Here is a glossary of some terms that you may find used within this website and forum.


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Islamic clothing, glossary >>here


Allah The One God
Abbas  Abbas b. Ali b. Abi Talib was the brother of Imam Hussein (A.S.). His mother was Umm al-Banin. Abbas was killed at Karbala. 


Ablution  Also known as wudu, to clean oneself in a specific way before salat (prayer). 
The Adhan  The Call to Prayer
Ashura  In the month of Muharram 61 AH (approx. 20 October 680 AD), an event took place in Iraq at a place known as Kerbala on the bank of the river Euphrates.. It appeared at that time that like hundreds of similar events, this battle would be recorded in history and forgotten in time. However, the events that occurred on the 10th day of Muharram in Kerbala were to become a beacon and an inspiration for future generations.It appeared at that time that like hundreds of similar events, this battle would be recorded in history and forgotten in time. However, the events that occurred on the 10th day of Muharram in Kerbala were to become a beacon and an inspiration for future generations.
'Asr  'Asr is the afternoon, and the prayer of the afternoon 
A'maal  A'maal is an act of worship
Awra The part of a person's body that must be covered before everybody but a spouse; for men this is from navel to knee, for women from upper chest to knee. It may also be used to refer to what must be concealed of a woman before non-related men
Aqidah/Aqaeed In Arabic, this is a creed or statement of faith or beliefs.
As-Sırat:  The imaginary bridge set across the Hell-Fire.
Akhlaq the practice of virtue, morality and manners in Islam
Ayah Literally means "sign"; used to refer to a verse of the Quran, each of which is a sign of God. Plural is "ayat"
Bid'a Literally means "innovation"; it refers to adding an obligation to the religion that God and the Prophet Muhammad did not do. Some Muslims feel that adding anything at all to the religion, even if it's not an obligation, is a bid'a
Baligh  A person who has reached maturity or puberty
Bilal  Bilal was a companion of the Prophet (S.A.W.) 
Bismillah  Bismillah means In the Name of Allah or I begin in the Name of Allah 
Dalil Evidence that is brought from Quran and Sunna to prove a point. For instance, to make a claim about the status of the face veil, one must present dalils
Da'wah The "call" to Islam; inviting people to learn more about Islam to encourage them to convert
Deen Also spelled "din". The Arabic word for "religion". Carries the sense of a debt that we owe God, and of a code for judging peoples' actions. Thus it means religion as a whole way of life not just as worship practices
Dajjal An evil figure who will appear some time before the Last Day. He is a counterpart to the Antichrist prophesied by Christianity. He will deceive the faithful, teaching them that Heaven is Hell and vice versa. He will have the power to work miracles in order to mislead believers.
Du'a Personal prayer or supplication to God, contrasted with salat (which see), the fixed-time ritual prayer. The name means "calling on God"
Eid Eid is an Islamic holiday. The four Eids are listed below. 
  • Eid ul-Adha falls on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah. 
  • Eid ul-Fitr falls on the 1st day of Shawwal. 
  • Eid-e Ghadeer 
  • Eid-e Mubahala 
Ehtiaat-Waajib  Ehtiaat-Waajib is an obligatory precaution which must be followed 
Fajr Fajr is dawn, and denotes Subhe-Sadiq, the prime time for prayer 
Foroo-e-Din Foroo-e-Din are the branches of Islam 
Fard Obligatory; performance will be rewarded and neglect will be punished (said of an action)
Fatima Fatima or Fatema (A.S.), the Chief of the women of the worlds, is the daughter of the Prophet (S.A.W.) and the wife of Ali b. Abi Talib (A.S.), the mother of Hasan and Hussein (A.S.) 
Fatwa Contrary to popular misconception, a fatwa is not a "death sentence" but is simply an official answer by a scholar to a legal question. One can ask for a fatwa on the status of pepperoni. Plural is "fatawa"
Fitrah Fitrah is the charity due on the occasion of Eid al-Fitr, on the night after Ramadhan fitrah is also referred to ( innate nature), 
