Glossary of Terms

Date page was first added: 25th September 2011.

Note: these terms have been taken from various authentic books where some of the terms are rough translations.

This page should hopefully be beneficial for new Muslims in particular, inshaa’Allaah.

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Abd: slave, servant, worshipper.

Abrar: righteous.

‘Ad: An ancient tribe that lived after Nuh (Noah). It was prosperous, but disobedient to Allah, so Allah destroyed it with a violent destructive westerly wind.

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

Ahkam: “legal status”. According to Islamic law, there are five kinds of akham:

1. Compulsory (wajib)
2. Desirable but not compulsory (Mustahabb)
3. Forbidden (Muharram)
4. Disliked but not forbidden (Makruh)
5. Lawful and allowed (Halal)

Ahlul-Bid’ah: The People of Innovation, those people who introduce matters, whether, beliefs, actions or principles into the religion which do not belong to it and which the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his Companions were not upon.

Ahlul-Kalaam: The People of Theological Rhetoric, those who resort to philosophical reasoning and rationale in understanding the texts of the Book and the Sunnah.

Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah: Those who hold fast to that which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and his Companions were upon with regards to ‘aqeedah (belief), manhaj (methodology) and all other matters of religion and who hold onto to this way, not abandoning it for the way of the innovated and misguided sects.

Al-Ahzab: The Confederates. The term is used for the disbelievers of Quraish and the Jews residing at Al-Madinah and some other Arab tribes who invaded the Muslims of Al-Madinah but were forced to withdraw.

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

Allaamah: A title given to someone who is distinguished in his learning and knowledge of the religion.

Allahu-Akbar: Allah is the Most Great

‘Amah: A female slave

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

‘Amin: O Allah, accept our invocation.

Ansar: The Companions of Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) 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.

‘Aqeedah: The word ‘Aqeedah is derived from the word ‘Aqd which means to tie something tightly. It is also said that ‘Aqeedah is the conviction of the heart which becomes manifest in a person’s religion. ‘Aqeedah is an affair of the heart which entails faith in something and belief in it.

‘Aqiqah: It is the sacrificing of one or two sheep on the occasion of the birth of a child as a token of gratitude to Allah. (See Sahih Al-Bukhari, The Book of ‘Aqiqah, Vol. 8, Page No. 272)

‘Arafah (day of): The ninth day of the month Dhul-Hijjah, on which the pilgrims stay in ‘Arafat plain till sun set.

‘Arsh: Throne of Allaah (azza wa Jal).

Ashaabul-Hadeeth: The People of Hadeeth, this is a description of whoever submits to the Prophetic Narrations in accepting and deriving his belief, as opposed to Ahlul-Kalaam and Ahlul-Bid’ah who rely upon other than them.

Ash’ariyyah: They are the followers of Abdullāh Ibn Kullāb (died 240H) though they lay claim to Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree (died 324H). At first, Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree inclined towards the views of the Mu’tazilah sect, until he reached forty years of age. Then he openly announced his repentance from that to the public and exposed the falsehood of the Mu’tazilah. So he took hold of the methodology of Ahlus-Sunnah, may Allaah have mercy on him.

As for those who lay claim to him and attribute themselves to him, they remained upon a specific methodology, which is known as the Ash’ariyyah sect. They do not confirm any of Allaah’s Attributes, except seven, which they believe are proven by intellect. And they distort the meaning of the rest of them. The seven (they affirm) are the ones mentioned in this verse:

“He is the Living, Knowing, Able and has Speech
Desire, and likewise Hearing and Seeing”

They also commit other innovations with regard to the meaning of Speech, Al-Qadar and other than that.

‘Ashura: The 10th of the month of Muharram (the first month in the Islamic calendar)

‘Asr: Afternoon, ‘Asr prayer time.

As-Sirat: Sirat originally means “a road”; it means the bridge that will be laid across the Hell-fire for the people to pass over on the Day of Judgement. It is described as sharper than a sword and thinner than a hair. It will have hooks over it to snatch the people.

Athar (pl. Aathaar): Literally, a remnant or trace. It means a narration from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) or from the Companions, the Taabi’een or those after them.

‘Aurah: That part of the body which is illegal to expose to others.

Awliya’: plural of wali; a friend, ally, loyal companion. From the word wilayah meaning loyalty and closeness, the opposite of enmity.

Ayah: pl. ayat. Sign, miracle, example, lesson. A verse of the Qur’aan.

Ayat-ul-Kursi: Qur’anic verse No. 255 of Surat Al-Baqarah.

‘Ayy: withholding the tongue from speaking, carefully considering each word before it is said.


Baatiniyyah: This is a name given to a group that splintered from the Isma’eeli Shiites. They believe that the entire Book of Allaah is open to reinterpretation and claim that it cannot be understood in its apparent (literal) form and so as a result they went astray. Their beliefs have influenced the Sufi movement, which claims that all of the Qur’aan has an apparent as well as a hidden meaning.

Badr: A place about 150 kilometers 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.

Bai’ah: A pledge given by the citizens to their Imam (Muslim ruler) to be obedient to him, according to the Islamic religion.

Bait-ul-Maqdis: Bait literally means ‘House’: a mosque is frequently called Baitullah (the House of Allah). Bait-ul-Maqdis is the famous mosque in Jerusalem which is regarded as the third sacred mosque in Islam, the first and second being Al-Masjid-al-Haram at Makkah and the mosque of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) at Al-Madinah, respectively.

