What is Chishti Sufism

Sufism & Qur'an

11 Veils of Sufism

Imam Al-Ghazzali

Glossary of Terms













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Glossary of Islamic and Sufi Terms

A  B  C  D  E   F  G  H  I  J  K  L   M  N

O  P  Q  R  S   T  U  W  Y  Z


~ A ~

Allah: The Arabic proper noun for the One True God (Al-Lah: the Divinity).

'Abd: A male slave.

Abjad: Also called Jafr; the science of numerical value configurations of the Arabic alphabet.

'Ad: An ancient tribe that lived after Noah. It was prosperous, but disobedient to Allah, so Allah destroyed it with a violent, destructive wind.

Adab: To follow the conditions necessary for doing it in the best way.

Ad-Dajjal: Pseudo Messiah (Al-Masih-ad-Dajjal)

Adhan: The call to prayer pronounced loudly to indicate that the time of praying is due.

Adilla (ash-Shariyya): The four sources from which Islamic rules were derived: the Book, the Sunnat, qiyas al-fuqaha' and ijma' al-Umma.

Ahkam: Orders. According to Islamic Law, there are five kinds of orders: 1. Compulsory (Wajib); 2. Order without obligation (Mustahab); 3. Forbidden (Haram); 4. Disliked but not forbidden (Makruh); 5. Legal and allowed (Halal).

Ahl al-Bait: Immediate relatives of the Prophet: (according to most Ulema) 'Ali, first cousin and son-in-law; Fatima, daughter; Hasan and Husain, grandsons (radi-Allahu ta'ala 'anhum).

Ahl as-Sunnat (wal-Jamaat): The true pious Muslims who follow as-Sahabat al-Kiram. These are called Sunni Muslims. A Sunni Muslim adapts himself to one of the four Madhhabs: Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi'i and Hanbali.

Akhlat: Essence, humour, temperament.

'Ajwa: Pressed soft dates (or a kind of dates).

Al-'Amanah: The trust or the moral responsibility or honesty, and all the duties which Allah has ordained.

Al-Bait-ul-Ma'mur: Allah's House over the seventh heaven.

Al-Bakara: The Cow, or Heifer; The second chapter of the Qur'an.

Al-Fatiha: The Opener; The first chapter of the Qur'an; one of the Divine Attributes.

Al-Firdaus: The middle and the highest part of Paradise.

Al-Ghaffur: The Forgiver; One of the Divine Attributes.

Al-Hijr: The unroofed portion of the Ka'ba which at present is in the form of a compound towards the north of the Ka'ba.

Al-Hudaibiya: A well-known place ten miles from Mecca on the way to Jeddah.

Al-Kaba'ir: The biggest sins.

Al-Kauthar: A river in Paradise.

Al-Madina: Well-known town in Saudi Arabia, where the Prophet's mosque is situated.

Al-Masjid-al-Aqsa: The great mosque in Jerusalem.

Al-Masjid-al-Haram: The great mosque in Mecca. The Ka'ba is situated in it.

Alastu: Allah's declaration: "Alastu bi-rab-bikum?" ("Am I not your Lord?") which, when He created Hazrat Adam, He asked of all the souls of Hazrat Adam's descendants that would come until the end of the world.

Alim: (pl. Ulema) A Muslim scholar of Islam.

Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great.

Amal: Evil eye. Illness caused by evil eye is true.

Amin: Lit. 'Be it so.' "O Allah, accept our invocation." Recited at the conclusion of prayers.

An-Najwa: The private talk between Allah and each of His slaves on the Day of Resurrection. Also, a secret counsel or consultation.

Ansar: Those Muslims who lived in Madina and helped Rasulallah when he migrated to Madina. The Madinans who embraced Islam before the conquest of Mecca The companions of the Prophet who migrated to Madina from Mecca are called Muhajir.

'Aqiqa: The sacrificing of one or two sheep on the occasion of the birth of a child, as a token of gratitude to Allah.

'Aql: Creative reasoning; reasoning power; the mind.

'Arafat: A famous place of pilgrimage on the south-east of Mecca about twenty-five kilometers away.

Arak: A tree from which Siwak (tooth brush) is made.

'Arif: An alim who knows what is possible to know of ma’arifat.

Ar-Rajm: Means, in Islamic Law, to stone to death those married persons who commit the crime of illegal sexual intercourse.

Arsh: The Throne of Allah; the Ninth Heaven; the end of matter bordering the seven skies.

Ar-Ruqya: Divine Speech recited as a means of curing disease; a kind of treatment to recite Surat Al-Fatiha or any other surah of the Qur'an and then blow one's breath over a sick person's body-part.

'Asaba: All male relatives of a deceased person from the father's side.

Ashab-i kiram: The Companions of Rasulullah.

