Glossary of Islam
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Glossary of Islam

The following list consists of notable concepts that are derived from both Islamic and Arab tradition, which are expressed as words in the Arabic language. The main purpose of this list is to disambiguate multiple spellings, to make note of spellings no longer in use for these concepts, to define the concept in one or two lines, to make it easy for one to find and pin down specific concepts, and to provide a guide to unique concepts of Islam all in one place.

Separating concepts in Islam from concepts specific to Arab culture, or from the language itself, can be difficult. Many Arabic concepts have an Arabic secular meaning as well as an Islamic meaning. One example is the concept of dawah. Arabic, like all languages, contains words whose meanings differ across various contexts. The word Islam is itself a good example.

Arabic is written in its own alphabet, with letters, symbols, and orthographic conventions that do not have exact equivalents in the Latin alphabet (see Arabic alphabet). The following list contains transliterations of Arabic terms and phrases; variations exist, e.g. din instead of deen and aqidah instead of aqeedah. Most items in the list also contain their actual Arabic spelling.


?Abd () (for male) ?Amah () (for female)
servant, worshipper, slave. Muslims consider themselves servants and worshippers of God. Common Muslim names such as Abdullah (Servant of God), Abdul-Malik (Servant of the King), Abdur-Rahm?n (Slave of the most Beneficent), Abdus-Sal?m (Slave of [the originator of] Peace), Abdur-Rahîm (Slave of the most Merciful), all refer to names of Allah.
?Adab () 
Traditionally describes good manners, as in etiquette. For example, being courteous is good ?adab. However, the term can be used very broadly, and the proper translation would be "the proper way to go about something," as in the example, d?b al Qit?l, or, "The Proper Ways of Fighting in War," (Qit?l in Arabic means mortal combat) in which the word "etiquette" does not befit the context. A secondary meaning of ?Adab is "literature".
?Adh?n (?
call to salat (prayer), sometimes alternatively spelled and pronounced Azan, Athan and Adhan.
?Adl () 
justice, especially distributive justice: social, economic, political, environmental.
AH ()
Anno Hegirae The Islamic calendar starts counting years starting from the time when Muhammad had to leave Mecca and go to Medina, an event known as the Hijra. The first day of the first Islamic year is 1 Mu?arram 1 (AH) and corresponds to 16 July 622 (CE).
?A?ad ()
literally "one." Islamically, ahad means One Alone, unique, none like God. Al-Ahad is one of the names of God.
?A?k?m ()
These are rulings and orders of the Qu'ran and Sunnah. A single ruling is called a ?ukm. Five kinds of orders: Wajib or Fard (obligatory), Mustahab (preferred and recommended), Halal or Mubah (permissible), Makruh (disliked and not recommended), and Haram (forbidden)
?Ahl al-Bayt ( ) 
members of Muhammad's Household. Also known among Shia as the Mam?n (?) (infallibles; spiritually pure).
?Ahl al-Fatrah ( ) 
people who live in ignorance of the teachings of a revealed religion, but according to the "Fitra", the "Natural Religion" innate to human nature as created by God.
?Ahl al-Kit?b ( ) 
"People of the Book", or followers of pre-Islamic monotheistic religions with some form of scripture believed to be of divine origin which were mentioned in Quran: Jews, Christians.
khirah () 
hereafter or eternal life
?Akhl?q () 
The practice of virtue. Morals.
Al-?Ikhl (?) 
Sincerity and genuineness in religious beliefs.
Al-Bir () 
Piety and righteousness and every act of obedience to Allah.
lam?n () 
Literally "worlds", humankind, jinn, angels and all that exists.
Al Hijr (Kaaba) 
A semi-circular wall north-west of Kaaba.
?alayhi -s-sal?m (? ) 
"Peace be upon him" This expression normally follows after naming a prophet (other than Muhammad), or one of the noble Angels (i.e. Jibreel (Gabriel), Meekaal (Michael), etc.)
al-?amdu li-ll?h ( ) 
"Praise be to God!" Qur'anic exclamation and also same meaning as hallelujah.
All?h (?)
The Arabic name of God.
All?humma (?) 
"Dear God..."
All?hu ?Akbar (? ?) 
"God is Greater (than anything or anyone, imaginable or unimaginable)" Islamic expression.
lim () 
One who knows. A scholar (in any field of knowledge); a scientist (who knows science) or a theologian (who knows religion); similar to Japanese sensei, "teacher".
?Am?nah ()
the trust. Of all creation, only human beings & jinns carry the "trust", which is free will.
m?n (?)
?Am?r ul-Mu?min?n (? ) 
"Commander of the Faithful" Historically the title of the Caliph. In some modern countries like Morocco, a ?Am?r ul-Mu?min?n or Commander of the faithful is the religious chief.
minah (?) 
Muhammad's mother. Aminah fell sick and died in Abwa, near Madina (then Yathrib) when Muhammad was six years old.
Al-?Amr Bi'l Ma?r?f ( ) 
Islamic doctrine of enjoining right. There exists in Islam the (obligatory) principle of encouraging other people to do the right thing.
?Anf?l ()
Spoils of war. (See S?rat al-?Anf?l (8:1)) (? ?)[1]
?Anr ()
"Helpers." The Muslim converts at Medina who helped the Muslims from Mecca after the Hijrah.
?Aq?dah () 
Article of faith, tenet, creed, or dogma.
?Aq?qah ()
Islamic practice of shaving the head of the newborn male and contributing the weight in silver for charity as well as 2 lambs.
?Aql ()
Intelligence, intellect, mind, understanding
?Ark?n singular rukn (/) 
The five rukn "pillars" of Islam. (See rukn)
A.S. (?Alayhi s-sal?m) (? )
This acronym evokes a blessing and is appended to the names of the prophets who came before Muhammad. It will also be applied to the mothers of those prophets. When following a woman's name, the feminine form is ?Alayha s-sal?m.
?A?l ( ) (pl. ?ul) 
Root, origin, source; principle.
?aslim taslam ( )
"Submit to Islam" (See dawah)
?Asm All?h al-?usn? ( ? )
List of God's 99 names. According to a hadith, the one who enumerates them all will enter Paradise.
?A?r ()
The third salat prayer. The time of the day before sunset and after noon. Also means "era".
A?-?ir () 
The bridge by crossing which it is determined (judged) whether a person would go to heaven or hell. How a person crosses the Sirat depends on what they have done in their life and what they have believed in.
al-?Asharatu Mubashsharun bil-Jannah or just ?Asharatu Mubashsharah (Arabic
?, translit. ?Asharatu l-mubashshir?n or Arabic: ? ??, translit. Asharatul-mubashshir?na bil Jannah): The ten companions of Muhammad who were promised paradise (only in Sunni Islam)
sh?r (?) 
Tenth day of the month of Muharram. It is the day God saved Moses and the children of Israel from the Pharaoh. The grandson of Muhammad, Imam Hussayn sacrificed his life along with 72 of his companions on the sand dunes of Karbala. Sunni Scholars recommended to fast during this day. To the Shias, it is also a day on which they mourn the death of the third Shia Imam, Husayn ibn Ali, along with his family and companions, who were killed in the famous battle in Karbala. They cry and weep and organize lamentating programmes where they not only learn how to live a proper Islamic life and improve their Spiritual Self but also cry at the end of the ritual to show their true love and faith towards imam Hussayn.
As-Sal?mu ?Alaykum ( )
The Islamic greeting; literally "Peace be upon you"; In addition, wa-Ra?matull?hi wa-Barak?tuhu ( ? ?) means "and the Mercy of God and His blessing". The response to this greeting is wa-?Alaykum as-Sal?m wa-Ra?matull?hi wa-Barak?tuhu ( ? ?) --"And on you be the Peace and Mercy of God and His Blessing".
?Astaghfir all?h ( ?)
"I seek forgiveness from God." Islamic expression.
A?udhu billah (? ?Adhu bill?h)
"I seek refuge in God". This is a paraphrase on the beginnings of the two last suras in the Qur'an.
?Awliy ()
Friends, protectors, helpers, caretaker, maintainer. (singular: wali)
?Awrah (?) 
The parts of the body, male or female, must be covered in public but not between spouses, such as, body parts must be concealed of a woman before non-related men.(Non-related men means those she can marry lawfully).
yah (), plural y?t (?) 
A sign. More specifically, a verse in the Qur'an.
?yatull?h ( ?, also spelled Ayatollah)
Sign of God Title given to highly ranked religious scholars in Sh'ia sect.


