ISLAMIC GLOSSARY

Verbal English equivalents and explanations are given for the purpose of helping the reader develop some initial notion concerning such technical Islamic terms, although their meanings would require considerable background to understand.

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‘Âbid:

One who worships much; devoted.

Adâ: 

Performing acts of worship, such as salât, fasting, hajj or zakât, in their appointed times.

Adab: (pl. âdâb)

There is a special adab in doing everything. The adab of doing something means to follow the conditions necessary for doing it in the best way.

Adhân:

At each namâz time, a Muslim goes up the minaret and calls all Muslims to namâz. He has to recite prescribed words.

‘Âdil: 

A Sunnî Muslim who avoids grave sins and who does not habitually commit venial sins.

Adilla ash-Shar’iyya:

The sources from which Islamic rules were derived: the Book (The Qur’ân al-karîm), the Sunna, qiyas al-fuqahâ, and ijmâ’ al-Umma.

Afdal: 

It means more meritorious.

Ahâdîth: pl. of hadîth.

Ahd-i Atik: 

The Old Testament.

Ahd-i Jadid: 

The New Testament.

Ahkâm: 

Rules, conclusions.

Ahl: 

People.

Ahl al-Bait:

Immediate relatives of our Master the Prophet: (according to most ‘ulamâ’) ‘Alî (first cousin and son-in-law), Fâtima (daughter), Hasan and Husain (grandsons).

Ahl as-Sunna (wa’l-Jamâ’a): 

The true pious Muslims who follow our Master the Prophet and as-Sahâbat al-kirâm. These are called Sunnî Muslims. A Sunnî Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs. These Madhhabs are Hanafî, Mâlikî, Shâfi’î and Hanbalî.

Ahl-i Kitâb: [lit. the people of the Book]

Jews and Christians.

Ahl-i Qibla: 

A Muslim who believes all those religious matters that are indispensable and known through tawâtur (consensus).

Ahl-i zimmat: see zimmî.

A’immat al-madhâhib: 

It is the plural of imâm al-madhhab.

Âisa:

Old woman; older than 55 for Hanafî, 70 for Mâlikî.

Âkhirat: 

It is the endless life which begins when a person dies.

‘Alaihis-salâm: 

A supplication said or written whenever the names of prophets mentioned, meaning “Peace be upon Him.”

Alastu: 

Allah’s declaration: Alastu bi-rab-bikum? “Am I not your Rabb?” which, when He created Hadrat Adam, He asked all the souls of Hadrat Adam’s descendants that would come until the end of the world.

‘Âlim: (pl. ‘ulamâ’)

A Muslim scholar of Islam.

‘Alîm:

One of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allahu ta’âlâ, which means the Omniscient.

Allahu ta’âlâ: 

Allah the Most High.

‘Amal: (pl. a’mâl)

Deed; practice of, living up to ‘ilm; ‘ibâda.

Amal-i kasîr: 

Actions that are so many as to nullify the namâz are termed amal-i kasîr.

Amal-i qalîl: 

Few actions that do not nullify the namâz are termed amal-i qalîl.

Âmantu:

The prayer in which all six tenets of belief in Islam are declared.

Âmîn: 

(To Allahu ta’âlâ) “Accept my prayer.”

Amr-i-bi-l-ma’rûf:

Duty to teach Allahu ta’âlâ’s commandments and prohibitions.

Angels of Haphaza: 

The two angels called Kirâman kâtibîn, who are on a person’s shoulders and who write down good and bad deeds, and those angels who protect a person against genies are called Angels of Haphaza.

Ansâr: 

Those Muslims who lived in Madîna and helped Rasûlullah when he migrated to Madîna. Those companions of the Prophet who migrated to Madîna from Mecca are called Muhâjir.

‘Âqil bâligh:

Sane and pubert, who has reached the age when he or she started to perform ghusl.

Aqîqa:

It means sacrificing an animal (by cutting its throat) to thank Allahu ta’âlâ for a newly born child. Two are sacrificed for a son, while one is sacrificed for a daughter. It is not fard, but mustahab, to sacrifice it. That is, it is not sinful not to sacrifice it.

‘Aql: 

Wisdom; it is a comprehensive power that has been created so as to distinguish right from wrong, good from bad, useful from harmful.

‘Aql-i salîm:

The wisdom which is salîm never goes wrong and never errs. It never does anything to necessitate repentance. It does not make mistakes in the things it considers. It always follows the course of actions that are good and that turn out good. It thinks properly and finds the right way. Its deeds are always correct. This wisdom existed in Prophets only. They were successful in every activity they had started. They would not do anything that would make them repent or that would harm them. The one which is close to theirs is the wisdom of the Sahâba, of the Tâbi’ûn, of the Taba-i tâbi’ûn, and of the religious imâms. Theirs was a wisdom that was suitable for the rules of the Sharî’at.

‘Aql-i saqîm:

The wisdom that is saqîm is quite the opposite. It errs in its acts and thoughts, which always incur sorrow, repentance, harm and trouble.

A’râf:

The high parts of the barrier located between Paradise and Hell and which prevents them from affecting each other.

‘Arafât: 

The open space located 24 kilometers north of Mecca.

‘Ârif:

A great scholar who comprehended through his heart the knowledge about Allahu ta’âlâ and His Attributes. For one to be an ’ârif, it is necessary to make progress and be promoted in the way of tasawwuf.