'Ashura: The 10th of the month of Muharram (the first month in the Islamic calendar).

'Asr: Afternoon; The mid-afternoon obligatory prayer.

As-Saum: The fasting i.e., to not to eat or drink or have sexual relations etc. from before the Adhan of the Fajr (early morning) prayer till the sunset.

As-Sirat: Literally, ‘a road’; it also means the bridge ("sharper than a sword and thinner than a hair") that will be laid across the Hell fire for the people to pass over on the Day of Judgment.

Ashab As-Suffa: About eighty men or more who used to stay and have religious teachings in the Prophet's mosque in Al-Madina.

Attar (itr): An expressed true oil of a floral, wood or bark, said to contain the essence or soul of the floral.

'Aura: That part of the body which it is illegal to keep naked before others.

Awliya: Plural form of Wali, a person whom Allahu ta'ala loves.

Ayat: Proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, miracles, etc.; a verse in the Qur'an al-karim. There are 6,236 ayats in the Qur'an al-karim.

Ayat-ul-Kursi: Qur'anic verse number 255 of Surat Al-Baqara. It explains the greatness of Allahu ta'ala and the fact that His power is infinite.

Azrail: One of the four archangels, who takes the souls of human beings.

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~ B ~

Bait-ul-Maqdis: The famous mosque in Jerusalem which is regarded as the third greatest mosque in the Islamic world; the first and second being Al-Masjid Al-Haram at Mecca, and the mosque of the Prophet, sawat Al-Madina, respectively.

Bani Israil: Sons of Israel; Israelites; Jews.

Bayat: A pledge given by the citizens to their leader to be obedient to him according to the Islamic religion. It is a word frequently used on the way of tasawwuf. It is the sunnat of the Sahaba.

Bismillah Ir-Rahman, Ir-Rahim: In the Name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful; the opening words of the Qur'an, and frequently used as an invocation at the commencement of any work or action.

Buraq: An animal, white, very fast, sexless, bigger than a donkey and smaller than a horse, on which the Prophet saw went for the Mi'raj, the Ascent of the Prophet saw to the heavens.

Burnus: A hooded cloak.

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~ C ~

Caliph: The Imam or the Muslim ruler.

Caliphate: The Muslim state.

Chilla: A secluded room for spiritual practices; a 40 day retreat.

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~ D ~

Daiyan: Literally, the One Who judges people from their deeds after calling them to account.

Dargah: A spiritual shrine or meeting place for living Sufi masters.

Dayo paree: (Persian) Ghosts.

Damma: A punctuation mark in the Arabic language, used to denote the long vowel sound of 'U'.

Dervish: being a dervish means being with Allahu ta'ala, forming good habits and obeying the Shariat. It is dispelling all things other than Allahu ta'ala from the heart and adapting all one's limbs to Hazrat Muhammad Mustafa. The condition of Being with Allahu ta'ala is called hudur, the grade of ihsan mentioned in the hadith. A dervish's heart must be in this condition.

Dhikr: (also sometimes spelled Zikr); literally, remembrance; the Sufi ceremonies of liturgical recitations of sacred formulae and Divine Names.

Dhu-Mahram: A male, whom a woman can never marry because of close relationship (e.g. a brother, a father, an uncle etc.); or her own husband.

Dhimmi: A non-Muslim living under the protection of an Islamic government.

Dhul-Hijja: The twelfth month in the Islamic calendar.

Dhul-Qa'da: The eleventh month of the Islamic calendar.

Dinar: An ancient gold coin.

Dirham: A silver coin weighing 50 grains of barley with cut ends; weight unit of three grams.

Duha: Forenoon.

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~ E ~

Effendi: Title given by the Ottoman State to a statesmen and especially to religious scholars; a form of address meaning "Your Great Personage."

'Eid-ul-Adha: The four day festival of Muslims starting on the tenth day of the month of Dhul-Hijja.

'Eid-ul-Fitr: The three day festival of Muslims starting from the first day of Shawwal, the month that immediately follows Ramadhan. Fitr literally means 'breaking the fast.'

Ejaza: Diploma testifying to the holder's authority on Islamic knowledge in external knowledge. Ijazat and khilafat in internal knowledge means to give permission to a mature person so that he will place dhikr into the hearts of talibs (seekers). The exalted person who has been given the permission is called Khalifa or Murshid.

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~ F ~

Fadila, -Wasila: the two highest grades in Paradise.

Fajr: The pre-dawn or early morning before sunrise; the prayer said at that time.

Fana: Annihilation; effacement; passing away.

Faqih: A learned man who can give religious verdicts.

Faqir: A poor person who has property more than his subsistence but less than what will make him rich in comparison with the level of richness (nisab) prescribed by Islam. Faqir also means a person who does not regard worldly property and who does not hesitate to give away his property in the way of Allah.

