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>>Glossary of Islamic Terms
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© Suhel Farooq Khan
‘Ibadah (Act of worship)
‘Ibadah is the Arabic term for Islamic Act/s of Worship. Islamic ‘Ibadah (Acts of Worship) is usually defined as acts of worship like Salah (Prayers), Sawm (Fasting), Zakah (Poor Due Charity) and Hajj (Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah). All other acts associated with these are ‘Ibadah (Acts of Worship). In broader sense, ‘Ibadah (Acts of Worship) can also be defined as any act that pleases Allah (God). ‘Ibadah (Acts of Worship) is the Arabic term for various acts of worship in Islam. Besides the above mentioned religious rituals, anything done to please Allah (God) i.e. serving one’s parents, taking care of the poor and the needy, conducting business honestly, etc. are also ‘Ibadah (Acts of Worship). ‘Ibadah (Acts of Worship) can be Fard (Compulsory), or Nafl (Extra Obligatory). All Nafl ‘Ibadah (Extra Obligatory Acts of Worship) were from the Sunnah (Traditions of Muhammad S).
Iblis (Satan)

Allah (God) created good and evil from the beginning. Allah (God) created Adam A (Adam), gave him knowledge about good and bad, and gave him the faculty of logic for differentiating between the good and the bad. Allah (God) had created Iblis (Satan) to represent evil. After creating Adam A (Adam), Allah (God) asked the Mala”ikah (Angels) to do a Sajdah (Prostration) to him. The Mala”ikah (Angels) immediately obeyed Allah (God) and did a Sajdah (Prostration) to Adam A (Adam). Iblis (Satan) refused to obey Allah (God), because he considered himself superior than Adam A (Adam). He told Allah (God) that he can lure away Adam A (Adam) and his descendents from the path He had taught them, if He gives him freedom to do so. Allah (God) gave him freedom for it, but told him that the God fearing descendents of Adam A (Adam) would not listen to him. Allah (God) created Hawwa (Eve), wife of Adam A (Adam) and sent both of them to live in Jannah (Paradise). Allah (God) told them not to go near a particular tree and not to eat from it.Iblis (Satan) tricked them and made them eat from that tree. Adam A (Adam) and Hawwa (Eve) immediately realized their mistake and asked for forgiveness from Allah (God). He forgave them and sent them to live in this world. Iblis (Satan) continues to lure people away from the path of Allah (God). Only those who have weak faith fall into his trap.

Ibn ‘Umar R
'Abdullah R, one of the sons of ‘Umar bin Khattab R, was also known as Ibn ‘Umar R. He was a scholar of Islam. He is known for narrating many Ahadith (Sayings of Muhammad S). His sister Hafsah bint ‘Umar R was married to the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S. His mother was Zaynab bint Maz’un R. His mother and his maternal uncle ‘Uthman bin Maz’un R had accepted Islam in its very early days. His father ‘Umar bin Khattab R was the second Khalifah (Caliph of Muslims).

Surah (Chapter) Ibrahim (Abraham)

Surah (Chapter) Ibrahim (Abraham) is the 14th chapter of the Holy Qur-an. It is a Makki Surah (Chapter) meaning that this Surah (Chapter) was revealed before the Messenger of Allah, Muhammad S had migrated to Madinah. Surah (Chapter) Hud (Messenger Hud A) consists of fifty-two Ayat (Verses). This Surah (Chapter) informs mankind that each nation received Messages from Allah (God) in their own language and to deal with their own situations. Such Messages from Allah (God) had enlightened people. The example of Musa A (Moses) illustrates the conflict of good with evil and evil never succeeds. Those who leave the path of Allah (God) will be punished by Him.

Ibrahim A (Abraham) prays to Allah (God) not to astray from His path, and for the city of Makkah.

Ibrahim A (Abraham)

Ibrahim A (Abraham) was a Rasul (Messenger) of Allah (God). His father used to make idols of gods and goddesses for worship. Ibrahim A (Abraham) could not worship idols even in his childhood. He had once destroyed all the idols in his village. People forced him to leave his town. Ibrahim A (Abraham) and his wife Sarah moved to Misr (Egypt). Sarah asked him to marry Hajar (Hagar) who soon bore him a son named Ismail A (Ishmael). To fulfill a wish of Allah (God), Ibrahim A (Abraham) traveled from Misr (Egypt) to leave his second wife Hajar (Hagar) and their infant son Ismail A (Ishmael) in the barren valley of Makkah. Allah (God) surfaced the spring of Zamzam in that place. Hajar (Hagar) settled down with her infant son Ismail A (Ishmael) near Zamzam. Slowly some nomadic tribes also began settling down in that area. Soon it took the shape of a town by the name of Makkah. Caravans traveling to Sham (Syria) from Yaman (Yemen) began stopping there, providing sustenance to Hajar (Hagar) and Ismail A (Ishmael). Several years later Ibrahim A (Abraham) returned to Makkah and constructed the Ka’bah with the help of his son Ismail A (Ishmael). Ibrahim A (Abraham) also had another son named Ishaq A (Isaac) from his first wife Sarah. Both of his sons became Rusul (Messengers) of Allah (God). Ya’qub A (Jacob), the grandson of Ibrahim A (Abraham) from Ishaq A (Isaac) was also a Rasul (Messenger) of Allah (God). Rusul (Messengers) of Judaism, Christianity and Islam were descendents of Ibrahim A (Abraham).