‘Arsh: 

The end of matter bordering the seven skies and the Kursî, which is outside the seventh sky and inside the ‘Arsh.

As-hâb-i Kahf: 

The seven Believers (in a cave in Tarsus) who attained high status because of emigrating to another place in order not to lose their faith when disbelievers invaded their land.

As-hâb-i Kirâm:

A person who saw Hadrat Muhammad at least once when he was alive, is called a ‘Sahâbî’. It goes without saying that a Sahâbî is a Muslim. Ashâb is the plural form of Sahâbî. All the Sahâbîs are called ‘Ashâb-i Kirâm’. If a Muslim has seen the Prophet, or talked to him, at least once when the Prophet was alive, he is called Sahabî. Plural form of Sahabî is Sahâba or As’hâb. The word Sahâba-i Kirâm includes all those great people each of whom has seen the Prophet at least once. The lowest of the Sahâba is much higher than the highest of other Muslims. If a person has not seen the Prophet but has seen or talked to one of the Sahâba at least once, he or she is called Tâbi’.Its plural form is Tâbi’în. In other words, the Tâbi’în are the successors of the Sahâba. If a person has not seen any of the Sahâba but has seen at least one of the Tabi’în, he or she is called Taba’î Tâbi’în. The Sahâba, the Tâbi’în and the Taba’i tabi’în altogether are called the Salaf-i Sâlihin (the early savants).

‘Asr-i awwal: 

The beginning of the time of the late afternoon namâz according to Imâm-i Yûsuf and Imâm-i Muhammad.

‘Asr-i thânî: 

The beginning of the time of the late afternoon namâz according to Imâm-i A’zam.

‘Asr as-Sa’âda:

The “Era of Prosperity,” the time when our Prophet lived.

A’ûdhu:

A’ûdhu billâhi min-ash-shaytânirrajîm (I seek refuge with Allah from the cursed Satan).

Awâmir-i Ashara: 

The Ten Commandments which Allahu ta’âlâ gave Mûsâ (Moses ‘alaihissalâm) on Mount Tur.

Awlâ:

It means better.

Awliyâ:

A person whom Allahu ta’âlâ loves is called a walî. Awliyâ’ is the plural form of walî, though we sometimes use the word for both singular and plural.

Awrat parts:

They are parts on one’s body which one must not open or show others and it is forbidden for others to see outside or during namâz. In Hanafî and Shâfi’î Madhhabs a man’s awrat parts for namâz and at all times are between his navel and lower parts of his knees. The knees are awrat in Hanafî and the navel is awrat in Shâfi’î. All parts of women, except their palms and faces, including their wrists, outer parts of their hands, hanging parts of their hair and under their feet are awrat for namâz, in Hanafî. There are also valuable books saying that outer parts of hands are not awrat. When alone and not performing namâz, it is fard for women to cover between their knees and navels, wâjib to cover their backs and bellies, and adab to cover their other parts. It is harâm in all the four Madhhabs for women to show nâmahram men and female non-Muslims their bodies other than their faces and inside and outside their hands, and for these people to look at them.”

Âyat (karîma): (pl. âyât)

(1) a sign, a miracle; (2) a verse of the Qur’ân al-karîm. There are 6236 âyats in the Holy Koran.

Âyat-al-Kursî: 

One of the âyats in the Qur’ân. It explains the greatness of Allahu ta’âlâ and the fact that His power is infinite.

‘Ayn-ul-yaqîn: 

Certainty coming from direct observation and seeing.

Azîmat:

The more meritorious and difficult ways in carrying out commandments, which Islam holds superior.

Azrâ’il: 

One of the four archangels, who takes the souls of human beings.

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Balâghat-i ilâhî:

Divine Eloquence.

Bâligh: 

A boy whose genitalia has started producing spermatozoa becomes a bâligh. When a girl first begins menstruating, she becomes a bâligha (adolescent). From that day forth, it is incumbent on them to observe the commandments and prohibitions of Islam. The age limit for them to be considered as such is 9 for girls and 12 for boys. A boy who has not had sperm yet and a girl who has not experienced menses are counted bâligh and bâligha once they are beyond the age of fifteen.

Banî Israil: 

Sons of Israel; Israelites; Jews.

Barakah:

Abundance; blessing.

Basmala:

The Arabic phrase Bismillâhirrahmânirrahîm (In the name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful).

Bâtil:

Invalid, wrong, vain.

Bâtin:

Interior, hidden knowledge pertaining to the heart and soul; bâtinî, of bâtin.

Bâtinî:

A follower of the Batiniyya heresy or Bâtinism.

Bayyad-Allahu wajhah:

May Allahu ta’âlâ make his face luminous.

Bid’at: (pl. bida’)

Heresy; a heretical conduct or belief. Bid’at means something that was concocted afterwards. They are things that had not existed during the time of our Prophet and his four caliphs “radiy-Allahu anhum” which were, afterwards, fabricated and done in the name of Islamic belief or worships. All bida’ are corrupt.

Bi’that: 

The year in which Hadrat Muhammad “sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam” was informed that he was the Prophet.

Bughd-i fillah: 

To dislike for the sake of Allah.

Burâq: 

The animal of Paradise which took Rasûlullah from Mecca to Jerusalem during the Mi’râj event. It was white, very fast, sexless, smaller than a mule, and bigger than an ass.

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Dajjâl: 

He will appear in the time period close to Doomsday. He will be an enemy of Islam commanding innumerable soldiers. He will kill Muslims and bring discomfort and disorder. After shedding much blood, he will be killed by Mahdî.