Fard: An act or thing that is commanded by Allahu ta'ala in Qur'an al-karim. ( (Fard 'ain is obligatory for every Muslim. Fard kifaya must be done at least by one Muslim.)

Fatha: An Arabic punctuation mark, used to denote the long vowel sound of 'A'.

Fatwa: Ijtihad of a mujtahid; ii) conclusion of a Mufti from books of fiqh whether something not shown in them is permitted or not; answer given to religious questions by Islamic scholars; iii) rukhsa.

Fidya: Compensation for a missed or wrongly practiced religious ceremony, usually in the form of money or foodstuff or offering an animal.

Fikr: The world of thought, deep meditation; remembrance of Allah by mental means.

Fiqh: Knowledge dealing with what Muslims should do and should not do; actions, 'ibadat, amal.

Fitna, fasad: Wide spreading of statements and actions that harm Muslims and Islam.

Fitra: Alms that must be given when the month of Ramadhan is over. About two kilograms of wheat or equivalent silver is given.

Furja: The human kingdom; the fourth interspace in the hierarchy of creation.

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~ G ~

Garmi: (Persian) Warm; heating; hot; in reference to the metabolic values of foods; a term used in Unani or Islamic medicine.

Ghaib: The Unseen as described in the Qur'an; includes the worlds of jinns, angels, disembodied souls and other planes of existence.

Ghusl: Taking a bath of the whole body in ceremonial way. This is necessary for one who is Junub (in a state of impurity due to sexual relations), and also on other occasions.

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~ H ~

Hadith: The statements of the Prophet saw ; i.e. his sayings, deeds, and approvals, etc.; any blessed word or tradition of the Prophet.

Hadith al-qudsi: A hadith inspired by Allahu ta'ala but said by the Prophet.

Hadith (Sharif): A saying of the Prophet; al-Hadith ash-Sharif; all the hadiths as a whole.

Hakim: Al-Hakim, literally, wise; one of the attributes of Allah; a physician of the physical, mental and spiritual illnesses.

Hais: A dish made of butter, dates and cheese.

Hajj: Pilgrimage to Mecca.

Hajjat-ul-Wada': The last Hajj of the Prophet saw, the year before he died.

Hajjam: One who performs cupping.

Hal: continuous variation of the kashfs and manifestations that come to the heart. Also see Kashf.

Halal: Lawful. Any action, word or thought permitted by Allahu ta'ala.

Hamd: Thanking, praising and lauding.

Hanbali: Member of the madhhab founded by Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal.

Hanif: Pure Islamic Monotheism; worshipping Allah alone and nothing else.

Hanafi: Member of the madhhab founded by Imam azam Abu Hanifa.

Haqiqat: Literally, the Truth. One of the four degrees of mystic experience in Sufism; the Divine Reality.

Haraam: Unlawful, forbidden and punishable from the viewpoint of religion.

Haram: Sanctuaries of Mecca and Al-Madina.

Haya': Covers a large number of concepts. It may mean modesty, self-respect, bashfulness, honor, etc. Haya' is of two kinds: good and bad; good Haya' is to be ashamed to commit a crime or a thing which Allah and His Messenger saw has forbidden; and bad Haya' is to be ashamed to do a thing, which Allah and His Messenger saw ordered to do.

Hazrat: Title of respect used before the names of great people like prophets and Islamic scholars.

Himma: Meditation.

Hira': A well-known cave in a mountain near Mecca.

Houris: Very fair females created by Allah, but not from the off-spring of Adam, with intense black irises of their eyes and intense white scleras.

Hudud (pl. of Hadd): Allah's boundary limits for Halal (lawful) and Haram (unlawful).

Hujra: Courtyard of a dwelling place, or a room; a shaikh's meditation cell.

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 ~ I ~

'Iddah: Allah's prescribed period of ‘waiting’ for divorce and marriage, etc.

Iftar: The breaking of the fast.

Ihram: A state in which one is prohibited to practice certain deeds that are lawful at other times. The ceremonies of 'Umra and Hajj are performed during such state.

Ihsan: Lit. 'blessing'; the interior or internal conditions that result from performance of Islamic behaviors.

Ijma' (al-Umma, al-Muslimin): The Sahabat al-kiram's and the Tabiin's common act or unanimous comment on an affair; unanimity or consensus.

Ijtihad: Meaning or conclusion drawn by a mujtahid through endeavoring to understand the hidden meaning in an ayat or a hadith. Ability to understand the symbolic, hidden meanings in the Qur'an.

Ikhlas: Quality, intention or state of doing everything only for Allahu ta'ala's sake.

'Ilm: Branch of knowledge.

'Ilm al-kalam: The knowledge of iman.

