Someone asked me to make a post explaining the terms many of us Muslim bloggers use daily. Please reblog this so more people can learn!
Adhan: Adhan is an Islamic way of calling Muslims to the five obligatory Prayers. The Adhan is announced daily from the Mosques.
Ahl al-Bayt: Ahl al-Bait literally means ‘the people of the house’. This refers to the family of the Prophet Muhammad. In Shia Islam, the Ahl Al Bayt has a very important and central role. Shias believe the Ahl Al Bayt are the successors of Muhammad, and they include Mohammad himself, Fatima, Ali, Hasan, Husayn and the Imams. In Sunni Islam, the Ahl Al Bayt includes Muhammad’s wives. All Muslims must love and respect the family of the Prophet.
Ahl al-Kitab: literally ‘People of the Book,’ refers to the followers of Divine Revelation before the advent of the Prophet Muhammad. This includes Jews and Christians.
Al-Akhirah: Refers to the afterlife and the next world.
‘Alim (pl. Ulamah): An Islamic religious scholar.
Allah : Allah - the greatest and most inclusive of the names of God. It is an Arabic word of rich and varied meaning, denoting the one who is adored in worship, who creates all that exists, who has priority over all creation, who is lofty and hidden, who confounds all human understanding. It is exactly the same word as, in Hebrew, the Jews use for God (Eloh), the word which Jesus Christ used in Aramaic when he prayed to God. God has an identical name in Judaism, Christianity and Islam; Allah is the same God worshipped by Muslims, Christians and Jews.
Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Greatest.
‘Aqeeda: Literally means belief. In Islamic terms, it means the following six articles of faith: Belief in Allah, the One God, Belief in Allah’s angels, Belief in His revealed Books, Belief in His messengers, Belief in the Day of Judgement, Belief in Fate and the Divine Decree.
Asr : ’Asr is the late afternoon Prayer, the third compulsory Prayer of the day. It can be prayed between midafternoon and a little before sunset. It is also the name of Surah 103 of the Holy Quran.
Assalamu ‘Alaikum: Assalamu ‘Alaikum means ‘Peace be on you.’ This is a greeting of the Muslims. The response to this greeting is ‘Wa ‘Alaikum Assalam,’ and on you be the Peace.
Ayah (pl. ayat) : Ayah means a sign (or ‘token’) which directs one to something important. In addition to referring to signs, an ayah is an individual verse from the Qur’an.
Bid’a: Any innovated practice.
Bismillah Hir Rahman Nir Rahim: “In the name of Allah, the Most Kind, the Most Mericful.” This utterance is usually made by every Muslim who is about to embark on something lawful (Halal), regardless of the magnitude of the task. This is also the first verse of Surah Al-Fatehah (Chapter 1) of the Holy Quran.
Dawah: Propagation of Islam through word and action, calling the people to follow the commandments of Allah and His Messenger Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.).
Deen: The core meaning of deen is obedience. As a Quranic technical term, deen refers to the way of life and the system of conduct based on recognizing God as one’s sovereign and committing oneself to obey Him.
Du’a: Supplication: invoking Allah for whatever one desires.
Duhr: Noon. The second obligatory prayer (Salah) of the day. It can be prayed at any time between noon and mid-afternoon.
Eid Al-Adha: A four-day festival that completes the rites of pilgrimage and takes place on the 10th-13th of Dhul Hijjah (the 10th is the day of Nahr and 11th-13th are the days of Tashriq.) Literally means “the feast of the sacrifice.” This feast commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s obedience to Allah by being prepared to sacrifice his only son Ismail.
Eid Al-Fitr: Three day festival marking the end of Ramadan. It takes place on the 1st of Shawal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar.
Fajr: “The Dawn”. The time of the first obligatory prayer (Salah). It can be prayed at any time between the first light of dawn and just before sunrise. Also called Subh (morning).
Fatwa: A legal verdict given on a religious basis. The sources on which a fatwa is based are the Holy Qur’an, and the Sunnah of the Prophet.
Fiqh: Islamic jurisprudence.
Fi sabil Allah: Fi sabil Allah (in the way of Allah) is a frequently used expression in the Qur’an which emphasizes that good acts should be done exclusively to please God. Generally the expression has been used in the Qur’an in connection with striving or spending for charitable purposes.
Fitnah: Fitnah has been used in the Quran in two meanings. It refers, firstly, to persecution, to a situation in which the believers are harassed and intimidated because of their religious convictions. Secondly, it refers to the state of affairs wherein the object of obedience is other than the One True God.
Ghusl: The full ritual washing of the body with water alone to be pure for the prayer.
Hadith: The word hadith literally means communication or narration. In the Islamic context it has come to denote the record of what the Prophet said, did, or tacitly approved. According to some scholars, the word hadith also covers reports about the sayings and deeds, etc. of the Companions of the Prophet in addition to the Prophet himself. The whole body of Traditions is termed Hadith and its science ‘Ilm al-Hadith.
Hadith Qudsi: A saying of Allah narrated by the Holy Prophet that is not part of the Qur’an.
Hajj: Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, the pilgrimage to Mecca. It is a duty one must perform during one’s life-time if one has the financial resources for it. It must be performed during certain specified dates of Dhu al-Hijjah.
