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Glossary of Terms

Allah
The Creator of the Universe known as "God the Father" to Christians and "El" or "Yahweh" to the Jews. Allah(SWT) is singular and is not human nor part of a Trinity, as in Christianity. The Holy Quran contains around 100 beautiful names (attributes) for Allah(SWT) through which Muslims may understand and recognize the Creator of the Universe.
Allahu Akbar
Literally means "Allah is the Greatest". This is perhaps the most frequently used expression around the world. Muslims use it to praise Allah(SWT) throughout the day.
Alham Dolellah
Literally means "Praise be to Allah" or "Thanks to Allah".
Aqeedah
One's belief or way of thinking.
Asr
The obligatory late afternoon prayer.
Assalamu Alaikum
Literally means "Peace be Upon You". It is the expression used by Muslims to greet each other.
Astaghforellah
Literally means "I ask forgiveness from Allah".
Auzo Bellahe Menash Shaitaner Rajim
Literally means "I seek Allah refuge from the treachery of the outcasted Satan".
Ayah
Literally translates as a "miracle or sign". This is the smallest unit of revelation (verse) contained in the Holy Quran.
Ayat
Literally translates as "miracles or signs". This refers to several verses in the Holy Quran.
Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim
Literally means "In the name of Allah the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful". It is recorded at the beginning of all, except one, chapter of the Holy Quran.
Dajjal
A great liar or deceiver. (Anti-Christ)
Dawah
Missionary work to invite all people to Islam.
Deen
Way of life or religion.
Dua
A prayer.
Dunya
Human life in this world and current form.
Eid
Islamic Religious holidays and occasions for celebration. Muslims have two such days: The first occurs after the month of fasting and the second in remembrance of the Prophet Abraham(pbuh).
Fajr
The obligatory prayer to be offered before sunrise.
Fard
Something that every Muslim has to perform. (5 daily prayers, fasting, helping the needy, pilgrimage, etc.).
Fatwa
Legal opinion concerning Islamic Law.
Fiqh
Having a complete understanding of Islamic jurisprudence.
Fitnah
Translates into "civil strife, war, riot, or satanic act".
Hadith
This word literally means "sayings" and could refer to the recorded quotes of anyone. Usually, it is the title given to the collection of recorded words and actions of the prophet Muhammad(SAW) which serve as an explanation of the meaning of the Holy Quran (the way Prophet(SAW) taught it). Some well-known collectors of Hadith are Imam Al-Bukhari, Imam Muslim, Imam An-Nasa'i, Imam Abu Dawood, Imam At-Tirmizi, and Imam Majah.
Hajj
The mandatory pilgrimage to Mekkah during a predefined period of time. Each Muslim, who has the means, is required to perform this trip at least once in his/her life time.
Halal
Something lawful or permitted in Islam.
Haraam
Something unlawful or forbidden in Islam.
Imam
Imam is a religious scholar or someone very knowledgeable about Islam who leads the congressional prayers.
In Sha Allah
"If Allah wills" or "I pray that Allah wills".
Isha
The obligatory prayer to be offered after sunset in late evening.
Islam
Literally means "Submission to the Creator of the Universe". In this context, Islam is the only religion recognized by God. Its message (There is no Deity but God) was the same Message delivered by all Prophets. This divine religion was completed with revelations (Quran) given to the last Prophet Muhammad(SAW) of Arabia.
Istighfar
To ask for God's forgiveness.
Istekhara
Prayer to request guidance from Allah(SWT) on a matter of great importance.
Jahannam
Hell.
Jazakallahu Khayran
Literally means "May Allah reward you for your good deed."
Jannah
Paradise.
Jihad
To strive hard for a better way of life or to fight to defend one's life, property, freedom, and religion. It can also refer to attempt to free other people from oppression and tyranny. Islam strongly opposes Kidnapping, Terrorism, or hijacking against civilian targets, even at the time of war.
Kabah
The cubed looking structure in Mekkah toward which all Muslims pray. This is the first house of worship built by Abraham(pbuh) to glorify The Creator of the Universe.
Kafir