'Ilm al-ladunni: The knowledge inspired by Allahu ta'ala to the hearts of awliya.

Imam: i) Profound scholar, founder of a madhhab; ii) leader in congregational salat; iii) the Caliph (Khalifa); twelve aimma (imams), three male members of the Ahl al-bait and their nine successors.

Imam-i azam: The greatest leader, title of Abu Hanifa, founder and leader of the Hanafi madhhab.

Iman: Faith, Belief in God.

Insaan: The created world; human life.

Insha Allah: "If Allah wills."

Iqama: The statements of the Adhan that are expressed twice in the Adhan are recited once in Iqama except the last utterance of Allahu Akbar. The prayer is offered immediately after "Iqamat-as-Salat" has been pronounced.

Irshad: Enlightenment; guiding; inspiring.

Isha: The nighttime; the late evening prayer; starts about one and a half hours after sunset, till the middle of night.

Islam: Submission, peace; the way of life contained in the doctrines of the Qur'an and suggested in the statements and behaviors of the Prophet Muhammad.

Ism-i azam: A Name of Allah which He likes best among His Names which He has communicated. This Name is considered generally to be unknown.

Istighfar: Prayer for repentance; prescribed prayer recited in order to entreat Allahu ta'ala for forgiveness.

Istikhara: A prayer consisting of two Rakat in which the praying person appeals to Allah to guide him on the right way, regarding a certain deed or situation with which one is confronted.

'Ithn: Literally, the Permission of God.

Itikaf: Seclusion in a mosque for the purpose of worshipping Allah only. The one in such a state should not have sexual relations with his wife, and one is not allowed to leave the mosque except for a very short period, and that is only for very urgent necessity.

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~ J ~

Jahiliyya: Era of ignorance, that is, pre-Islamic Arabia.

Jalala: Greatness.

Jamaat: A congregation of Muslims. One person performs Salat in the front; the others, behind him, perform it like him by adapting themselves to him. The person who performs it in the front and leads the prayer is called the imam. Those who perform it behind him are called the jamaat. Community; companions; union.

Janaba: The state of a person after having sexual intercourse with his wife or after having a sexual discharge in a wet dream. A person in such a state should perform Ghusl (a full bath) or do Tayammum (cleaning with earth), if a bath is not possible.

Janaza Salat: A prayer performed when a Muslim dies. His relatives, neighbors and acquaintances make a line in front of his dead body. They beg Allah for forgiveness of the dead person.

Jannat: Paradise.

Jibriel: Gabriel; one of the four archangels who delivered revelations to the Prophets from Allahu ta'ala.

Jihad: Holy fighting in the cause of Allah or any other kind of effort to make Allah's Word superior; war against Muslim enemies, or the Nafs.

Jinn: A creation of Allah, made of smokeless fire; also under order of the Qur'an.

Jubba: A cloak.

Jumada-ath-Thaniya: Sixth month of the Islamic calendar.

Jumu'a: Friday.

Juma: Salat of Friday.

Junub: a person who needs a ghusl ablution. What causes a person to become junub is prescribed in the shariat.

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~ K ~

Ka'ba: The precincts of the Holy House, the first place of worship built by the prophet Abraham (AS) for worship of one God; located at Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Built as a square stone building in Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the great mosque at Mecca), towards which all Muslims turn their faces in prayer.

Kalam: knowledge of belief (iman); a word; speech.

Kalimat: Word or statement.

Kalimat ash-shahada: The phrase beginning with "Ashhadu..." The first of the five fundamentals of Islam; declaring one's belief in Islam.

Kafir: Disbeliever in Allah; non-Muslim.

Karamat: Miracle worked by Allahu a'ala through a wali; see also Morjezah.

Karim: Gracious; one of the Divine Attributes.

Kashf: Manifestation; appearing of Allah's attributes.

Kasra: A mark in the Arabic language which is used to denote the long vowel sound of 'E'.

Khalifa: (pl. khulafa') the Caliph; manager of one’s affairs; successor to a Sufi shaikh..

Khanaqah: A building used for spiritual retreat and training, usually occupied by three classes: people of seclusion, people of society, and travelers.

Khutba: Sermon; the religious talk delivered at the pulpit by the imam at Juma and 'Id prayers. Must be read primarily in Arabic.

Kohl (sorma): Antimony sulfate; powdered and worn by men and women at weddings, religious events; used to prevent eye diseases in infants.

Kufr: Disbelief in any of the articles of Islamic Faith.

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~ L ~

La ilaha il Allah; Muhammad ur-Rassoulallah: The Kalima shahada or Muslim Profession of Faith; translated: "There is no deity except Allah (God); Muhammad is the Messenger of God.

