‘Ad: ‘Ad The community to which The Prophet Hud (PBUH) was sent.

Ahadith: See Hadith.

Allah: Literally Al‑Ilah meaning "The God", the One and Only, the Compassionate, the Merciful, in His Pure, Unique, Eternal and Absolute sense, on Whom all depend and to Whom no gods or goddesses are associated. "He begets not, nor is He begotten, And there is not a single one to equate with Him." (112)

Apostle: See rasul.

ayah: Clear Sign from Allah, miracle. Shortest unit of the Qur'anic text.

ayat: Plural of ayah.

Diya': Light, brilliancy.

Din: The way of life as prescribed by Allah. Religion is the closest word in English, but is not a precise representation. There are many religions, whereas there is only one din, which started from the time of The Prophet Adam (PBUH), was gradually completed by many prophets such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ (PBUT all), and Muhammad (SA), and was finally perfected by Allah, the exalted in the form of Islam. The word din has been mentioned in the Glorious Qur'an about 70 times, but there is no mention of its plural form, 'adyan.

Du’a': Supplication.

Fitnah: Allurement, seduction, discord, riot, disturbance, civil war, impiety, unbelief, sin, chastisement, madness.

al‑Furqan: The Criterion to distinguish between good and evil (one of the names of the Glorious Qur'an).

Furqan: See al‑Furqan.

Hadith: A collection of words of Muhammad (SA) as quoted by reliable sources who reported directly from him, and identification of a series of reputable dignitaries who heard the quotations from one another before it was finally documented. A complete reputable linkage is necessary for an authentic Hadith. The plural is ahadith.

Hadrat: Excellency, Highness, a title used before the name of Messengers, angels, imams, religious leaders, and pious personalities.

Hijrah: The victorious migration of Muhammad (SA) from Makkah to Madinah, in A.D. 621, which initiates the Islamic calendar.

Imamah: Imamate, one of the five Shi’iy principles, the belief in 12 infallible imams, as leaders of Islamic community.

Injil, the: The Book of Divine Revelation to The Prophet Jesus Christ (PBUH) (the source from which the New Testament is produced).

Islam: As a concept, in the form of a verbal noun, means "the state of being submitted (to the will of Allah, the Exalted) at all times". As a religion, in the form of a proper noun, it is the perfection of din (please see din) before Allah. As a word, it has a variety of meanings, most suitable for the final stage of Allah's din. Various derivatives of its root denote perfection, safety, security and protection, health and freedom from defect, salvation and preservation, peace and tranquillity, salutation and greetings, reconciliation, and most importantly, submission to the will of Allah, and obedience.

Jinn: Jinns are made of smokeless fire, men made of clay, and Angels made of light. As in the case of mankind, there are both believers and unbelievers, among jinnkind. Their bodies are mare subtle than those of humans, and cannot be normally seen by mankind. But they are known to have affected the lives of men in various ways.

Ka’bah, the: The Holy focal point representing the Oneness of Allah and his Islam. There are indications that it was first built by The Prophet Adam (PBUH). But it is certain that its construction goes back at least to the time of The Prophet Abraham and his son Ishmael (PBUT). After the establishment of truth of the Unity of Allah by The Prophet Abraham (PBUH), people gradually fell into idol worship again for many gener­ations until the time of Muhammad (SA), when the Kacbah was cleared of idols, and the worship of One True Allah was re‑established. Muslims, worldwide, turn to the Kacbah when praying, as a convergence to the Oneness of Allah and the Unity of His din. The Kacbah is also a focal point for the unity of Muslims when they gather together during the pilgrimage. The rite of circumambulation around the Kacbah emulates the circumambulation of angels around the Throne of Allah in the Heavens.

Khums: a tax on surplus wealth.

Madyan: Midianites. The Prophet Jethro (PBUH) was missioned by Allah for guidance of this community.

Messenger: See nabiy (Divine Prophet) and rasul (Divine Apostle). Messenger is taken to mean either nabiy or rasul.

Mishkah: Niche.

