"The Fest of Sacrifice"; the most important religious holiday in the Islamic world. It begins the day after the Hajj, when the faithful who can afford to do so sacrifice an animal in commemoration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael.
"The Feast of Breaking the Fast"; a major religious holiday observed at the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.
Contraction of an Arabic term that means "the God"; the word used by Muslims and Arabic-speaking Christians and Jews to refer to God.
The successors of Muhammad to the leadership of the Muslim community who are not, however, considered prophets.
Five Pillars of Islam
The fundamental beliefs and practices for Muslims: the witness of faith, prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and pilgrimage to Mecca
A reported saying or action of Muhammad. The canonical collections of hadith are used to determine the sunna of the prophet.
The pilgrimage to Mecca, which is to be made once in a person's lifetime if financially and physically possible; one of the five pillars of faith
Muhammad's emigration from Mecca to Yathrib (Medina) in 622 C.E. This turning point in Islamic histroy marks the beggining of the Muslim Hijri calendar
In Sunni tradition, the leader of salat prayer; in Shi'ite thought, the umma's divinely guided leader.
Literally, "submission" or "surrender" to God. The term is used in the Qur'an to describe true monothesitic worship as revealed to Muhhamad and other prophets before him; it is also commonly used as the name of the religion practiced by Muslims.
Literally means "striving" or "struggling" to serve God and the umma. In a narrower sense, it somtimes involves armed striggle against outside aggression and is therefore sometimes translated as "holy war".
The black-draped cubicle structure in Mecca which contains the black stone and which, according to legend, was first built by Abraham and his son Ishmael.
Messianic figure who, according to tradition, will appear at e end of history to prepare the world for final judgment by God.
Shortened form of Madinat Al-Nabi, meaning "city of the prophet"; the second holiest site in Islam. This is the place, first known as Yathrib, to which Muhammad fled in 622 C.E. and where many of the basic institutions of Islam were established. Muhammad was buried here.
From the Arabic word masjid, meaning "place of prostration" for ritual prayer. Mosques are the centers of Islamic communal life where prayers are held, religious education conducted, and charitable services provided.
(570-632 CE) The founder of Islam and the prophetic figure through whom Allah revealed the Qur'an.
Means "recitation"; the name of the holy book of Islam, which is the mind and will of Allah delivered to Muhammad through the angel Gabriel; sometimes Anglicized "Koran".
The month in which Muhammad received his initial call and the month in which faithful Muslims fast during daylight hours; the ninth lunar month of the Muslim calendar.
Ritual prayer that is conducted five times each day and involves performing a prescribed set of physical movements designed to turn heart and mind toward God; one of the five pillars of faith.
Fasting as a means of promoting individual spirituality and communal well-being; one of the five pillars of faith.
The Muslim confession of faith: "There is no god but God, and Muhammad is His Messenger"; the first of the five pillars of faith.
Muslims who believe that leadership of the community should have passed to Muhammad's son-in-law 'Ali and should be hereditary. Shi'a means "the party or sect."
The heresy of ascribing partners to God, or believing in more than one deity; opposite of tawheed.
An adherent of the branch of Islam that emphasizes internal spiritual experience rather than external ritual forms and seeks mystical union with God in this life.
The customs and exemplary behavior of Muhammad. Next to the Qur'an, the sunna is the most important epistemological source in Islam.