Bai?a (?)
See Bay'ah
Baatil (?)
see Bil
Baitull?h ( ? baytu -ll?h
A mosque, literally "house of God". Specifically means the Ka'aba at Makkah (Mecca).
a group known as the Weepers, who wept because they could not accompany Muhammad to Tabuk.
Barakah (?) 
a form of blessing.
B?rak All?hu F?kum (? ? ?)
may Allah bless you; response to expression of thanks.
Barzakh (?)
Barrier. Used in the Qur'an to describe the barrier between sweet and salty water. In theology, the one-way barrier between the mortal realm and the spirit world which the deceased soul crosses and waits for qiyamah judgment.
Bashar () 
humankind, mankind, man, human(s), etc.
Barah () 
Insight, discernment, perceptivity, deep knowledge. Sometimes used by Sufis to denote the ability to directly perceive a transcendental Truth.
Bil (?)
Bin (?) 
The interior or hidden meaning. A person who devotes himself to studying such hidden meanings is a batini.
B.B.H.N. (? ?)
Blessed be His Name - acronym for S.A.W.S. See P.B.U.H (Peace Be Upon Him).
Bid?ah (?) 
Innovation in religion, i.e. inventing new methods of worship. Bad Bid?ahs in Islam are considered a deviation and a serious sin by many Muslims.
Bid?ah sayyi?ah (? ?)
Inquiry prohibited in Islam.
Bismi-ll?hi r-ra?m?ni r-rami ( ? ) 
"In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful".[2]
Burda (?) 
In general terms, it means a "cloak" or "outer garment". Specific reference is to the "burda" of Mu?ammad (see Qada al-Burda).
Bay?ah (?) 
an oath of allegiance to a leader, traditionally the Caliph or Imam.


Caliph () khal?fah 
literally successor; refers to the successor of Muhammad, the ruler of an Islamic theocracy.


