Dan’s Course on Islam

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Hunayn: = A dry riverbed near Mecca where Muhammad

defeated the last large-scale resistance to him

in Arabia.

Hudna = Truce.

Huris = The perpetual virgin, beautiful maidens who

welcome righteous men into Paradise and

entertain them.

İbadat = Worship.

İblis = Satan.

İftar = (Ifter) The meal taken at sunset during the

month of Ramazan to break the fast.

Ihram = An all consuming intention of the heart to

fulfill all the rites of pilgrimage. A special

time during the Haj that all Muslims refrain

from normal life and dwell on nothing but

religious matters.

İjma = The consensus of the community. The word means

“convergence” as in “convergence of opinion”

and the principle is based on a saying of

Muhammad, “My community will never agree on an

error.” (Dawud, Book 35, No. 4240)

İjtihad = Independent decision making, a concensus upon a

matter by scholarly Muslim leadership, is

another source for settling matters with affect

Muslims. The first two or three centuries of

the Hejira, was called the period of original

thinking (ijihad).

İman = Doctrine of faith; required beliefs in Islam

such as God, angles, prophets, holy scriptures,

and the Day of Judgement. Distinguished from

this are Muslim practices (din).

İmam = (Hojah, Şheikh) Leader of worship or

religious leader of a mosque. The person who

leads communal prayers and/or delivers the

sermon on Fridays. Shia Muslims use this term to

refer to one who is considered to be a descendant

of Ali. This is because the hosue of Ali is

revered by them as the sacred line designated by

Allah to assume leadership.

Injil = The Gospel, or book given to Jesus, used by

Muslims for the New Testament. According to

Islam the original book has been lost and only

the corrupted Christian version remains. Denotes

the inspired sayings of Jesus, or the message of


İnshallah = (En sh’Allah) God willing

İntifada = Palestinian uprising against the Jews. Means

“shaking off” or “an abrupt and sudden waking

up from sleep.” The first intifada started in

1987 and lasted nearly six years and 80

Israelis and 1,070 Palestinians were killed. In

just the first year of the 2nd intifada (Dec

2000 > Dec 2001 232 Israelis and 904

Palestinians were killed.

İrtidad = Apostasy punishable by death for males. Females

may be kept in confinement until they repent.

İsa = The Arabic name for Jesus.

İsha = Prayers said well after midnight.

İsnad = A discernable chain of transmission for the

hadith. Whenever a Hadith is quoted the

supporting chain of people (isnad) who passed

on the information is often quoted with the


İslam = A religion founded by the prophet Muhammad.

It literally means “submission” or “surrender”

(to the will of Allah); used in reference to

the nation of believers and their faith.

Jammat = The Arabic word for assembly, usually used to mean

"group" or "denomination"

Jannah = (Jennet)The heavenly garden, Paradise. The place

of the faithful in the afterlife.

Jahiliyah = The age or time of ignorance, a time of

barbarism in pre-Islamic Arabia.

Janissaries = In 1339 Sultan Murad I founded the janissary

corps, a crack force of young men who were

seized from their Christian families as boys,

enslaved, and forcibly converted to Islam to

fight for the Ottoman Empire against


Jerusalem = The city from which Muhammad is supposed to

have ascended to Paradise on his Night Journey.

Jibril = (Gabriel). The angelic being who is supposed

to have been the medium of revelation of the

Quran to Muhammad.

Jihad = The word means to strive; a Holy war or struggle;

a term sometimes used generally, but also

specifically, to designate either a war waged in

accordance with the Sharia (law) in defense of the

faith or the personal struggle to overcome

one’s imperfections and baser impulses in

order to become a better Muslim. A continuous

holy war waged agianst all non-Muslims to

advance Islam.

Jinn = Spirit creatures similar to angels and demons.

Some are good and some are bad. They are a

supernatural, invisible race of beings, below

angles. They were made from fire and are capable

of looking like humans or animals. Some may dwell

in rocks, trees, etc, and may possess black dogs,

and black cats. There are good and bad Jinn and

all will be judged on the Judgement Day.

Jizya = An extra poll-tax levied on all those living

wherever Islam rules but who have not (yet)

submitted to that which Islam enforces. This

levy is meant to afford a degree of protection,

has to be paid individually at a humiliating

public ceremony to remind non-muslim minorities

that they are inferior to the believers, the

Muslims. It literally means “tribute” or

“penalty”. (Cf. 9.29)

Jumma = Friday, usually refers to the Friday prayers a

the mosque. The Muslim sabbath.

Ka’aba = (Ka’ba or Ka’bah) The cube like structure in the

Central courtyard of the Grand Mosque in Mecca

which encases the black stone (thought to be a

meteorite) 30ft. wide, 40 ft. long & 50 ft.

high. The point toward which Muslims pray and

the focal point of the hajj. It contained 360

idols, one for approximately each day of the

year. It was in fact a shrine to the idols of

several hundred gods in the time of Muhamamd, and

he simply took it over and incorporated it into

his own religion.