Baqi’: The cemetary of the people of Al-Madinah; many of the Companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) are buried in it.

Barr: Pious

Barzakh: barrier, obstruction, an isthmus. A barrier placed between a person who has deceased and this worldly life.

Bayan: Speech, clarification, discourse. It is of two types: the first whereby the intended meaning is expressed clearly, whatever the language it may be in, this category is not regarded as magic; the second whereby the intended meaning is expressed in eloquent, cleverly doctored phrases based upon specific rules such that one listening takes pleasure in hearing the words and they affect his very heart.

Bid’ah: Linguistic meaning : a newly invented matter.

The Sharee’ah definition : “A newly invented way (beliefs or action) in the religion, in imitation of the Sharee’ah (prescribed Law), by which nearness to Allaah is sought, (but) not being supported by any authentic proof – neither in its foundations, nor in the manner in which it is performed.” [Al-I’tisaam of ash-Shaatibee (1/37)]



Da’if: weak. The hadith that is neither sahih nor hasan because it fails to meet one of their requirements. It is of varying degrees of severity, the most severe of which being maudu’, fabricated.

Dajjal: Pseudo Messiah (Al-Masih-ad-Dajjal) or Antichrist. Literally, a liar, quack, deceiver.

Dalaalah: Misguidance.

Da’wah: Invitation, call to Allah.

Deen: religion, way of life.

Dhaahir: Apparent, manifest.

Dhikr: remembrance. Making mention of Allah.

Dhimmi: A non-Muslim living under protection of an Islamic government.

Dhul-Qarnain: A great ruler in the past who ruled all over the world, and was a true believer. His story is mentioned in the Qur’an (18:83).

Diyah (Plural:Diyat): Blood money (for wounds, killing etc.), as compensation paid by the killer to the relatives of the victim (in unintentional cases).

Dua: supplication, invocation, it is an action of worship that may only be directed to Allah. It is of two types, supplication through worship (du’a ‘ibadah) and supplication of request (du’a mas’alah).

Duha: forenoon


Eemaan: The firm belief, complete acknowledgement and acceptance of all that Allaah and His Messenger have commanded to have faith in, submitting to it both inwardly and outwardly. It is the acceptance and belief of the heart that includes the actions of the heart and body, therefore it encompasses the establishment of the whole religion. This is why the Imams of the Salaf used to say, ‘Faith is the statement of the heart and tongue, action of the heart, tongue and limbs.’ Hence it comprises statement, action and belief, it increases through obedience and decreases through disobedience. It includes the beliefs of faith, its morals and manners and the actions demanded by it.

‘Eid: A Muslim festival.


Faahish: one who talks evil.

Fai’: War booty gained without fighting

Fajr: Dawn or early morning before sunrise, or morning Salat (prayer)

Faqeeh: Someone who has good understanding of the religion, of the texts of the Book and the Sunnah and who can derive rulings from them.

Fard ‘Ain: It is an individual duty – an obligation essentially to be performed by each individual

Fard Kifaayah: collective obligation – if fulfilled by a part of the community then the rest are not obligated.

Fasad: corruption, decay, and invalidity.

Fatwaa: (pl. fataawaa) religious verdicts.

Fidyah: Compensation for a missed or wrongly practised religious obligation (like in Hajj), usually in the form of money or foodstuff or offerring (animal by slaughtering it).

Fiqh: The understanding and application of the Sharee’ah as derived from the Qur’aan and the Sunnah. Islamic Jurisprudence.

Al-Firdaus: The middle and highest part of Paradise

Fitnah (Plural: Fitan): Trials, persecution,confusion in the religion, conflicts and strifes among the Muslims.


Ghairah: This word covers a wide meaning: jealousy as regards women, and also it is a feeling of great fury and anger when one’s honour and prestige in injured or challenged.

Ghazi: A Muslim fighter returning after participation in Jihad

Ghazwah (Plural Ghazawat): A holy battle or fighting in the Cause of Allah consisting of a large army unit with the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) himself leading the army.

Ghuloo: going to an extreme.

Ghayb: the Unseen, those matters beyond our senses.

Ghusl: A ceremonial bath necessary for the one who is in a state of Janaabah.


Haafidh: A preserver of the Qur’aan and Hadeeth.

Hadeeth (pl. Ahaadeeth) :A text attributed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) describing his actions, words, descriptions and tacit approvals. It consists of two portions, the body of the text (matn) and the isnad.

Hady: An animal (a camel, a cow, a sheep, a goat offered as a sacrifice by the pilgrims)

Hanif (pl. Hunafa): Upright and Devout. One who leaves the false religions and beliefs for the truth and does not swerve from it. His outward rectitude reflects what is inside him.

Hajj: Pilgrimage, one of the pillars of Islam.

Hajj-al-Ifrad: In it a pilgrim enters in the state of Ihram with the intention of performing Hajj only.

Hajj-al-Qiran: In it a pilgrim enters in the state of Ihram with the intention of performing Umrah and Hajj together,

Hajj Mabrur: Hajj accepted by Allah for being perfectly performed according to the Prophet’s Sunnah and with legally earned money.