Dahri (?)
atheist - from the root ad dahr meaning time. In Islam, atheists are seen as those who think that time only destroys, hence the term ad dahriyyah for the concept of atheism.
Dajj?l () 
an Islamic figure similar to the Antichrist; means "liar" or "deceiver".
?all?l (?)
going astray.
D?r al-?Ahd ( ) 
the Ottoman Empire's relationship with its Christian tributary states.
D?r al-?Amn ( ) 
means house of safety; refers to status of a Muslim living in some of the Western world.
D?r ad-da?wa ( ) 
a region where Islam has recently been introduced.
D?r al-?arb ( ) 
means house of war; refers to areas outside Muslim rule at war with Muslim states.
D?r al-Isl?m ( ?)
the abode, or land, of Islam.
D?r al-Kufr ( ) 
means domain of disbelief; the term originally refers to the Quraish-dominated society of Mecca between Mohammed's flight to Medina (the Hijra) and the city's conquest.
D?r a?-?ul? ( )
domain of agreement
D?r ash-shah?da ( ?) 
See Dar al-Amn
Dar?d (? )
Da?wah () 
the call to Islam, proselytizing.
Darw () 
an initiate of the Sufi Path, one who practices Sufism
Dhikr () 
A devotional practice whereby the name of God is repeated in a rhythmical manner. Remembrance of God; spiritual exercise; Muslims believe that the primary function of prophets is to remind people of God.
Dhimmi (?) (pl. dhimam) 
"protected person"; Jews and Christians (and sometimes others,[3] such as Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, and Zoroastrians), living in an Islamic state who must pay special taxes and whose right to practice their religion is subject to strict control under Islamic law.
Dhuhr () (?uhr)
the second obligatory daily prayer.
D?n () 
(literally 'religion') the way of life based on Islamic revelation; the sum total of a Muslim's faith and practice. D?n is often used to mean the faith and religion of Islam.
Diyyah ()
"blood money", recompense for loss of a life.
Du (?) 
personal prayer, supplication
Dunya (?)
The physical Universe, as opposed to the Hereafter; sometimes spelled Dunia.


Eid al-Fitr ( )

Marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm).


divine grace
Fajarah (?) (also fujj?r ())
Wicked evil doers. Plural of "f?jir" (?).
f?jir ()
dawn, early morning, and the morning prayer. The time of the day when there is light in the horizon before sunrise.
Fal (?)
deliverance, salvation, well-being.
Falsafah ()
"philosophy" The methods and content of Greek philosophy which were brought into Islam. A person who tries to interpret Islam through rationalist philosophy was called a faylasuf (), "philosopher".
Fan?' (?) 
Sufi term meaning extinction - to die to this life while alive. Having no existence outside of God.
Faq?h (?)(pl. fuqah)() 
One who has a deep understanding of Islam, its laws, and jurisprudence. (see fiqh)
Al-Faraj ()
the return of the Shia Mahdi
Far? (), plural fur (?) 
a religious duty, or an obligatory action: praying 5 times a day is fard Neglecting a fard will result in a punishment in the hereafter. (See wajib)
Far? ?ain ( )
obligatory on every individual Muslim to aid in any way he can.
Far? kif?yah ( )
an obligation on the Muslim community as a whole, from which some are freed if others take it up such as for jihad.
F?sid (?)
corrupt, invalid/violable (in Islamic finance)
F?siq (?)
anyone who has violated Islamic law; usually refers to one whose character has been corrupted (plural "f?siq?n").
F?ti?a (?)
the short, opening sura of the Qur'an, which begins "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds..." These words hold an important place in Muslim liturgies and forms the core of the salat.
Fatw? (?) 
legal opinion of an (alim) binding on him and on those who follow his taqlid
F? ?Am?n all?h ( ? ?)
"In the protection of God". Said when a person departs.
Fiqh () 
jurisprudence built around the shariah by custom (al-urf). Literally means "deep understanding", refers to understanding the Islamic laws. (see faqih)
F? sab?l all?h ( ? ?)
for the sake of Allah; common Islamic expression for performing acts such as charity or Jihad and for 'qatlu' (fighting in mortal combat for the sake of Allah)
Fitna (pl. fitan) (?) 
trial or tribulation; also refers to any period of disorder, such as a civil war, or the period of time before the end of the world or any civil strife.
Fi?rah (?)
innate disposition towards virtue, knowledge, and beauty. Muslims believe every child is born with fitrah.
Furq?n ()
the criterion (of right and wrong, true and false); for example, the Qur'an as furqan.
Fuwaysiqah ()
vermin, evil from the root fasaqa meaning to deviate from the right way


Ghafara ()
(verb in past tense) to forgive, to cover up (sins). A characteristic of God.
Ghaflah (?)
heedlessness, forgetfulness of God, indifference
Ghayb ()
the unseen, unknown.
Ghan?mah ()
spoils of war, booty.
Gharar ()
excessive uncertainty;[4] also "the sale of what is not present" such as fish not yet caught, crops not yet harvested.[5]
Ghasbi () 
possessed unlawfully
Gh?zi (?) 
(archaic) roughly, "raider": a holy warrior; a mujahid
Ghusl ()
full ablution of the whole body (see wudu). Ghusl janaba is the mandatory shower after having sexual discharge.


