Glossary of Islamic Words and Terms

Glossary of Islamic Words and Terms

Arabic terms used in this book are explained below:

  • Adhan: The call to Salah (prayer).
  • Ahadith (Plural of Hadith): Reports of the sayings, deeds, and actions approved by Prophet Muhammad.
  • Akhirah: Life after death, including the Day of Judgment and the everlasting life afterward.
  • Allah: The proper name of God, the Creator of all beings.
  • Arafat: The plain where people gather during Hajj.
  • Arkanul Islam: The five pillars or basic duties of Islam.
  • Asr: Name of the Salah after mid-afternoon.
  • Basmalah: The recitation “Bismillahir rahmanir rahim,” meaning “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.”
  • Darud: Reciting Salawat upon Prophet Muhammad during Salah or at other times.
  • Du’a’: A supplication or prayer to Allah, seeking favor, blessings, or mercy.
  • Fajr: Name of the Salah at dawn.
  • Fard: Compulsory duty prescribed by Allah.
  • Ghusl: Washing the entire body for cleanliness and purification.
  • Hadith (Plural: Ahadith): A report of a saying, deed, or action approved by Prophet Muhammad.
  • Halal: That which is lawful or permitted in Islam.
  • Haram: That which is unlawful or forbidden in Islam.
  • Hidayah: Guidance from Allah.
  • Ibadah: Translated as “worship,” referring to any permissible activity performed to gain Allah’s pleasure.
  • Id: A day of celebration, such as Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha.
  • Imam: The person who leads prayer in a congregation or a leader.
  • Iman: Faith or belief.
  • Iqamah: The second call to prayer, made when Salah is about to begin in congregation.
  • Isha’: Name of the Salah at night.
  • Islam: The religion of submission and obedience to Allah’s commands to attain peace in this life and in the Akhirah (Hereafter).
  • Istikharah: A prayer for seeking Allah’s guidance on a matter.
  • I’tidal: Returning to the position of qivām after ruku (bowing) during Salah.
  • Jahannam: Hell, the place of eternal suffering.
  • Jama’ah: Congregation, when people pray Salah as one group.
  • Janazah: The funeral Salah.
  • Jannah: Heaven, the place of eternal bliss.
  • Jibra’il: The angel (Gabriel) who brought revelations from Allah.
  • Jihad fi sabi lillah: Striving to establish Ma’ruf (good) and remove Munkar (evil) from society, to gain Allah’s pleasure.
  • Jinn: Allah’s creatures with free will, created from smokeless fire.
  • Jumu’ah: The special congregational Salah said at midday every Friday.
  • Ka’bah: The first place built for the worship of Allah in Makkah, also called “The House of Allah” (Baitullah).
  • Kafir: A person who does not believe in Islam.
  • Khalifah: An agent or vicegerent of Allah on earth.
  • Khutbah: The sermon given before Salatul Jumu’ah.
  • Ma’ruf: Right actions, the opposite of Munkar (wrong).
  • Salatul Istikharah: A prayer for seeking Allah’s guidance on a matter.
  • Salatul Jumu’ah: The special congregational Salah said at midday every Friday.
  • Sawm: Fasting in the month of Ramadan, one of the five pillars of Islam.
  • Shahadah: Testifying that “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.”
  • Sujud: Prostrating during Salah (prayer).
  • Sunnah (Plural: Sunan): The example of Prophet Muhammad in what he did, said, and approved. Also, the additional Salah practised by Prophet Muhammad.
  • Surah (Plural: Suwar): A chapter of the Qur’an.
  • Ta’awwudh: Saying “A’udhu billahi minash shaiṭānir rajim” (I seek refuge with Allah from the accursed devil).
  • Tahajjud: Optional Salah between midnight and dawn.
  • Taharah: Being clean and pure.
  • Takbir: Saying “Allahu Akbar” (Allah is the Greatest).
  • Testifying that “There is no god but Allah, Muhammad is Allah’s messenger.”: The first pillar of Islam.
  • Tasbih: The recitation after two rak’ahs and at the end of Salah.
  • Tashahhud: Reciting the testimony of faith during Salah.
  • Tasmiyah: Saying “Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim” (In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful).
  • Tayammum: Dry ablution, performed when water is scarce, unavailable, or using it would be harmful.
  • Thana’: Saying “Subhanaka allahumma” (Glory be to You, O Allah) after Takbiratul Iḥram (the opening Takbir) during Salah.
  • Wajib: Obligatory.
  • Witr: A Salah offered after Isha’.
  • Wudu: Washing for Salah (ablutions).
  • Zakah: Welfare contribution, a compulsory payment from a Muslim’s annual savings, one of the five pillars of Islam. It is an act of worship and should not be confused with any tax.
  • Zuhr: Name of the Salah just after midday.




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