“After hijrat” When preceded by a number, this abbreviation denotes a specific year of the Islamic calendar. For example, 5 A.H. means five years after hijrat took place.
Aalim (pl. Oulama)
Literally means “a learned man”. This title is used for a person who has studied the various branches of Islamic knowledge.
An expression said at the end of a dua, meaning, “O Allah! Accept this dua.”
Aayah (pl. Aayaat)
This word literally means “a sign” but has the following three meanings: (1) the verses of the Qur’an (2) the natural signs in the universe that inform one about the existence and Oneness of Allah (3) miracles of the prophets.
Aayatul Kursi
Literally translated as “Verse of the Throne”, this is the name of verse 255 of surah Baqarah.
see hadith
The Hereafter, referring to the period after people have been brought to life on the Day of Qiyaamah. This existence will be both physical as well as spiritual.
Literally translated as “trust” and refers to something given as a trust for another to keep until the owner wants it back.
see nabi
The word means “leader” and may refer to any Muslim leader or commander appointed to lead others.
Ansaar (sing. Ansaari)
Literally means “helpers”. This term refers to those Muslims during the time of Rasoolullah (saw) who were native inhabitants of Madinah and who helped the Muhaajireen who migrated to Madinah.
One of the five fardh salaah. It is performed between late afternoon and sunset.
The equivalent of 40 Dirham, with one Dirham equal to approximately 3.1 g of silver.
The public call made before every Fardh salah to inform Muslims that salaah is soon to take place.
Bani Israa’eel
Literally translated as “The children of Israa’eel”. Israa’eel was the title of Hazrat Y’aqoob (as), who was the son of Hazrat Ishaaq (as) and the grandson of Hazrat Ibraheem (as). The Bani Israa’eel are therefore the descendants of Hazrat Y’aqoob (as). They are more commonly known as the Jews.
Also known as Jannatul Baqi or Baqi’ul Gharqad. This is the graveyard of Madinah.
Divine blessing.
Baytul Maal
The public treasury of a Muslim country.
Baytul Maqdas or Baytul Muqaddas (Al Quds/Jerusalem)
This ancient city is famous in the Muslim World because the Masjidul Aqsa is located in it.
An act or a belief that is not part of deen, but understood as such.
Bridge of Siraat
This is an extremely precarious bridge spanning jahannam, which every person will have to cross on the day of Qiyaamah. Those who fall off will remain either permanently or temporarily in jahannam, while those destined for jannah will cross over speedily and enter jannah.
The most authoritative compilation of Ahadeeth.
Conquest of Makkah
This refers to the time when the Muslims under the leadership of Rasoolullah (saw) marched into Makkah and captured the city without a war. This occurred in the 8th year after the hijrat.
Literally translated as “great deceiver”. He is referred to in the present Bible as “man of sin” or “the lawless one” (2 Thessalonians 2:8-11). Rasoolullah (saw) mentioned that he will appear before the day of Qiyaamah and lead the kuffaar armies against the Muslim armies. Isa (as) will eventually kill him.
Day of Qiyaamah
Also known as the Last Day. It is on this day that the world will come to an end and everything besides Allah will die. It is described in many verses of the Qur’aan.
Although the word literally refers to an invitation, it is specifically used to describe the act of inviting people towards Islam.
Although this term refers to the religion of Islam as we know it today, it is also used to refer to any true religion of the past, which Allah taught man through His Ambiyaa. It should be borne in mind that the religions of the previous prophets are also referred to as Islam because they all taught people to surrender themselves to Allah.
A coin made of pure gold that was used as a form of currency. It was equal to approximately 4.25 g of gold.
A coin made of pure silver that was used as a form of currency. It is equal to approximately 3.1 g of silver.
Arabic term for this world and also commonly used for everything worldly. This term is also used to refer to the life of this world, in which case its antonym will be Aakhirah (the life of the Hereafter)
Also referred to as salaah on Rasoolullah (saw). This term refers to sending salutations to Rasoolullah (saw) by reciting certain formulations, which all invoke Allah to shower His choicest mercies on Rasoolullah (saw).
A supplication or prayer to Allah.
The day of celebration for the Muslims. There are two days of Eid for the Muslims, the first being the day of Eidul Fitr, which is the first day after Ramadhan (1st of Shawwal) and the second is the Eidul Adhaa, which falls on the 10th of Zul Hijjah.
Eid Gah
The place where the Eid salaah is performed.
One of the five fardh salahs. It is performed between dawn and sunrise
Fardh (pl. Faraa’idh)
Those acts that are obligatory for a Muslim to carry out and are clearly mentioned in the Qur’aan.
