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AHKAM: Literally means "orders". In Islam, orders are subdivided into six distinct categories:

  1. Compulsory, (Fard) = severe punishment if disobeyed. This takes two forms:
    1. Fard'ain = Compulsory on every person, e.g. Salat, Fasting etc.
    2. Fard Kifaya = Compulsory on at least one person in the community, e.g. Salat al-janaza.
  2. Recommended but not compulsory (Mustahab), e.g. Sunnah prayers, Sadaqa.
  3. Legal and allowed (Halal), e.g. eating good food.
  4. Disapproved of, but not forbidden (Makrouh), e.g. Talaq, asking too many questions in religion..
  5. Forbidden (Muharram, Haram), e.g.Zina (fornication and adultery).


AJWAH: A kind of Dates.


BAB Ar-RAIYYAN: The name of one of the eight gates of Jannah (Paradise) through which the people who often observes fasting will enter on the Day of Judgment.


BAITUL MAL: An Islamic treasury intended for the benefit of the Masaken (needy Muslims) and not for the leaders or the wealthy.


DINAR: An ancient gold coin.


DIRHAM: A silver weighing 50 grains of barley with cut ends. It is equal to 1/12 of one Uqiyyah of Gold in Value.


EID AL-FITR: Three-day festival marking the end of Ramazaan. It takes place on the 1st of Shawal, the 10 month of the Islamic calendar.


FARIDHA: A duty enjoined on all Muslims. Plural: Fara’idh.


FIDYA: Compensation for missing or wrongly practicing necessary acts of worship. Fidya usually takes the form of donating money or foodstuff or sacrificing an animal. Contrast with Kaffara (making amends).


HASANAAT: Good deeds committed in the path of Allah Ta’ala. These are the deeds by which Allah Ta’ala will judge man and Jinn when deciding whether or not they will enter Janna. Singular: Hasana.


IBADAH: Acts of worship and adoration in utmost submission and obedience and with utmost love to Allah Ta’ala. In other words, a term that indicates all that pleases Allah, including sayings and actions of the heart or limbs. Love, fear, reverence, desire (hope), trust and sincerity are some forms of worship from within the heart. Prayers, attending to someone’s needs, invocation, supplication and sacrifices are some forms of worship of limbs. Ibadah is to worship Allah as He wishes to be worshipped.



IMSAAK: Start of the fasting time. Imsaak begins when the first light of dawn becomes visible, at Fajr when the Adhan is called.


‘ITIKAF: Usually spelled as ‘Itikaf. Being secluded in a Masjid while fasting for the sole purpose of worshipping Allah. The person who is in the state of ‘Itikaf must not leave the Masjid unless it is absolutely necessary, e.g. answering the call of nature or to alleviate the problems and burdens of a fellow Muslim. There are two types of ‘Itikaf:

1). Fard.Compulsory when one promises Allah to do ‘Itika if Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala answers his invocation, e.g."I promise to do ‘Itikaf for seven days if my son is cured." If Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala answers his du’a, then the ‘Itikaf of seven days becomes a Fard. 2). Sunnah. Voluntary. Voluntary practice. Following the tradition of the Prophet Muhammad, (May Allah bless him and grant him peace), and doing the ‘Itikaf during the last ten days of Ramazaan.


JAHANNAM:Most commonly understood to mean Hell. In fact, it is one of the levels of Hell. The are seven levels of Hellfire.

  1. Jaheem- the shallowest level of Hell. It is reserved for those who believed in Allah and His messenger, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, but who ignored His commands.
  2. Jahannam - a deeper level where the idol-worshippers are to be sent on the Day of Judgment.
  3. Sa’ir - is reserved for the worshippers of fire.
  4. Saqar - this is where those who did not believe in Allah will be sent on the Day of Judgment.
  5. Ladha - will be the home of Jews.
  6. Hawiyah - will be the abode of the Christians.
  7. Hutama - the deepest level of Hellfire. This is where the religious hypocrites will spend eternity. The worst of Allah’s creation are the Munafiqeen (Hyprocrites), whether they be mankind or jinn, for they outwardly appear to accept, but inwardly reject, Allah and His Messenger.


JANNAH: Also spelled as Janna. Paradise. A created abode in the Hereafter for those who believe in unity of Allah and in all His Prophet and Messengers, and follow their way of life. Jannah has eight gates around it and each of these eight gates has eleven doors. The names of eight gates are:

  1. Bab al-Iman.
  2. Bab al-Jihad.
  3. Bab-al-Kadhemean al-gaidh.
  4. Bab-ar-Raiyan.
  5. Bab-ar-Radiyeen.
  6. Bab as-Sadaqa.
  7. Bab-at-Taubah.
  8. Bab-at-Salat.


JANABA: The state of a person after sexual discharge, whether intentional or otherwise. A person may not perform Salat or not recite or touch the Holy Qur’an until he performs Ghusl.


