ALLAH The term Allah is the proper name for the Creator and Sustainer Whose Will holds supreme in the universe and who alone is worthy of the highest honour, the greatest respect and admiration and is the only object of worship. The title Allah is complete and any other name will be a poor substitute. It refers to all the attributes of perfection and beauty and represents One and Unique God. The title Allah is the ideal name for God, all other titles including Rabb, are attributes or names of God. "There are ninety-nine names of Allah; he who commits them to memory would get into paradise." (hadeeth)
ADHAN The call for the daily prayers are called Adhan. The person who calls the Adhan is called a Mu'adhin. A Mu'adhin calls the Adhan five times a day before Muslims are to perform their daily Salah (Prayer).
AL-ASHARATU MUBASHSHIRUN the ten people that were given the glad tiddings of assurance of entering Paradise. They were Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, Abdur Rahman ibn Awf, Abu Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah, Talhah ibn Ubaydullah, az-Zubayr ibn al-Awwam, Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqas, Sa'id ibn Zayd.
ASTAGHFIRALLAH This is an expression used by a Muslim when he wants to ask Allah forgiveness. The meaning of it is: "I ask Allah forgiveness." A Muslim says this phrase many times, even when he is talking to another person. When a Muslim abstains from doing wrong, or even when he wants to prove that he is innocent of an incident he uses this expression. After every Salah (payer), a Muslim says this statement three times.
BISMILLAHIR RAHMANIR RAHIM This is a phrase from the Qur'an that is recited before reading the Qur'an. It is to be read immediately after one reads the phrase: "A'uzu Billahi Minashaitanir Rajim." This phrase is also recited before doing any daily activity. The meaning of it is: "In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful."
COVENANT a solemn agreement between two or more persons or groups, a compact between God and man. The Old Testament tells of the covenant the Jews made with Allah.
DA'WAH inviting others to Islam. Missionary work.
DHIKR remembrance for the sake of Allah.
EID The word 'Eid is an Arabic name to mean a festivity, a celebration, a recurring happiness, and a feast. In Islam, there are two major 'Eids namely the feast of Ramadhan ('EId Al-Fitr) and the Feast of Sacrifice ('Eid Al-Adhha).
FARD something which is obligatory on a Muslim. It is sometimes used in reference to the obligatory part of salaah.
FIQH The meaning of the word fiqh is understanding, comprehension, knowledge, and jurisprudence in Islam. A jurist is called a Faqih who is an expert in matters of Islamic legal matters. A Faqih is to pass verdicts within the rules of the Islamic Law namely Shariah. The most famous scholars of Fiqh in the history Muslims are the founders of the four schools of thought in Islam: Imam Malik, Imam Ash-Shafi'i, Imam Abu Hanifah, and Imam Ahmad.
GHAZI Muslim soldier, warrior.
GHAZWAH military expedition.
HADITH Reports on the sayings and the traditions of Prophet Muhammad or what he witnessed and approved are called Hadith. These are the real explanation, interpretation, and the living example of the Prophet for teachings of the Qur'an. His sayings are found in books called the Hadith books. Some famous collectors of Hadith are Imam Al-Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam An-Nasa'i, Imam Abu Dawood, Imam At-Tirmizi, and Imam Majah. There are many others.
HAJJ Hajj is an Arabic word which means the performance of pilgrimage to Makkah in Arabia. It is one of the five pillars of Islam. A Muslim is to perform Hajj at least once in his/her life, if means and health allow. There are rules and regulations and specific dress to be followed. It is to take place during the last month of the lunar calendar called the month of Zul-Hijjah.
IMAM Imam is a religious leader. Any person who leads a congregational prayer is called an Imam. A religious leader who also leads his community in the political affairs may be called an Imam, an Amir, or a Caliph. However, an Imam is not infallible. He is responsible for his mistakes to all the members of the community and above all he is responsible to Almighty Allah.
INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAYHI RAJI'UN When a Muslim is struck with a calamity, when he loses one of his loved ones, or when he has gone bankrupt, he should be patient and say this statement, the meaning of which is : "We are from Allah and to whom we are returning." Muslims believe that Allah is the One who gives and it is He takes away. He is testing us. Hence, a Muslim submits himself to Allah. He is grateful and thankful to Allah for whatever he gets. On the other hand, he is patient and says this expression in times of turmoil and calamity
JAHILIYYAH means ignorant. Jahiliyyah refers to the pre-Islamic era that existed in Arabia. It is a combination of views, ideas, and practices that totally defy and reject the guidance sent down by God through His Prophets.
JAZAKALLAHU KHAYRAN This is a statement of thanks and appreciation to be said to the person who does a favor. Instead of saying "thanks" (Shukran), the Islamic statement of thanks is to say this phrase. Its meaning is: " May Allah reward you for the good." It is understood that human beings can't repay one another enough. Hence, it is better to request Almighty Allah to reward the person who did a favor and to give him the best.
