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Glossary

Pronunciation in English

Arabic Script

Meaning

When To Use

Abd عبد Servant, worshipper, slave. Muslims consider themselves servants and slaves of God. Popular Muslim names such as Abdullah (Servant of God), Abdul-Malik (Servant of the King), Abdur-Rahmān (Servant of the most Beneficent), Abdus-Salām (Servant of Peace), all refer to names of Allah.
Adab أدب The proper way to go about something, Traditionally describes good manners, as in etiquette.
Adhan أذان Call to Salaat(prayer) Used when asking about the time of prayer : “when is the adhan?”
Ahad أحد Literally “one.” Islamically, Ahad means One Alone, unique, none like God. Al-Wahid is one of the names of God.
Aakhirah الآخرة Hereafter or eternal life
Akhlaaq

Ikhlas

أخلاق

إخلاص

The practice of virtue. Sincerity with intentions to do good.
Alhamdulillah الحمد لله Praise and thanks to Allah. Used to show gratitude to Allah after success or even after completing anything, usually to express satisfaction, after having finished eating or used after sneezing.
Allahu Akbar Allah is the greatest
Allahu A’lam الله أعلم Allah knows best. Said when not sure about something, or simply don’t know, could be the equivalent of “I don’t know.” “is it going to rain tomorrow?” – Allahu A’lam!
Allahu Must’aan الله المستعان Allah (God) is the source of help and assistance. Al-Must’aan is one of Allah’s names.
Allahumma salli ala Muhammad. اللهم صلي على محمد Oh Allah bestow your mercy on Mohammed. A way to praise the prophet (PBUH).
‘Alayhi Salaam Peace be upon him (A.S.) Whenever you say the name of a prophet
Amana الامانة Trust
Ameen آمين May it be so. The end of a du’a (supplication/prayer)
Ash-hadu An laa Ilaha Illa Allah wa Ash-hadu anna Muhammadan Rasulu Allah أشهد أن لا إله إلا الله و أشهد أن محمد رسول الله I bear witness that there is no other God but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the messenger of the Allah. This one is called “shahadah”, it’s one of the 5 main pillars of Islam, and that’s the first step of converting to Islam. Also used by Muslims to refresh their belief, it’s recommended to use it daily.
As-Salaamu Alaykum السلام عليكم Peace be upon you A way of greetings used more widely and can be the equivalent of “hi, hello, good morning/ afternoon/ evening, good-bye, bye …) so it’s basically a way to greet and could be used in farewells.
As-Salaamu Alaykum wa Rahmatullahi wa Barakatuhi السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته Peace, Mercy and Blessings of Allah be upon you This is a full equivalent of the above mentioned greeting “Assalamu Alaykum”. It is considered to be more polite.
Aqeedah عقيدة The Islamic creed, or the six article of faith, which consists of the belief in God, Angels, Messengers and Prophets, Scriptures, the Day of Judgment, and Destiny.
Asr العصر The third salat prayer of the day. The time of the day before sunset and after noon. also means “era”.
Astaghfiru Allah أستغفر الله I seek forgiveness from Allah. Commonly used when you think you did something wrong (a sin, cursed …).

After every Salah (payer), a Muslim says this statement three times.

Audhu billahi mina shaitaan Arrajeem أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم I seek refuge in Allah from the cursed Satan “shaitan”. Used whenever feeling unsafe or when scared  by something (a bad dream …), or before reading Quran, or before anything you want to do.
Awrah عورة The parts of the body, male or female, must be covered in public but not between spouses, such as, body parts must be concealed of a woman before non-related men.(non-related men means she can marry those men lawfully).
Ayah / Ayaat آية,(آيات) A sign. More specifically, a verse in the Qur’an.
Barakah بركة Blessing.
Barak Allahu Feek بارك الله فيك May Allah bestow his blessings on you. Used to wish someone blessings from Allah especially in return to a favor done by that person, the equivalent to “thank you very much”.
Barak Allahu Feekum / Allah Baraka Feek May Allah bless you Responding to someone’s thanks/ a way of expressing thanks

(Reply: Wa feek(i), Wa feekum; Trans.: And you)

Bid’ah بدعة Innovation in religion, i.e. inventing new methods of worship.
Bismillah بسم الله In the name of Allah Used to start something, whatever a Muslim wants to start (driving, eating, walking, reading …)
Bismillah