?adath akbar ( ?)
major ritual impurity which requires Niyyat for cleaning.
?adath a?ghar ( ?) 
minor ritual impurity
H?dh? min fa?l rabb? ( )
Qur'anic expression and phrase meaning This is by the Grace of my Lord.
H?d? (?)
a guide, one who guides; A Muslim name for God is The Guide, or Al-Hadi.
?ad?th (? ?ad?th) plural ah?d?th 
literally "speech"; recorded saying or tradition of Muhammad validated by isnad; with sira these comprise the sunnah and reveal shariah
?ad?th mashh?r (? ) 
Well-known hadith; a hadith which reported by one, two, or more Companions from Muhammad or from another Companion, but has later become well-known and transmitted by an indefinite number of people during the first and second generation of Muslims.
fi? (?) 
someone who knows the Qur'an by heart. Literal translation = memorizer or Protector.
Haid|?ai? () 
jj (?) plural ?ujj?j () and ?aj?j (?)
Pilgrim, one who has made the Hajj.
?ajj () and ?ijjah (plurals ?ijj?t () and ?ijaj ())
pilgrimage to Mecca. Sunnis regard this as the fifth Pillar of Islam. See Dhu al-Hijjah.
?ajj at-Tamattu? ( )
performing ?Umrah during the Hajj season, and on the Day of Tarwiah a pilgrim gets into the state of Ihram for Hajj. Before making ?Umrah, approach the Miqat and declare the intention. End by sacrificing an animal.
?ajj al-Qir?n ( ) 
At Miqat, declare intention to perform both Hajj and 'Umrah together. After throwing the Jamrah of Al-'Aqabah, and getting hair shaved or cut that take off his Ihram garments and sacrifice animal.
?ajj al-?Ifr?d ( ?)  
At Miqat, declare intention for Hajj only. Maintain Ihram garments up to the Day of Sacrifice. No offering is required from him.
kim (?) 
a ruler's or governor's title; in some Muslim states, a judge. See Ahkam.
kim?ya () 
sovereignty, governance.
?al?l (?) 
lawful, permitted, good, beneficial, praiseworthy, honourable. (See mustahabb, mandub)
?alaqah (?) 
A gathering or meeting for the primary purpose of learning about Islam.
?alq () 
Shaving of the head, particularly associated with pilgrimage to Mecca[6]
?an?f (?) 
pre-Islamic non-Jewish or non-Christian monotheists. Plural: ?unaf?' ().
?aqq ()
truth, reality, right, righteousness. Al-Haqq is one of 99 names of God.
?ar?m (?) 
?aram () 
?asan ()
Good, beautiful, admirable. Also a categorization of a hadith's authenticity as "acceptable". (other categorizations include authentic and fabricated).
Hawa () (pl. ?ahw ()) 
Vain or egotistical desire; individual passion; impulsiveness.
Hid?yah () 
guidance from God.
?ij?b (?) 
literally "cover". It describes the covering of the body for the purposes of modesty and dignity; broadly, a prescribed system of attitudes and behaviour regarding modesty and dignity. (See abayah, al-amira, burqa, chador, jilbab, khimar, milfeh, niqab, purdah, shayla)
Hijra () 
Muhammad and his followers' emigration from Mecca to Medina. Literally, "migration". This holiday marks the beginning of the Muslim New Year on the first day of the month of Muharram. See Rabi' al-awwal and abbreviation AH.
?ikmah (also Hikmat) (?) 
Literally this means "wisdom" and refers to the highest possible level of understanding attainable by a Muslim. In particular, it refers to the illuminative, mystical sort of wisdom that a Gnostic or Sufi might attain.
Hil?l (?) 
Crescent moon.
?ima () 
wilderness reserve, protected forest, grazing commons; a concept of stewardship
?izb () 
One half of a juz', or roughly 1/60th of the Qur'an
Hud? () 
Hudna (?) 
Truce. Cease-fire (often temporary)
?ud?d (?) (sing. hadd) 
Literally, limits or boundaries. Usually refers to limits placed by Allah on man; penalties of the Islamic law (sharia) for particular crimes described in the Qur'an - intoxication, theft, rebellion, adultery and fornication, false accusation of adultery, and apostasy. (See ta'zeer)
?ukm ()
ruling in the Qur'an or Sunnah. Also spelled Hukum.
r? ( r?ya; pl. r?y?t
beautiful and pure young men and women that Muslims believe inhabit Paradise, or Heaven.