Fatwa (pl. Fataawa)
A ruling or verdict passed by a Mufti stating the legal status of an act.
Islamic jurisprudence.
The term is used very broadly to refer to temptation, trial, chaos and dissension.
Fuqahaa (pl. of Faqih)
A term used for the recognized jurists of Islam, who were experts in the science and philosophy of Islamic law. The term generally refers to the four famous imams of the four schools of jurisprudence.
Ghilaaf of the Kabah
This is the black drape that covers the Kabah.
The full ablution (ritual washing) required in Islam for various rituals and prayers.
Haafiz (pl. Huffaaz)
A person who has memorized the entire Qr’aan.
A person performing or who has already performed Hajj.
The words or actions of Rasoolullah (saw), which are narrated by his companions (ra).
Habitual and normal blood, which comes out of the vagina of a mature woman every month is called haidh.
Literally translated as “the black stone”. It is a stone mounted on the corner of the Kabah closest to the door. It is highly revered and it is from this point that people begin their tawaaf.
The pilgrimage of Muslims that occurs during the month of Zil Hijjah. During the hajj, pilgrims are required to abide by certain restrictions and visit specific sites in and around Makkah, carrying out specific acts. It is obligatory only for those Muslims who have the means to perform it.
Something that is lawful in the Shari’ah.
Something that the shari’ah clearly declares unlawful. The prohibition of anything haraam is mentioned in the Qur’aan.
A short semi-circular wall around one side of the kabah
A term of respect used before the name of a person.
The Arabic term for guidance, especially the guidance Allah gives people to do good.
To migrate from one place to another for the pleasure of Allah. Hijrat is compulsory when it is difficult or impossible for a Muslim to practice Islam in the place where he lives. The term hijrat also refers specifically to the migration of Rasoolullah (saw) from Makkah to Madinah. It is from this important event that the Islamic calendar begins, which corresponds to the year 622 AD of the Gregorian calendar. When something has occurred five years after this hijrat of Rasoolullah (saw), it is said that it occurred in 5 A.H.
Hypocrite (known as munaafiq)
A person who is a kaafir but pretends to be a Muslim.
An act of worship e.g. salaah, hajj, charity, etc.
Although this word is normally translated as “belief” or “faith”, its meaning is broader. In summary, imaan means believing in Tawheed and the Risaalah of Rasoolullah (saw) together with everything else that Rasoolullah (saw) taught. In addition to believing in all of this, imaan will be complete only when a person verbally admits this belief.
Insha Allah
An Arabic expression meaning, “If Allah wills”. It is commonly used by Muslims when they intend doing something in future.
A call similar to the azaan but given immediately before the salah begins.
One of the five fardh salaah. It is performed at night between the time when all light has vanished from the horizon and the time of dawn.
The literal meaning of the word “Islam” is “to surrender” or “to submit” because Islam teaches one to surrender oneself to Allah’s commands. Although the religion taught by Muhammad (saw) is called islam, the religions taught by all the Prophets are also referred to as Islam because the basic teachings of all Prophets were the same.
Ismul Azam
Literally translated as “The Most Majestic Name”, this is that name of Allah, taking which any du’a a person makes will definetly be accepted.
The act of begging forgiveness from Allah.
Bleeding which occurs for less than three days and three nights, or more than ten days and ten nights. Similarly the bleeding which occurs below the age of nine is called istihaadha.
The act of cleaning one’s private areas after relieving oneself.
Refers to a person’s stay in the Masjid for a period of time without coming out at all during this time.
Commonly translated as “hell” or “hellfire”. A place where, people will be punished after the day of Qiyaamah.
Congregation. Performing salaah in jamaat refers to performing salah in congregation. The word also refers to a group of people. Therefore, the tableeghi jamaat will refer to a group of people engaged in the effort of Tableegh (propagation of islam).
One of the three pillars in Mina representing the shaytaan which people performing hajj pelt as one of the requisites of hajj.
Commonly translated as “Paradise”. It is a physical place of happiness where people with imaan will live forever after the day of Qiyaamah.
Jibra’eel (as)
The archangel Gabriel. He is the leader of all the angels and was responsible for bringing revelation to Allah’ Prophets.
Although usually translated as a “holy war”, the word “jihaad” literally means “to make an effort” or “to extent oneself”. Therefore, although a physical battle between the Muslims and the Kuffaar is called jihaad, any other effort that a Muslim makes for the promotion of deen is called jihaad.