Lailat-ul-Qadr: One of the odd-numbered of the last ten nights of the month of Ramadhan; Allah describes it as better than one thousand months, and the one who worships Allah during it by performing optional prayers and reciting the Holy Qur'an, etc. will get a reward better than worshipping Him for one thousand months (i.e. 83 years and four months).

La-madhhabi: a person without a madhhab.

Latafat: Fineness.

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~ M ~

Ma'arifat: One of the conditions of Sufic experience, in which one is granted a glimpse of the Divine Reality; the knowledges which exist is said state.

Madhhab: School of thought, or Islamic law; all of what a profound alim of Fiqh communicated; usually one of the four main scholars---Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanbali; or belief, faith or iman communicated by Ashari or Maturidi.

Madhzoob: One experiencing the state of Divine intoxication.

Madinat al-munawwara: The illuminated city of Madina.

Madressa: School where Islamic knowledge is taught.

Maghrib: Sunset; the after-sunset obligatory prayer of Islam.

Mahal: House; level.

Mahram: See Dhu-Mahram.

Mahshar: The Last Judgment.

Mahr: Bridal-money given by the husband to the wife prior to consumation of marriage.

Makruh: Not approved of, undesirable from the point of view of religion, although not punishable.

Malaika: Angels.

Maqam: Stopping or resting place; station; stage.

Maqam-al-Mahmud: The highest place in Paradise, which will be granted to Prophet Muhammad and none else.

Makruh: An act or thing improper, disliked and abstained by the Prophet.

Maliki: Member of the madhhab founded by Imam Malik.

Mandub: Act that brings thawab if done, but neither sin if omitted nor kufr if disliked; adab, mustahab.

Ma’arifat: Knowledge about Allahu ta'ala's Dhat (Essence, Person) and Sifat (Attributes), inspired in the hearts of awliya.

Ma sha Allah: May it please Allah; alternately, As it pleases Allah.

Mashhur: Known by the majority of people.

Masjid: mosque; al-Masjid al-Haram: the great mosque in Mecca; al-Masjid ash-Sharif (as-Saada, an-Nabi): the mosque in Madina, built in the time of the Prophet and later enlarged several times, where the Prophet is buried.

Mathani: The oft-repeated verses of the Qur'an; that is, the Surah Al-Fatiha.

Mawdu': A kind of hadith lacking one of the conditions for a hadith to be considered pure or sound.

Mawlid: The Prophet's birthday; writings that tell of the superiorities and excellences of the Prophet.

Mecca al-Mukarrama: The honored city of Mecca.

Mimbar: High pulpit in a mosque climbed with stairs, from which the khutba is read.

Mina: A village six kilometers north of Mecca.

Mi’raj: The ascent of the Prophet ascension from Jerusalem to heaven.

Miswak: A tooth brush made of Arak tree roots; (sometimes licorice or olive is substituted); recommended for brushing the teeth and cleansing the mouth.

Morjezah: A Divine Miracle, which admits of no human activity or agency; an act beyond the natural laws and reasoning power. It is peculiar only to prophets.

Mubah: Act neither ordered nor prohibited; permitted.

Mubiqat: Great destructive sins.

Muezzin: One who pronounces the Adhan loudly, calling people to come and perform the prayer.

Mufassir: Expert alim of tafsir.

Mufti: Great alim authorized to issue fatwa.

Muhajirun: Those Meccan people who embraced Islam before the conquest of Mecca.

Mujaddidi: A great scholar who follows the path of the great Islamic scholar Hazrat Imam-i-Rabbani.

Mujtahid: Great alim capable of employing ijtihad; mujtahid imam, mujtahid Mufti.

Mulhid: One who goes out of the Deen by misunderstanding one or more parts of the Deen.

Munafiq: One in the disguise of a Muslim, but who disbelieves Islam; a hypocrite.

Muqallid: Muslim who practices taqlid; a follower of an imam al-madhhab.

Murad: Chosen person to whom the deeds causing Allah's love has been shown and facilitated.

Muraqaba: Paying attention, thinking always of one thing only.

Murid (Mureed): A faithful devotee; a student of a shaikh or murshid.

Murshid: A person who obeys, holds fast to the Sunnah (the Shariat) of Rasulullah; teacher, master, guide.

A devoted person who stays with a murshid of the tariqat of Chishti feels pleasure, enthusiasm, fervor, ease and loneliness. Staying with a murshid of Qadiri gives the heart safa (freedom of anxiety), and attachment with the world of souls and angels, and the heart is informed of a lot of past and future events. A person who stays with a murshid of the tariqat of Naqshibandi is blessed with ease, togetherness, yad-i dasht, unawareness of the world, and the jadhbas (attractions) of Allahu ta'ala.

Murshid-i kamil: The Perfect Guide ; a great person of knowledge who has reached perfection and can guide others to attain it.