?Ib?dah ()
submission, worship, but not limited to ritual: all expressions of servitude to Allah, including the pursuit of knowledge, living a pious life, helping, charity, and humility, can be considered ibadah.
?Ibl?s ()
Devil banished to Hell for his arrogance and disobedience; aka Satan : He is the equivalent of Lucifer.
?Id ()
festival or celebration. Alternatively transliterated Eid.
?Id ul-Adha ( )
"the Festival of Sacrifice." The four-day celebration starting on the tenth day of Dhul-Hijja.
?Id ul-Fitr ( )
"the Festival of Fitr (Breaking the fast)." A religious festival that marks the end of the fast of Ramadan.
?Ifr ()
a meal eaten by Muslims breaking their fast after sunset during the month of Ramadan.
?I?r?m ()
state of consecration for hajj. Includes dress and or prayer.
?I?s?n ()
perfection in worship, such that Muslims try to worship God as if they see Him, and although they cannot see Him, they undoubtedly believe He is constantly watching over them.
?I?tiy ()
Also Ahwat. A Precaution, either obligatory or optional.[7]
?I?tiy musta?abb( ) 
A preferred precaution.[7]
?I?tiy w?jib( ?)
An obligatory precaution.[7]
?I?j?z ()
miracle, the character of the Qur'an in both form and content.
?Ij?zah ()
a certificate authorizing one to transmit a subject or text of Islamic knowledge
?Ijm?' ()
the consensus of either the ummah (or just the ulema) - one of four bases of Islamic Law. More generally, political consensus itself. Shi'a substitute obedience to the Imam; opposite of ikhtilaf
?Ijtih?d ()
During the early times of Islam, the possibility of finding a new solution to a juridical problem. Has not been allowed in conservative Islam since the Middle Ages. However, Liberal movements within Islam generally argue that any Muslim can perform ijtihad, given that Islam has no generally accepted clerical hierarchy or bureaucratic organization. The opposite of ijtihad is taqlid (), Arabic for "imitation".
?Ikhtil?f ()
disagreement among the madhhabs (scholars) of a religious principle; opposite of ijma.
?Ikr?m ()
honouring, hospitality, generosity - Dhul jalaali wal ikraam is one of the 99 names of Allah.
?Ikr?h () 
mental or physical force.
?Il?h ()
deity, a god; including gods worshiped by polytheists.
?Ilm ()
all varieties of knowledge, usually a synonym for science
?Im?m (?)
literally, leader; e.g. a man who leads a community or leads the prayer; the Shi'a sect use the term only as a title for one of the twelve Allah-appointed successors of Muhammad.
?Im?mah () or imamate 
successorship of Muhammad and the leadership of mankind.
?Im?n ()
personal faith
?Inna lil?hi wa ?inna ?ilaihi r?jin ( )  
To Allah we belong and to Him is our return - said to mourners
?Inf?q ()
the habitual inclination to give rather than take in life; the basis for charity
?Inj?l (?)
Arabic term for the holy book called The Gospel said to have been given to Jesus, who is known as Isa in Arabic; Muslims believe the holy book has been lost and the New Testament gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are not the word of Allah, only Christian stories about Jesus.
?In sha -ll?h ( ?)
"If God wills"; Inshallah is "resigned, accepting, neutral, passive. It is neither optimistic nor pessimistic."[1] [2]
?Iq?mah ()
the second call to prayer. Similar to the azhan.
?Irtid?d ()
apostasy (see murtadd). Also riddah
s? (?)
Jesus - 'Isa ibn Maryam (English: Jesus son of Mary), (a matronymic since he had no biological father). The Qur'an asserts that Allah has no sons and therefore, 'Isa is not the son of Allah. Muslims honor 'Isa as a nabi and rasul.
?Ish?' (?)
night; the fifth salat prayer
?I?l ( )
"reform". This term may mean very different things, depending on the context. When used in reference to reform of Islam, it may mean modernism, such as that proposed by Muhammad Abduh; or Salafi literalism, such as that preached by Muhammad Nasiruddin al-Albani[8]
?Isl?m About this sound (?)   
"submission to God". The Arabic root word for Islam means submission, obedience, peace, and purity.
?Isn?d ()
chain of transmitters of any given hadith
?Isr (?)
the night journey during which Muhammad ()is said to have visited Heaven. See miraj.
?Istighf?r (?)
requesting forgiveness
?Istidah (?)
vaginal bleeding except Haid and Nifas
?Isti?l (?)
public interest - a source of Islamic Law.
?Istishh?d (?)
?Ithm ()
Negative reward for bad deeds that is tallied on qiyamah(judgment day.) Opposite of thawab.
?I?tik?f ()
seclusion in the masjid for the purpose of worship usually performed during the last 10 days of Ramadan.
?Itm?m al-hujjah ( )
clarification of truth in its ultimate form.
Ittaqullah ( ?)
command to fear God or to be pious to Allah.


Jiz (?)
That which is allowed or permissible. As a rule, everything that is not prohibited is allowed. (See halal, mustahabb, mandub)
Jahannam (?) 
the Hell-fire; Hell
J?hil?yyah () 
the time of ignorance before Islam was realized. Describes polytheistic religions.
Jahl () 
ignorance, foolishness.
Jalsa - sitting
J?mi?ah () 
"gathering"; i.e. a university, a mosque, or more generally, a community or association.
Jan?bah( ) 
A state of spiritual impurity that occur due to sexual intercourse or ejaculation and necessitates major ritual ablution (ghusl),
Jan?zah () 
Funeral. ?al?t al-Jan?zah is a funeral prayer.
Jannah () 
Paradise, Heaven, the Garden
Jaz?ka-ll?hu khayran (? ) 
"May God reward you with good." Islamic expression of gratitude.
Jih?d (?) 
struggle. Any earnest striving in the way of God, involving personal, physical, for righteousness and against wrongdoing;
Jih?d a?-?agh?r (? ) 
Offensive jihad declared by caliph.
Jih?d a?-?alab (? )
Offensive jihad.
Jih?d ad-daf?a (? ) 
Defensive jihad.
Jih?d bil-m?l (? )
Financial jihad.
Jih?d bis-saif ( ? )
literally 'struggle by the sword'; holy war.
Jilb?b () 
(pl. jalabib) a long, flowing, garment worn by some as a more conservative means of fulfillment of sartorial hijab. (See also: abaya. burka, chador)
Jinn () 
Term for invisible beings, considered to roam the earth.
Jizya (?)
A tax specified in the Koran (9:29) to be paid by non-Muslim males living under Muslim political control.
To deny. Jaahid (the denier). Disbelief out of rejection. When there comes to them that which they [should] have recognized, they refuse to believe in (kafaru) it. ( 2:89) Accordingly, juhud includes rejection (kufr at-taktheeb) and resistance (kufr al-'inaad)
Jumu?ah (?) 
Friday prayer or Sabbath.
Junub () 
an unclean state of body as in breaking Wudu
Juz? () 
one of thirty parts of the Qur'an