A creation of Allah, very much like human beings, except that their origin is from fire. They can assume any form, have amazing powers and are invisible to the human eye.
Kaafir (pl. kuffaar)
Commonly translated as “disbeliever” or “rejecter of faith”. This term refers to any person who does not have imaan. Therefore, Jews and Christians may be referred to as Kafiroon.
Also referred to as “Baytullah”, the Kabah is a cube-shaped building situated in the Masjidul Haram in the city of Makkah. It is towards the Kabah that Muslims face when performing salah.
A penalty that one has to pay for committing acts of sin such as breaking oaths, etc. The kaffarah for various sins vary according to the sin involved.
The testimony of belief that Muslims recite to confirm their imaan. The words of the kalimah are “Laa ilaaha illal laahou Muhammadur Rasoolullah” (There is none worthy of worship but Allah and Muhammad (saw) is the messenger of Allah).
Khalifah (pl. Khulafaa)
A title used for the leader of the Muslims. The title wasa first used for Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), who succeeded Rasoolullah (saw) as the leader of the Muslims. The word ‘Caliph’ is commonly used.
Khulafaah Raashideen
The term is translated as “the rightly guided Khulafaah” referring to Hazrat Abu Bakr (ra), Hazrat Umar (ra), Hazrat Uthmaan (ra) and Hazrat Ali (ra).
Commonly translated as “disbelief”.
Laylatul Qadr
This is an unspecified night during the Ramadhaan of each year in which a person carrying out an act of ibaadah will receive the reward of doing the act for a thousand months.
Someone’s lost item found some where.
One of the five fardh salaah. It is performed between sunset and the period when all lights vanishes from the horizon.
The dowry that is paid to the bride upon marriage.
Someone whom one is not allowed to marry, such as one’s father, mother, brother, sister, etc.
Mahre Faatimi
The amount of Mahr which Hadhrat Ali (radhiyallahu anhu) paid to Hadhrat Faatimah (radhiyallahu anha). The amount is 1.75 kg of silver or its price. This is the best and the Sunnah Mahr.
A disliked or offensive act.
A disliked act where non-execution is obligatory. It’s closer to haraam.
That act whose non-execution is non-obligatory.
The rock which Allah provided for Ibraaheem (as) to stand on while he was building the Kabah. The rock would rise into the air whenever Ibraaheem (as) needed to go higher as he built the walls
Passing a wet hand over something.
One who arrives late for the salaah and joins the congregation after one or more rakaahs of the salaah have ended.
Normally referred to as a mosque, a masjid is a place where Muslims perform their salaah in congregation.
Masjidul Haram
The masjid surrounding the Kabah.
Masjidun Nabawi
Translated as the “Masjid of Rasoolullah (saw)”, it is the masjid in Madinah that was built during the time of Rasoolullah (saw) and where his grave is today.
A thin, whitish fluid discharged from the private organ prior to the emergence of semen.
One mithqaal equals approximately 4.4g of silver.
Those act wherein a choice is offered between execution and non-execution.
Muhaajir (pl. Muhaajireen)
This term refers to a person who makes hijrat i.e. who migrates for the pleasure of Allah. The term Muhaajireen is generally used to refer to the first Muslims who migrated from Makkah to Madinah.
A sane, mature adult from whom the Shariah requires compliance to its injunctions.
see hypocrite.
Person who is performing salaah by himself i.e. not following an imam.
Someone who is not a musaafir.
One who follows an imam in salah.
Commonly translated as an apostate or renegade. A murtad is a Muslim who forsakes Islam either by adopting another religion, by rejecting a fundamental of Islam or by doing or saying anything that removes him/her from the fold of Islam.
Although commonly translated as “a traveler”, the word technically refers to a person who has travelled a specific distance. Depending on other factors such as the duration of the person’s stay in another place, the musaafir will perform only two rakaats fardh salaah instead of four rakaats.
A person performing salah.
A person who commits shirk.
An act which is preferable and not compulsory. Doing it will earn rewards while not doing it will not make one liable for punishment.
The person who calls out the azaan.
A person who has imaan.
Nabi (pl. Ambiyaa)
A prophet whom Allah sends to guide people. The term Nabi is generally regarded to be synonymous with the term Rasool.
An act of worship that is optional and not enforced by the Shari’ah. Doing it will earn reward while it will not be sinful to omit it.
Literally translated as the “soul”, the term more specifically refers to the evil dimension of the soul. It is also translated as “carnal passion”.