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim

بسم الله الرحمان الرحيم In the name of Allah, the most Gracious the most Merciful. A full equivalent to “bismillah”, many Muslims use it before reciting the Qur’an and before doing anything.
Dajjal دجّال Antichrist; means “liar” or “deceiver”.
Daw’ah Literal meaning to invite others to Islam
Deen الدين The way of life based on Islamic revelation; the sum total of a Muslim’s faith and practice. Dīn is often used to mean the faith and religion of Islam.
Dhikr ذكر Remembrance of God
Dhuhr الظهر The second obligatory daily prayer.
Du’a دعاء Supplication, prayer, asking Allah for something
Dunya دنيا The physical Universe, as opposed to the Hereafter
Eid ul-Adha عيد الأضحى “The Festival of Sacrifice.” Celebration after Hajj.
Eid ul-Fitr عيد الفطر “The Festival of Fitr (Breaking the fast).” A festival that marks the end of the fast of Ramadan.
Fajr فجر Morning, as in the morning prayer. The time of the day when there is light in the horizon before sunrise.
Fard فرض An obligatory action:
e.g. praying 5 times a day is fard
Fatwa فتوى Ruling or edict
Fitna فتنة Trial or tribulation; also refers to any period of disorder, such as a civil war, or the period of time before the end of the world or any civil strife.
Fi Amanillah May Allah protect you By way of saying good-bye
Ghusl غسل Full ablution of the whole body.  Ghusl jenobat is the mandatory shower after having sexual discharge.
Hadith حديث Record of sayings and deeds, known as the Traditions, which is commonly refer to Prophet Muhammad’s life.
Halal حلال Lawful, persmissible
Halaqa A gathering or meeting for the primary purpose of learning about Islam.
Hajj Pilgrimage to Mecca during the twelfth month of the Muslim lunar calendar. Muslims are required to perform hajj at least once in their lifetime, if means and health allow.
Haqq حق Truth, reality, righteous Al-Haqq is one of Allah’s names.
Haraam حرام Forbidden
Haram حرم Sanctuary
Hayaa هيا Modesty
Hijab حجاب Literally “cover”. It describes the self-covering of the body for the purposes of modesty and dignity; broadly, a prescribed system of attitudes and behaviour regarding modesty and dignity.
Hijra الهجرة The flight of Muhammad (peace be upon him) from Mecca to Medina in A.D. 622 because of increasing opposition.
Imam إمام A religious leader or head of a local community, or a spiritually qualified leader. He also leads in community political affairs.
Iman إيمان This is a belief or faith in God (Allah).
Inshaa Allah إن شاء الله If Allah wills. Usually used to refer to planning to do a future action, I will do this … if Allah wills it.
Inna lillahi wa Inna illahi Rajioon إنا لله و إنا إليه راجعون To Allah we belong, and to him we will return. Usually used when you hear someone died, or if you had a terrible lost (financial or personal).
Islam إسلام‎ The religion of Muslims. Submission to Allah (the One True God) 5 pillars make up Islam. 1. Declaration of faith, 2. Five daily prayers 3. Zakat (charity) 4. Fasting 5. Hajj pilgrimage
Isha عشاء Night, the fifth salat/prayer
Jannah جنة Paradise, Heaven, the Garden
Jazaka Allahu Khairan جزاك الله خيرا May Allah reward you with all good. When someone does something good to you (gives you something, helps you with something …)
Jihad جهاد Struggle or to strive. Any earnest striving in the way of God, involving personal, physical, for righteousness and against wrong-doing;
Jinn جنّ These are unseen or spiritual beings who are required to follow the orders of Allah and are accountable for their deeds. Like humans, they are given the power to choose between right and wrong.
Juz’ جزء One of thirty parts of the Qur’an
Ka’ba الكعبة A cubic stone structure where the black stone is housed. Located in the center of the Great Mosque at Mecca, Muslims believe that it was the first house of worship built by Abraham and Isma’il. It is also spelled ka’aba or ka’bah.
Kafir, Kuffar, Kafireen, Kafiroon كافر Qur’anic term for a non-Muslim. It is derived from the root word of Ka-fa-ra (cover). The term is to indicate a person declining or denying any of the principles of the Islam.

Often mistranslated as “infidel” which is the term the crusaders used to refer to the Muslims and not the other way around. The Islamic term used to refer to the crusades was the “war of the foreigners.”

Muslims are encouraged to follow the Islamic example in referring to Christians and Jews as “Ahl-Kitab: People of the book.”

Khutbah خطبة The sermon at Jumu’ah (Friday) prayer.
La ilaha illa Allah لا إله إلا الله There is no god but Allah. Can be said any time. This expression is the most important one in Islam. It is the creed that every person has to say to be considered a Muslim. It is part of the first pillar of Islam. The meaning of which is: “There is no Lord worthy of worship except Allah.”

The second part of this first pillar is to say: “Mohammedan Rasul Allah,” which means:”Muhammad is the messenger of Allah.”