Fitnah trial, temptation; tribulation, tumult.
Fiqh The science of jurisprudence or interpreting the Shari'a
Furu al-din In Shi'a Islam, the eleven Branches of Religion (Furū al-Dīn) are the ten practices that Shi'a Muslims must perform:1 Shahadah (Declaration)2 Salāt (Prayer) 3 Sawm (Fast) 4 Hajj (Pilgrimage) 5 Zakāt (Poor-rate) 6 Khums (One-fifth) 7 Jihād (Struggle) 8 Amr-Bil-Ma'rūf (Enjoining what is good) 9 Nahi-Anil-Munkar (Forbid what is evil) 10 Tawalla (To love the Ahl al-Bayt and their followers ) 11 Tabarra (To disassociate from the enemies of the Ahl al-Bayt) 
Ghadeer  Ghadeer is the name of a place near Mecca, and the great holiday named after the event that occurred at that place. 
Ghusl  Ghusl is a spiritual bath required after sexual intercourse, menstruation, seminal discharge, and other conditions. 
Hadith Hadeeth is a narration/tradition reported from the Prophet (S) and the Imams (a) 
, A courtesy title used for a revered & righteous person.
Hadith Qudsi A special kind of hadith in which the Prophet Muhammad reports on what God said to him other than the Quran; these are considered to be paraphrases while the Quran is God's literal word
Hajarul Aswad  Hajarul Aswad is the Black Stone. 
Hajj The pilgrimage to Mecca; one of the five pillars. It is obligatory once in a Muslim's life, if he or she is able to afford it
Halal Lawful; something that is halal may be required, recommended, neutral, or even detestable. It is just that it is not forbidden
Hanafi One of the four madhhabs (which see). Generally considered the most liberal
Hanbali One of the four madhhabs (which see). Generally considered the most conservative
Haram Forbidden; performance will be punished and neglect will be rewarded (said of an action)
Hawza The word Hawza refers to a traditional Islamic school of higher learning.
Hijab The modest dress of the Muslim woman; the word is sometimes used to refer only to the headscarf. A woman who wears hijab is a hijabi
Hidayah Guidance 
Hijra  Hijra is the day the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) left Mecca for Medina. In particular, it was the Prophet's (S.A.W.) abandoning Mecca because of its mounting hostility, and transferring himself and his followers to Yathrib (200 miles north) whose peo ple had invited him. He arrived on the 20th of September 622 AD, and the city proudly changed its name to Medinatu'l-Nabi (the Prophet's (S.A.W.) city). On Imam Ali's (A.S.) advice, Omar, reproached for not dating documents, took this event as the start o f the Muslim era, dubbing the year of the Hijrah year as Year 1 and starting it on the Lunar New Year's Day, the 1st of Muharram 622 AD. 
Ihram The sacred state of the pilgrim on hajj; involves certain restrictions on conduct and certain changes in dress
Ihtiyat  is a precautionary action which usually requires repetition. 
Iman Faith
Imam  Imam means Leader in Arabic. The term is generally applied to religious leaders. However, there are 12 infallible and noble Imams, the descendants of Muhammad (S.A.W.). 
Inshallah God willing; if God wills (said when discussing the future)
Iftar  Iftar is the breaking of the fast 
Iqamah  Iqamah is the announcement of the beginning of prayer. 
Istikhara A type of salat; it is offered when a Muslim faces a difficult decision, seeking God's aid
Islam  Islam was revealed to the Prophet (Sura III: Ali-Imran--The Family of Imran, verse 19) "The Religion of Allah is Al-Islam," and again (Sura V: Ma'idah--The Table Spread, verse 3) "This day I have approved al-Islam for you as a religion." Islam is the verbal noun of "asalama"--to submit oneself to God. 
Janaabah the major state of impurity, after having had sexual relations or sexual discharge through whatever means, i.e. a wet dream. In this state, ghusl is obligatory, if unable to do so, then tayammum will temporarily suffice.the major state of impurity, after having had sexual relations or sexual discharge through whatever means, i.e. a wet dream. In this state, ghusl is obligatory, if unable to do so, then tayammum will temporarily suffice.
Jannah Paradise; the abode of the righteous in the Hereafter. The Arabic word "Jannah" means "garden"
Jahannam Jahannam is hell,