The blood which emerges from the vagina after childbirth
Amount of money on which zakaat becomes waajib, excluding the basic needs
Period of ignorance
This refers to the period in Arabia before Rasoolullah (saw) brought the message of Islam.
While the term is generally used to describe a person who is proficient in reciting the Qur’aan, during the early days of Islam, it was used only for people who together with being able to recite the Qur’an proficiently also had a deep understanding of the exegesis and interpretation of the Qur’an.
An act of worship that is performed after its correct time. When a salah or fast has been missed and has to be made up later on, it will be referred to as qadhaa salaah or qadhaa fast.
Shortening the four rakaats fardh (obligatory) salaahs to two rakaats when on a journey.
The sitting posture of salaah.
The direction a person of any religion faces when praying. However, in common usage it refers to the direction Muslims face while performing salaah, which is towards the Kabah in Makkah. When Rasoolullah (saw) arrived in Madinah, the qiblah of the Muslims was Baytul Maqdas for a short while. Thereafter, the direction of the qiblah was permanently changed to the Kabah.
While the term generally refers to the recitation of the Qur’aan, it also refers to the various modes of Qur’aanic recitation.
Literally translated as retaliation, Qisaas refers to the punishment meted out to persons who inflict such wounds to others that can be inflicted to them in exactly the same manner. The execution of a murderer is also referred to as Qisaas because it entails taking the murderer’s life as retaliation for the life he took.
The standing posture of salaah in which the Qur’aan is recited.
Qiyaamul Layl
Literally translated as “standing during the night”. The term refers to standing in salaah and also engaging in other acts of worship during the night, especially performing the tahajjud salaah.
The Arab tribe that dominated Makkah during the time of Rasoolullah (saw). Other Arab tribes held them in high regard. Rasoolullah (saw) belonged to this tribe.

The final devine scripture which Allah revealed to Rasoolullah (saw) in the Arabic language. It is also commonly referred to as Kitaabullah (The book of Allah).
Although normally translated as “Lord”, this translation falls far short of explaining the meaning of the word Rabb. The word Rabb refers to the Being Who creates, nurtures, sustains, controls and owns the entire creation. There is therefore no English word that can adequately translate it.
A unit of salaah. The salaah of a Muslim usually comprises of a few rakaats.
The ninth month of the Islamic Calendar during which Muslims have to fast.
Literally translated as messenger, the term almost always refers to a Prophet of Allah. The term can also refer to others who are sent by another to fulfill a particular task e.g. the angels of death are also referred to as Rasool because they are sent to take the souls of people. While the term Rasool is generally used synonymously with the term Nabi, Oulama generally regard a Rasool to be a Nabi who receives his own Shar’iah.
The term literally means “The messenger of Allah” and is popularly used throughout the Muslim world to refer to Allah’s final Prophet Muhammad (saw).
The bowing posture in salaah which precedes the prostration.
A posture which is farz in salah.
One saa is equal to approximately 3.2 kg.
Sacred Months
These are the months of Zil Q’adha, Zil Hijjah, Muharram and Rajjab. The Arabs always regarded these four months as months in which no warfare should take place. However, this does not apply any longer and fighting a war during theses months is not prohibited in Islam.
Charity given for the pleasure of Allah other than zakaat.
Safa and Marwa
Two hills in Makkah, close to the Kabah. Muslims performing Hajj and Umrah are required to walk between these hills seven times.
Literally meaning “journey”, but technically referring to a journey longer than 77km. The term “distance of safar” would therefore refer to the distance of 77km.
Sahabah (sing. Sahabi)
The companions of Rasoolullah (saw). The term refers to any person who saw Rasoolullah (saw) and who lived and died as a Muslim.
Technically, sajdah refers to prostrating before Allah in salaah and is a form of worship. The act denotes placing the forehead on the ground as a sign of total submission and humility in front of Allah. However, the term is sometimes used to mean submission and bowing down.
The part of the the human body that is supposed to be covered. It is wajib to cover one`s satar.
One of the rituals of Hajj and Umrah in which a person has to proceed back and forth seven times between the hills of Safa and Marwa.
A meal that a person intending to fast for the day eats just before dawn.
The code of law that governs the lives of Muslims. The term may also be used for the code of religious laws that governed the lives of nations of the past who followed other prophets.
This term refers specifically to the devil satan, who is a jinn. He is also referred to as Iblees.
Usually translated as ”polytheism”, shirk is the opposite of tawheed. Shirk refers to worshipping several deities, whether Allah is included among these or not. Shirk also includes attributing such qualities to others, which belongs to Allah alone. For example, it will be said that a person is committing shirk if s/he believes that a being besides Allah can see and hear everything. A person who commits shirk is called a mushrik.