Dalâlah: 

Deviating, going astray; deviating from the true path which our master the Prophet and his Ashâb showed.

Dalk:

To rub the washed limbs gently with the palm or with a towel.

Dâr-ul-Islam:

It refers to those countries where the Muslim law is in force.

Darûrat: 

(1) Strong necessity, a samâwî (involuntary) reason that forces one to do something, that is, a situation which arises beyond one’s will, is called a darûrat; (2) an involuntary excuse such as the danger of dying or losing a limb, or severe pain. These excuses make it mubâh [allowed] to perform an act that is normally harâm [forbidden] in Islam.

Dhât: 

Person, essence.

Dhikr: 

Remembering, keeping in mind, Allahu ta’âlâ every moment.

Dîn: (also Deen)

It means religion. It generally refers to Islam.

Du’â:

Supplication, invocation. Human beings present their needs and requests to Allahu ta’âlâ through du’â.

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Effendi:

A title given by the Ottoman State to statesman and especially to religious scholars; a form of address, meaning “Your Great Personage.”

Emân:

Pardon; protection; guarantee.

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Faid: (also fayz or fayd)

Outpouring that flow from the guide’s heart to a heart, which thus gains motion, cleanliness, and exaltation; ma’rifa.

Fâiz: (or fâidh=interest)

A percentage of a sum of money loaned to someone or borrowed from someone, which is harâm.

Fanâ: 

It means forgetting everything except Allahu ta’âlâ.

Faqîh: (pl. fuqahâ’)

‘Âlim of fiqh.

Faqîr: 

(1) Form of introduction of oneself, meaning poor, humble servant in need of Mercy; (2) a poor Muslim who has more than his or her subsistence but less than nisâb.

Fard:

Obligatory; an obligation clearly commanded by Allahu ta’âlâ in the Qur’ân al-karîm. It is a grave sin to omit a fard. When this commandment is incumbent on every individual Muslim, it is termed fard-i-’ayn. Otherwise, if all Muslims are absolved from a certain Islamic commandment when only one Muslim performs it, it is termed fard-i-kifâya.

Fâsid:

Wrong, invalid, null and void.

Fâsiq: 

A Muslim who commits sins habitually and frankly.

Fâtiha: 

The first sûra in the Qur’ân al-kerîm. It is recited during every standing position when performing namâz. It is also recited for the souls of dead Muslims.

Fatwâ: 

It means communicating if something conforms or not with the Sharî’at. It is not a fatwâ only to say “It conforms” or “It is not permissible.” It is necessary also to say from which book of fiqh and from which writing this answer has been derived. The fatwâs that are not conformable with books of fiqh are wrong. It is not permissible to depend on them.

Fermân:

Command, especially given by the Ottoman Sultans.

Fiqh:

Jurisprudence; knowledge dealing with what Muslims must do and must not do, actions, deeds, ’ibâdât; rules pertaining to religious practices.

Fitna:

It means mischief, commotion, sedition, turmoil, chaos, instigation, etc. Any act, behaviour, statement, writing, article or attitude that would lead to harmful consequences is fitna, and therefore harâm, even if it is done with good intentions apparently.

Fitra:

Alms that must be given when the month of Ramadân is over.

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Ghaban fâhish:

(Being cheated much by buying at a) price higher than the current prices; an exorbitant price.

Ghayb:

The unseen; the unknown; not being present; hidden.

1. Things that are not communicated by Islam, by calculations, or by experiments;

2. Those things that cannot be known through the mind and sense organs but can be known only through prophets’ informing us about them, e.g., Allah’s Attributes, the Day of Judgement, resurrection after death, creatures’ assembling in the place of Mahshar, etc;

Having îmân in the ghayb is to confirm, that is, to accept and to approvingly believe in the religion which Rasûlullah communicated as the Prophet without consulting mind, experience, and philosophy to see whether it accords with them.

3. Things that are known by some creatures but not known by the others.

Ghazâ:

A battle against non-Muslims to convert them to Islam; jihâd.

Ghâzî:

A Muslim engaged in ghazâ.

Ghinâ’: 

A human voice accompanied with instrumental music is called ghinâ’ [that is, music].

Ghusl:

It is ritual washing. It is fard for every woman or man who is junub and for every woman after haid (menstruation) and nifâs (puerperium, postnatal bleeding) to perform a ghusl when there is enough time to perform the time’s namâz before that namâz’s time expires.

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Hadîth (sharîf):

Any blessed word or tradition of Rasûlullah [the Messenger of Allah] “sall-Allahu ‘alaihi wa sallam”.

Hadîth-i qudsî:

A hadîth inspired by Allahu ta’âlâ but said by the Prophet.

Hadji:

A Muslim pilgrim.

Hadrat:

A title of respect used before the names of great people like prophets and Islamic scholars.

Haid:

Menstruation.

Hajj:

It is the pilgrimage to Mecca, performance of which once in one’s life time becomes fard under certain conditions and circumstances prescribed by the Islamic Sharî’at.

Hâl: 

Continuous variation of the kashfs and manifestations that come to the heart.

Halâk:

Lexical meaning of halâk is destruction, perishing, exhaustion. In the context, it is used to mean “the measure of harm or danger which Islam dictated as a gauge whereby to decide about the step to be taken.”