Hajj-at-Tamattu’: In it a pilgrim enters in the state of Ihram with the intention of performing Umrah, and then after performing Tawaf and Sa’y he comes out of Ihram. With the commencement of Hajj dats, he enters in the state of Ihram again and performs Hajj.

Halaal: lawful.

Haraam: unlawful and forbidden.

Harj: killing.

Hasan: good, fair. A hadith whose isnad is continuously linked of just, morally upright narrators but whose precision (dabt) falls short of the requirements of the sahih hadith; containing no irregularity (shadh) and no hidden defect (‘illah). A hadith can be hasan in and of itself, or contain a defect but still be ruled to be so due to supporting evidence.

Haqeeqah: Real, in reality (as opposed to metaphorically).

Hawa: base desires.

Hawalah: The transference of debt from one person to another. It is an agreement whereby a debtor is released from a debt by another becoming responsible for it.

Haya’: This term covers a large number of concepts. It may mean ‘modesty’, ‘self-respect’, ‘bashfulness’, ‘honour’,ect.

Hibah: It means to present something to someone as a gift for Allah’s sake

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

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

Hijrah: migration from the land of Shirk to the land of Islaam.

Hudud: limits, boundaries. The limits ordained by Allah, prescribed punishments.

Hukm: a judgement of legal decision (especially of Allah).

Hunain: A valley between Makkah and Ta’if where the battle took place between the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and Quraish pagans.


‘Ibaadah: worship, worship of Allah.

‘Iddah: Allah’s prescribed waiting period for a woman after divorce or death of her husband, after the expiry of which she can remarry another person.

Idhtiraab: Idhtiraab occurs when a prophetic narration is conveyed with multiple chains of narration. These problematic narrations contradict one another, so if it is possible to give precedence to one of the narrations over the others because of the strength of its narrators’ memories, or their close association to the Prophet, then in this situation this prophetic narration is no longer considered problematic (Mudhtarib).

Iftar: The time of breaking the fast

Ihdad: A woman’s abstaining from beautification by way of perfume and clothing or whatever might lead towards marriage from clothing or jewelry, or other than that during a prescribed period of mourning following the death of her husband.

Ihram: the ceremonial state of making Hajj or the Hajj garments themselves.

Ihsan: The highest level of deeds and worship, (perfection i.e. when you worship Allah or do deeds, consider yourself as if you see Him and if you cannot achieve this feeling or attitude, then you must bear in mind that He sees you).

Ijmaa’: Consensus, the agreement of the Companions of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) upon an issue or the agreement of the Scholars of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa ‘ah upon an issue.

Ijtihaad: exertion of effort; the process of arriving at a reasoned decision by a scholar on an issue.

Ilmul-Hadeeth: The science of Hadeth which is involved with separating the correct and true ahaadeeth from the weak and fabricated ones.

Ikhlaas: Sincerity, to strip oneself of worshipping any besides Allah such that everything one does is performed only to draw closer to Him and for His pleasure. It is to purify ones actions from any but the Creator having a share in them, from any defect or self-desire.

Imaam: A term that is generally used to refer to the one who leads the prayer. The word is also used to refer to leaders in certain circumstances as well as prestigious scholars.

‘Inah: A kind of transaction. One form of it is that if a person asks someone to lend him a certain amount of money, he refuses the money in cash, but instead offers him an article at a higher price than his demand of the required money, and later on buys the same articles from him at a less price i.e., equal to the money he wants. In this way he makes him indebted for the difference.

Iqamah: The wording of Adhan is reduced so that the wording that is repeated twice in the Adhan is said once in the Iqamah, except the last phrase of Allahu Akbar, and the prayer is offered immediately after the Iqamah.

Isha’: Late evening Salat (prayer).

Islam: submission, submitting to the will of Allaah through following His law as revealed upon the tongue of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Isnad: support. The chain of authorities on which a narration is based, linking the end narrator of a narration to the one it is attributed to, be it the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) or anyone else, narrator by narrator.

Istikhaarah: a Prayer consisting of two units (rakah) asking Allah for guidance.

Istisqa’: A Salat (prayer) consisting of two Rak’ah, invoking Allah for rain in seasons of drought.

Istiwaa: ascending; the ascending of Allah above the Throne (in the manner that befits His Majesty).

I’tikaf: Seclusion in a mosque for the purpose of worshipping Allah only. The one in such a state should not have sexual relations with his wife, and one is not allowed to leave the mosque except for a very short period, and that is only for very urgent necessity e.g. answering the call of nature or joining a funeral procession etc.

Ittiba’: following, techically referring to following the Sunnah of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Izar’: A sheet worn below the waist to cover the lower-half of the body.


Jabaraiiyah (or Mujbirah): The Jabariyyah hold that people have no free-will and are not responsible for their own actions, rather they are forced.

Jahannam: Hell-fire.

Jahiliyah: Pre-Islamic Ignorance. Technically this refers to the condition of a people before the guidance of Allah reaches them, or the state of a people that prevents them from accepting the guidance of Allah.

Jahl: Ignorance.

Jahmiyyah: They attribute themselves to Al-Jahm bin Safwaan who was killed by Saalim or Salim bin Ahwaz in the year 121H. Their views on the Attributes of Allah consist of ta’teel (denial) and nafee (negation). Regarding Al-Qadar (Divine Pre-Decree), they hold the opinion that mankind is coerced to do deeds (al-jabr).