Sihaah Sitta
These are the six most authentic compilations of ahadeeth. They are Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmizi, Abu Dawood, Nas’ee and Ibn Maajah.
A raised platform in the Masjid of Rasoolullah (saw) where the “men of suffa” lived. These were poor Muslims who had neither family nor homes nor occupations in Madinah. Their number varied as many more joined and others became independent and left.
The word literally means “a practice” and refers to a practice of Rasoolullah (saw). The term “sunnah” may also be used as a collective noun to refer to all the practices and teachings of Rasoolullah (saw). The term may also be used for the practices of other people such as the sahabah (ra). However, in such cases it will not be used by itself e.g. it will be said “the sunnah of the sahabah” or “the sunnah of our predecessors”.
Sunnat-e-Ghair Mou’akkadah
A sunnat which Nabi (saw) use to practice without reprimanding on its omission.
A sunnat which Nabi (saw) use to practice regularly and reprimand on its omission.

A chapter of the Qur’aan. There are 114 surahs in the Qur’aan.
A person who missed no more than six salaahs from the time he came of age to the present day. Such a person needs to perform his qadhaa salaah (if any) before the following fardh salaah.
Muslims who saw the sahabah (ra).
This term refers to propagating Islam.
The act of achieving purity through wudhu or ghusal.
A non obligatory salaah performed between the isha and fajr salaahs, preferably just before dawn. The merits of this salah are tremendous.
To start the salaah with a word praising Allah, like Allahou Akbar, Allahoul Akbar, etc.

A short Arabic sentence that people continuously recite while performing Hajj and Umrah.
The term refers to predestination. It is one of the core beliefs of a Muslim that everything good and bad has been predestined by Allah. While Allah has given man a choice to do good or bad, the outcome is determined by Allah.
To follow an imam of any of the four mazaahib.
Although commonly translated as “fear for Allah” or “piety” , the word taqwa refers to such consciousness of Allah or such piety that drives a person to carry out all Allah’s commands and to stay away from everything that Allah has prohibited.
The term refers to glorifying Allah using words like “Subhaanallah” and othe similar words.
A specific dua recited while sitting after every two rakaats of salaah.
The act of walking around the Kabah seven times in an anti-clockwise direction.
The term refers to placing one’s trust in Allah and to rely only on Allah under all circumstances.
Usually translated as “Oneness of Allah” or “Islamic monotheism”. Tawheed refers to worshipping Allah only and firmly believing that the qualities of a deity belong only to Him.
A form of ablution that takes the place of wudhu and ghusal. One may perform tayammum only when water for wudhu or ghusal is completely unavailable, inaccessible or when its use will cause severe harm. Tayammum simply comprises of striking one’s hands on sand and passing the hands over the entire face and arms. There are many laws attached to its performance and reasons for performance.
Performing salaah (specially the fardh postures) calmly, such that at least one subhaanallah can be read calmly in that particular posture.
The name of a mountain on the outskirts of Madinah which was the site for the battle of Uhud.
The word literally means “nation”. The ummah of Rasoolullah (saw) refers to the followers of Rasoolullah (saw)

That ruling whose execution is binding (who so ever disbelieves in it or leaves it out without valid reason will be sinful.
This refers to the revelation that Allah sent to His Prophets.
A meal hosted by the groom to celebrate his marriage.
A unit of weight with one wasaq being equal to approximately 192kg.
Generally translated as ablution. It is a form of purifying oneself before performing salaah and before doing certain other acts of worship.
The old name of Madinah which was used before Rasoolullah (saw) arrived there.

Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj
Commonly translated as Gog and Magog. Authentic Ahadeeth make it clear that the Ya’jooj and Ma’jooj are powerful human tribes whose numbers are so large that they cannot be counted. They are trapped behind a wall that the king Zul Qarnayn erected and they will appear only before Qiyaamah.
Normally referred to as a “poor due”. Although the word is sometimes used for charity in general, it refers specifically to the charity which Muslims annually give to the poor. Muslims who possess a specific minimum amount of wealth for an entire year need to pay zakaat, which is calculated at 2.5% of their surplus wealth.
This word refers to the remembrance of Allah. However, it is often used for the formal repetition of words by which Allah is remembered, such as repeating the words “Laa ilaaha illalaah” or “Allahou Akbar”.
A non-Muslim citizen of a Muslim country.
One of the five fardh salaahs. It is performed between midday and late afternoon.