Greetings and Salutations on the Prophet (PBUH)

Glossary

Âdam: name of the first Prophet of Allâh, i.e. Adam.

‘Asr: afternoon prayer time; midway between zuhr and maghrib.

bid‘ah: innovation.

dhikr: literally remembrance; reminder; evocation. The Qur'ân stresses human forgetfulness, with continual imperatives to remember Allah, one’s own mortality, and the day of judgement. The Qur'an refers to itself and earlier revelations as a dhikr (reminder). Dhikr refers both to a divine name or Qur’anic phrase repeatedly chanted, and to the practice of chanting.

du‘â’: making supplication to Allâh.

hadîth: pl. hadîths or ahâdîth. The sayings, practice and approved traditions of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).

hajj: the yearly pilgrimage of the Muslims to Makkah.

harâm: unlawful, forbidden and punishable from the viewpoint of religion; also an inviolable place or object.

hasan: a hadîth, narrated by a reliable chain though not approaching the grade of sahîh (sound) hadîth, but records a complete chain of narrators up to the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).

imâm: One who leads prayers; an eminent Islamic scholar.

îmân: literally faith or belief, îmân is technically faith in the religion of Islam, the person with îmân being a mu’min. The Arabic word connotes security: one who believes becomes secure against untruth and misguidance in this world and against punishment in the next. Îmân, in the sense of “to become a believer,” distinguishes a Muslim from a non-Muslim. In sum, it represents beliefs in the following: the oneness of God, angels, Prophets, revealed books, and the Hereafter. The phrase îmân bil-ghayb, usually translated “belief in the unseen,” stands for belief in metaphysical realities that are inaccessible to the senses but are presumably affirmed by reason.

‘Îsâ: name of Allâh’s penultimate Messenger, Jesus.

‘Ishâ’: evening, and in particular ‘Ishâ prayer, the obligatory night prayer.

Jibrîl: the archangel Gabriel who brought the revelations of Allâh to His Messengers (عليه السلام).

madrasah: a college for higher studies where the Islamic sciences are taught. In the past, the madrasah was devoted primarily to teaching law, and the other Islamic sciences and literary philosophical subjects were optionally taught. Today, however, the designation madrasah is ambiguous. Although originally the madrasah was created as an institution of Islamic higher learning in contrast to the kuttab or maktab, the children’s schools in the Middle East, currently the term madrasah is sometimes used for establishments for elementary teaching of Qur’ânic knowledge.

Maghrib: the time of sunset, lit. the west. In particular, the obligatory Maghrib prayer, which is just after the sunset.

mu’adhdhin: one who gives the adhân, the call to prayer, loudly calling people to come and perform the salât (prayer).

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

sunnah: pl. sunan. literally 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, acts of worship and statements etc., of Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم) which have become models to be followed by the Muslims.

sharî‘ah: literally road. It is a legal modality of a people based on the revelation of their Prophet (عليهم السلام). The last sharî‘ah is that of Islam that abrogates all previous sharî‘ahs.

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

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