La hawla wala quwata illah billah لا حول ولا قوة إلا بالله There is no change/ transformation nor power/ strength except through Allah Used in unfavourable situations beyond one’s control.
Laylat al Qadr (ليلة القدر The Night of Power, towards the end of Ramadan, when Muhammad (peace be upon him) received the first revelation of the Qur’an.
Madina Originally this city was called Yathrib, and was located about 200 km north of Mecca. This was the first city-state that was established under the banner of Islam.
Maghrib مغرب The fourth daily salat prayer right after sunset.
Masjid A place or house of prayer-literally, a place of prostration.
Muhamadu Rasulu Allah محمد رسول الله Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Usually comes after La ilaha illa Allah.
Mustahabb مستحبّ Literally means ‘recommended’. Recommended, favoured, and virtuous actions.
Qibla Direction toward Mecca that is designated in a place of prayer.
Radhi Allahu ‘Anhu May Allah be pleased with him This is an expression to be used by Muslims whenever a name of a companion of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) is mentioned or used in writing. Muslims are taught to be respectful to the elderly and to those who contributed to the spread and success in Islam. They are to be grateful to the companions of the prophet (s.a.w.) for their sacrifices, their leadership, and their contributions. Muslims are advised to use this phrase when such names are mentioned or written.
Radi Allah ‘Anha May Allah be pleased with her (R.A.) Whenever say name of female companion of the Prophet
Radi Allah ‘Anhum May Allah be pleased with them (R.A.) Plural form of saying companions of the Prophet
Rahimahullah Allah have Mercy on him You see someone in distress
Ramadan Month of fasting which is observed in the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims believe that it was during this month that the Quranic revelations began.
Salam Peace
Salaat Worship in the form of ritual prayer that is repeated five times daily.
Sawm Fasting, especially during Ramadan. Sawm means total abstinence from food, liquids, and sexual relationships from dawn to sunset, for one lunar month.
Shahada Confessing or bearing witness to God’s unity and Muhammad’s role as messenger. “I testify that there is no God but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet.” A person must recite the shahadah to become a Muslim.
Shari’ah Shari’ah is Islamic law-the way or divine path of obedience to God. It comprises the writings of the Qur’an and hadith and serves as the guide for worship and ethical living.
Sadaqallahul ‘Adheem Allah says the truth. This is a statement of truth that a Muslim says after reading any amount of verses from the Qur’an. The Qur’an is the exact words of Allah in verbatim. When Allah speaks, He says the truth; and when the Qur’an is being recited, a Muslim is reciting the words of truth of Allah.
Salla Allahu ‘Alaihi Wa Sallam (S.A.W) May the blessings and the peace of Allah be upon him (Muhammad) When the name of Prophet Muhammad (saw) is mentioned or written, a Muslim is to respect him and invoke this statement of peace upon him.Another expression that is alternatively used is: “Alaihissalatu Wassalam.” This expression means: “On Him (Muhammad) are the blessings and the peace of Allah.”

Allah has ordered Muslims, in the Qur’an, to say such an expression.

Shirk A word that implies ascribing partners to Allah, or ascribing divine attributes to other than Allah, or believing that the source of power, harm and blessings comes from another besides Allah.
Subhan Allah سبحان الله Glory to Allah

 

Used in many places, for example if you heard something amazing and you want to express your amazement.
Subhanu Wa Ta’Ala The meaning of this expression is: “Glory be to Him and the Most High, the Most Exalted This is an expression that Muslims use whenever the name of Allah is pronounced or written. Muslims believe that Allah is the only God, the Creator of the Universe. He does not have partners or children.
Surah Chapter of the Quran
Tajweed تجويد A special manner of reciting the Qur’an according to prescribed rules of pronunciation and intonation.

 

Taqwa تقوى Being conscious and cognizant of God, of truth, of the rational reality, “being piety, fear of God’s disappointment”.
Tarawih تراويح Extra prayers in Ramadan after the Isha prayer.

 

Tawakal-tu-’Ala Allah I have put my trust in Allah. Rely on Allah solving a problem.
Tawbah توبه Repentance
Tawheed توحيد Monotheism; affirmation of the Oneness of Allah. Muslims regard this as the first part of the Pillar of Islam, the second part is accepting Muhammad as rasoul (messenger). The opposite of Tawheed is shirk.
Ummah الاُمّة Refers to the whole Muslim community, irrespective of colour, race, language or nationality
Umrah عمرة The lesser pilgrimage performed in Mecca. Unlike hajj, can be performed throughout the year.
Wudhu الوضوء Ablution for ritual purification from minor impurities before salat (see ghusl)
Ya Allah! يا ألله Oh Allah! Usually to ask Allah something. Sometimes used while doing something, like when lifting something heavy you say it to ask Allah for power, or if you’re in pain and you ask Allah to give you strength to bear that pain.
Ya Rab! يا رب Oh Lord! Used the same way as the one above “Ya Allah”. No difference at all.
Zakat The alms or contributions to charity required as a duty to God. Zakat constitutes about 2.5 percent of one’s annual wealth.