KA'BAH the first house of worship built for mankind. It was originally built by Adam and later on reconstructed by Abraham and Isma'il. It is a cubed shaped structure based in the city of Mecca to which all Muslims turn to in their five daily prayers.
KHALIFAH The word Khalifah refers to the successor or representative of Prophet Muhammad (saas) or to one of his successors. This person acts as the head of state for the Muslim Ummah. Another title for the Khalifah (English Caliph) is Amir Al-Mu'mineen which means 'the leaders of the believers'. The immediate Caliphs were Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, Othman Ibn 'Affan, and 'Ali Ibn Abi Talib. These were given the nickname of Al-Khulafa'Ar-Rashidun (The Guided Caliphs). Another use for this word is used for humanity in general. The human being is considered the Khalifah (representative) of Allah on earth according to Allah.
KHUTBAH a speech or sermon. It is sometimes used to refer to the sermon given during the Friday cogregational prayer.
KUFR to show ungratefulness to Allah and not to believe in Him and His religion.
LA HAWLA WA LA QUWWATA ILLA BILLAH The meaning of this expression is: " There is no power and no strength save in Allah." This expression is read by a Muslim when he is struck by a calamity, or is taken over by a situation beyond his control. A Muslim puts his trust in the hands of Allah, and submits himself to Allah.
LA ILAHA ILLALLAH This expression is the most important one in Islam. It is the creed that every person has to say to be considered a Muslim. It is part of the first pillar of Islam. The meaning of which is: " There is no lord worthy of worship except Allah." The second part of this first pillar is to say: "Muhammadun Rasul Allah," which means:"Muhammad is the messenger of Allah."
LUNAR CALENDAR In their religious duties, Muslims depend on solar and lunar calendars. The latter is shorter than the solar by twelve days. Fasting the month of Ramadhan, celebrating the two major feasts ('Eid Al-Fitr and 'Eid Al-Adhha), performing the pilgrimage to Makkah, and other religious activities depend upon the lunar months. The names of the lunar months are: Muharram, Safar, Rabi' Al-Awwal, Rabi' Al-Thani, Jumada Al-Ula, Jumada Al-Akhirah, Rajab, Sha'ban, Ramadhan, Shawwal, Dhul-Qi'dah, and Dhul-Hijjah. The timing of the daily prayers depend on the solar system.
MADINAH the first city-state that came under the banner of Islam. It is where the Prophet's masjid and grave are situated.
MU'MIN a person who has deep faith in Allah and is a righteous and obedient servant of His.
MUSHAWARAH means consultation.
MUSHRIK a polythiest. A person who ascribes partners to Allah.
NABI The meaning of the word Nabi is a prophet. To be a prophet he should receive a revelation from Allah that does not necessarily mean a revealed book. When a prophet is instructed to deliver his message to a certain group of people, he is a messenger. It is stated in the Qur'an that there are no more prophets and messengers after Muhammad.
NASIHAH means sincere good advice.
Obligatory Obligatory or 'Fard' is a necessity such as salaah.
P.B.U.H. These letters are abbreviations for the words Peace Be Upon Him which are the meaning of the Arabic expression " 'Alaihis Salam", which is an expression that is said when the name of a prophet is mentioned. This expression is widely used by English speaking Muslims. It is to be noticed here that this expression does not give the full meaning of "Salla Allahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam". Therefore it is recommended that people do not use (p.b.u.h.) after the name of prophet Muhammad ; we should use "Salla Allahu 'Alaihi Wa Sallam" instead.
QARI someone who recites the Quran.
QURAYSH the most powerful and prominent tribe in all of Arabia in the Prophet's era. The Quraysh were the keepers of the Ka'bah and therefore one of the wealthiest and most powerful tribes. The Prophet was from among the Quraysh. When he started to preach the True religion of Allah, the Quraysh violently persecuted him and his followers. They were badly defeated at the battle of Badr by the Muslims and their days of Jahiliyyah were finally ended when the Muslims liberated Mecca and destroyed all the idols in the Ka'bah in the year 630 C.E.
QUR'AN The holy book of Qur'an is called the Qur'an. It was revealed unto Muhammad from Allah through angel Gabriel (Jibril) for a period of 23 years. There is only one Qur'an in the whole world and it is in Arabic language. The Qur'an has one text, one language, and one dialect. It has been memorized by millions of Muslims in different parts of the world.
The Qur'an is composed of 114 Surah (chapters). It is to be read and recited with rules and regulations. When to be touched and to be recited, a Muslim to be in a state of cleanliness and purity.
The authenticity and the totality of the Qur'an have been documented and recognized. The Qur'an can not be translated at all as the Qur'an is the exact words of Allah. Any translation is considered to be the explanation to the meaning of the Qur'an.
