Get Glossary of Islam essential facts below. View Videos or join the Glossary of Islam discussion. Add Glossary of Islam to your PopFlock.com topic list for future reference or share this resource on social media.
Glossary of Islam
List of definitions of terms and concepts used in Islam
The following list consists of notable concepts that are derived from Islamic and associated cultural (Arab, Persian, Turkish) traditions, which are expressed as words in Arabic or Persian 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.
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.
Servant or worshipper. Muslims consider themselves servants and worshippers of God as per Islam. 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.
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".
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).
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)
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.
Arabic elative term, "more correct." Used by Muslim scholars to introduce their own view while not entirely dismissing that of others.
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.
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.
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".
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).
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.
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. It is also pronounced zikr.
"protected person"; Jews and Christians (and sometimes others, such as Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, and Zoroastrians), living in an Islamic state who must pay a separate tax instead of the zakah paid by Muslims and this exempts non-Muslims from military service under Islamic law.
anyone who has violated Islamic law; usually refers to one whose character has been corrupted (plural "f?siq?n"); in the Quran it refers to unbelievers who derided God for using similes and parables (in the Quran).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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".
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 Testamentgospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are not the word of Allah, only Christian stories about Jesus.
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.
"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
A tax specified in the Quran (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)
from the word kafara, "to hide." Those who deliberately hide the truth; non-Muslims in Islamic or non-Islamic countries or states, unbelievers, truth-concealers; one who is ungrateful to God as per Islam. Common derogatory 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.
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.
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.
"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.
"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.
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.
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.
(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.
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.
Light, more theological connoted than daw', the proper term for light in Arabic. Nur is often associated with benevolence, as Light of Muhammad and angels of mercy as created from nur. The term is closely associated with nar, which denotes the burning light of fire, often associated with fierce forces, like angels of punishment, demons and hell.
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.
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.
messenger; Unlike prophets (Nabi), messengers are given scripture. Moses (as), David (as), Jesus (as) and Mohammed (as) are considered messengers. All messengers are considered prophets, but not all prophets are given scripture. See: Nabi.
The testimony of faith: La ilaha illa Allah. Muhammadun rasulullah. ("There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah."). Sunnis regard this as the first Pillar of Islam. Also may be used as a synonym for the term Istish'h?d meaning martyrdom.
witness, martyr. Usually refers to a person killed whilst fighting in "jih?d f? sab?l All?h" (jihad for the sake of Allah). Often used in modern times for deaths in a political cause (including victims of soldiers, deaths in battle, et cetera) which are viewed by some Muslims as a spiritual cause not just a political cause. But the real meaning of Jihad is to defend Islam in any way; thus, it could be in an economic way or could refer to fighting for the rights of the oppressed or the believers; most often it refers to mastering one's own inclination for evil and shirk.
the "path" or "example" of Muhammad, i.e., what he did or said or agreed to during his life. He is considered by Muslims to be the best human moral example. Also referring to optional good deeds, such as pious deeds and voluntary ritual prayers.
Uttering the formula of faith: "L? il?ha ill? -ll?h", (i.e. "There is no god but God");Tahmid ():Tahmid means to praise Allah or saying "Alhamdillah".It derives from the same root ase Muhammad, mahmud and hamid(hmd) which means praise in Arabic.
righteousness; goodness; Piety: Taqwa is taken from the verbe Ittaqua, which means Avoiding, Fearing the punishment from Allah for committing sins. It is piety obtained by fearing the punishment of Allah.
Uttering the formula: "Subhan Allah", i.e. (Glory be to Allah)
"the evaluation of the degree of iman" (belief), "proof of iman; Tasdiq is proved by "acceptance of what the prophets brought down"; by Islamic works and deeds "which in turn are used to evaluate the level of iman".
monotheism; affirmation of the Oneness of Allah. Muslims regard this as the first part of the Pillar of Islam, the second part is accepting Muhammad as rasoul (messenger). The opposite of Tawheed is shirk
death. (Barah-wafat) Muhammad was born on the twelfth day of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the third month of the Muslim year. His death anniversary also falls on the same day, the word 'barah' standing for the twelve days of Muhammad's sickness.
Islamic method of slaughtering an animal, required for the meat to be halal. Using a sharp knife, the animal's windpipe, throat, and blood vessels of the neck are severed without cutting the spinal cord to ensure that the blood is thoroughly drained before removing the head.
Arabic words are created from three-letter "roots" which convey a basic idea. For example, k-t-b conveys the idea of writing. Addition of other letters before, between, and after the root letters produces many associated words: not only "write" but also "book", "office", "library", and "author". The abstract consonantal root for Islam is s-l-m.
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).