Kafir = Infidel, an unbeliever according to Muhammad and

and the message of the Qur’an. A Non-Muslim.

Kafir harbi = An Arabic term for non-Muslims who can be

legally killed.

Kafya = The headdress worn by Arab males.

Kahin = Soothsayer.

Kalima = The Word.

Kalimat Shahada= “La ilaha il Allah” the Muslim confessional creed

that Allah is the One God.

Kelamullah = (Kalamu’llah) The Word of Allah. A title given

to the Quran and also used of Jesus.

Kalimatuhu = The fiat (command, decree) of God.

Katil = (Qatl) Murder.

Khalifa = (Caliph) God’s stewards. The position of supreme

leader over Muslims; usually the title is used to

refer to one of Muhammad's four successors.

Khalifah = (Caliphate) The concept of a centralized world

-wide Muslim government which administers

totally through Islamic law.

Kharaj = A kind of land tax levied against non-Muslims.

Khutbah = Sermon preached in the mosque at Friday noon


Kismet = Fate, fatalism

al-Kitab = The Book. A term used to refer to the Qur’an

and the Scriptures of Jews and Christians.

Kifiyeh = Headdress.

Kor’an = alternate spelling for the Qur’an.

Kufr = (Kufur) Disbelif

Lailat ul-Qadr = (Laylat al Qadr) Night of Power or Destiny,

when revelation was sent on the 27th night of

the month of Ramazan. During the visitation

Muhammad was ordered to read (or recite or cry


al-Lat = An idol goddess associated with the moon and

the sun, worshipped by ancient Arabians.

Madjinun = (Majdun) One possessed by a jinn. A poet possessed

(37:35-36, 68:2, 52:28, 81:22)

Madrasa = A building that houses an institution of higher


Mahabbah = Love of Allah.

Mahound = Oxford English Dictionary =

  1. the false prophet Muhammad,

  2. any false god,

  3. a monster, or the devil.

Websters New Universal Unabridged Dictionary =

  1. Mohammed (Archaic)

  2. Satan: from a confused association of Mahomet as a false prophet. (Scottish)

Mahr = A sum of money which the bridegroom pays to the

bride in classical Islam.

Mahram = Males to whom a woman cannot be married. A

woman’s mahram is any relative to whom she

canot be married, such as her father, brother,

uncle, nephew, stepfather, father-in-law, or

son-in-law. The Prophet said: “She who believes

in Allah and the Last Day must not travel any

distance that is normally covered by one day’s

and one night’s traveling unless accompanied by

a mahram.” She is allowed to travel with her

husband as a matter of course.

Maksiat = Sinful act

Malikites = (Melkites) Greek Catholics

M’amalat = Ethics

al-Manat = A goddess of fate or death worshipped by

ancient Arabians.

Mansukh = The Abrogated: A term used for a verse or

sentence of the Quran which has been abrogated by

a later revelation.

Mashallah = A statement with the concept of public

good and general welfare said after a

compliment or mentioning a blessing in

order to keep away the jinn or evil eye.

Mashur = someone acting or speaking as a medium of evil

spirits. (44:13, 25:8, 17:47, 81:22)

al-Masih = The Messiah

Masjid = (Mesjid) Mosque; any place where worship is

performed in groups. In general useage a “Masjid”

can be a formal and freestanding mosque or a room

in a house or apartment building used for Muslim


Mawlid al-Nabi = Muhammad’s birthday. Born on the 12th of Rabi

I, in the year of the Elephant estimated to be

August 29, 570 AD.

Mecca = (Makka) Muhammad’s birthplace; a principal city

for trade and pilgrimage in pre-Islamic Arabia.

The holiest city in Islam and must be visited

for pilgrimage by all Muslims who are

physically and financially able.

Medina = (formerly Yathrib) An Arabian city north of

Mecca, in which Muhammad first became a

political and military leader after his flight

there (Hijra). The 2nd most holy city in Islam

and the burial place of Muhammad. Muhammad fled to

Medina after announcing Islam.

Merhaba = (marhaba) Hello.

Mehdi = (Mahdi) A long awaited divinely guided Islamic

ruler who is to appear on earth. The Islamic

“Messiah” who will appear at the end of time to

combat the “Dajjal”, or antichrist, who will

eventually be destroyed by “Issa”, the Muslim

Jesus. Then the Mehdi will bring the universal

worship of Allah in the form of global Islam.

Mejlis = (Majlis) Parliment of Council of Elders.

Mekruh = That which is forbidden, abominable, disgusting.

Mihrab = The niche in the end wall in a mosque

indicating the direction of Mecca.