Musalla: A praying place.

Mushrikun: Polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah and His Messenger Muhammad saw

Mustahab: Act deserving thawab if done but no sin if omitted, nor disbelief if disliked.

Muslim: One who adopts and follows the way of life of Islam; a believer in God.

Mutashabih: An ayat or hadith with hidden meaning; verses which are not clear and are difficult to understand.

Muttaqun: Pious and righteous persons who fear Allah much, abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds which He has forbidden, and love Allah much.

Muharram: The first month of the Islamic calendar.

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~ N ~

Nafas: The breath; of the spirit; pulse.

Nafil (plural Nawafil): Supererogatory or optional; used to distinguish between obligatory (Fard) worship; the sunnat salats accompanying the daily five salats or any act of worship one can perform whenever he wishes.

Nafs (Nafs-i ammara): The appetitive drives of the body, such as hunger, desire for wealth and fame, sexual urgings, etc. Nafs is ammara by creation, that is, it always wishes evil and harmful deeds to be done. The nafs of a man who obeys the Shariat and makes progress in the way of tasawwuf becomes mutmainna -- gives up ease.

Najasat: Any kind of dirt or filth that prevents one from performing Salat. It is explained in more detail in the fourth fascicle. Religiously impure thing.

Na-mahram: A relative of the opposite sex not within forbidden (haram) degrees of relationship for marriage.

Namaz: Persian, Urdu and Turkish word for Salat.

Naqib: A person heading a group of six persons in an expedition; tribal chiefs.

Nikah: Marriage according to Islamic law; or the act of engagement for marriage in Islam.

Nisab: Minimum quantity of specified wealth making one liable for payment of the Zakat. A nisab of gold is twenty (20) Mithqal (approximately 94 grams); nisab of silver is two hundred (200) Dirhams (approximately 640 grams); nisab of food-grains and fruit is 5 Awsuq (673.5 kgms); nisab of cows is five cows; and nisab of sheep is 40 sheep, etc.

Niyyat: Intention; formal declaration to do something.

Nur (An-Nur): The Light of Allah.

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~ O ~

'Oud: An Attar or essential oil made from the wood of the aloeswood tree.

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Pasha: Title given during Ottoman State to a statesmen, a governor, and especially military officers of high rank.

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~ Q ~

Qada: Performance of a required act of worship which was not performed at its due time.

Qada-i Akhira: The last sitting posture in the Salat.

Qadar: Divine Pre-Ordainment; destiny.

Qadi: Muslim judge.

Qalb: The heart, mind, soul, choicest part, genuine, pure.

Qari: Early Muslim religious scholar was called Qurra' (plural of Qari). Mainly used for a person who knows the Qur'an by heart.

Qiblah: The direction in which all Muslims turn their faces in prayers, towards the Ka'ba in Mecca (Saudi Arabia).

Qil wa Qal: Sinful, useless talk (e.g. backbiting, lies, etc.).

Qiraat: To speak softly, to read only as loud as one can hear.

Qiyam: To stand; the first of the five postures of Salat.

Qiyas (al-fuqaha): Conclusions drawn by a mujtahids through likening or comparing an affair not clearly stated in the existing religious law, but similar to one that is stated clearly. Such verdicts and judgments are given by the Islamic religious scholars, based upon the following proofs: (A) from the Qur'an; (B) from the Prophet's Sunnah; (C) from the unanimously accepted verdict of the Mujtahidun; (D) Qiyas, the verdict given by a Mujtahid who considered the case similar in comparison with a case judged by the Prophet.

Qunut: Invocation in the Salat.

Quraish: One of the great tribes of Arabia in the Pre-Islamic period of ignorance. The Prophet Muhammad belonged to this tribe.

Qayam: One of the postures of Salat, assumed by standing straight, with hands either held down at the sides, or folded right hand over left and held just below the navel.

Qur'an: Literally 'recitation'; the revealed scripture of the Islamic faith, conveyed by the Angel Gabriel (AS) to the Prophet Muhammad over a period of 23 years.

Qur'an al-karim: the Holy Qur'an (Koran, Quran).

Qurb: Nearness; proximity; approach; neighborhood.

Qutb: A wali of the highest degree.

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~ R ~

Rabb: Allahu ta'ala, the Creator and Sustainer; Lord, Owner; one of the Names of Allah.

Rabi'-ul-Awwal: Third month of the Islamic calendar.

Raiyan: The name of one of the gates of Paradise through which the people who often observe fasting will enter.

Rahmatullah alaihi: A phrase meaning "May the blessing of Allah be upon him," recited after mentioning the name of any saintly Muslim.

Rajab: The seventh month of the Islamic calendar.