Jihad Contrary to popular opinion in the West, this does not mean "holy war". A literal translation is "struggle". The struggle to establish justice and righteousness may or may not involve military action. Just as Westerners talk about their "crusade against poverty", so Muslims can use jihad in the same sense. There is also the "greater jihad", which is entirely against the caprices of the soul; the jihad in the world is the "lesser jihad"
Jilbab A long coat or cloak; more generally, any type of outergarment that covers from the shoulders to the ankles. Commanded in Quran Surah al-Ahzab ayah 59
Jinn One of the created orders, made of smokeless fire. The jinn according to the Quran may choose good or evil. Those who choose evil are referred to as "the satans". They seem to be similar to the evil spirits mentioned in the Talmud and the Gospels. The singular form is properly "jinni" and the English word "genie" seems to be a corruption of this
Jumua this is prayer performed during the time of the noon prayer on Friday. The time of the ‘Eid (religious festive days) prayers is some three quarters after sunrise on ‘Eid days. Their time continues until the sun reaches its zenith.
Ka'bah  Ka'bah is the cubic house built by Prophet Ibrahim (A.S.) and his son Ismaeel (A.S.) more than 3000 years ago in Mecca, towards which all Muslims face for their Salat. It contains the Hajarul Aswad or the Black Stone. 
Karbala  Kerbala: a city of central Iraq south of Baghdad; a holy city for Shiite Muslims because it is the site of the tomb of Mohammed's grandson who was killed there in 680
Kafa is the shroud for the dead 
Kafir Kafir signifies one who denies or rejects the truth, ie who disbelieves in the message of the Prophets. Since the advent of Muhammad (pbuh), anyone who rejects his Message is a kafir.
Mabruk An Arabic term meaning "Congratulations!" or "May you be blessed"
Madrassa An Islamic school
Marja A marja, or marja-e-taqleed  literally "source of imitation" or "source of tradition", is the second highest authority on religion and law in Shi'a Islam after the prophet(pbuh) and (Shi'a) Imams.
Majalis a room and assembly to commemorate religious events.
Makruh  something that Islam strongly discourages, but does not forbid.
Madhhab A term referring to a legal school in Islam. Each has a slightly different way of engaging in fiqh (which see)
Mahram Someone with whom there can never be marriage because of consanguinity or affinity. For example, a father is a mahram relative for a woman
Maghsoub Usurped or acquired by unlawful means. 
Maghrib is sun-down and the prayer associated with it 
Maliki One of the four madhhabs (which see). Generally considered moderately liberal
Mashallah What God has willed (said whenever something good or bad happens)
Masjid The Arabic word from which the English word "mosque" is derived; it means "place of prostration" or more broadly "place of worship". The mosque is just the Muslim place of worship
maulana  Islamic religious title for scholar and leader
Mecca is a holy city in Arabia 
Momin The one who believes in Islam
Mubah Neutral; performance will not be rewarded and neglect will not be punished (said of an action)
Muharram  Muharram is the first month of the Islamic calendar
Mu'min  Mu'min is a believer, one who has Iman (pl. Mu'mineen) 
Muqallid  Muqallid is a follower of a qualified specialist on religious matters. 
Muslim  Muslim is one who believes in Allah, his Prophet (S.A.W.), the day of Resurrection (Qiyamat), recites the Kalemah, and accepts the commandments of Allah and His Prophet (S.A.W.) as the Truth. 
Mustahabb Recommended; performance will be rewarded but neglect is not punished (said of an action)
Naar  Naar is the fire of Hell 
Najess Impure
Nabi  Nabi is a Prophet 
Nasibi is a derogatory Islamic term among Shia and Sunni Muslims for someone who hates Imam Ali (as) and his followers. 
Niqab The face veil; styles of dress that involve veiling the face. A woman who wears niqab is a niqabi
Non-mehram  Non-mehram is one with whom marriage is permitted 
Nikah  Nikah is a pronouncement of marriage according to Shari'ah 
Panjtan Pak Muhammad(SA), Ali(AS) , Fatimah(AS), Hassan(AS), Hussain(AS)panj tan paak

