Islam Vocabulary

Created by 12emills 

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Allah

the Arabic word for God

Allahu akbar

"Allah is most great" or "God is greater than"/ a part of the daily call to prayer sounded from minarets around the world

arabesque

Islamic art/geometric patterns that are repeated over and over

assalamu alaykum

a greeting meaning "peace" when Muslims meet each other

astrolabe

an instrument used by sailors to determine their location by observing the position of the stars and planets

Ayatollah

a Shiite who is learned in the Shariah, the Koran, and the Hadith; and is known for their piety

bazaar

a covered market

Bedouin

wandering/nomadic Arab tribes

caliph

the title of the successor to Muhammad

chador

long, black robe worn by Iranian women

Dome of the Rock

Muslim shrine containing the rock from which Mohammad is believed to have risen to heaven; Jews believe Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac on the rock

dowry

a payment (gift) of money or property to the bride

Fatihah

The first chapter of the Quran. This prayer, which asks God for guidance to follow "the straight path," is repeated by Muslims each day during the five required prayers

Fatwa

a legal ruling within Islam

Hadith

the literal translation means "story"; traditional teachings based on Muhammad's words and actions; these traditions are traced to eyewitness accounts

hafiz

means someone who has memorized the Koran in its entirety and is capable of reciting it

hajj

pilgrimage to Mecca; one of the Five Pillars of Islam

harem

separate women's quarters in a traditional Muslim home

hijab

means covering the head and body in accordance with God's instructions

hijrah

Muhammad's flight from Mecca to Medina in A. D. 622; this event marks the beginning of the Muslim calendar

Iblis

The name for Satan in the Quran. Like the devil in Christian theology, he tempts human beings and seeks to thwart God's divine purpose in history

imam

Muslim prayer leader

iman

word meaning faith

Islam

the religion practiced by Muslims; Islam means "submission to the will of God"

jihad

the obligation of Muslims to struggle or exert themselves "in the way of God ; doesn't necessarily refer to an armed struggle

Kaaba

literally a "cube"/shrine in Mecca; Muhammad cleansed the Kaaba of idols

Kibbutzim

farms in Israel where groups of Jewish families live and work together

madrasas

Islamic schools

majlis

council of Muslim men

Mecca

the holiest city of Islam; Muhammad's birthplace

Medina

the second holiest city; where Muhammad lived after fleeing Mecca

mihrab

an alcove in a mosque that points toward Mecca

minaret

the tower attached to a mosque from which the muezzin, or crier, calls the faithful to prayer five times a day

monotheistic

the belief in one God

mosque

building used by Muslims for religious services

Mount Hira

where Muhammad received his first revelation

muezzin

person who calls Muslims for religious services

Muhammad

the founder of the Islam religion; to Muslims, Muhammad is the ultimate and final prophet

muskaad

separate men's quarters in a traditional Muslim home

Muslim

a person who believes the teachings of Islam

nabi

prophet

oasis

fertile or green areas within a desert

polygamy

a marriage between a man and more than one woman; is seen as an exception, not as a rule, within Islam

proselytizing

to convert someone else to your religion

purdah

the traditional Middle Eastern custom of seclusion for women

Quran (Koran)

the name for the holy book of Islam; meaning "recital"

Ramadan

ninth month of the Muslim calendar marked by fasting

sahn

an open courtyard

shahaada

public profession of faith; the first of the Five Pillars of Islam

sharav

hot, dry wind that blows across Israel

shariah

Muslim law code

sheikh

an Arab leader or chief

Shiite Muslim

accept only the descendants of Ali as the true rulers of Islam

Sunni Muslim

did not agree with Umayyad rule but accepted the Umayyads as rulers

sultan

a title that means the "holder of power"/ Turkish leader

sura

A chapter of the Quran. This word literally means "fence" or "enclosure". There are 114 surahs in the Quran, arranged in the order of descending length

Tawid

means the oneness or singularity of God. To reject it is to reject Islam.

thobe

long, white garment worn by men in Saudi Arabia

ummah

the worldwide community of Muslim believers

vizier

a prime minister that advises the caliph

Wailing Wall

Jewish holy site in Jerusalem that is the only remaining portion of Solomon's temple

Wassalam

"And Peace" (used as "farewell" or "goodbye" in English)

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