Ka?bah () 
cube-house; the cube-shaped building, i.e., in Mecca toward which Muslims pray.
K?fir (? k?fir sing.; kuff?r pl.) 
from the word kafara, "to hide." Those who deliberately hide the truth; non-Muslims in non-Islamic countries or states, unbelievers, truth-concealers; one who is ungrateful. Common degoratory term used by different Islamic factions such as sunni and shias to denounce each other as non-Muslims. Plural: K?fir?n. Commonly used as an offensive term for black people by white South Africans.
Kal?m ( ) (?ilm al-kal?m) 
Literally, "words" or "speech," and referring to oration. The name applied to the discipline of philosophy and theology concerned specifically with the nature of faith, determinism and freedom, and the nature of the divine attributes.
Khair ()
Every kind of good
Khal?fah () 
Caliph, more generally, one performing the duties of khilafa.
Khal?l (?) 
devoted friend
Khalq () 
Creation - the act of measuring; determining, estimating and calculating. Khalq is the noun form of the verb khalaqa (see bara, sawwara).
Al-kh?liq ()
The Creator, Allah.
Khamr ()
Intoxicant, wine.
Khat?b (?)
the speaker at the Friday Muslim prayer, or Jumu'ah prayer.
Khatm ()
Complete recitation of the Qur'an.
Khar?j (?) 
a land tax.
goodness. See birr (righteousness) See qist (equity) See 'adl (equilibrium and justice) See haqq (truth and right) See ma'ruf (known and approved) See taqwa (piety.)
khil?f (?) 
Controversy, dispute, discord.
Khil?fah () 
Man's trusteeship and stewardship of Earth; Most basic theory of the Caliphate; Flora and fauna as sacred trust; Accountability to; God for harms to nature, failure to actively care and maintain. Three specific ways in which khalifa is manifested in Muslim practice are the creation of haram to protect water, hima to protect other species (including those useful to man), and by resisting infidel domination over Muslim lands, in jihad.
al-khulaf ar-r?shid?n (? ) 
four first caliphs, believed by most Muslims to be most righteous rulers in history
Khim?r (?) (pl. khumur () or ?akhmirah (?)) 
headcovering (Q. 24:31).
Khit?n (?) 
Male circumcision.
Khuluq () pl. ?akhl?q () 
Khush (?)
humility, devotion, concentration (especially in prayer).
Khu?bah (?)
the sermon at Jumu'ah prayer.
Kibr () 
pride, arrogance
Kibar () 
old age
Kit?b (?) 
book; The Qurn is often referred to as "Al-Kit?b" (The Book).
Kufr () 
Unbelief, infidelity, blasphemy; also hubris. See Kafir and Kuffar
Kufr al-?ukm ( ) 
Disbelief from judgment.
Kufr al-?In?d ( ) 
Disbelief out of stubbornness
Kufr al-?Ink?r ( ?) 
Disbelief out of arrogance and pride.
Kufr al-?Istibd?l ( ) 
Disbelief because of trying to substitute Allaah's Laws.
Kufr al-?Isti?l?l ( ) 
Disbelief out of trying to make HARAM into HALAL.
Disbelief due to mockery and derision
Kufr al-jahl ( )
Disbelief from not being aware of or not understanding.
Kufr al-juhud ( )
Disbelief from obstinacy after being presented with truth.
Kufr an-Nif?q ( )
Disbelief out of hypocrisy.
Kufr al-?I?r ( ?) 
Disbelief due to avoidance.
Kun () 
God's command to the universe, 'Be!' is sufficient to create it.


L? il?ha ill?-ll?h ( ?) 
"There is no god but God." The most important expression in Islam. It is part of the first pillar of Islam. According to Islam, this is the message of all the Prophets, such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad.
Labbayka -ll?humma ( ?) 
God, I obey you (said during hajj)
Laghw () 
Dirty, false, evil vain talk
La?nah (?) 
Curse, execration, or imprecation.
Laylat al-Qadr (? ) 
the Night of Power, towards the end of Ramadan, when Muhammad received the first revelation of the Qur'an.