The Qur'an is so rich and comprehensive in matter that it can easily guide men and women in all works of their life. It is the ultimate source of guidance for people in all aspects of their spiritual and material lives.
RADHIALLAHU 'ANHU This is an expression to be used by Muslims whenever a name of a companion of the Prophet Muhammad is mentioned or used in writing. The meaning of this statement is: "May Allah be pleased with him." Muslims are taught to be respectful to the elderly and to those who contributed to the spread and success in Islam. They are to be grateful to the companions of the prophet for their sacrifices, their leadership, and their contributions. Muslims are advised to use this phrase when such names are mentioned or written.
RASUL The meaning of the word Rasul is a messenger. Allah sent many prophets and messengers to mankind. Amongst them, the names of twenty-five are mentioned in the Qur'an. From within the list, the Qur'an states the names of five Rasul who are the Mighty ones. These are: Nuh (Noah), Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Isa (Jesus), and Muhammad .
RUKU' The root of this word is Raka'a which means bow down. During prayers (Salah), a Muslim is to make Ruku' in respect to Allah: he or she bows forward at the waist, and stands with the hands on the knees and the back parallel to the ground. While in a position of Ruku' a Muslim is to glorify Allah three times.
SABIRIN people who are patient and steadfast.
SALLALLAHU 'ALAIHI WA SALLAM This is an expression that Muslims use whenever the name of Prophet Muhammad is mentioned or written. The meaning of it is: "May the blessings and the peace of Allah be upon him (Muhammad). Another expression that is alternatively used is: "Alaihissalatu Wassalam." This expression means: "On Him (Muhammad) are the blessings and the peace of Allah." Allah has ordered Muslims, in the Qur'an, to say such an expression. Muslims are informed that if they proclaim such a statement once, Allah will reward them ten times.
SIRAH The writings of the companions of the Prophet about him, his personality, his life story. and his ways of handling different situations is called Sirah. The famous collections of the Sirah are At-Tabari, Ibn Ishaq, and Ibn Hisham. The Sirah is a source of reference that Muslims rely on in their daily life situations and problems.
SUBHANAHU WA TA'ALA This is an expression that Muslims use whenever the name of Allah is pronounced or written. The meaning of this expression is: "Allah is pure of having partners and He is exalted from having a son." Muslims believe that Allah is the only God, the Creator of the Universe. He does not have partners or children. Sometimes Muslims use other expressions when the name of Allah is written or pronounced. Some of which are: "'Azza Wa Jall": He is the Mighty and the Majestic; "Jalla Jalaluh": He is the exalted Majestic.
TAHAJJUD the Tahajjud prayer is an optional prayer that is supposed to be performed in the middle of the night. It is required that a person sleep a little before he gets up for the Tahajjud prayer. It can be performed anytime between Isha and Fajr.
TAQWA the love and fear that a Muslim feels for Allah. A person with taqwa desires to be in the good pleasures of Allah and to stay away from those things that would displease Allah. He is careful not to go beyond the bouds and limits set by Allah.
TAUHID confirming the Oneness of Allah. It is the basis of Islam.
TORAH the Revelation that Allah sent down to Moses. It is the Jewish Holy Book
ULAMA the learned, knowledgeble people in Islam. Plural form of alim.
UMMAH an ummah is a community or a people. It is used in reference to the community of Believers or Muslims.
UMM AL-MU'MINEEN means 'Mother of the Believers'. This was the title of the Prophet's wives; (Surah 33 Ayah 6 stipulated that they could not marry after the Prophet's death because all of the believers were their spiritual children.
Nothing specified for letter V
WA 'ALAIKUMUS SALAM This is an expression that a Muslim is to say as an answer for the greeting. When a person greets another with a salutation of peace, the answer for the greeting is an answer of peace. The meaning of this statement is: "And upon you is the peace." The other expressions are: " Wa Alaikums Salam Wa Rahmatullah." and "Wa 'Alaikums Salam Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh."
WALI legal guardian. A friend or protector. Someone who is supposed to look out for your interest.
WUDU a purification (ablution) that must be performed before someone does their salaah or reads the Quran.
Nothing specified for letter X
YATHRIB the area where the city of Madinah is situated.
ZAKAH One of the five pillars of Islam is Zakah, which means purification and increment of one's wealth. A Muslim who has money beyond a certain quantity is to pay the Zakah. It is also called the alms due or poor due. It is to be used in eight categories for welfare of the society that are mentioned in the Qur'an, namely: the poor, the needy, the sympathizers, the captives, the deptors, the cause of Allah, the wayfarers, and for those who are to collect it. The amount to be collected is 2.5%, 5%, or 10%, depending on the assets and the method used to produce it. For example, it is 2.5% of the assets that have been owned over a year, 5% of the wheat when irrigated by the farmer, and 10% of the wheat that is irrigated by the rain.
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