islamic words and phrases


Adhan – Call to prayer.
Ahlul-Kitaab – “People of the Book” (qur’anic term for Jews & Christians).
Akhirah – The day of judgment.
Al-Fatiha – The first Surah in the Qura’an.
Al-Jannah – “The Garden”; paradise.
Allah – God.
Al-Quds – “The Holy”; Jerusalem.
Al-Saum – The fast.
Arafat – A famous place of pilgrimage, south-east of Makkah.
‘Asr – Afternoon prayer.
Ayat – Verses, proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, revelations.


Baitullah – “House of Allah”; mosque.


Caliph – Imam or muslim ruler.
Caliphate – Muslim state.


Dawah – Dissemination of the message of Islam; invitation to become a muslim.
Deen – Faith.
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Eid Al-Adha – The four day celebration starting on the tenth day of Dhul-Hijja (the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar.
Eid Al-Fitr – The three day celebration breaking the fast of Ramadan.


Fajr – Dawn (before sunrise) prayer.
Fatwa – Islamic ruling.


Hadith – Report of a statement or action of the Prophet
Hady – Animal sacrificed by the pilgrim during Hajj.
Hajj – (Major) pilgrimage. One of the five pillars of Islam. The pilgrimage to Makkah is required of every able Muslim at least once in a lifetime.
Halal – Lawful or permissible.
Haram – Unlawful or forbidden.
Hijab – “Covering.”
Hijra – To leave one area and move to another, to emigrate.


Iftaar – The light meal eaten by Muslims breaking their fast after sunset.
Imam – Leader of prayer, muslim caliph.
Iman – Faith, belief.
Iqamat Al-Salat – The offering of prayers perfectly.
‘Isha’ – Late evening prayer.
Islam – Submission, surrender and obedience (to God)


Jama’at – A group of people, a party with a common manifesto.
Jannah – Heaven, paradise
Jihad – “Struggle”; defense of Islam.


Ka’ba – The house built by Abraham with the help of his son Ishmael. The holy Qur’an says that this was the first house built for mankind, located in Makkah, where muslims go for the Hajj.
Kafir – Concealer (disbeliever).
Kufr – To conceal (disbelief).


Maghrib – Sunset (evening) prayer.
Makrouh – Though not haram (forbidden), this is something that is disliked or offensive.
Malak – Literally means &message-bearer& and in Islamic texts to refer to Angels.
Marwah – A small hill, which protects the Ka’ba from the north.
Masajid – Plural of Masjid.
Masjid – Mosque; the place where salat or prayer is offered, also serves as the center of all activities of the muslim ummah.
Muhrim – One who assumes the state of Ihram for the purpose of performing the Hajj or ‘Umra.
Muhrima – A female in the state of Ihram.
Muhsar – A Muhrim who intends to perform the Hajj or ‘Umra but cannot because of some obstacle.
Mujahid – A Muslim warrior in Jihad.
Mu’min – Faithful.
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Muslim – Obedient servant of God.
Muttaqun – Pious and righteous persons who fear and love Allah.


Nasraani – Christian.


Qiblah – The direction in which all Muslims turn their faces in prayers — towards the Ka’ba in Makkah.


Ramadan – The month of fasting; the ninth month of the Hijri calendar.
Riba’ – Usury (forbidden).
Risalah – Prophethood.


Saheeh – “Sound” or “correct”; referring to authentic hadith.
Salat – Prayer. One of the five pillars of Islam.
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Shari’ah – Divine law.
Sawm – Fasting. One of the five pillars of Islam.
Shari’ah – Divine law.
Suhoor – The meal eaten by fasting muslims just before dawn.
Sunnah – “Way”, “manner” or “method” (of the Prophet).


Takfeer – To declare kufr (disbelief) about someone or denounce them as a disbeliever.
Tawhid – Monotheism.


Ummah – Nation or community.
‘Umrah – (Minor) pilgrimage.


Yehoodi – Jew.


Zamzam – The sacred well inside the Haram (grand mosque) at Makkah.
Zanadiqa – Athiests.
Zakat – Poor’s due. One of the five pillars of Islam.
Zuhr – Noon, mid-day prayer.


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