KAFFARA: An expiatory gift. The prescribed way of making amends for wrong actions, particularly missed obligatory actions. For example, if a person swears to do something in the name of Allah, but later finds out that he is not in a position to keep that pledge, then he must pray a Kaffara.Kaffara is paid in various ways, usually by freeing a salve, feeding the hungry, or fasting for a specified number of days. Contrast with Fidya (compensation).


Laylatul-Qadar: One of the odd last ten nights of the month of Ramadhaan for which Allaah has prescribed the reward for acts of worship being better/equivalent to 1,000 months (83 years and 4 months).


Laghw: Dirty, false, evil vain talk


MAKROUH: Disapproved of, but not prohibited by Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala. See Ahkam.


MASAKEEN: People who are very poor and in need; not only those who are visibly in need, but also those who seem in no need of help, but who in reality are very poor. Singular: Miskeen.


MU’TAKIF: A person who is in the state of ‘Itikaf. See ‘Itikaf.


MUBARAK: Blessed. Having received the blessing of Allah.


NAFILAH: Optional Salat. They are of two types: (1.) Sunnah - the optional Salat that one does before and after the Fard Salat. These voluntary Salat fall into two categories: (a.) Muakkad - confirmed. These types of Salat were always regularly done by Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. (b.) Ghair-Muakkad - not confirmed. Those types of Salat were often, but not always, practiced by the Prophet Muhammad. (2.) Others - any other Salat that one may wish to perform; for example, doing two Rak’at before making a Du’a. With the exceptions of the Witr prayer, Nafilah prayers always consist of two Rak’at at a time. See Witr. Plural: Nawafil.


NAR: Literally means fire, but usually means the Fire of the next world, including all seven levels of Hellfire as a whole.


QADA WA QADAR: Decree and Destiny. Qada means what Allah has ordained for all the worlds. Qada cannot be changed, for the decree of Allah is final. Qadar is the individual fate or destiny of each one of all His creatures. It also cannot be changed, but may be altered by Allah under circumtances, for "Allah has power over all things". Holy Qur’an, Al-Maidah (5):19.


QADR (AL): "The Power".The night of (Allah’s) power. Surah 97 of the Holy Qur’an.


QADR (LAILATUL): One of the last ten nights of Ramadan. See Holy Qur’an, Al-Qadar (97). See Lailatul-Qadr.


QUR’AN: The "Recitation". The Holy Qur’an also called Al-Furqaan, "The discrimination (Between truth and falsehood)". The Final Revelation of Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala Himself (mankind and the Jinn). Allah Subhana wa Ta’ala Himself decreed that it is He who will preserve the Holy Qur’an from any deletion or addition or alteration until the Day of Resurrection. It is generally understood that it is a book meant for the Muslims alone. In fact, it is a book for all mankind and Jinns to follow up to the Day of Judgement, but it has been accepted only by those who have submitted their will (the Muslims) to Allah the Almighty.


RADIA’LLAH ‘ANHU/‘ANHA: May Allah be pleased with him or her. This term is most commonly used whenever the name of a Sahabi (a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, amy Allah bless him and grant him peace) is mentioned, Radia’llahu Anhum, may Allah be pleased with them.


RAMADAN or RAMAZAAN: The ninth month of the Islamic calendar. It is very important month in the Islamic world. (1.) It is month of fasting, during which all adults Muslims who are in good helath fast from the first light of dawn until sunset each day. During the first third of the fast you taste Allah’s mercy; during the second third you taste Allah’s forgiveness; and during the last third you taste freedom from the Fire. See Holy Qur’an, Al-Baqara (2):185. (2.) It is the month in which the revelation of the Holy Qur’an to our Holy Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, commenced. (3.) The Lailatul Qadr (see Qadr, Lailatul) occurs in this month. (4.) The famous Battle of Badr was fought and won in this month. (5.) The Conquest of Makka by Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, took place in this month.


RUKN: Pillar. Singular of Arkan. See Arkan.


SADAQA:1. Anything given away in charity for the pleasure of Allah.

2. One of the eight gates of Jannah. See Jannah.


SAHIH: Healthy and sound with not defects. Authentic, as regards Ahadeeth, such as Sahi Bukhari and Sahi Muslim.


SAHIH BUKHARI: A book of authentic Ahadeeth compiled by Imam Bukhari.


SAHIH MUSLIM: A book of authentic Ahadeeth compiled by Imam Muslims.


SAUM OR SIYAM: Fasting ie, To fast in the month of Ramazaan.


SHAITAN: Satan. An evil Jinn who prompts mankind and Jinn to rebel againts Allah. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil that He has created. Plural: Shayateen. See Iblis.


SHARI’A: Islamic Law as ordained by Allah Ta’ala. Literally it means ‘a road’. The Sharia is the legal and social modality of people based on the revelation of their propeht. The last Shari’a in History is that of Islam. It abrogates all previous Shari’as. It is, being the last, therefore the easiest to follow, for it is applicable to the whole human race wherever they are.