Halâl:

Things that are not prohibited, or though prohibited, their prohibition has been abolished through one of the reasons which the Sharî’at accepts as an excuse, a hindrance, or a necessity, are called halâl.

Halwat: 

Staying together at a lonely place.

Hamd-u thanâ: 

Thanking, praising, and lauding.

Hanafî:

(a member) of the madhhab founded by Imâm-i A’zam.

Hanbalî:

(a member) of the madhhab founded by Imâm-i Ahmad bin Hanbal.

Haqq-ul-yaqîn: 

Certainty coming from experience.

Haraj:

When it is difficult to prevent something from hindering the doing of a fard or from causing a harâm to be committed, the case is called haraj; difficulty.

Harâm:

Prohibited, not permitted in Islam. It is a grave sin to commit a harâm act.

Harbî: see zimmî.

Hâshâ:

It means “Never!” This exclamation is used before saying a blasphemy.

Hâshiya: 

Footnotes, annotation; explanatory notes written on the page margins of a book.

Hashr: 

Assembling in the space of Arasât after the Resurrection.

Hawâ:

The things which the nafs loves; desires.

Hegira:

Hadrat Muhammad’s (‘alaihissalâm) emigration from Mecca to Medina in 622; al-Hijra.

Hidâyah: 

It has these senses: the true path, the righteous path, Islam. Its opposite is dalâlah [going astray, deviating]. Hidâyah is to enter the right path after seeing right as right and wrong as wrong; it is to turn away from dalâlah and wrong path, to have îmân, and to become a Muslim.

Hijrî:

Of the Hegira.

Hikmah: (1) prophethood; (2) useful knowledge; (3) word of wisdom; (4) a hidden cause, benefit; (5) the knowledge of fiqh, the knowledge pertaining to halâls and harâms; (6) ‘ilm-i ladun, spiritual knowledge; (7) the sunnat of our Prophet.

Hikmat-i amalî: 

Ethics of Islam.

Hikmat-i nazarî:

Scientific knowledge.

Hubb-i fillah: 

To love for the sake of Allah.

Hujrat as-Sa’âda:

The room where the graves of the Prophet and of his two immediate caliphs are.

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‘Ibâda: (pl. -ât)

An act of worship, rite; carrying out the rules of our religion as prescribed by it.

Ifrât:

Too much of something.

Iftâr:

The act of breaking a fast. Iftâr is done when the sun sets.

Ihrâm:

A special garment worn during the rites of pilgrimage in Mecca.

I’jâz-i ilâhî: 

Divine Conciseness (of the Qur’ân al-karîm).

Ijmâ:

It means the consensus of the Sahaba. If something has not been communicated with consensus by the Sahaba, the consensus of the Tabi’un becomes ijma’ for that thing. If it has not been communicated with consensus by the Tabi’un either, the consensus of the Taba at-Tabi’in becomes ijma’ for it.

Ijtihâd: 

It means working with all one’s might, striving and taking pains. In other words, it is to strive to derive the rules to solve problems that have not been explained clearly and openly in the Qur’ân or in the hadîths by likening them to matters that have been explained clearly and in detail. This can be done only by our Prophet (sall Allahu ’alaihi wa sallam), by all his Ashâb, and from among other Muslims, by those who have been promoted to the grade of ijtihâd; these exalted people are called Mujtahids.

Ikhlâs:

Sincerity; doing all the good deeds and worships for the sake of Allahu ta’âlâ and for the purpose of obtaining His love and pleasure.

Ilâh: 

God. (God means ma’bûd [that which, or who, is, or is to be, worshipped]. Anything which is worshipped is called a god. The name of Allahu ta’âlâ is Allah, not God. There is no ilâh [god] besides Allahu ta’âlâ. It would be a very vile mistake to say “God” instead of “Allah.”)

Ilhâd: 

Deviating from the right path.

‘Ilm: 

Knowledge, science.

‘Ilm-i hâl book:

A book written for the religiously non-educated people and that briefly and clearly describes the knowledge of kalâm, morals and fiqh which every Muslim must know and do.

‘Ilm-i Kalâm: 

This is the branch of knowledge that explains the Kalimat ash-shahâdat and the six tenets of îmân relative to it.

‘Ilm-i Ladun: 

It is the knowledge imparted by Allah without you making any effort. It is a kind of ghayb or secret knowledge.

‘Ilm-i Tasawwuf: 

It explains the things to be done or avoided with the heart and the ways to purify the heart and the soul. This is also called ‘ilm-i akhlâq or ‘ilm-i ikhlâs.

‘Ilm-ul-yaqîn: 

Certainty coming from knowledge.

Îmâ: 

It means making signs with one’s head instead of making ruku’ and sajda (when there is an excuse prescribed by our religion). Those who perform namâz by îmâ bend a little for the ruku’ and again bend even more for the sajda.

Imâm: (pl. a’imma)

(1) Profound savant; Imâm-al-Madhhab, leader, founder of a Madhhab; twelve a’imma (imâms), three male members of the Ahl-i bayt and their nine successors; Imâm-i a’zam (the greatest leader), title of Abû Hanîfa, leader of the Hanafî Madhhab. (2) Leader in public salât (namâz in jamâ’at).

Imâmayn: 

The two imâms, namely, Imâm-i Muhammad and Imâm-i Abû Yûsuf.

Îmân:

Belief; faith; îmân means believing in the six fundamental principles of faith (Âmantu) along with all the commandments and prohibitions revealed to Hadrat Muhammad by Allahu ta’âlâ and delivered by him to us, and stating this belief with the tongue.