Madhhab (?) 
pl. Madh?hib () school of religious jurisprudence (fiqh), school of thought. Also see fiqh.
Madrasah () 
school, university
Maghrib (?)
the fourth daily salat prayer
Mahdi (?) 
"a guide". More specifically al-Mahdi (the guide) is a figure who will appear with Prophet Jesus before the end of time, when God allows it, to bring world peace, order and justice, after it has been overcome with injustice and aggression.
Mahd?r ad-damm ( ?)
he whose blood must be wasted
Ma?ram (?) 
a relative of the opposite gender usually described as being "within the forbidden limits"; a better description is "within the protected limits". means relatives who one can appear before without observing hijab and who one cannot marry.
Maisir (? ) 
gambling, game of chance
Makr?h () 
Means "detested", though not haraam (forbidden); something that is disliked or offensive. If a person commits the Makruh, he does not accumulate ithim but avoiding the Makhruh is rewarded with thawab.
Malikah () 
angels (Sing. Malak). It was one of these mala'ika, Jibril (Gabriel) who delivered Allah's revelation to Muhammad.
M? malakat ?aym?nukum ( ? ?) 
one's rightful spouse (literally: what your right hands possess)
Man?sik () 
the rules specifying the requirements of a legally valid hajj
Mand?b () 
commendable or recommended. Failure to do it would not be a sin. (See halal mustahabb)
Manhaj (?)
the methodology by which truth is reached[9]
Mans?kh () 
That which is abrogated. The doctrine of al-Nasikh wal-Mansukh (abrogation) of certain parts of the Qur'anic revelation by others. The principle is mentioned in the Qur'an (2:106) see naskh
Manzil (?)
one of seven equal parts of the Qur'an
Ma?r?f () 
consensus of the community
Maqid () sing. maq?id (?) 
goals or purposes; such as the purposes of Islamic law
Mali? () sing. ma?la?ah ()
public interests
Masbuq () 
A person who is late for salat and has not joined the imam in the first rak'at.
M? sha -ll?h ( ?) 
Allah has willed it
Mas (?) 
the (Biblical) Messiah, Jesus Christ
Masjid (?) pl. mas?jid,  
place of prayer; mosque
Masjid al-?ar?m ( ) 
the mosque surrounding the Ka?bah in Mecca.
Maw?l? or maw?l? ()
Non-Arab Muslims
Mawl? [mawlan (?)] [pl. maw?lin ()] 
protector or master
Mawl?n? () 
an Arabic word literally meaning "our lord" or "our master". It is used mostly as a title preceding the name of a respected religious leader, in particular graduates of religious institutions. The term is sometimes used to refer to Rumi.
Maulvi () 
an honorific Islamic religious title often, but not exclusively, given to Muslim religious scholars or Ulema preceding their names. Maulvi generally means any religious cleric or teacher
Mecca (? Makkah
the holiest city in Islam
Medina ( Mad?nah
"city"; Medinat-un-Nabi means "the City of the Prophet." See Hijra (Islam)
Mi'?d (?)
the Resurrection; God will resurrect all of humankind to be judged. Shi'as regard this as the fifth Pillar of Islam.
Mi?r?b () 
a niche in the wall of all mosques, indicating the direction of prayer
Millah ()
In Arabic, millah means "religion," but it has only been used to refer to religions other than Islam, which is din.
(see Millah) (Turkish word also meaning a nation, community, or a people). In an Islamic state, "Ahl al Kitab" may continue to practice their former religion in a semi-autonomous community termed the millet.
Minaret () 
a tower built onto a mosque from the top of which the call to prayer is made
Minbar (?) 
a raised pulpit in the mosque where the Imam stands to deliver sermons
Minhaj (?) 
methodology, e.g. methods, rules, system, procedures.
M?q?t ( ) 
intended place
Mi?r?j (?) 
the Ascension to the Seven Heavens during the Night Journey See also: isra
Mu?adhdhin (?)
a person who performs the call to prayer
Muhad?t (?) 
Mu?awwidhatayn () 
suras Al-Falaq and an-Nas, the "Surahs of refuge", should be said to relieve suffering (also protect from Black Magic)
Mub (?) 
literally permissible; neither forbidden nor commended. Neutral. (See halal)
Mubaligh (?) 
person who recites Qur'an
Muft? (?) 
an Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law (Sharia), capable of issuing fataawa (plural of "fatwa").
Mu?ajabah () 
woman who wears hijab (polite form of hijabi).
unequivocal verses of Qur'an. (See mutashabehat.)
Muribah () 
a person who wages war against God
Mu?ammadun ras?l all?h ( ? ?) 
"Muhammad is the messenger of God." This statement is the second part of the first pillar of Islam. This is the second most important statement in Islam.
Mufsid (?) 
evil-doer a person who wages jihad (war) not in accordance with the Qur'an. Plural mufsideen.
Mu?sin (?) 
a person who performs good deed. Plural muhsineen. Opposite of Mufsidun.
Muh?jir?n (?) 
The first Muslims that accompanied Muhammad when he traveled to Medina.
Muhar?iq () 
Muj?hid () 
a fighter for Islam. Plural Muj?hid?n (?).
Mujtahid () 
a scholar who uses reason for the purpose of forming an opinion or making a ruling on a religious issue. Plural: Mujtahidun.
Mullah () 
are Islamic clergy. Ideally, they should have studied the Qur'an, Islamic traditions (hadith), and Islamic law (fiqh).
Mu?min (?) 
A Muslim who observes the commandments of the Qur'an.
Mun?fiq () 
hypocrite. Plural: Munafiqun
Muntaqabah () pl. muntaqab?t (?) 
woman who wears niqab
Mur?ba?ah ( ) 
a type of sharia-compliant mortgage (see Ijara)
Murshid (?) 
a Sufi teacher
Murtadd (?) female apostate is Murtaddah
apostate (see irtidad see mahdur ad-damm.)
Muaf (?)
a copy, codex or redaction of the Qur'an.
Mushrik (?)(pl. mushrik?n) ()
One who associates others in worship with God; a polytheist.
Muslim (?) 
a follower of the religion of Islam. One who submits their will to Allah (God)
Musta?abb () 
commendable or recommended. (See halal, mandub)
Mut?ah (?) 
literally enjoyment; compensation paid to a divorced woman; when used in the phrase nik al-mut?ah (? ) it refers to temporary marriage.
Mutash?bih?t ()
equivocal verses of Qur'an. (See Muhakkamat.)
Muta?aib?n () 
Mu?awwa? () plural mu?awwan (?) 
religious man in certain regions, a volunteer teacher
Mu?awwan (?) () (singular mu?awwa?)
Religious police.
Mutaw?tir () 
"agreed upon"--used to describe hadith that were narrated by many witnesses through different narration chains (isnads) leading back to Muhammad