Their view on Eemaan is that of Irjaa, which means that they believe Eemaan is merely the confirmation of the heart, and that statements and actions are not part of Eemaan. So according to them, someone who commits a major sin is a believer with complete Eemaan (i.e. Eemaan does not increase or decrease). So they are the Mu’atazilah, Jabariyyah and Murji’ah all in one and they are divided into many sects.

Jamaa’ah: A body of Muslims which is united with and in its adherence to the truth, which is what the Companions were upon and those following them upon that.

Jamrah: A small stone-built pillar in a walled place. There are three Jamrahs situated in Mina. One of the ceremonies of Hajj is to throw pebbles at these Jamrahs on the four days of ‘Id-al-Adha at Mina.

Janabah: State of major impurity.

Janazah: Funeral prayer, funeral procession.

Jihad: striving in the Way of Allah to make His Word supreme.

Jinn: another creation besides mankind who are invisible to us. They are also subject to the laws of Islam and will be judged in the Hereafter according to how they lived in this life.

Jannah: Paradise.

Jizyah: Head tax imposed by Islam on all non-Muslims living under the protection of an Islamic government.

Jumu’ah: Friday


Kaafir: A disbeliever.

Ka’bah: a square stone building in al-Masjidul-Haram (the great mosque in Makkah which Muslims go to for pilgrimage and which all Muslims direct their face in Prayer).

Kalam: speech, discourse. Technically used to refer to dialectics and scholastic theology.

The Karaamiyyah: They are the followers of Muhammad bin Kaaram, who came from one of the districts in Sijistaan and died in 225H. He held that Eemaan (Faith) was just a statement of the tongue and that belief of the heart and actions of the limbs did not fall into it. So according to him, whoever affirms Faith with his tongue is a true believer even if his heart believes in polytheism. His group denied worship and claimed that the hypocrites were really believers. They incline towards tashbeeh and hold the belief of Irjaa. They are futher divided into numerous groups.

Khaarijee: (pl. Khawaarij): those who declared that a Muslim becomes a disbeliver due to committing a major sin alone.

Khabr: Khabr is commonly used as a synonym for the term Hadeeth. It is also said that the Hadeeth is what has been narrated from the Prophet while the Khabr is what has been narrated from other than him.

Khalaf: successors. A reference to those who followed a path other than the path of the Salaf.

Khaleefah (pl. Khulafaa): The leader of the Muslim Ummah

Khamr: Wine, alcohol, intoxicant, etc.

Khawaarij: The Khawaarij were the first sect in Islaam to split away from the way of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and his Companions. They arose in the caliphate of ’Alee, making khurooj (rebellion) against him, before the arbitration between him and Mu’aawiyah (radiyallaahu ’anhumaa). From their false ’aqeedah (creed) is: allowing rebellion against the legitimate Muslim ruler – whether pious of wicked, and declaring a Muslim to be a kaafir (disbeliever), due to commission of a major sin. They were described by the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) as the Dogs of the Hellfire. Refer to al- Maqaalaatul-Islaamiyyeen (1/168) of Abul-Hasan al-Ash’aree, al-Bidaayah (8/22-44) of Ibn Katheer and Fathul-Baaree (12/282-302) of Ibn Hajr.

Khawf: fear.

Khilaafah: The Muslim State which is based upon the beliefs, actions and methodology of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and His Companions.

Khuff: Leather socks.

Khul’: A kind of divorce in which a wife seeks divorce from her husband by giving him a certain compensation, or returning back the Mahr which he gave her.

Khushu’: Submissiveness, Humility before Allah.

Khusuf: Lunar eclipse.

Khutbah: A religious talk (sermon) i.e., the khutbah of Jumu’ah.

Kufah: A town in ‘Iraq

Kufr: Denial, rejection, hiding, technically referring to disbelief. It can be major (removing a person from the fold of Islam) or minor (not removing a person from the fold of Islam).


Lafdhiyyah: Those who said our uttering of the Qur’aan is created.

Lailat-ul-Qadr: One of the odd last ten nights of the month of Suam (fasting) i.e. Ramadan, 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 (i.e. 83 years and four months)

Lat & Uzza: Well-known idols in Hijaz which used to be worshipped during the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance.


Madhhab (pl. Madhaahib): A way or a school of thought.

Maghrib: sunset, evening salat (prayer).

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

Majaaz: Allegorical or metaphorical.

Majhul: unknown. A reference to a narrator from whom only one narrator (majuhl al-‘ain) or whose state of precision (dabt) is unknown (majhul al-hal), such a narrator makes the isnad da’if.

Mamluk: a male slave.

Manhaj: Methodology, the methodology of a Muslim in the derivation, understanding and application of his religion.

Maqam Ibrahim: The stone on which Ibrahim (Abraham) – alaihis salaam – stood while he and Isma’il (Ishmael) – alaihis salaam – were building the Ka’bah.

Marfoo’: raised; a narration attributed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Matruk: abandoned. A narrator who is accused of lying, or makes many mistakes, or makes mistakes in ahadith that are agreed upon, or narrates from famous narrators that which those narrators do not know.

Maula: It has many meanings. Some are: a manumitted slave, or a patron, protector, supporter, or master or the Rabb [Lord (Allaah)].

Mawbiqaat: great destructive sins.