Imsâk:

It is the time when fasting begins. Imsâk is the time when the whiteness appears on any place on the horizon. Six to ten minutes after imsâk time, when the whiteness has spread over the horizon like a thread, the time of morning namâz starts.

Inâbat:

Repenting for having sinned. It has been used to mean to get attached and to adapt oneself to an Islamic savant.

Inshâ-Allah:

It means “If Allah wills.”

Iqâmat:

The words recited while standing before beginning one of the five daily fard namâzes.

Irâda-i juz’iyya:

Partial will.

Irshâd:

Enlightenment; guiding; inspiring.

Isha-i awwal:

The beginning of the time for Salat al-Isha according to Imam-i Muhammad and Imam-i Abu Yusuf.

Isha-i thani:

The beginning of the time for Salat al-Isha according to Imam-i A’zam.

Ishrâq:

The time when the lower edge of the Sun is as high as the length of a spear from the line of the apparent horizon.

Ism-i A’zam:

It is a Name of Allahu ta’âlâ which He likes best among His Names which He has communicated. He will positively accept a prayer sent by mentioning this Name. We do not know this Name.

Isrâf:

Spending or using wastefully.

Istibrâ: 

Lexical meaning of “istibrâ” is to exert yourself, to free yourself from something disagreeable or impure. In the Islamic branch of fiqh, it means “after urination, to make sure that there is no urine left in the urethra lest it should drop into your pants afterwards and dirty them and break your ablution.” Istibrâ is done by gently squeezing urine drops out of the penis, by walking up and down for a while (about twenty minutes), or by lying on your left-hand side for a while. Istibrâ has yet another meaning in the branch of fiqh, used in matters pertaining to conjugal relationships.

Istidlâl:

It means inferring the existence of the doer of the work by seeing the work, that is, to know the existence of the Creator by seeing creatures.

Istidrâj: 

Allah’s inciting a sinner to perdition by granting that person success.

Istighfâr:

Seeking forgiveness from Allahu ta’âlâ; prayer for repentance; prescribed prayer recited in order to entreat Allahu ta’âlâ for forgiveness.

Istihâda:

Excuse; flux of blood from a woman other than catamenia and lochia. Istihâda does not prevent the performance of either namâz or fast.

Istikhâra: see salât of istikhâra.

Istinbât:

It means extracting the essence of something.

Îthâr: 

Giving precedence to others despite your own acute needs and necessities.

I’tiqâd:

Îmân; the tenets to be believed.

I’tiqâf:

Retreat, religious seclusion during Ramadân.

‘Iyd:

One of the two Islamic festivals.

‘Izzat:

Superiority, honor, and glory.

Izâr:

An outer garment worn below the waist.

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Jâiz:

Permitted, permissible.

Jalsa: 

Sitting for a while between the two sajdas.

Jamâ’at:

A congregation of Muslims who perform namâz together adapting themselves to the movements of the imâm, the person who is staying in the front.

Janâbat:

The state of being junub; impurity caused by sexual intercourse or by the flow of semen.

Janâza:

Funeral.

Jannat:

Paradise.

Jâriya: 

A woman slave captured in a holy war.

Jazm:

It means not adding a vowel to a final consonant.

Jihâd: 

War against non-Muslims (or the nafs) to convert them (it) to Islam. Jihâd means amr-i-ma’rûf and nahy-i-’an-il-munkar. The former means “introducing Islam to disbelievers, and thereby rescuing them from the blight of disbelief,” and the latter means teaching Muslims Islam’s practices, and thereby protecting them from committing Islam’s prohibitions.” There are three ways of performing either one of these two duties (of jihâd). The first way is to do it physically, or in clearer terms, to perform jihâd by employing all sorts of weaponry; this sort of jihâd is conducted against dictators and imperialistic powers for the purpose of eliminating their obstructive policies over hapless masses of people who have fallen into the pit of disbelief as a result of being unaware of Islam or blindly following others or living under tyranny, oppression, persecution, exploitation, or misguidance. This type of jihâd is done only by Islamic states or by their armies. It is never permissible for any individual Muslim to attack and rob any disbeliever without the prior order, permission, and knowledge of an Islamic state. The second way of Islamic jihâd is to exploit all sorts of means of communication to spread Islam and to announce it to humanity. This type of jihâd is done only by Islamic scholars with the help and under the control of Islamic states. The third way of jihâd is to do it through prayer [supplication]. It is “fard-i-‘ayn,” or in other words, it is a must duty for every Muslim to perform this type of jihâd. Not performing this type of jihâd is a grave sin. Performing this third type of jihâd is done by praying for those who perform the first two types of jihâd. Those who are doing the first two types of jihâd are in need of the prayers of those who are not actively participating in the first two types of jihâd. All prayers performed with sincerity will surely be accepted.

Jizya: 

The tax which disbelievers under Muslim control pay to a Muslim government. Allahu ta’âlâ commands the jizya in the Qur’ân in order to disgrace disbelief.

Junub:

A person who needs a ghusl. What causes a person to become junub is prescribed by Islam.

-K-

Kâ’ba:

The big structure in the great mosque in Mecca.

Kâfir: 

Islam divides people into two groups: (1) Muslims; (2) Those who are not Muslims. People who are not Muslims are called disbelievers (kâfir) or non-Muslims.