panj= five
tan = body/entity

This is a term used by Persian, Urdu, Hindi speakers

Pak is something that is clean, not najis 
Qiyamah,  The Day of Resurrection; Judgement Day. The Arabic word "qiyamah" carries a sense of it being the day on which everybody is called to stand (before God)
Qiblah is the direction of Salat (towards the Ka'bah). 
Quran The revealed Scripture of Islam; transmitted word-for-word from God to the Prophet Muhammad via the angel Gabriel
(rAa) An abbreviation for "radi Allahu anhu"; used after the names of the first few generations of Muslims, it means "May God be satisfied with him/her"
Rajab is the seventh month of the Islamic calendar
Ramadan The month of fasting; one of the five pillars. The fast is from dawn to sunset and involves abstaining from food, drink, and sexual relations (if married)
Revert A person who returns to a religion they previously had; Muslim custom is to apply this term to converts to Islam as well, on the grounds that Islam is the religion that every person was born into, but their parents made them another religion
Riba The practice of charging interest on loans; sometimes translated as "usury". Riba is forbidden under Islamic law, which makes the modern finance system challenging for Muslims
Ruku' is the act of bowing in the Salat 
(s.a.w) An abbreviation for "salli Allahu alayhi wa sallam"; used after the name of the Prophet Muhammad, it means "may the blessings of God and peace be upon him"
Sabr An Arabic word meaning "perseverance" or "patience". The quality of continuing to trust in God even when everything seems to be going wrong. Sabr is one of the qualities that can lead to Paradise. Quran 33:35 mentions "the men who persevere and the women who persevere" as among those who will receive a great reward from God
Sahaba The Companions of the Prophet Muhammad; the singular is "sahabi" and the feminine plural is "sahabiyat"
Saheeh "correct"; an authentic narration.
Salaf A general term for the early generations of Muslims
Salam is a salutation. It is also the last recitation at the end of Salat. 
Salat The fixed-time ritual prayer of Islam and one of the five pillars. It is offered five times a day: at dawn, mid-day, mid-afternoon, sunset, and nightfall
Salawat are invocation of blessings, specifically the recitation of Allahumma Sali 'Ala Muhammadin Wa Aali Muhammad, meaning O Allah, bless Muhammad and the family of Muhammad. 
Shafi'i One of the four madhhabs (which see). Generally considered relatively conservative
Shahadah The testimony of faith "Laa ilaha ill'Allah. Muhammadan rasul Allah" that makes a person a Muslim under the law
Shari'a Islamic law; the two sources are the Quran and the Sunna
Shaytan The satan. The English word "satan" is actually adapted from a Hebrew word which means "adversary". The Arabic word "shaytan" is a cognate to this. Satan in Islamic teaching (where he is also named Iblis) is from the race of the jinn (which see) rather than being a fallen angel as in Christian teaching
Shirk The associating of partners with God; usually translated as "polytheism" or "idolatry"
Surah Refers to the "chapters" of the Quran; there are 114 surahs
Sajdah  Sajdah is the act of prostration in the Salat, when seven portions of the body touch the earth: the forehead on pure ground, two palms, two knees, and the two big toes. The two Sajdahs together are called sajdatain. 
Sawm  Sawm is the act of fasting 
Sayyid  Sayyid is a descendant of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) 
Shawwal  Shawwal is the 10th month of the Islamic calendar
Supplication  invocation: a prayer asking God's help (also D'ua)
Shi'a  Shi'a is a follower of the twelve Imams (A.S.). 
Tabi'un The Successors; this refers to the second generation of Muslims, who were succcessors to the Sahaba