Rak’a: One unit of the Salat; plural Rak'at. Consists of one standing, one bowing and two prostrations.

Ramadhan: The ninth Islamic month; the month of fasting; A sacred month signifying the days when the initial words of all scriptures were sent down by God, including the Qur'an; in it occurs the night of Qadr.

Rasul: Prophet of Allah.

Rasulullah: Muhammad, the Prophet of Allah; the Messenger of Allah.

Riba: Usury. Interest on lent money; taking a superior thing of the same kind of goods by giving more of the same kind of goods of inferior quality. Islam forbids all usury.

Riyada: Opposing or undoing of what the nafs likes; austerity.

Ruh: The soul; essence; breath of God; revelation.

Ruku: One of the postures of Salat (Islamic obligatory prayer), assumed by bending at the waist with hands placed upon knees.

Ruqya: To say prayers and breathe on something, or to carry on oneself. Doing ruqya with ayats and with the prayers coming down from Rasulullah is called tawiz. Tawiz is permissible and gives use to the person who believes and trusts. It is called afsun (incantation) to say a ruqya the meaning of which is not known or which causes disbelief. One should expect the healing not from the medicine, but from Allahu.

Ruqya is permissible when it meets three conditions: it must contain an ayat al-karima or names of Allahu ta'ala. It must be written in the Arabic language or in an intelligible language. It must be believed that ruqya is like medicine, that it will be effective if Allahu ta'ala wills, and that Allahu ta'ala gives the effect.

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Sa': A measure equal to approximately 3 kilograms.

Sab'a-al-Mathani: The seven repeatedly recited Verses i.e. Surat Al-Fatiha.

Sadaqa: Anything given in charity.

Safa: One of the two hills near the Masjid al-Haram.

Sahabi (pl. as-Sahabat al-kiram): If a Muslim has seen the Prophet, or talked to him, at least once when the Prophet was alive, he is called Sahabi; the companions.

Sahih: religiously lawful, valid; accepted by Islam; of a hadith, soundly transmitted, authentic according to the conditions laid by the scholars of hadith.

Sahur: A meal taken at night before the Fajr (morning) prayer by a fasting person.

Sajjda: The posture of prostration in the Islamic prayer.

Sajjda-i sahw: Two prostrations done right after Salat is over in order to have some errors forgiven that may have been done while performing Salat.

Salaam: "Peace"; greeting; good wish.

Salat: Namaz, in Persian, Urdu and Turkish; the Islamic ritual prayer of at least two rakats.

Salat-i janaza: The funeral prayer.

Salawat: Plural of salat, special prayers in which blessings and high ranks are asked on the Prophet.

Salih: One who is pious and abstains from sins, (opposite: fasiq).

Sama: Ecstatic contemplation; audition; to listen to the poems, qasidas, ilahis, mawlids that are recited by one or more people and which strengthen the faith and beautify morals.

Sardi: Persian word meaning 'cold'; reference in Unani and Islamic medicine to the metabolic values of foods.

Sayyid: Master; title given to the Prophet's descendants. When they are through Hazrat Husain, Hazrat Ali's second son, they are called Sayyid, and when they are through Hazrat Hasan, Hazrat Ali's elder son, they are called Sharif.

Sayyidi: My master.

Sakinah: Tranquillity, calmness, peace and reassurance etc.

Sha'ban: The eighth month of the Islamic calendar.

Shafaat: Intercession.

Shafi'i: Member of the madhhab founded by Imam ash-Shafi'i.

Shaikh: An alim of high rank; expert in Zahiri or batini knowledge; Sufi master; guide; teacher; master; murshid; amir.

Shaikh al-Islam: Head of the Religious Affairs Office in an Islamic State.

Shar'an makruh: Things which our Prophet disliked and said to be loathsome. It is not a sin to do them, but it harms the heart.

Shariat: The Divine Laws and codes for human life, conveyed by all prophets, but corrected and completed and sealed in the first of the Last Message, the Holy Qur'an.

Sharif: See Sayyid.

Shiites: One of the 72 non-Sunni groups in Islam.

Shirk: Statement or action causing polytheism; ascribing a partner to Allahu ta'ala.

Siddiq; Siddiqun: Those followers of the Prophets who were first and foremost to believe in them; one faithfully loyal to the Prophet; a wali of highest status.

Silsila-i aliyya: A valuable chain of Islamic scholars beginning with our Prophet up to today, each of whom saw the one previous to him, and followed the former’s path; a chain of transmission in Sufi orders.

Sirat: The bridge in the hereafter.

Sirat-al-Mustaqueem: The Straight Path, i.e. the path of right guidance ordained by the Holy Qur'an.

Sirr: Divine secrets; the greatest mystery; root; origin.

Siwak: A piece of a root of a tree called Al-Arak, used as a toothbrush.