Ya’qub A (Jacob), the grandson of Ibrahim A (Abraham) from Ishaq A (Isaac) is also known as Israil. Musa A (Moses) and Isa A (Jesus) were descendents of Ibrahim A (Abraham) from Ishaq A (Isaac)’s side.The Messenger of Allah, Muhammad A was a descendent of Isma’il A (Ishmael), the elder son of Ibrahim A (Abraham).

Id ul-Fitr (Festival of Breaking of Fast)
Id ul Fitr (Festival of Breaking of Fast) is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal (10th month of the Islamic calendar). Id ul Fitr (Festival of Breaking of Fast) marks the ending of the month long fasting during the month of Ramadan (9th month of the Islamic calendar). Muslims observe a fast from dawn to sunset every day during the month of Ramadan (Month of Fasting). They have a pre-dawn meal called Sahur and break their fast with Iftar. Eating, drinking, smoking, taking medication, sexual intercourse with spouse and indulging in fights or arguments etc. is totally prohibited during the hours of fasting. A special two Rak’ah (Unit) of Salah (Prayer) are offered in the early morning after sun has been up. The Id al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking of Fast) Salah (Prayer) is offered with six or twelve extra Takabir (Saying Allah O Akbar). Seven extra Takabir (Saying Allah O Akbar) are said after Du‘a Isteftah in the first Rak‘ah, and five extra Takabir (Saying Allah O Akbar) are said before reciting Surah al Fatihah in the second Rak‘ah.  Some ‘Ulama (Religious Scholars) recommend six extra Takabir (Saying Allah O Akbar), three before reciting Surah al Fatihah in the first Rak‘ah, and three before Ruku in the second Rak‘ah. Affluent Muslims pay Zakah (Poor Due Charity) in the month of Ramadan (Month of Fasting) so that the not so fortunate can also celebrate Id. Muslims also pay Sadaqatul Fitr before offering the Id ul-Fitr (Festival of Breaking of Fast) in the morning.

Idayn Salah (Prayers of the Festivals)
Muslims observe only two festivals every year, Id al Fitr (Festival of Breaking of Fast) and Id al Ad-ha (Festival of Sacrifice). On both of their festival days, Muslims offer special Salah (Prayers) in large groups. Muslims from several villages try to converge at one place and offer their Idayn Salah (Prayers of the two Festivals) together in one large Jama’ah (Group). Idayn Salah (Prayers of the two Festivals) is not a Fard (Compulsory) Salah (Prayers). Some ‘Ulama (Religious Scholars) consider it a Sunnah (Tradition of Muhammad S ) and some consider it a Wajib (Essential) Salah (Prayers). Idayn Salah (Prayers of the two Festivals) consists of two Rak’ah (Units), but it is not offered like the Fajr Salah (Morning Prayers) which also have two Rak’ah (Units). Idayn Salah (Prayers of the two Festivals) is offered with six or twelve additional Takabir (Plural of Takbir-Allah O Akbar) according to different schools of Islamic thought. The additional Takabir (Plural of Takbir-Allah O Akbar) are said during the Salah (Prayers). Adhan (Call for Prayers) or Iqamah (Second Call for Prayers) is not called for Idayn Salah (Prayers of the two Festivals). Imam (Leader for Prayers) delivers a Khutbah (Sermon) after the Idayn Salah (Prayers of the two Festivals). Muslims also Sadaqatul Fitr (Charity of Breaking Fast) before offering the Id ul-Fitr (Festival of Breaking Fast) in the morning. Muslims sacrifice animals after offering the Id ul-Ad-ha (Festival of Sacrifice) in the morning.
‘Iddah (Waiting Period)

‘Iddah is the waiting period before which a widow or a divorced Muslimah (Muslim woman) cannot remarry. Islam encourages remarriage of widows and divorced women. ‘Iddah (Waiting Period) for a widow is 4 months and 10 days. ‘Iddah (Waiting Period) for divorced women is passage of 3 menses.