Mina, plain of = A large plain within the bounds of the harram

(sancturary) of Mecca, five kilometers from the

city. During the Hajj pilgrims spend the night

between the eithth and ninth day and continue to

Arafat on the ninth day.

Minaret = A tower attached to mosques from where the

summons to prayer is called by a “muezzin”.

Minbar = The pulpit in a mosque from which the khutbah

(sermon) is spoken.

Mi’raj = The night journey of Muhammad in which he

dreamed he was taken from the Ka’ba in Mecca to

Jerusalem’s holy temple from which he went for

a brief visit with Allah in heaven.

Monophysites = A heretical Chrisitian sect who held that

Jesus’s human nature had been absorbed into his

divine nature, and who were bitter rivals of

the Nestorians. They emphasized the divinity

of Jesus and gave the impression that Jesus was

not fully human. They practiced hospitality,

almsgiving, fasting and obliged their women to

be veiled when out of doors.

Mortad = The law of apostasy.

Mosque = A place of worship where Muslims gather for

prayers and other congregational meetings.

Islamic law states that all Muslim men must attend

prayers and a sermon at a Mosque at noon every

Friday. Other worship (prayer five times a day)

may be accomplished anywhere but should be

conducted on a prayer rug.

Mount Hira = A mountain near Mecca where it is believed that

Muhammad received his revelations from the

angel Gabriel in a cave called Gharat.

Mu’addib = A person who helps the families of the dead in

their mourning by reciting the Qur’an over the

graves of the dead relatives.

Mubeen = Clear (book, mentioned of the Qur’an)

Muezzin = The one who gives the call to prayer from the

“minaret” of a mosque five times a day to

summon the faithful.

Mufti = A Muslim scholar or judge who expounds the law.

He assists

the Qadi (qazi) or judge and supplies him with

fatwas, or decisions. He must be learned in the

Koran and Hadith, and in the Muslim works of


Muhajir = Immigrant, one who leaves his home town to join a

Muslim community.

Mullah = Teacher or religious scholar or cleric who is

trained in the Islamic laws. He acts as the head

of a Mosque.

Murid = A follower of a Sufi sect.

Mushrik = A polytheist.

Muslim = A person who submits to the will of God;

an adherent of Islam (sometimes Moslem).

A follower of Islam and Muhammad.

Mustahabb = Recommendations (concerning the sunna). For

example: Female circumcision [female genital

mutilation] is commendable (mustahabb).

Musta’min = a protected one. A person who comes to an

Islamic country as a messenger, merchant,

visitor, or student wanting to learn about

Islam. Muslims are forbidden to hurt

him in any way.

Mut’ah = Temporary marriage allowed to those of the

Islamic faith.

Mutawwa = The “morals” or “religious police” are members

of the “Committee for Enforcing the Right and

Forbidding the Wrong” in Saudi Arabia. Men who

seek out, arrest, and punish those who do not

abide by Saudi religious law.

al-muwahhidun = Unitatians of the Wahhabi movement who oppose

anything that diminishes the glorification of

one God, Allah. Supports radical Islam and

over the last 250 years involves many conflicts

between Muslims. They advocate the

establishment of a Muslim state based on a

literal understanding of the Quran and Hadith

based on Islamic Law.

Nabi = (Nabbi) Prophet (seer).

Najd = The traditional name for central Arabia. The

inhabitants of this area are known for their

conservative behavior. The ruling family of

Saudia Arabia are Najdis.

Najis: = Unclean.

Nas = The multitude of people who are not dedicated to

Allah and sway to and fro to various teachings.

Nasara = A word used in the Qur’an to designate those who

are Christians.

Nasikh = The Abrogator: When speaking with people of

Christianized/Western societies, Muslim activists

deliberately hide a major Islamic doctrine called

"al-Nasikh wal-Mansoukh" (the Abrogator and the

Abrogated). This simply means that in situations

wherein verses contradict one another, the early

verses are overridden by the latter verses.

Nefs = Passion, corresponds somewhat to “id” in

Western psychology.

Nestorians = A sect of Christians in Arabia at the time of

Muhammad who were anathematized at the 3rd

ecumenical council in Ephesus in 431 for

refusing to confess the unity of Jesus’s Divine

Personhood. They accepted the two natures of

Jesus (divine and human) but thought that they

were separate. Their clergy prostrated

themselves on the ground facing eastward

whenever they prayed.

Paradise = Another word for heaven. A garden (79:41) of

bliss and fruit (69:21-24), has rivers (3:198),

with maidens pure and holy (4:57), and carpets and

cushions (88:8-16). It is the hope of all Muslims.

PBUH = Peace Be Upon Him. Muslims show their respect

for all “the prophets” by using this expression

whenever they mention their names in speech or in

writing. It is generally used after the word

“Muhammad” is used.