Mawdu’: fabricated hadith. That hadith which is a lie against the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Mi’raj: the Ascent of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) to the heavens (by soul and body). (See hadith No. 345, Vol. 1, Hadith No. 429, Vol. 4 and Hadith No. 227, Vol 5, Sahih Al-Bukhari). [Also see (V.53:12) of the Qur’an]

Mina: a pilgrimage place outside Makkah on the road to ‘Arafat. It is eight kilometers away from Makkah and about sixteen kilometers from ‘Arafat.

Miqat: (Plural: Mawaqit) One of the several places specified by the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) for the people to assume Ihram at, on their way to Makkah, when intending to perform Hajj or Umrah.

Mu’adhdhin: A call-maker who pronounces the Adhan loudly calling people to come and perform the Salat (prayer).

Mu’alaq: A prophetic narration containing a disconnected chain of narration.

Mubiqat: Great destructive sins.

Mudallis: one who practices tadlees.

Mufassal/Mufassalat: The Surah starting from Qaf to the end of the Noble Qur’an (i.e. from No. 50 to the end of the Qur’an, No. 114).

Mufassir: explainer of the Qur’aan.

Muftee: one who gives fataawaa.

Muhaddith: Someone well versed in the science of hadeeth and all its branches and who is able to separate the correct from the false ahaadeeth.

Muharram: the first month of the Islamic calendar.

Muhkam: Qur’anic verses the contents of which are not abrogated.

Mujahid: (Plural: Mujahidun) A muslim fighter in Jihad.

Mulhidun: Heretics.

Mu’min: A believer.

Munqati’: that hadith from which the narrator just before the Companion has been omitted from its isnad.

Muqallid: one who practices taqleed.

Muraqabah: self-inspection. The servant having the sure knowledge that Allah sees him in all circumstances and knows all that he is doing, as such he does his utmost not to fall into the prohibited matters and to correct his own failings.

Murji’ah: They believe that actions are deferred from Eemaan (Al-Irjaa). Thus actions, according to them, are not part of it. Eemaan is simply the complying of the heart. So the sinner, according to them, is a believer with complete Eemaan, even if he does what he does from the disobedient acts of he abandons what he abandons from the obedient acts. And if they ruled that someone who abandoned one of the commandments of the Religion is a disbeliever, then that would be due to the lack of his heart complying not due to his abandonment of that deed. These are the views of the Jahmiyyah. And it, along in comparison with the views of the Khawaarij, are the two opposite extremes.

Mursal: disconnected. A hadith whereby a Tabi’i narrates directly from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) without mentioning the Companion. In the view of the majority of Scholars it is a sub-category of da’if.

Musalla: a praying place.

Mushabbihah (or Mujassimah): Those who declare that Allaah is like His creation and that the attributes of Allaah are like attributes of the creation. This was first propagated by Maqaatil ibn Sulaymaan al-Khuraasaanee, during the era of the taabi’een.

Mushaf: The printed Qur’aan.

Mushrik: A pagan, polytheist, one who associates partners with Allaah, in either his beliefs or his actions.

Musnad: A prophetic narration with a chain of narration that reaches the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Mu’tah: a temporary marriage which was allowed in the early period of Islam when one was away from his home, but later on it was cancelled (abrogated).

Mutafahhish: A person who conveys evil talk.

Mu’takif: One who is in a state of I’tikaf.

Mutashabihat: Qur’anic verses which are not clear and are difficult to understand.

Mutawaatir: A hadeeth reported by a large number of narrators at every stage of its transmission, so that it is impossible for it to have been invented. Scholars differ about the minimum number of narrators needed to constitute a mutawaatir hadeeth.

Mu’tazilah: hey are the followers of Waasil bin Ataa’, who withdrew (‘Itizaal) from the gathering of Al-Hasan Al-Basree. He determined that the sinner is in a level between two levels. Thus, he is neither a believer nor a disbeliever, yet he will reside eternally in the Hellfire. ‘Amr bin ‘Ubayd followed him in that and their views concerning the Attributes of Allaah are based on ta’teel, likes the Jahmiyyah, and concerning Al-Qadar, like that of the Qadariyyah.

They reject the relation of the Qadaa and the Qadar of Allaah to the actions of the servant. In regards to the one who commits a major sin, they hold that he will remain in the Hellfire forever and that he is extracted from the fold of Eemaan into a level between the two levels of belief and disbelief. So they oppose the views of the Jahmiyyah in regards to these two principles.

Muttaqeen: Those who are pious and God-fearing.

Muwahhid (p1. Muwahhidoon): One who holds the correct belief in Allaah and His Names and Attributes, who worships Him alone, with everything that the correct meaning of worship requires, and does not associate partners with Him in any form or fashion and who dies upon that state.

Muwatta’: A hadith book compiled by Imam Malik bin Anas, one of the four Fiqh Imam.

Muzdalifah: A place between ‘Arafat and Mina where the pilgrims while returning from ‘Arafat, have to stop and stay for the whole night or greater part of it (the night), between the ninth and tenth of Dhul-Hijjah and to perform Maghrib and ‘Isha prayers (together) there.


Naafilah: (pl. nawaafil) optional practice of worship.

Naasibee: One who has hatred towards ‘Alee and the family of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Nifaaq: Hypocrisy.