Mubin: According to A. Yusuf cAli, the renowned translator of the Glorious Qur'an, mubin means beautifully plain, clear, unambiguous, self‑evident, not involved in mysteries of origin, history, or meaning, one which everyone can understand as to the essentials necessary for him (or her). Mubin has all these meanings, but it suggests, besides, some quality of a shining light, by which we are able to make things clear, to distinguish the true from the false. With this in mind, perspicuous, illuminating or enlightening might be a good representation of mubin.

Nabiy: A messenger, selected by Allah, who is in communication with Him and can bring back Divine news and information. He is not necessarily charged with the mission of risdlah. Out of some 124,000 nabiys who have helped mankind since its creation, only 313 were commissioned as rasuls.

Nur: Visible radiation, capable of causing a visual sensation, light, lighted (lit), luminous body, reflection or manifestation of the source (and The Truth).

Peace: A by‑product of justice. Peace can only be achieved when justice prevails using one universal code of justice according to Almighty Allah, and not various standards according to heads of states.

Prophet: See nabiy.

Rasul: A messenger, selected by Allah, who is charged with certain Divine mission. He must also be a nabiy in order to be able to communicate with Allah and accomplish his mission.

Risalah: The Divine mission for a rasul, planned by Allah the Exalted.

Shi’iy: Shiite.

Siraj: Lamp, wick, a glowing subject (e.g. glow‑worm), sun. See also wahhdj under which an ayah from the Glorious Qur'an includes both words.

Surah: Each of the 114 chapters of the Glorious Qur'an is called one surah.

Tafsir: Exegesis, commentary, explanation, interpretation. Please see Note below.1

Tawrah, the: The Book of Divine Revelation to The Prophet Moses (PBUH) (the source from which the Old Testament is produced).

Taqwa: Piety, virtue, the opposite of being the slave of one's selfish desires.

Tawhid: The paramount principle of Islamic unity. It starts with the Unity or Uniqueness of Allah, the Exalted, [There is no gods) or goddesses) except Allah], and penetrates globally through every aspect of life and death, such as the Unity of the universe, religion (din), mankind, race, Divine Plan, and so forth.

Ta'wil: Paraphrasing, commenting and expounding by going back to the root and origin of the subject, interpretation. Please see Note below. 38

Tafsir: Exegesis, commentary, explanation, interpretation. Please see the following note. 38

Thamud: Thamud community to which The Prophet Saiih (PBUH) was sent by Allah for guidance.

Wahhaj: Stems from a root that denotes: to blaze fiercely, to kindle (the fire), to be vehemently hot, to shine, intense heat or glow (of the sun or fire). "And (have We not) built over you the seven firmaments, and placed (therein) a lamp (the sun) [siraj] that glows intensely (wahhaj]?" (78:12‑13)

Wahy: The process of Divine revelation to messengers of Allah. For more information please refer to Chapter II, section A), item 7, "What is the Mother of the Book" on page 11, and also item 19, "What was the first revelation..." on page 27.

Ummah: The Muslim community, brotherhood.

Zakariyya: Father of Yahya, John the Baptist (PBUH).

Zakat: a tax on certain produce of the land, mines, etc.

  • 1. There is not a sharp dividing line between ta'wil and tafsir. The former is prohibited while the latter is encouraged (with certain rules). The difference between the two is defined differently by different scholars in the past. The essence of what has been recorded by various scholars is given as follows,

    Ta’wil is an intellectual process while tafsir is a verbal (literal) comment. Ta'wil has to do with the meanings and tafs it has to do with words.

    Ta’wil is the discovery of the core (interior) while tafsir is the findings from the outward
    appearance (exterior).

    Ta'wil belongs to the allegorical ayat (mutashabihat) whereas tafsir is for the fundamental ayat (muhkamat). Please refer to ayah III:7 on page 14.

    An interpretation causing differences is called ta’wil, otherwise it is called tafsir.

    Ta’wil has to do with intellectual penetration whereas tafsir clarifies matter by telling
    stories and giving comments.

    The history of the collection of the Glorious Qur’an, Sayyid Muhammad Rida Jalali Na'ini
    (Farsi), 1365 S.H.C. (1986), p 313