Islamic Glossary

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Heres a list of common terms used by muslims !


Abd : Slave . Example: The name ‘Abdullah ‘ means Slave of Allah or Servant of Allah

Adhan: The call to Salat (prayer) pronounced loudly to indicate that the time of praying is due.

Akhirah : Life after death; Hereafter

Al-Amanah : The trust or the moral responsibility or honesty, and all the duties which Allah has ordained.

Alhamdulillah : All praise is to Allah

Alim : A knowledgeable person or a religious scholar in Islam.

Allah : God

Allahu Akbar : God is Great

Al-Amanah : The trust or the moral responsibility or honesty, and all the duties which Allah has ordained.

Arafaat : A famous place of pilgrimage on the southeast of Makkah.

Ameen : O Allah, accept our invocation.

Ansar : The companions of Prophet (pbuh) from the inhabitants of Al-Madinah, who embraced Islam and supported it and who received and entertained the Muslim emigrants from Makkah and other places

Arafaat : A famous place of pilgrimage on the southeast of Makkah

Assalamu alaikum : Islamic greeting which means ‘May peace be upon you’

Ayaat: Proofs,evidences,verses,lessons,signs,revelations, etc.


Badr : A place about 150 km to the south of Al-Madinah, where the first great battle in Islamic history took place between the early Muslims and the infidels of Quraish.

Al-Bait-ul-Maamur: Allah’s House over the seventh heaven.

Bait-ul-Maqdis: A famous mosque in jesursalem, regarded as the 3rd sacred mosque in Islam, after Al-Masjid-al Haram at Makkah and the mosque of the Prophet (pbuh) at Al-Madinah.

Baqi: The cemetery of the people of Al-Madinah; many companionsof the Prophet (pbuh) are buried in it.

Buraq : An animal bigger than a donkey and smaller than a horse on which the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) went for Mi’raj (The Ascent of the prophet Muhammed(pbuh) to the heavens)


Dayyan : Allah; it literally means the One Who judges people from their deeds after calling them to account.

Dhikr : Rememberance of Allah.

Dhimmi : A person living in a Muslim state who is a member of an officially tolerated non-Islamic religion.

Diyah : Blood money, compensation paid by the killer to the relatives of the victim (in unintentional cases)

Dhul Hijjah: The last month of the Islamic calendar.


Faahish:One who talks evil.

Fajar: Dawn or early morning before sunrise

Faridah: An enjoined duty.

Fidya : Compensation for a missed or wrongly practised religious obligation, usually in the form of money or foodstuff or offering.

Fitnah : Trials,persecutions,confusions in religion, conflicts and strifes among the Muslims.

Furqan : The Criterion which differentiates between right and wrong. Furqan is another name for the Qur’an.


Ghusl : A ceremonial bath.


Hadith : A Saying; sayings of the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh), the Prophet’s(pbuh) acts See also : Sunnah

Hajj: Pilgrimage to Makkah.

Halal: Lawful

Haraam : Unlawful, forbidden and punishable from the viewpoint of religion.

Haram: Sanctuaries of Makkah and Al-Madinah.

Hijab: A long dress prescribed for Muslim Women to cover their whole body from head to feet.

Hijrah : Literally it means migration. It is used for a)The migrations of Muslims from an enemy land to a secure place for religious causes. b)The first Muslims migrations from Makkah to Abyssinnia and later to Al-Madinah c)The Prophet’s migration journey fromm Makkah to Al-Madinah d)The Islamic calender year which started from the Prophet’s migration journey from Makkah to Al-Madinah.

Hira :A well known cave in a mountain near Makkah.

Hudud: Allah’s boundary limits for Halaal (lawful) and Haraam (unlawful).


Ihraam: A state in which one is prohibited to practise certain deeds that are lawful at othertimes.The duties of Umrah and Hajj are performed during such state. When one assumes this state, the first thing one should do is to express mentally and orally one’s intentions to assume this state for the purpose of performing Hajj or Umrah.Then Talbiyah is recited. For men , its two sheets of unstiched clothes 1) one worn below ones waist.2) one worn round the upper part of the body.