Pir = A leader of a Sufi sec

PLO = Palestine Liberation Organization: Founded in

1964 as a Palestinian nationalist organization

dedicated to the establishment of an

independent Palestinian state. In 1974 the

PLO was recognized at the Summit Conference of

the Arab League at Rabat Morocco as ‘the sole

leitimate representative’ of the Palestinian

people. Yasser Arafat, as Chariman of the PLO

he said, “I have come bearing an olive branch

and a freedom fighters gun. Do not let the

olive branch fall from my hand.”

Purdah = Veiling or the practice of confining women to

their homes. This total seclusion of females

can occur in some Muslim countries.

Qadar = (Kader) Preordainment is the teaching that all

things, good and bad, are preordained to occur.

Similar to extreeme Calvinism.

Qibla = (Kibla) The direction which Muslims turn for daily

prayers, towards Mecca.

Qiyas = Analogy or analytical reasoning by Muslim

scholars, employed as a means for ascertaining

answers for Muslim thought and practice.

Qadi = A judge empowered to arbitrate domestic


Quraish = (Quryash) the prominent Arab tribe that

controlled the Ka’ba during Muhammad’s time and

from which Muhammad traced his lineage.

Qur’an = (Kor’an) Literally means “recitation” or “the

recital”; the book of recitations of the word of

Allah as dictated to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel

(Jabra’il) over a period of 23 years. It is the

final revelation of Allah given to the prophet

Muhammad. It has 114 surahs, or chapters.

Rak’ah = (Rakaat) A regimented obligatory prayer of Muslims

One complete cycle of sacred words and gestures

during the ritual prayer.

Ramadan = (Ramazan) The month of fasting, celebrated

during the 9th month of the lunar year, which

is why the dates change every year. Muslims

believe that it was during this month that

Allah revealed the Qur’an to the Prophet

Muhammad. During this month Muslims fast from

sunrise to sunset as one of the Five Pillars of


Rasul = Allah’s messenger or apostle who brings a

revelation from Allah to be written down as


Rasullah = (Risalah) prophethood and messengership.

Ruh = The soul that comes from God and returns to


Ruhul-hayah = The spirit that rises from the body during


Ruhul-tamayiz = The spirit that rises from the body during

sleep and causes dreams.

Sadqa = A voluntary offering, often to prevent misfortune.

Sahih = Reliable, used concerning the hadith.

Sahih Sittah = The six books of hadith that Sunni Muslims

consider most authentic.

Salaam = Arabic word for peace. “asSalaam alaykum” means

“Peace be unto you” a common Muslim greeting.

Salaat = Prayers

Satanic verses = Najm 53:19-23; Hajj 22:51-53

At one point Muhammad identifies three pagan

idols as being valid, thereby temporarily

making Islam a polytheistic religion (and

appeasing his Quraysh critics), but later

changes his mind saying that Satan had

corrupted his thinking.

Sawm = The fast or fasting during the month of Ramadan.

Sects of Islam = Sunni: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi, Hanbeli

Shiite: Twelvers, Seveners, Druze, Zaydis,

Alawites (Alevis)

Sehri = The meal Muslims eat before fasting.

Seveners = İsmailis are the largest sect of the Seveners,

headed by Aga Khan. They differ with the

Twelvers on the issue of succession. A shiite


Shafities = Followers of Al-Shafi’i (d.820) who lived in

Baghdad and Egypt. His position represented a

compromise between the Maliki and Hanafi

Schools, and rejected the role of private


Shahada(h) = The fundamental creed of Islam, or confession

of belief in Islam. To bear witness to the

creed of Islam that: “There is only one God,

Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet.”

“La ilaha illa Allah, Muhammad rasul Allah”.

Shahid = A martyr who makes the ultimate sacrifice in

death to bering about the world of Islam.

Shalom = Peace.

Shari’a = Islamic law and its interpretaton; the whole

body of rules governing both the individual

Muslim as well as the Muslim community.

Literally means “the way to the watering hole.”

Muslims who practice Sharia law define it as a

strict interpretation of the Qur’an. However,

many Muslims and Muslim nations choose not to

adopt Sharia law because of disagreement over

how the Qur’an is interpreted. Sharia law is

controversial because it often defies many

human rights issues, resulting in murder,

beheading, removal of hands or feet, and so on

when a Muslim or non-Muslim disobeys the laws

of the Qur’an.

Sheik = (Shaikh, Sheikh) A recognized Muslim leader or

master of a tribe or community.

Shi’ite: = (Shi’a or Twelvers) Partisans of Ali. A major

branch of Islam whose adherents hold that Ali

was Muhammad’s legitimate successor because he

was his son-in-law. About 15% of Muslims are

Shi’ites. One of two major sects, ie. Sunni.

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