Nikah: Marriage (wedlock) according to Islamic law.

Nisab: Minimum amount of property liable to payment of Zakat e.g. Nisab of gold is twenty (20) Mithqal i.e. approx. 94 grams; Nisab of silver is two hundred (200) dirhams, i.e. approx. 640 grams; Nisab of food-grains and fruit is 5 Awsuq i.e. 673.5 kgms. Nisab of camels is 5 camels; Nisab of cows is 5 vows; and Nisab of sheep is 40 sheep.

Niyyah: intention from the heart.

Nusub: An-Nusub were stone altars at fixed places or graves, etc. whereon sacrifices were offered during fixed periods of occasions and seasons in the name of idols, jinn, angels, pious men, saints, in order to honour them, or to expect some benefit from them.

Nusuk: a sacrifice.




Qadaa: Allah’s ordainment of everything in creation.

Qadar: Allaah’s Pre-decree and pre-estimation of the creation.

Qadariyyah: Their methodology consists of negating Al-Qadar from the actions of the servant and that his desire and ability are independent from the Desire and Ability of Allaah. The first to manifest this view openly was Mu’bad Al-Juhnee, in the last part of the era of the Sahaabah. He learned it from a Majoosee man from Al-Basrah.

They are divided into two groups, one that is extreme and one that is not extreme. The extremist group rejects the Attributes of Knowledge, Desire, Ability and Creating from Allaah in favor of the actions of the servant. This type of people has now become extinct or close to it. Those that are not extreme believe that Allaah is knowledgeable of the actions of the servant. However, they reject its occurring by His Desire, Ability and Creating. This is what their belief is founded upon.

Qadi: A Muslim judge.

Qaraamitah: They are one of the deviant factions that emerged from the Raafidah whose adherents follow Abu Sa’eed Bahraam Al-Hanabee who was the founder of the Qaraamitee belief. They believed that ‘Abdullaah bin Al-Harith Al-Kandee was a prophet and so would worship him. And they have other corrupt beliefs apart from that.

Qattat: A person who conveys information from someone to another with the intention of causing harm and enmity between them (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol 8., Hadith No. 82).

Qiblah: The direction one faces during Prayer (i.e., towards Makkah).

Qil wa Qal: Sinful, useless talk (e.g. backbiting, lies, etc).

Qisas: Laws of equality in punishment in wounds etc. in retaliation.

Qiyaas: analogical deduction of Islaamic laws. New laws are deduced from old laws based upon similarity between the causes.

Qiyam: The standing posture in Salat (prayer).

Quba: A place in the outskirts of Al-Madinah. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) established a mosque there, which bears the same name. A visit to that mosque on Saturday forenoon and offering a two Rak’ah Salat (prayer) is regarded as a performance of ‘Umrah in reward according to the Prophet’s saying.

Qunoot: “devotion”; a special supplication while standing in Prayer.

Qur’an: The actual Word of Allah (the uncreated speech of Allaah that is) revealed to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in the Arabic language through the medium of Angel Gabriel and the greatest miracle bestowed upon him. It consists of 114 chapters commencing with al-Fatihah and ending with an-Nas.

Quraysh: one of the greatest tribes in Arabia in the pre-Islaamic period of Ignorance. The Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) belonged to this tribe.


Raafidah: They are the ones who go to extremes with regard to the Members of the Household (Aali Bait). They declare the Companions that opposed them as being disbelievers or they accuse them of evil (fisq). They are divided into many sects, among which are the extremists, who claim that ‘Alee is god, and among which are other than them. Their innovation first appeared during the Khilaafah of ‘Alee bin Abee Taalib when ‘Abdullaah bin Saba’ said to him: “You are God.” Due to this, ‘Alee commanded that they be set on fire. However, their leader, ‘Abdullaah bin Saba’, escaped to another city.

They hold various views on the Attributes of Allaah, so among them are those who perform tashbeeh, those who perform ta’teel and those who are in conformity (with the correct view on the Attributes). They are called Raafidah because they rejected (rafd) Zayd bin ‘Alee Ibn Husayn bin ‘Alee bin Abee Taalib, when they asked him about Abu Bakr and ‘Umar and he responded saying “rahimahullaah” for both of them.

So they rejected him and distanced themselves from him. And they named themselves Shee’ah because of their claim and notion that they are taking sides (tashayu’) with Aali Bait and that they support them and that they are reclaiming their right to Imamate.

Raafidee: the correct title for the extreme Shee’ah. Those who bear malice and grudges against the noble Companions to the extent that they declare them to be apostates. They also hold the Qur’aan which the Muslims have is neither complete nor preserved from corruption.

Rabb: There is no proper equivalent for Rabb in English language. It means the One and the Only Lord for all the universe, its Creator, Owner, Organizer, Provider, Master, Planner, Sustainer, Cherisher, and Giver of security. Rabb is also one of the Names of Allah. The word “Lord” can be chosen as the nearest equivalent to Rabb.

Rabbuka: Your Lord, Your Master.

Rabi’ul-Awwal: Third month of the Islamic calendar.

RadiyAllahu ‘anhu/’anha/’anhum/’anhuma: may Allah be pleased with him/her/them/both of them.

Rahimahullah/Rahimahumullah: may Allah bestow his mercy upon him/them.

Rahn: According to Shari’ah, Ar-Rahn (mortgage) means to give some property or belonging to a creditor as a security for payment of a loan or debt.