Iftar : The opposite of Saum (fasting), breaking the fast.

Istikhaarah : A Salat(prayer) consisting of two Rak’ah in which the praying person appeals to Allah to guide him/her on the right way, regarding a certain matter he/she wants to undertake.

I’tikaaf: Seclusion in a mosque for the purpose of worshipping Allah only.

Insha Allah : God Willing
Example: I will meet you tomorrow, Insha Allah


Jahannam : Hell-fire.

Jamraat: The three stone pillars in Mina which symbolically represent the locations where the devil (shaitan) attempted to tempt Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) away from the path of Allah. The pilgrim symbolically stones these pillars on the 10th through to the 13th of Dhul Hijjah in commemoration of the rejection of the devil by Prophet Ibrahim, and of his steadfastness to the cause of Allah.

Jamrat ul Kubra: The last stone pillar in the line.

Janaazah: Funeral.

Jannah : Paradise.

Jazak Allah : May Allah reward you.

Jihad : Striving, applies to any sort of activity made by any person because of love of Allah. See also : Shahid

Jinn: A creation by Allah from fire, like human beings from dust and angles from light.


Ka’bah : The Rectangular stone structure or House of God at the centre of the Holy Mosque in Mecca, the foundations of which were built by Abraham (pbuh) and his son.

Kafir : One who conceals the truth or one who rejects the truth, , The one who disbelieves in any of the articles of Islamic Faith : To believe in Allah (God), His angels, His Messengers, His revealed Books, the Day of Resurrection and Al-Qadar (i.e. Divine preordainments whatever Allah has ordained must come to pass).

Khushu : Humility before Allah.

Kufr : Disbelief in any of the articles of Islamic Faith .


La ilaaha illallah : There is no god but God

Lailat-ul-Qadr: One of the odd last ten nights of the month of Saum (fasting) in Ramadaan. Allah describes it as better than one thousand months, and the one who worships Allah during it by performing optional prayers and reciting the Noble Qur’an, etc, will get a reward better than that of worshipping Him for one thousand months.


Mahr : Bridal money given by the husband to the wife at the time of marriage.

Makruh : Not approved of, undesirable from the point of view of religion, although not punishable.

Ma sha Allah: An Arabic expression meaning literally, “What Allah wills” and it indicates a good omen.

Maqam Ibrahim: The stepping stone used by Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) during the original construction of the Ka’bah. The stone carries the imprints of his feet, and is housed in a glass enclosure on the north side of the Kabah.

Mina: A desert location approximately three miles east of Makkah where several rites of Hajj are performed.

Miraj: The Ascent of the Prophet Muhammed(pbuh) to the heavens.

Miswak: A toothbrush made of Araak-tree roots.

Muhajir: Anyone of the early Muslims who had migrated from any place to Al-Madinah on the lifetime of the Prophet Muhammed (pbuh) before the conquest of Makkah and also the one who emigrates for the sake of Allah and Islam and also the one who quits all those things which Allah has forbidden.

Muzdalifah: A desert location approximately midway between Mina and Arafat. The pilgrim spends the night of the 10th of Zul Hijjah here.

Munafiq : Hypocrite

Mushrikun: Polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad (pbuh)

Muttaqun: Pious believers of Islamic Monotheism who fear Allah much and love Allah much.


Nikah : Marriage according to Islamic law.


P B U H : Peace Be Upon Him ; Whenever the name of the Prophet Muhammad(pbuh) is mentioned, muslims are required to follow the name by this. ‘Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam ‘ is the Arabic equivalent of Peace Be Upon Him


Qiblah : The direction towards which all Muslims face in Salat (prayers) and that direction is towards the Ka’bah in Makkah (Saudi Arabia)


Ramadan : The Holy month of the Islamic calendar during which muslims fast ; The Holy Qur’an is believed to have been revealed in this month

Riba: Usury, which is of two major kinds: a) intrest on lent money b) taking a superior thing of the same kind of goods by giving more of the same kind of goods of inferior quality. Islam strictly forbits all kinds of usury.