Disbelievers in turn are divided into two groups: (1) Disbelievers with a holy book; (2) Disbelievers without a holy book. Christians and Jews are disbelievers with a holy book. But atheists, polytheists, Buddhists, Zoroastrians, and those who follow other religions are called disbelievers without a holy book. All disbelievers, those with a holy book and those without a holy book alike, will go to Jahannam.

Kalimat:

Word or statement.

Kalima-i shahâdat:

It is the statement “Ash-hadu an lâ ilâha ill-Allah wa ash-hadu anna Muhammadan ’abduhû wa rasûluh.” It is the first of the five fundamentals of Islam; declaring one’s belief in Islam.

It means: “There is no ilâh (being to be worshipped) except Allah; and Muhammad (‘alaihis-salâm) is His born slave and His Messenger whom He has sent to (guide) all humanity.”

Kalimat at-tawhîd:

It is the statement “Lâ ilâha ill-Allah Muhammadun Rasûl-Allah.” It means “There is no ilâh except Allah and Muhammad (‘alaihis-salâm) is His Messenger.

Kâmil:

Perfect.

Karâhat time:

The time wherein it is not permissible to perform namâz.

Karamah (pl. karamat): 

Phenomena which happen beyond the laws of causation through the awliyâ of the ummats of prophets are called karâmat.

Kashf: 

Manifestation, appearance of Allahu ta’âlâ’s Attributes.

Khair:

Good, goodness.

Khalîfa: (pl. khulafâ’)

Caliph.

Khârijîs: (also Khârijites, Khawârij)

Those heretics who are hostile to Ahl al-Bait and to their posterity.

Khatm:

It is to read the Qur’ân al-karîm from beginning to end. There is much thawâb in it, especially in the holy month of Ramadân.

Khatm-i tahlîl: 

Saying “Lâ ilâha ill-Allah” seventy thousand times.

Khawf: 

Fear.

Khodja: 

Master (especially in a religious school); a person who leads people in religious affairs.

Khushû’:

Deep and humble reverence.

Khutba:

Sermon, the speech made in the mosque by the îmâm during Friday namâz or ’iyd namâz.

Kufr:

Disbelief, blasphemy; to disbelieve, to reject those matters that must be known and believed in indispensably in Islam and those Islamic rules that have been communicated through tawâtur (consensus); not to accept a commonly known Islamic rule.

There are three types of kufr (disbelief):

Kufr-i jahlî (Disbelief out of ignorance)

This is the disbelief of those who have not heard (about a certain Islamic tenet) and do not think about it.

Kufr-i juhûdî (Disbelief out of obstinacy):

People who are in this group choose disbelief knowingly either because they are fond of worldly ranks or they are haughty or they are afraid that people may despise them when they convert to a new religion. It is kufr-i juhûdî to deny Islam’s rules or to despise them or Islamic scholars. For example, Pharaoh and his companions had this type of disbelief.

Kufr-i hukmî (Disbelief by judgement):

A person who says or does something which Islam dictates as a sign of disbelief will become a disbeliever even though he or she really believes by heart and professes to be a Muslim. It is kufr to mock, to insult, or to despise anything which Islam holds valuable and precious. Anyone who says something which is not worthy of Allahu ta’âlâ becomes a disbeliever.

Kutub-i Sitta: 

Of the Hadîth books that have been unanimously confirmed to be correct by all Islamic savants, six have become famous all over the world. These six books are called Kutub-i Sitta. It is stated in ijmâ’ (unanimity of scholars) that the hadîth-i sharîfs in these books are sahîh.

-L-

Lâ-madhhabî:

A person who does not follow any of the four true madhhabs.

Lawh-i Mahfûz: 

In pre-eternity, Allahu ta’âlâ knew everything that would happen in the world. He explains His knowledge of eternity and His eternal Word to angels at a place called Lawh-i mahfûz. Angels do what they learn from the Lawh-i mahfûz.

Leave a namâz to qadâ:

To postpone a namâz till after its prescribed time is over.

-M-

Ma’âl:

The explanations given for the âyats under the light of tafsîrs written by tafsîr scholars.

Madhhab (pl. madhâhib):

All of what a profound ’âlim of (especially) fiqh (usually one of the four — Hanafî, Shafi’î, Mâlikî, Hanbalî) or îmân (one of the two, namely Ash’arî, Mâturîdî) communicated.

Madînat al-Munawwara:

The illuminated city of Medina.

Mahdî: 

In the time period close to Dommsday, Hadrat al-Mahdî will appear. He will be a descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (‘alaihis-salâm). His name will be Muhammad and his father’s name will be ‘Abdullah. He will preside over Muslims, strengthen Islam and spread it everywhere. He will meet ‘Îsâ (‘alaihis-salâm), and together they will fight and kill ad-Dajjâl. During his time, Muslims will settle everywhere and live in comfort and ease.

Mahr: 

According to Islam, the mahr comprises things like gold, silver, banknotes, or any kind of property or any kind of benefit that is given by a man to the woman he is to marry.

Mahram:

Within forbidden (harâm) degrees of relationship for marriage; one of the eighteen women whom the Sharî’at has prescribed as a man’s close relatives, and vice versa.

Mahshar:

The place of gathering for judgement in the Hereafter.

Mâ-i musta’mal: 

Water that has been used for ghusl or ablution.

Make iâda: 

To perform a namâz for the second time for any reason whatsoever.