SHAWAL: Tenth month of the Islamic Calendar.


SHAYATEEN: Devils. Plural of Shaitan.


SIRATUL-MUSTAQEEM: Literally means "the straight path". The path that the Holy Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, demonstrated to mankind and the Jinn by way of the Holy Qur’an and Ahadeeth. The path that leads to the Garden.


SIWAK: A piece of branch or root of a tree called al-Arak used as a tootbrush.


TAFSIR: A commentary. There are several reliable Tafsir on the meanings of the Ayaat of the Qur’an, including those of Ibn Kathir, Jalalayn and Al-Qortubi and Tafseer Saadi.


TAHARA: Purification. Tahara is accomplished in a variety of ways, e.g. (1). Souls--- in order for the soul to be pure one must submit one’s whole self to Alllah Ta’ala, i.e.e become a Muslim. (2). Bodies--- They are purified through Tayammum, Wudu or Ghusl, depending on the circumstances. For a full explanation: See Tayammum, Wudu and Ghusl. (3). Clothing. Three things indicate that clothes may be impure and need washing; a.) If they smell. b.) If they are wet and c) the cause of the wetness is either unknown or known to be impure or dirty if they are stained.


TAKBIR: Saying "Allahu Akbar" ("Allah is the Greatest"). This is said when beginning the Salat and when changing from one one position to another during Salat (prayers).


TAQWA: Fear of Allah, being careful, knowing your place in the cosmos. Its proof is the experience of awe, of Allah, which inspires a person to be on guard against wrong action and eager for actions pleasing to Allah. Fearing Allah as He should be feared is one of the signs of being faithful Muslims. Piety and restarint (through Taqwa) in times of hardship are signs of having achieved the essence and spirit of Islam, and thus Allah’s blessing. See Qur’an, Aali ‘Imran (3):102-103, Al-Hashr (59):18-19.


TARAWEEH: Nafl Salat (prayers) that are done after Isha Salat during the month of Ramadan, in order to recite the Qur’an as fully as possible, or completely. They are usually done in congregation, but may also be done individually.



  1. Returning to correct action after error, turning away from wrong action to Allah and asking His forgiveness, turning to face Allah whereas before one turned one’s back.
  2. Name of one of the eight gates of Jannah (Paradise). See Jannah.
  3. "Repentance". Another name for Al-Baqaarah. Surah 9 of the Qur’an.


THAWAB or Sawab: Spiritual reward given by Allah Ta’ala to good deeds performed by man and Jinn.


TILAWAT (OF THE QUR’AN): This word has variety of meanings, depending on the context:

  1. Studying the Qur’an in order to understand it in the way should be undestood. See Al-Baqara (2):121.
  2. Mediating and reflecting in the Qur’an’s meanings in order to enrich one’s life and knowledge.
  3. Reading and reciting the Qur’an by oneself.
  4. Reading and reciting and conveying its meaning to others.
  5. Approaching and acting on the Qur’an in such a way that it becomes part of one’s inner self, thus helping one to attain perfect prayer and to avoid any form of evil or shameful deeds and to be an upright person in the sight of Allah Ta’ala. See Qur’an, Al-’Ankaboott (29):45.


UMRAH: A Pilgrimage to Makkah, but not during the Hajj period. It is also called "the Lesser Pilgrimage".


WAHY: Revelation. Inspiration placed in the heart or mind of the Prophets by Allah Ta’ala. Auha, Uhiya and Wahyu are derived from the same root, ‘Wahy’.


WITR: A Salat which has an odd number of Rak’at: two Rak’at, followed by one Rak’a. This Salat is prayed last thing at night before one goes to sleep, or else delayed and prayed at the end of the Tahajjud Salat by those who rise in the night, seeking the pleasure and the face of Alllah Ta’ala.


ZAKAT: The Muslim’ wealth tax: One must pay 2.5 % of one’s yearly savings above certain amount to the poor and needy Muslims. The Zakat is compulsory on all Muslims who have saved (at least) the equivalent of 85g of 24 carat Gold at the time when the annuaal Zakat payment is due. Zakat is also due on other things such as silver, animals, crops, etc. For a full explanation on Zakat refer to the relevant books written on the subject. See Holy Qur’an, Al-Baqara (2):43, 110, 177, 277, An-Nisa (4):162, Al-Maida (5):58. See Bukhari, Book of Zakat. See Muslim, Book of Zakat. Zakat is one of the Arkan of Islam. See Arkan.


ZAKAT AL-FITR: A small obligatory head-tax imposed on every reponsible Muslim who has the means for himself and his dependents. It is paid once yearly at the end of Ramadan before Eid al-Fitr. See Sahi Bukhari, Kitabul Zakatul Fitr. See Sahi Muslim, Ahadeeth, 2159, 2160.


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