Safa and Marwah : Two mountains at Makkah neighbouring Al-Masjid-al-Haram to the east. One who performs Hajj and Umrah should walk seven times between these two mountains and this is called sa’y. (replicating the act of Hajirah (may Allah be pleased with her ) in order to find water for her son in the desert.)

Sahur : A meal taken at night before Fajr (morning) prayer by a person observing Saum (fast).

Sakinah : Tranquillity, calmness, peace and reassurance etc

Salaah : Prayer (Namaaz)

Saum : The fasting i.e, not to eat or drink and stay away from all that Allah has prohibited from the Adhan of the Fajr (early morning ) prayer till the sunset.

Sa`y : The act of walking seven times back and forth between the rocky hillocks of Safa and Marwah. This act retraces the footsteps of Hajar (wife of Prophet Ibrahim), during her desperate search for water to quench the thirst of her infant son Ishmael after they were left in the desert by Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh) in response to a divine vision.

Shahid : Any person who is martyred in the cause of serving Allah. Martyrdom for Allah is not the same as Nationalism. Some one can lay down their life for their country without being religious at all – and this is NOT Jihad and nor is the person a Shahid.

Shari’ah : The code of behaviour for the Islamic way of life, the law that determines the rightness (halal) or wrongness (haram) of any particular action

Shirk: Polytheism, worshipping others along with Allah.

Subhan Allah : Glorified is Allah

Sunnah : Ways of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) . Example : Growing of beard for a muslim is Sunnah

Surah : Chapter
Example : Surah 1 means Chapter 1
See also : Ayat


Tafseer : Explanation of the meanings of the Qur’an
Example: Tafseer by Ibn Katheer means Explanation of the meanings of the Qur’an as given by the scholar Ibn Katheer

Tahajjud: Night optional prayer offerd at any time after ‘Isha’ prayer and before the ‘Fajr’ prayer.

Takbir: Saying Allahu-Akbar (Allah is the Most Great).

Tasbeeh: Glorification of Allah.

Tahleel: Saying Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah (There is no god but God).

Taqwa : God consciousness

Taraawih: Optional salaat (prayers) offered after the Isha prayers on the nights of Ramadaan.

Taqsir: Shortening or clipping of the whole head of hair by the male pilgrim following the completion of Hajj

Tawaf: The circumambulation of the Ka’bah.

Tawheed: Monotheism.

Thawab: Spiritual reward given by Allah Ta’ala to good deeds performed by man and Jinn


Umrah : A visit to Makkah during which one performs the Tawaf around the Ka’bah and the Sa’y between As-Safa and Al-marwah. It is also called ‘lesser Hajj’


Wahy: The Revelation or Inspiration of Allah to His Prophets.

Walaikum assalam : May peace be upon you too, reply to the Islamic greeting of ‘Assalamu alaikum’

Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu : May peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you, The Islamic greeting is to be returned with an equal greeting or a better one.So, when one is greeted, he/she can reply with ‘Walaikum assalam ‘or ‘Walaikum assalam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu’

Wali : Protector, guardian,supporter,helper,friend

Wudu : Ablution, which is washing the face and the hands up to the elbows, wiping the head and ears with wet fingers and washing the feet up to ankles for the purpose of offering prayers or doing circumambulation round the Ka’bah.


Yathrib : The first name of the city of Madinah i.e. Madinah was earlier called Yathrib, so named after the man who founded it.

Yaqin : Perfect absolute Faith.


Zakah : To purify ; Muslims ‘cleanse’ their material possessions and money by donating a percentage of it (2.5% of surplus income) as a compulsory payment to help the poor, needy and the sick

Zakat-ul-Fitr : An obligatory Sadaqa to be given by Muslims before the prayer of ‘Id-al-Fitr.

Zalzala : Earth quake

Zamzam : The sacred well inside the Haram ( the grand mosque) at Makkah


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