Nab? () 
literally, prophets. In the Islamic context, a Nabi is a man sent by God to give guidance to man, but not given scripture. The Prophet Abraham was a Nabi. This is in contrast to Rasul, or Messenger. Plural: Anbiya. See: Rasul.
Nafs () 
soul, the lower self, the ego/id
N?filah (
An optional, supererogatory practice of worship, in contrast to farida
Naj?sah ()
N?jis (?)
Nak?r and Munkar (? ? ?) 
two malaikah who test the faith of the dead in their graves
Naa () 
Naskh () 
The doctrine of al-Nasikh wal-Mansukh (abrogation) of certain parts of the Qur'anic revelation by others. The principle is mentioned in the Qur'an (2:106) see mansukh.
Na () 
a known, clear legal injunction
Nif?s (?)
the bleeding after childbirth (see Haid)
Nif?q (?)
falsehood; dishonesty; hypocrisy
Nik ()
the matrimonial contract between a bride and bridegroom within Islamic marriage
Niq?b (?) 
veil covering the face
Niyyah ()
Nub?wwah () 
prophethood. Shi'as regard this as the third Pillar of Islam.
a great munkar - prohibited, evil, dreadful thing.
N?r (
light. Muslims believe angels were created from light and jinn from fire.


an acronym that stands for "peace be upon him" a blessing which is affixed to Muhammad's name whenever it is written. In some circles and English writings, Sufis regard PBUH to signify "Peace and Blessings Upon Him" (the Rasul or Messenger of Allah). These are the primary English explications of the P.B.U.H. acronym. The Arabic version is S.A.W.


Qadhf ()
false imputation of unchastity specifically punished by sharia.
Qadar () 
Q (?) 
judge of Islamic Law
Qalb () 
Qiblah (?) 
the direction Muslims face during prayer
Qit?l f? sab?l all?h ( ? ? ? ) 
fight in the cause of Allah.
Qiy?mah ()
resurrection; return of the dead for the Day of Judgment
Qi (?) 
equitable retribution - a fine for murder if the heirs forgive the perpetrator. (See hudud, tazeer)
Qiy?m (?) 
to stand, a position of salat prayer
Qiy?s () 
analogy - foundation of legal reasoning and thus fiqh
Quds? (?) 
classification of a hadith that are believed to be narrated by Muhammad from God.
Qurbah (?) 
closeness to God. Term is associated with Sufism.
Qurn () 
The word Qur'an means recitation. Muslims believe the Qur'an (Koran) to be the literal word of God and the culmination of God's revelation to mankind, revealed to Muhammad in the year AD 610 in the cave Hira by the angel Jibril.


  • Some Islamic concepts are usually referred to in Persian or Turkic. Those are typically of later origin than the concepts listed here; for completeness it may be best to list Persian terms and those unique to Shi'a on their own page, likewise Turkic terms and those unique to the Ottoman period on their own page, as these are culturally very distinct.
  • The word "crusade" in English is usually translated in Arabic as "?amlah ?al?b?yah" which means literally "campaign of Cross-holders" (or close to that meaning). In Arabic text it is "? " and the second word comes from "?al?b" which means "cross."
  • The verses in the Qur'an that usually refers to as jih?d verses have the phrase "Qit?l f? sab?l all?h" (fighting for the sake of Allah).

See also


  1. ^ S?rat al-?Anf?l
  2. ^ First line in Qurn
  3. ^ USC-MSA Compendium of Muslim Texts Archived 2006-07-22 at the Wayback Machine.
  4. ^ Khan, Muhammad Akram (2013). What Is Wrong with Islamic Economics?: Analysing the Present State and Future Agenda. Edward Elgar Publishing. p. 402. Retrieved 2015. 
  5. ^ Qazi, M.A. (1979). A Concise Dictionary of Islamic Terms. Lahore: Kazi Publications. p. 15. 
  6. ^ Bakri H. S. Al-Azzam. Certain Terms Relating to Islamic Observances: Their Meanings with Reference to Three Translations of the Qur'an and a Translation of Hadith. Universal-Publishers. p. 247. ISBN 978-1-59942-668-6. 
  7. ^ a b c "The Islamic glossary: An explanation of names, terms and Symbols". Retrieved . 
  8. ^ Habib Ali Jifri on Shaykh al-Buti Archived 2013-11-10 at the Wayback Machine. Marifah forum
  9. ^ Quintan Wiktorowicz. Radical Islam rising: Muslim extremism in the West. Rowman & Littlefield, 2005. ISBN 0-7425-3641-6, ISBN 978-0-7425-3641-8. Pg 18


See also

External links

  • ^ hiàà

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