Beseeching for Help (Istighathah)

Glossary

athar: pl. aathar. lit. relating. Generally used for a hadith related by one of the Companions, as distinguished from one of the Prophet’s own.

da‘if: an inaccurate narration which does not qualify to be either sahih (sound) or hasan (fair), and hence cannot be used as a basis of an Islamic opinion.

din: an Arabic word for religion. It is more specifically used for the religion and revealed books of the prophets and the messengers. It is a comprehensive term covering not only religious rites and rituals but also applies to all aspects of life and provides guidance in all of its pursuits, while madhab (religion) is restricted to man’s spiritual life and regulates its relationship with God alone.

dinar: an ancient gold coin.

du‘a’: lit. to call someone; making supplication to Allah.

gharib: a hadith or version reported by one reliable or unreliable narrator which differs in context with another hadith or version reported by a group of reliable narrators. A gharib hadith can be sahih (sound) or da‘if (weak).

ghawth: lit. one to whom we can cry for help. A mediator; a title given to a saint of the highest order.

hadith: pl. hadiths or ahadith. The sayings, practice and approved traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).

Hafiz: lit. a guardian or protector. (1) one of the names of God, al-Hafiz. (2) a governor, guardian of the Makkan temple. (3) one who has committed the whole of the Qur’an to memory. (4) one who has committed one hundred thousand hadiths to memory.

hajj: the yearly pilgrimage of the Muslims to Makkah.

hasan: a hadith, narrated by a reliable chain of transmission though not approaching the grade of sahih (sound) hadith, but records a complete chain of narrators up to the Prophet (saw).

Imam: one who leads people in prayers; an eminent Islamic scholar.

‘Isa: name of Allah’s penultimate messenger, Jesus.

Jibril (عليه السلام): the archangel Gabriel who brought the revelations of Allah to His messengers.

jihad: the word jihad, in terms of the acquisition of a desirable and commendable objective, carries a number of meanings. Jihad is striving against the evils of the self, and it is also the struggle waged for the propagation of Islam and the integrity of Ummah. For example, to launch jihad through tongue and pen for the improvement and development of the Islamic society; an armed struggle against the exploitive forces is also jihad but this is ‘minor jihad’ while a perpetual struggle against the evil wishes of one’s self is ‘major jihad’. Jihad is one of the cardinal articles of Islam.

kawthar: lit. abundance. A pond in Paradise.

Maryam: the Prophet ‘Isa’s mother; Mary.

mawdu‘: a mawdu‘ tradition narrated by a liar, a narrator whose act of lying in relating traditions has been proved.

sahih: sound. A hadith with an unbroken chain of narrators ranging from the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) and approaching an era through reliable narrators without being shadh (odd) or mu‘allal (faulty) in between the two cross relaters.

shari‘ah: lit. road. It is a legal modality of a people based on the revelation of their prophet/messenger. The last shari‘ah is that of Islam that abrogates all previous shari‘ahs.

sunnah: pl. sunnahs. lit. the path, way or a form, the customary practice of a person or a group of people. It has come to refer almost exclusively to the legal way or ways, orders, statements and acts of worship, etc., of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) which have become the models to be followed by the Muslims.

surah: a chapter of the holy Qur’an. There are 114 chapters in the holy Qur’an.

Ya‘qub (عليه السلام): the prophet Jacob.

Yusuf (عليه السلام): the prophet Joseph.

zakat: a yearly fixed percentage of wealth and property of the Muslims liable to zakat to be paid to the poor and the needy of the Muslim Community. It is obligatory, as it is one of the five indispensable pillars of Islam.

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