Siyam: Literally 'a resting place.' The Islamic fast conducted during the month of Ramadhan.

Sohbat: To make friends; to stay together for a long time; to talk to one another.

Subhan Allah: "Glorified be Allah"; to honor Allah and make Him free from all unsuitable, evil things that may be ascribed to Him.

Sufi (muttasawwif): One who has trained under a guide and become perfect on the way of tasawwuf.

Suluk: Make progress by striving in the way shown by men of tasawwuf.

Sunna: Literally means ‘legal way’ or ways, orders, acts of worship and statements etc. of the Prophet, that have become models followed by the Muslims.

Surah: One chapter of the Qur'an. The Holy Qur'an is composed of 114 Surahs of varying length.

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~ T ~

Tabiin al-i'zam: Muslims who did not see the Prophet but saw one of the Companions.

Tafsir: The science of interpretation of Qur'an.

Tahajjud: Night optional prayers offered at any time after Isha prayers and before the Fajr prayer.

Tahnik: It is the Islamic customary process of chewing a piece of date and putting a part of its juice in the child's mouth and pronouncing Adhan in child's ears, etc.

Takbir: Saying Allahu-Akbar (Allah is the Most Great).

Taqlid: Living up to, following, being a member of one of the four Madhhabs.

Taqwa: Fearing Allah; abstention from haram acts.

Tarawih: Optional prayers offered after the Isha prayers on the nights of Ramadhan. These may be performed individually, but preferably in congregation.

Tariqat: The Sufi path; a stage of development in Sufism.

Tasawwuf: Islamic mysticism of Sufism as defined by Islam; knowledge and practice of the behaviors of the Prophet.

Tasbih: Prayer beads, ninety-nine in number; reciting of prayers and names of Allah following Salat.

Tawiz: A written or spoken religious amulet, containing mystic verses (and sometimes numbers) from the Holy Qur'an; frequently constructed by Shaikhs for healing purposes. See also Ruqya.

Tawaf: The circumambulation of the Ka'ba.

Tawakkul: Trust in, expectation of everything from Allah only.

Tawba: After committing a sin, to repent; to entreat for forgiveness.

Tawhid: Belief in the Oneness and Unity of Allah; the Oneness of Allah.

Tekke: Turkish word for a place where a Murshid trains his mureeds; dargah or khanaqah (Persian).

Thawab: A unit of reward given in the next world by Allah as a recompense for acting and living according to His Commandments.

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~ U ~

Ulema: Plural of Alim (scholar).

Umma: The Muslim community; body of believers; of a prophet.

'Umra: A visit to Mecca during which one performs the Tawaf around the Ka'ba and the Sa'y between As-Safa and Al-Marwa.

Usul: Methodology or fundamentals of basic Islamic sciences.

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~ W ~

Wahhabi: People in Arabia whose beliefs originate from the ideals of Ibn Taymiyya.

Wahm: Imagination; the Judgment of Allah.

Wahy: Divine revelation from Allah to one of the Prophets.

Wajib: An act almost as compulsory as a fard and not to be omitted; an act always performed by the Prophet.

Wali (pl. Auliya): One who is loved and protected by Allah; a saint; Protector, Guardian, Supporter, Helper, Friend etc.

Walima: The marriage banquet.

Waqf: Religious endowment.

Wara: Abstention from doubtful things.

Wasaya: Wills or testaments.

Wilayat: The grade of one who has adapted every word and action to the Shariat. Such a person is called a Wali.

Wisal: Fasting for more than one day continuously.

Wissal: Union; wedding; unity.

Witr: An odd number of Rak'at with which one finishes one's prayers at night after the night prayer or the Isha prayer.

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~ Y ~

Ya Hayyoo! Ya Qayyoom!: Literally, O the Eternal! O the Ever-Lasting! According to some Sufis, these two attributes together may comprise the Great Name of Allah.

Yaddasht: To think of Allah all the time.

Yakhsifan: Eclipse.

Yaqin: Perfect absolute Faith.

Yathrib: One of the names of Madina.

Yaum-e Qayyamat: The Day of Judgment.

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~ Z ~

Zahid: A person who does not set his heart on worldly things; ascetic.

Zakat: The duty of giving annually certain amount of certain kinds of property given to certain kinds of people by which the remaining property becomes purified and blessed. The payment of Zakat is obligatory; one of the five pillars of Islam.

Zindiq: An enemy of Islam who pretends to be a Muslim; faithless.

Zi-rahm: One's relative through lineage, through one's parents.

Zi-rahm-i mahram: Those zi-rahm relatives of a woman or girl who she is permitted to talk to with a bare head and arms, to stay alone in a room and to go on a trip with, but not permitted to get married to.

Zuhr: Noon, mid-day prayer.

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