Taqleed The acceptance of a statement of another without demanding proof or evidence on the belief that the statement is being made in accordance with fact and proof, is called Taqleed, or, for the purist, Taqleed-ush-shakhsi. "And, ask the People of Knowledge if you do not know."
Takbir Praise or glorification of God (as in Q 74:3, etc.). The declaration of the formula Allahu Akbar (God is Most Great).
Taqiyyah  Taqiyyah, or the practice of hiding one's belief under duress, is mentioned in the Holy Qur'an in three places. These three verses clearly point to the permissibility of concealing one's ideology and opinion whenever in danger.
Taqwa Awareness of God
Tawassul is an Islamic religious practice in which a prayer is offered to Allah through an intermediary.The Intermediary could be a good deed, a person (dead or alive) or an attribute of Allah. A succint definition is "Supplicating Allah by means of an intermediary, whether it be a living person, dead person, a good deed, or a name or Attribute of Allah Most High". A simple prayer using Tawassul would be something like "Oh Allah! I ask you for such and such through our prophet Muhammad
Tafsir Tafseer is a term used for a commentary of any book, specifically the Holy Qur'an.
Taharat  Taharat is the state of being clean and not impure 
Tahir ritually pure; not equivalent to hygienic or clean.
Tawalla  Tawalla - to love the Ahl al-Bayt (family of the Prophet (saw) )
Tasawwuf Islamic mysticism; the English term is Sufism
Tawaf Tawaf is part of the worship of Hajj and Umrah 
Tawhid Islamic monotheism
Tayammum Tayammum means spiritual cleansing which is sometimes a substitute for wudhu and ghusl 
Tayyib All that is good as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc.
Thawab Thawab is a Divine blessing 
Turbah  Turbah is earth, especially from the shrines of the Holy Imams (A.S.), on which Muslims place their heads during Sajdah 
Ulama The religious scholars of Islam. The singular is "alim" and the term "mullah" is synonymous. The place of ulama in Islam is similar in many ways to that of rabbis in Judaism
Umma An Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation"; specifically used to refer to the worldwide community of Muslims, as united by faith
Ummahat al-Muminin An Arabic phrase meaning "mothers of the faithful". It is a title given to the wives of the Prophet Muhammad, based on Surah al-Ahzab verse 6 which says "The Prophet is nearer to the faithful than their own souls, and his wives are their mothers"
Usuli a religious movement by Persian Shiite Muslims in 17th century Iran
Wajib  Wajib is obligatory (pl. Wajibat). An act which must be performed.
Walî Protector, Guardian, Supporter, Helper, Friend etc
Wudhu  Wudhu is a spiritual wash of the face and hands before Salat 
Wafat  is a death
Zamzam  Zamzam is the name of a well at Makkah 
Zaynab  Zaynab (Umm Kulthum) was the younger daughter of Ali and Fatima (A.S.). 
Ziyarat is to visit and/or to recite special salutations for the Prophet Muhammad(S.A.W.) and his household (A.S.). 
Zamzam is the name of a well at Makkah 
Zeenah charm
Zena (zina) Illegal sexual intercourse that embraces both fornication and adultery.
Zakat One of the five pillars, it involves giving 2.5% of surplus wealth to help the needy

Here is also a glossary of different names that are given to the dress of the Muslim 

woman and their various meanings

Abaya A type of outer garment that covers the head and body; it is all but shapeless
Boushiya A veil that is tied on at the forehead and falls to cover the entire face but has no cut-out for the eyes; instead, the fabric is sheer enough to be seen through
Buknuk This is similar to Khimar (2) - see below - but comes down just to the bosom. Sometimes called "Amira hijab" if it has embroidery at the edge
Burqa (1) A veil that covers the face and entire head but with a place cut out for the eyes
Burqa (2) Also known as the Afghan Burqa. Covers the entire body and has a grille over the face that the woman looks through. May have slits for the hands