‘Iddah (Waiting Period) is required for establishing the fraternal identity in case the widow or the divorcee is pregnant. Women are not supposed to venture out during ‘Iddah (Waiting Period).

‘Iddah (Waiting Period) of pregnant women ends when she delivers her child. ‘Iddah (Waiting Period) of women who do not have menses is three months.

Idris A

Idris A was one of the first Rusul (Messengers) of Allah (God). He is also mentioned in the Holy Qur-an (19:56). He preached his people to quit worshipping idols and return to praying Allah (God), the Only Creator, Sustainer and Controller of everything. Most of His people did not listen to him. He continued preaching the Message of Allah (God) patiently, despite of the stiff opposition from a majority of his people (The Holy Qur-an 21:85-86). He migrated to Misr (Egypt) and transformed his people into God fearing people.

Idtiba
Idtiba is the way Ihram is worn only during the first three Ashwat (Rounds) of Tawaf (Walk around the Ka’bah) Qudum. Only the male pilgrims do Idtiba. They bare their right shoulders The Rida" covers the front part of the body as well. Idtiba is not required in any other Tawaf (Walk around the Ka’bah). Both the shoulders should be covered while performing Salah (Prayers).

The tradition of Idtiba began in 6H (Hijrah) (627 AD), when Muslims performed their first ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah), under the guidance of Muhammad S, six years after migrating to Madinah. The Quraysh had spread a rumor that Mulsims who had migrated to Madinah have lost their health. Muhammad S asked his Sahabah (Companions) to bare their right shoulders so that the Quraysh can notice their healthy physique and walk with exaggerated movements of the limbs to show their vigor to dispel the myths being floated by the Quraysh.

Iftar (Breaking the Fast)
Breaking of fast by Muslims is called Iftar.

Muslims usually do their Iftar (Breaking the Fast) with palm-dates or water to follow the tradition of Muhammad S. Iftar (Breaking the Fast) is done right after sunset. Maghrib Salah (Sunset Prayers) is offered after Iftar (Breaking the Fast).

 

Ihram
Word Ihram means prohibiting something. In the state of Ihram, several Halal (Lawful) practices are prohibited. Pilgrims perform Hajj (Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah) and ‘Umrah (Lesser Pilgrimage the Ka’bah) in the state of Ihram, where they have to maintain certain disciplines which are different from their everyday lives. Some of the Halal (Lawful) activities and practices, which temporarily become Haram (Unlawful) during Hajj (Pilgrimage to the Ka’bah), when a pilgrim is in the state of Ihram, are shaving, hunting or killing animals, having sex with spouse etc.
The term Ihram is also used for the prescribed dress of male pilgrims, which consists of two unstiched white sheets. The lower of the two pieces called Izar is wrapped around the midriff to cover the body from just above the naval down to ankles. The other piece called Rida" is put around the shoulders to cover the upper body. White is the preferred color for Ihram.

Women do not wear any special dress for Ihram. Along with their usual Islamic clothes, they use scarves to cover their heads. The scarf to cover their heads should not be transparent and should be large enough to completely cover the head and hair of female pilgrims. Usually a large piece of cloth is used as scarf.
A pilgrim, who has changed into Ihram, is called a Muhrim.

 

Surah (Chapter) al-Ikhlas (Purity)
Surah (Chapter) al-Ikhlas (The Purity) is the 112th Surah (Chapter) of the Holy Qur-an.

It is a Madani Surah (Chapter of the Qur-an, revealed after Hijrah to Madinah). It was revealed as a reply to query of the Jews of Madinah to Muhammad S seeking description of his Allah (God).

Allah (God) has described Himself in this beautiful Surah (Chapter) al-Ikhlas (The Purity).

Although, it is one of the shortest Surah (Chapter) of the Holy Qur-an, it is also known as one third of the Qur-an.

The Qur-an has three main themes Wahdah (Unity of Allah), Risalah (Messengership) and Akhirah (Life after Death).

This Surah (Chapter) explains the concept of Wahdah (Unity of Allah) in the simplest yet most beautiful manner.

Ilyas A (Elias)
Ilyas A (Elias) was a Rasul (Messenger) of Allah (God). After the death of Sulayman A (Solomon), his people completely ignored his teachings to follow the path of Allah (God). They became idol worshippers. Very few people remained at the right path and they were made fun of. Allah (God) gave them another chance and sent Ilyas A (Elias) to those people. Teachings of Ilyas A (Elias) did not have any impact over those people and they continued worshipping their idols. A severe femine gripped thir country and it lasted for several years. Ilyas A (Elias) prayed to Allah (God) gave to end His curse. A substantial rainfall ended the drought and people returned to the religion of Allah (God). His name is mentionned in the Holy Qur-an (38:48).

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