Rajab: The seventh month of the Islamic calendar.

Rak’ah: The Salat (prayer) of Muslims consists of Rak’at (singlular – Rak’ah), which is a unit of prayer and consists of standing, one bowing and two prostrations).

Ramadaan: the ninth month of the Islaamic calendar, in which Muslims observe fasting.

Ramal: Fast walking accompanied by the movements of the arms and legs to show one’s physical strength. This is to be observed in the first three rounds of the Tawaf around the Ka’bah, and is to be done by the men only and not by the women.

Ramy: The throwing of pebbles at the Jimar at Mina.

Rayyan: The name of one of the gates of Paradise through which the people who often observe Saum (fasts) will enter.

Riba: Usury, which is of two major kinds (a) Riba Nasi’ah, i.e. interest on lent money; (b) Riba Fadl, i.e. taking a superior thing of the same kind of goods by giving more of the same kind of goods of inferior quality, e.g. dates of superior quality for dates of inferior quality in greater amount. Islam strictly forbids all kinds of usury.

Rida: A piece of cloth (sheet) worn around the upper part of the body. Can also mean contentment and pleasure.

Riya’: showing off, ostentation, an example of which lies in a person beautifying actions of worship because he knows people are watching.

Ruku’: the bowing in the prayer.

Ruqya: recitation used to cure an illness or disease. It can only be done in the Arabic tongue, in words whose meaning is understood, using verses of the Qur’an or supplications of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) combined with the belief that it is only Allah who in reality gives the cure.


Sab’a-al: The seven repeatedly recited verses i.e. Surat Al-Fatihah [See the Noble Qur’an (V.15:87)]

Sabahah: An exclamation indicating an appeal for help.

Sabr: patience and steadfastness, the restraint of ones self to that which is dictated by the divine law. It is of three levels, steadfastness in the obedience of Allah, steadfastness in avoiding the prohibited matters and patience at the onset of a calamity.

Sabi’un: A people who lived in ‘Iraq and used to say La ilaha illallah (none has the right to be worshipped but Allah) and used to read Az-Zabur (the Psalms of the Sabi’un) and they were neither Jews or Christians.

Sadaqah: Anything given in charity.

Safa and Marwah: Two mountains at Makkah neighbouring Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the sacred mosque) to the east. One who performs ‘Umrah and Hajj should walk seven times between the two mountains and that is called Sa’y.

Sahaabah: Muslims who met the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) believing in him and died believing in him.

Sahih: correct, authentic. A hadith which has a continuously linked isnad of just, morally upright and precise narrators; containing no irregularity (shadh) or hidden defect (‘illah). Hence five conditions have to be met: the isnad being continuously linked; the justice (‘adl) of the narrator; the precision (dabt) of the narrator; its not being shadh; and its not containing an ‘illah. The hadith can be sahih in and of itself, or it can contain a defect but still be ruled to be sahih due to supporting evidences.

Sahihain: The two Hadith books of Imam Bukhari and Muslim, which are the most authentic books after the Qur’an.

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

Sahw: Forgetting (here it means forgetting how many Rak’at a person has prayed in which case he should perform two prostrations of Sahw).

Sakinah: Tranquility, calmness, peace and reassurance.

Salaam: The greetings that a Muslim gives to another, Assalaamu alaikum’ may Allaah protect you and keep you safe.

Salaf (Salafu-Saalih): Predecessors (the Pious Predecessors), the early Muslims, those of the first three generations specifically (i.e., the Companions, the Successors and their successors) and those who are upon their way in belief and methodology, generally.

Sami’Allahu liman hamidah: Allah hears him who praises Him.

Sa’y: The going for seven times between the mountains of As-Safa and Al-Marwah in Makkah during the performance of Hajj and Umrah.

Saum: The fasting i.e, to not eat and drink or have sexual relations from before the Adhan of the Fajr (early morning) prayer till the sunset.

Sawiq: A kind of mash made of powdered roasted wheat or barley grain (also with sugar and dates).

Seerah: the life story of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

Sha’ban: The eight month of the Islamic calendar.

Shahadah: The testimony of faith: “None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, and Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) is the Messenger of Allah.”

Shadh: irregular, odd. A hadith narrated by a trustworthy and precise narrator that contradicts the narrative of other narrators or the narration of one more trustworthy and precise than him, provided that a reconciliation is not possible.

Shaahid: A Shaahid is a prophetic narration that shares the same or a similar wording with the original narration transmitted by a different companion. This secondary narration is used as supporting evidence, which affirms the authenticity of the original narration.

Shawwal: The tenth month of the Islamic calendar.

Shirk: Associating partners with Allaah, polytheism. Refers to directing a right that is due to Allah Alone to another object of creation, either completely or partially. It can be major (removing a person from the fold of Islam) or minor (not removing a person from the fold of Islam).

Siddiq/Siddiqun: Those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them like Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (رضي
الله عنه‏) (See the Qur’an, V.4:69)

Sidr: Lote tree (or Nibiq tree).

Sidrat-ul-Muntaha: A Nabiq tree over the seventh heaven near the Paradise (the lote tree of the utmost boundary).

Sidq: trustfulness, the conformity of the inner to the outer such that the deeds and statements of a person do not belie his beliefs and vice versa.