Make jam’:

To perform the early and late afternoon prayers or the evening and night prayers one immediately after the other within the time prescribed for either one of them.

Make khilâl:

To comb with fingers; insert one or more fingers to wash or moisten; takhlîl.

Make niyyat:

To intend by heart.

Makkat al-Mukarrama:

The honored city of Mecca.

Makrûh:

Acts, things that are improper, disliked, or abstained by our Master the Prophet. There are two kinds of makrûh:

Makrûh tahrîmî:

Makrûh tahrîmî is the omission of a wâjib, and it is close to harâm. It is a venial sin to do an act which has been declared to be makrûh tahrîmî.

Makrûh tanzîhî:

Makrûh tanzîhî is an act that has been declared to be close to halâl, or an act that is better for you not to do it than to do it. Omitting the acts that are sunnat-i ghayr-i muakkada or mustahab is makrûh tanzîhî.

Mâlikî:

(a member) of the madhhab founded by Imâm-i Mâlik.

Mandûb:

An act for which there is thawâb [blessing] and if omitted there is no sin.

Mansûkh: 

Some âyats were abrogated by some other âyats that descended later. The former are called mansûkh, which means ‘‘abrogated.’’ The latter are called nâsikh, which means ‘‘the one that has abrogated the other.’’ The âyat about wine is an example.

Ma’rifa:

Knowledge pertaining to Allahu ta’âlâ’s Dhât [Person] and Attributes. Religious knowledge that cannot be comprehended through the five senses or through the intellect can be learned from the Prophet’s words. Within religious information there is such knowledge which cannot be recorded in books or which cannot be explained through words. No words can be found to explain them. They are called ma’rifats. The owner of these ma’rifats is called “Murshid.” They can be obtained only as a result of flowing from the murshid’s heart or from the dead ones’ souls into the hearts of those who desire them. There are some conditions to be fulfilled for attaining this.

Ma’rûf:

Good acts approved by Islam.

Masah:

Rubbing your wet hands gently.

Masbûk:

A person who has not caught up with the imâm in the first rak’at.

Mashrû’at:

Things that Muslims are commanded to do.

Masjid:

Mosque.

Masts: (also mests, khuffs)

Waterproof shoes covering the part of the foot which is fard to wash (in ablution).

Ma’siyyat: 

Sinful actions.

Mawlâ:

(1) It means helper and protector. It refers to Allahu ta’âlâ; (2) the one who is loved; beloved; (3) the owner, the master of a slave who has not been freed; (4) a slave who has been freed; (5) a person who has freed his or her slave.

Mawlid: 

The Prophet’s birthday; writings that describe the superiorities and excellences of the Prophet.

Mazy: (also mazî)

A few drops of white fluid liquid that comes out when one is aroused.

Mihrâb: 

It is a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla.

Minbar:

The high pulpit in a mosque climbed wit stairs where the khutba is performed.

Mi’râj:

The Prophet’s ascension from Jerusalem to the heavens.

Mîzân: 

In the Hereafter, there will be a Mîzân, “balance”, for weighing deeds and conduct. It does not resemble worldly balances.

Muadhdhin: 

A person who calls the adhân.

Muakkad sunnat: see sunnat-i muakkada.

Mubâh:

Permissible; a thing, action permitted in Islam; an act neither ordered nor prohibited. Things that are mubâh earn you sins or thawâb depending on the intention of a person who does them.

Mubâhala: 

When two persons do not believe each other, they say, “May Allah curse the one among us who is lying.” This process is termed mubâhala.

Mufassir:

Expert ‘âlim of tafsîr.

Mufsid:

Act, thing that nullifies (especially namâz).

Muftabih qawl:

The report preferred as the fatwâ from among the various ijtihâds of mujtahid scholars.

Muftî:

Great ‘âlim authorized to issue fatwa.

Muhabbat-i zâtiyya: 

Love for only Allah without including His Attributes. Divine love is love for Allah together with His Attributes.

Muhdis:

a Muslim who does not have an ablution.

Mujaddid:

Restorer; Hadrat Muhammad informed that every hundred years there will be an Islamic savant restoring Islam.

Mujâhada:

It means to struggle against the nafs; to do what the nafs dislikes,

Mu’jizah (pl. mu’jizat): 

Phenomena that happen from prophets beyond the Divine laws of causation but within the Divine power are called mu’jiza. Prophets have to exhibit mu’jizas.

Mujtahid: 

Great ‘âlim capable of employing ijtihâd.

Mukhlâs: 

Owners of permanent ikhlâs.

Mukhlis: 

Those who have inconstant ikhlâs and who strive to obtain ikhlâs.

Mulaffiq: 

A person who looks for and gathers the facilities of the four madhhabs.

Mulhid:

A person who goes out of Islam by giving wrong meanings to âyat-i-karîmas and hadîth-i-sharifs, that is, whose îmân is corrupt, is called a mulhid.

Mulk-i habis: 

If you mix all of the harâm goods taken from various people with one another or with your own property or with the things entrusted to you, and if you cannot easily distinguish the harâm ones from the others, this mixture becomes your own property. This mixture is called mulk-i habis (tainted property).

Mu’min: 

Believer, Muslim.

Munâfiq: 

Hypocrite; a person who pretends to be a Muslim though being a disbeliever.

Munazzah:

Free from any unworthy thing.

Muqîm:

It means “settled.” A person who is settled in a place where he was born or got married or where he established his home with the intention of living there permanently, or a person who intends to stay at a place which is 104 km or more away for continuously fifteen days or more, excluding the days of arrival and departure.

