: Sequence, ordinal of the ritual acts.

Tawaf: Circumambulation around the Ka'bah as a part of the rituals of the Hajj.

Tawhid: Monotheism, Oneness of God.

Tayammum: A kind of "dry purification" done with clean soil instead of the Wudu or the Ghusl.


Ummah: Nation, the whole Muslim community.

Umrah: A kind of Hajj to Mecca (minor Hajj)


Wajib: Obligatory, binding.

Wajib Ayni: Obligatory on every Mukallaf individually.

Wajib Kifa'i: A duty which remains Wajib upon the Muslims as a whole, but if some individuals have carried it out, other Muslims would be exempted from the responsibility.

Wudu: Islamic Ritual ablution usually before the Salat.


Zakat: A certain Islamic obligatory tax on certain items.

Zakitul-Fitr (Al-Fitrah): A Due-Alms given on Eidul-Fitr.