Siffin (battle of): A battle that took place at Siffin between Ali’s followers and Mu’awiyah’s followers after the killing of ‘Uthman (رضي الله عنه‏)

Soorah: a chapter of the Qur’aan.

Subhan Allah: Glorified is Allah.

Sunan: A term used by scholars to descibe the books of prophetic narrations that are arranged in accordance with the chapters of Islaamic jurisprudence.

Sunnah: In the broadest sense the entire religion, which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) came with. Namely, all matters of belief, rulings, manners and actions, which were conveyed by the Companions. It also includes those matters which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) established by his sayings, actions and his approval.

Sutrah: An object like a pillar, wall or stick, a spear, etc. the height of which should not be less than a foot and it should be in front of a person offering Salat (prayer) to act as a symbolical barrier him and the others.


Taabi’ee (pl. Taabi’een): The Successors, that is the successors of the Companions, the next generation after the Companions.

Taaghoot: anything worshipped other than the real God (Allah) (i.e. false deities).

Tabuk: A well-known town about 700 kilometers north of Al-Madinah.

Tadlis: deceit. An action of a narrator whereby he makes out that he heard something from a particular narrator what he did not hear or conceals the identity of the one he is narrating from. In order to do so, he will use terms that are vague such as ‘such-and-such said’ and ‘on the authority of such-and-such.’ The first type of tadlis is blameworthy and constitutes a defect in the isnad. The second is dependant upon exactly what was done and the motives of the narrator, it can be blameworthy or not.

Tafseer: explanation of the Qur’aan.

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

Tahreef: To distort the meaning of Allah’s Attributes or any of the texts of the Book and the Sunnah such as to say the Allah’s Mercy means ‘the desire to confer a favour upon someone or to say that ‘Istawa’ (to ascend) really means ‘Istawla’ (to conquer, dominate).

Ta’if: A well-known town near Makkah.

Takbeer: ‘Allahu-Akbar’ (Allaah is greater).

Takyeef: To enquire into exactly how Allaah’s Attributes are such as to say, ‘How is Allaah‘s Hand?’ or Exactly how does Allah ascend the Throne?’ etc.

Talbiyah: Saying Labbaik, Allahumma Labbaik (O Allah! I am obedient to Your Orders, I respond to Your Call).

Taqiyah: Deception

Taqwaa: acting in obedience to Allaah, hoping for His mercy upon light from Him and taqwaa is leaving acts of disobedience, out of fear of Him, upon light from Him.

Taqleed: Linguistically, it means, “Placing something around the neck, which encircles the neck.”. Technically it means, “Following the one whose saying in itself is not a hujjah (proof)”.

Tarawih: Optional Salat (prayers) offered after the ‘Isha prayers on the nights of Ramadan. These may be performed individually or in congregation.

Tarjamah: notes about a reporter of hadeeth.

Tasdeeq: To affirm something is true and correct.

Tashbeeh: To claim that Allaah’s Attributes resemble the Attributes of the creation such as to say ‘Allah’s Hand is like our hands’ etc.

Taslim: On finishing the Salat (prayer), one turns one’s face to the right and then to the left saying, Assalamu ‘Alaikum wa Rahmatullah (Peace and Mercy of Allah be on you).

Ta’teel: The act of denying any of Allaah’s Attributes.

Tawaf: The circumambulation of the Ka’bah.

Ta’weel: To give a figurative explanation of any of Allaah’s Attributes, such as to say that Allah’s Hand means ‘power’ or blessing or that His Anger means to intend to punish’ or to say that His Throne really means His sovereignty and other similar things.

Tawheed: The Unity and Uniqueness of Allah with respect to His creation, Sovereignty, and control of the creation; His Names and Attributes; and in His right to be worshipped alone.

Tayammum: To put or strike lightly the hands over clean earth and then pass the palm of each on the back of the other, blow off the dust and then pass them on the face.

Thiqah: The term Thiqah or trustworthy is a term used by the scholars to assess the status of those who transmit prophetic narrations.


Uhud: A well known mountain in al-Madeenah. One of the greatest battles in Islaamic history came at its foot.

‘Ulamaa: (singular: ‘aalim) scholars.

Umm: mother of, used as an identification.

Ummah: The Muslim Nation.

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’. (See Sahih Bukhari, Vol. 3, Page 1).

Usool: the fundamentals.



Wahy: the revelation or inspiration of Allah to His Prophets.

Wahdatul-Wujood: The unity of existance, the heretical belief that Allah is everywhere and everything.

Wakeel: disposer of affairs.

Waleema: the wedding feast.

Wali: (Plural Awliya’) Protector, guardian, supporter, helper, friend.

Wasaya: Wills or testaments (singular: Wasiyyah).

Waseela: the means of approach or achieving the closeness to Allaah by getting His favours.

Witr: “odd”; the last Prayer at the night, which consists of odd number of raka’aat (units).

Wudu’: Ritual ablution.



Yaqeen: perfect absolute faith.

Yathrib: one of the names of al-Madeenah.


Zakah: One of the pillars of Islam, an obligatory tax levied on Muslim wealth subject to certain criteria.

Zamzam: the sacred water inside the haram (the grand mosque) at makkah.

Zanaadiqah: atheists, heretics.

Zuhr: Noon, midday Salat (prayer) is called Zuhr prayer.

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