Halal: Lawful as defined by Allah the Almighty.
Haram: Any act or deed which is prohibited by Allah.
Hijab: Typically refers to the headscarf worn by Muslim women, but also encompasses modest clothing.
‘Ibadah: ‘Ibadah is used in three meanings: (1) worship and adoration; (2) obedience and submission; and (3) service and subjection. The fundamental message of Islam is that man, as God’s creature, should direct his ‘ibadah to Him in all the above-mentioned meanings, and associate none in the rendering of it.
Iblis: Iblis literally means ‘thoroughly disappointed; one in utter despair.’ In Islamic terminology it denotes the jinn, who refused the command of Allah to prostrate before Adam out of vanity. He also asked God to allow him a term when he might mislead and tempt mankind to error. This term was granted to him by God whereafter he became the chief promoter of evil and prompted Adam and Eve to disobey God’s order. He is also called al-Shaytan (Satan). He is possessed of a specific personality and is not just an abstract force.
Iftar: Breaking of the fast immediately after sunset. Iftar takes place at Maghrib as soon as the Call to Prayer (Adhan) is called.
Imam: 1. Imam signifies the leader, and in its highest form, refers to the head of the Islamic state. 2. It is also used with reference to the founders of the different systems of theology and law in Islam. 3. A person who leads the prayer.
Iman: Trust, faith and acceptance. Having faith and belief in Allah according to the Qur’an.
Insha Allah: “If Allah wills.”
Isha’: Isha’ (Night) Prayer signifies the prescribed Prayer which is performed after the night has well set in.
Islam: Literally means “submission to the will of Allah.” The most important and pivotal concept in Islam is the oneness of God.
Jahanam: Most commonly understood to mean Hell.
Jihad: Jihad literally means ‘to strive’ or ‘to exert to the utmost.’ In islamic parlance it signifies all forms of striving at making the Word of God prevail.
Jinn: Jinn are an independent species of creation about which little is known except that unlike man, who was created out of earth, the jinn were created out of fire. But like man, a Divine Message has also been addressed to them and they too have been endowed with the capacity, again like man, to choose between good and evil, between obedience or disobedience to God.
Jum’ah: “Friday.” The Muslims’ day of gathering together, when all Muslim males must go to the Masjid to hear the Friday Khutba (sermon) and to do the Jum’ah Salat (prayer), which is prayed instead of Dhur.
Ka’aba: The cube-shaped stone building whose foundations were built by the angels and completed by Prophet Ibrahim and his son, Prophet Ismael in Mecca. It was rebuilt with the with the help of Prophet Muhammad. It is the focal point towards which all Muslims face when praying.
Maghreb: Sunset. The fourth obligatory Prayer of the day. It consists of three Rakahs and can be offered between just after sunset and before the stars appear in the sky.
Mahram: A man whom a woman can never marry because of closeness of relationship (e.g. father, brother, uncle, son, etc.). Her husband is also her Mahram.
Muslim: A person who accepts Islam as his or her way of life.
Niqab: A type of veil that covers the entire face except for the eyes.
Qiblah: Qiblah signifies the direction to which all Muslims are required to turn when offering their prescribed Prayers, namely towards the Ka’bah, in Mecca Saudi Arabia.
Radhi Allah Anhu/Anha: (May Allah be pleased with him/her). Said whenever the name of a Sahabi (companion) is read or heard.
Ramadan: The ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Fasting is obligatory during this month for all Muslims.
Sallallahu ‘Alaihe wa Sallam (S.A.W.) “May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.” This is said whenever the name of prophet Muhammad is mentioned or read.
Shia: The second largest denomination of Islam. Adherents of Shia Islam are called Shi’as or Shias. “Shia” is the short form of the historic phrase Shiatu Ali meaning “followers”, “faction”, or “party” of Muhammad’s son-in-law Ali, whom the Shia believe to be Muhammad’s successor.
SubhanAllah: “Glory be to Allah.”
Subhana wa Ta’ala “May He be Glorified and Exalted.”Usually mentioned after saying “Allah”.
Sunnah: Ahadeeth and the way of Prophet Muhammad.
Sunni: The largest branch of Islam. The word Sunni comes from the word Sunna and refers to please who follow the tradition of Muhammad and the consensus of the ummah.
Surah: A chapter of the Qur’an. Literally means “a form”. There are 114 Surahs in the Holy Quran.
Tawhid: Oneness of God, monotheism.
Ummah: Ummah, community, or nation, is a special name given to Muslim brotherhood and unity.
‘Umrah: ‘Umrah (Minor Pilgrimage) is an Islamic rite and consists of pilgrimage to the Ka’bah.
Wa Alaikum Assalam: “And on you be peace.” The reply to the Muslim greeting of “assalamu alaikum.” (peace be on you).
Wudu:Wudu refers to the ablution made before performing the prescribed Prayers.
Zakah: Zakah (Purifying Alms) literally means purification, whence it is used to express a portion of property bestowed in alms, as a means of purifying the person concerned and the remainder of his property. It is among the five pillars of Islam and refers to the mandatory amount that a Muslim must pay out of his property.