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Glossary

Adhan - (also Azaan) - the call summoning Muslims for prayer.

 

Allah - Arabic name for the One God, similar to the word used by Jews in Hebrew and by early Christians in Aramaic. Allah is the same God worshipped by Christians and Jews.

 

Aqeeqah - the sacrificing of  sheep on the birth of a child, as a token of gratitude to Allah for His favours and blessings.

 

Assalamu 'Alaikum - Muslim greeting meaning 'peace be on you'.

 

Awrah - denotes the parts of the body that are not meant to be exposed in public.

 

Ayah - (also Aya, or Aayah)- literally ?a sign? which directs one to something important, refers to the individual units (i.e. verses) of the Qur?an.

 

Bismillah - Commonly used expression, meaning 'in the name of Allah'; it is said before starting any activity e.g. before eating.

 

Dua - (also Du?a, Du?aa, Duaa)- Literally calling, refers to invocations, supplications and prayers to God.

 

Eid - literally ?festival'.

 

Eid ul Fitr - festival celebrating the end of the holy month of Ramadan during which Muslims fast.

 

Eid ul Adha - festival celebrated near the end of Hajj, to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim?s (pbuh) willingness to sacrifice his son for God.

 

Hadith - literally speech, refers to the record of what Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, did, or tacitly approved.

 

Hajj - The pilgrimage to Makkah which a Muslim must undertake once in their lifetime; one of the five pillars of Islam.

 

Halal - anything permissible under Islamic law, this includes behaviour, speech, dress, conduct, manner, and dietary laws, in contrast to haraam.

 

Haraam - that which is forbidden. This includes behaviour, speech, dress, conduct, manner, and dietary laws, in contrast to halaal.

 

Hijaab - literally ?to cover.? Often refers to the head scarf worn by Muslim women but actually encompasses the principle of modesty ? including dress and behaviour.

 

Hijra - The migration of the Prophet from Makkah to Medina in 622 CE. This marks the start of the Islamic calendar.

 

Ibrahim - Arabic name of Prophet Abraham (pbuh).

 

Iftar - literally 'breakfast'. Meal served at the end of the day during the holy month of Ramadan, to break the day's fast.

 

Ihram - a sacred state in which Muslims must enter into when performing Hajj or Umrah.

 

Imam - literally leader, refers to the political leader of the state, historically, or a religious leader, or the leader of congregational prayers.

 

Insha'Allah - Commonly used expression, meaning 'God willing'


?Isa - Arabic name of Prophet Jesus (pbuh).

 

Jihad - literally ?exerting? or ?striving? refers to exerting oneself in striving towards perfection in control of oneself, doing good deeds and abstaining from evil ones. Also used to refer to sacrifice of one?s wealth, physical effort, and life in defence of one?s life, family, property or faith.

 

Jummah - obligatory congregational prayers performed on Friday, preceded by a sermon.

 

Ka?bah - The holiest and most sacred building in Islam located in in Makkah. Muslims line up in prayer facing towards this direction.

 

Khutbah - Friday congregational sermon


Lailat ul Qadr - literally 'Night of Power'.  Marks the anniversary of the night on which the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) first began receiving revelations from God through the Angel Gabriel. Occurs during the month of Ramadhan.

 

Mahr - (also Mehr, Meher) - is a mandatory gift in Islam, given by the groom to the bride upon marriage. 

 

Makkah - (also Mecca) home to the Ka?bah built by Prophet Abraham (pbuh) and birth city of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

 

Masjid - literally ?place of prostration,? the Arabic word for mosque.


Medina - A city in Saudi Arabia containing the Prophet's Mosque and tomb.

  

Mihrab - is a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the direction of Ka'bah that Muslims should face when praying.

 

Minbar - (also mimbar) is a pulpit in the mosque where the Imam (leader of prayer) stands to deliver sermons


Muezzin - is the person who performs the call to prayer (adhan).


Muhammad - Alternative spelling for Mohamed (also Mahomet in medieval writings), name of the final prophet sent by God.

 

Musa - Arabic name of Prophet Moses (pbuh).

 

Niqab - is a veil which covers the face, worn by some Muslim women as a part of the hijāb.

 

Qiblah - Direction of prayer which is always facing the Ka'bah.

 

Qur?an - (also Quran, Koran, Qur?aan)- literally ?recitation,? the sacred text of Islam revealed to Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

 

Pbuh - peace be upon him. Expression usually following the names of prophets and messengers in Muslim literature.

 

Ramadan - The month of fasting, ninth month of the Islamic calendar.

 

Sawm - is an Arabic word for fasting. Its observance by Muslims is obligatory, but not confined, to the the holy month of Ramadan.

 

Salah - is the ritual prayer practised by Muslims in supplication to God.

 

Shahadah - from the verb "to testify". It is the Muslim declaration of faith in the oneness of God and in Muhammad (pbuh) as his final prophet. Recitation of the Shahadah is one of the Five Pillars of Islam for Muslims and is said daily.

 

Shariah - (also Shari?ah or Shariah)- literally ?path?, Shariah. The code of law derived from the Qur'an and from the teachings and example of the Prophet Mohammed. Note that Shariah is only applicable to Muslims.

 

Suhur - A small meal traditionally eaten before dawn during Ramadan; the final meal before the day's fast begins.

 

Sunnah - (also Sunna)- literally ?way?, refers to narrations of the sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Surah- (also Sura or Surat)- Chapter of the Qur'an.

 

Taraweh - Special evening prayers performed during Ramadan.

 

Ummah - (also Umma)- literally a group, community, or nation. The term is used in the Qur?an to refer to different groups or nation, but also specifically to refer to the universal Muslim community or brotherhood.

 

Umrah - (also Umra) - optional Muslim pilgrimage to Makkah that can be performed any time of the year.

 

Wudu - is the Islamic act of washing parts of the body using water. Muslims are required to perform wudu in preparation for the 5 daily prayers.

 

Zak?t - 2.5% of wealth given yearly; one of the five pillars of Islam.




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