Murshid:

Guide, director; an ‘âlim and a walî person who trains people in order for them to be good Muslims.

Murshid al-kâmil:

A great guide who has attained perfection and can make others attain it.

Murtad:

Renegade, apostate; a person who abandons Islam, though previously being a follower of it. Such a person becomes a kâfir.

Musâfir: (safarî)

Being safarî or musâfir means being a traveler. If a person intends to go to a place that would take three days by the short days of year by walking or by riding a camel during the short days of the year, he becomes a musâfir as soon as he reaches beyond the last houses of the place he lives in or on one or both sides of his way.

Mushabbiha:

Those who believe Allahu ta’âlâ to be a material being.

Mus-haf: 

It is the state of the Qur’an collected between two covers with the style as starting from the chapter Fâtiha and ending with the chapter Nâs.

Mustahab:

An act for which there is thawâb (blessing) and if omitted there is no sin.

Musta’mal water: 

Water used for the ghusl or ablution.

Mutashâbih:

(of an âyat or hadîth) with unintelligible, hidden meaning.

Mu’tazila:

One of the 72 heretical groups in Islam.

Muttaqî:

One who fears Allahu ta’âlâ and abstains from sinful things.

Muwâlât:

Quickness; to wash the limbs one right after another.

Muzdalifa:

The area between the city of Mecca and ‘Arafât.

-N-

Nabî:

A prophet who did not bring a new religion but invited people to the previous one.

Nâfila: 

Acts of worship that are supererogatory, optional, and non-compulsory in contrast to fards and wâjibs. They are highly recommended and bring much thawâb.

Nafs: 

(1) A negative force within humans that prompts them to do evil; (2) a soul; (3) self, an individual, the flesh.

Nafs-i ammâra:

Headstrong nafs.

Nafy: 

To dispel the thought of creatures from the heart.

Nahy-i-ani-l-munkar:

To prevent, to debar people from sins and evil deeds.

Najâsat:

Substances which Islam prescribes as dirty.

Najs:

Religiously dirty.

Nâ-mahram:

Within permitted degrees of relationship for marriage; not one of the eighteen women whom the Sharî’at has prescribed as a man’s close relatives, and vice versa.

Namâz: 

Salât, ritual prayer. It is the second of the five fundamentals of Islam.

Naql: 

Conveying Islamic tenets, both pertaining to belief and practice, communicated by Islamic scholars without making any changes.

Nashr: 

Dispersing after the settling of accounts to go into Paradise or Hell.

Nass: (pl. nusûs)

General term for âyats and hadîths.

Nifâq:

Faction.

Nifâs:

Postnatal bleeding, lochia.

Nikâh:

Marriage contract made in accordance with Islam.

Nisâb: 

Nisâb means border. The border between richness and poverty prescribed by Islam is termed nisâb. It is the minimum quantity of specified wealth making one liable to do certain duties.

Niyyat:

Intention.

Nûr: 

(1) Light, halo; (2) the Noble Qur’an; (3) îmân; (4) one of the 99 Beautiful Names of Allah.

-Q-

Qadâ’:

Not to perform acts of worship in their due times but to perform them after their due times are over. A namaz of qadâ is the one which is performed after its prescribed time. It is fard to make qadâ of a fard, and it is wâjib to make qadâ of a wâjib.

Qadâ’: 

The [instance of] creation of anything just compatibly with qadar.

Qa’da-i âkhira:

Last sitting in a namâz.

Qa’da-i ûlâ: 

First sitting in a namâz that contain three or four rak’ats.

Qadar:

Allahu ta’âlâ’s predestination in eternity of things that have been and will be created from eternity in the past to the everlasting future.

Qâdi: 

A judge ruling in accordance with the Islamic religious law.

Qawl:

A mujtahid scholar’s conclusion, ijtihâd for the solution of a religious matter.

Qawma:

Standing upright and motionless after ruku’.

Qibla:

The direction a Muslim turns when performing namâz, the direction pointing to Kâ’ba.

Qirâat:

Standing and reciting the Qur’ân when performing namâz; recitation.

Qirâat-i Shâzza: 

The Qur’ân which follows the rules of Arabic grammar and which does not change the meaning, but which is unlike the one that was collected together by Hadrat ‘Uthman. It is not permissible to read it during namâz or at any other place; it is a sin.

Qiyâm:

Standing position in namâz.

Qiyâs:

(conclusion drawn by a mujtahid through) likening or comparing a matter not clearly stated in the Nass [âyats and hadîths] and ijmâ’ to a similar one stated clearly.

Qiyâma:

The end of the world; Resurrection; Doomsday.

(1) After Isrâfil’s (‘alaihis-salâm) sounding the last trump called Sûr (and something we do not know its true nature) with the command of Allahu ta’âlâ, all beings will die and everything will be annihilated. The order and the system in the universe will be dissolved. This time is called Qiyâma, the end of the world.

(2) After all beings have died and the order in the universe has been dissolved, Isrâfîl (‘alaihis-salâm) will sound the Sûr again with the command of Allahu ta’âlâ. Then all the dead will rise up from their graves and will gather at the place of Arasat. There will be questioning and settlement of accounts on every action. Then they will go to either Jannat or Jahannam. This time, too, is called the Day of Qiyâma(Resurrection).

Quddisa sirruh: 

Used for scholars