Literally means "to cover up the truth". It is used to refer to someone who is made aware of the Truth of Islam but refuses to worship Allah(SWT) or submit to the will of God.
Kalima
Khatmay Nabuwat
It translates into "The Finality of Prophethood".  It is the Quranic message to humanity that the Prophet Muhammad(SAW) of Arabia was the last Prophet or Messanger commissioned by Allah(SWT) to humanity.
Khalifah
The religious and political head of the state for the Muslims.
Kuffar
Plural of Kafir meaning "Unbelievers".
Kufr
Blasphemous act or speech which shows one's ungratefullness to The Creator.
La Ilaha Illallah
Literally means "There is nothing worthy of worship except Allah".
Madinah/Medina
The city which was the first political center of Islam. The Prophet Muhammad(SAW) grave site and mosque are located in this city.
Maghrib
The obligatory prayer to be offered right after sunset.
Masjid
The place of worship and prayer. Also called "Mosque".
Mekkah
The sacred city located in Saudia Arabia where Kabah is situated.  This is also the city where millions of Muslims perform their pilgrimage to.
Moemen
A Muslim with deep devotion and belief in Allah(SWT) and Islam.
Mosque
The place of worship and prayer. Also called "Masjid".
Mubahala
This is a Quranic prayer duel in which two parties who differ on fundamental Islamic teachings get together and pray face to face asking for the intervention of Allah(SWT).
Muhammad
The last Messenger of God to humanity. He was the last of the Prophets in a line which included such great prophets as Abraham, Noah, Moses, Jesus(pbut). No new Prophets or Messengers will ever be sent to humanity. Muhammad(SAW) was a direct descendant of Abraham(pbuh).
Munafiq
A Hypocrite Muslim who will be punished worst than an Unbeliever in the hereafter.
Mushrik
A polytheist or someone who puts something ahead of his/her obligation to The Creator.
Muslim
The name given to the followers of the divine religion of Islam. This name was first used by Abraham who is recognized as the father of Islam.
pbuh
Acronym for "Peace Be Upon Him or Her". Used most often in reference to prophets of God.
pbut
Acronym for "Peace Be Upon Them". Used most often in reference to prophets of God.
People of the Book
This is the term used by God in the holy Quran to refer collectively to the Jews and Christians.
Qiblah
The direction to Kabah in Mekkah. Muslims should face the Kabah during every formal prayer.
Qiyamah
The day of resurrection and judgment.
Quran
The infallible holy book of the Muslims. It contains the word of God in its original form and without any modifications. Refuting one single verse if the Holy Quran is equivalent to denouncing one's faith.
RA
This Acronym for "Radhiallahu anhu" is used when referring to close companions of the Prophet(SAW). It translates into "May Allah be pleased with him or her."
SAW
Acronym for Arabic "Salla Allahu alaihi Wa Sallam". It means "peace be upon him", but it is used when referring to Prophet Muhammad(SAW).
Sahabah
The term referring to the close companions of the Prophet(SAW).
Salah
One the five formal and required daily prayers to be offered by all Muslims.
Sawm
Abstinence from food, drink, and bad habits, acts, or words from sunrise to sunset for an entire month. Fasting is required from all Muslims who are not ill.
Seerah
A recount of the life and accomplishments of the Holy Prophet of Islam.
Shaikh
A wise or elderly person.
Shaitan
Satan; the source of all evil in this world.
Sharia
The Set of Rules of Islam
Shirk
The act of holding any object, concept, or person in higher esteem or devotion than Allah(SWT).
Shura
Consultation.
SWT
This is the Acronym for "Subhanahu wa ta'ala" meaning "Allah is pure of having partners and He is exalted from having a son."
Sunnah
A recount of the way prophet Muhammad(SAW) conducted his life. It is meant to serve as an example for Muslims to follow.
Surah
One of the 114 chapters of the Holy Quran.
Ulama
The learned Muslim scholars.
Ummah
The community of Muslims.
Wudu
Purification (ablution) to be done prior to reading Quran or offering formal prayers.
Zakah
The portion of one's savings (after expenses) that needs to be donated to poor and the needy.
Zuhr
The obligatory prayer to be offered at noon, after sun moves always from its zenith.

 

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