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Glossary of terms

Asab al-nuzul - meaning occasions or circumstances of revelation, refers to the historical context in which Quranic verses were revealed.

Ayats – verses of the Surah

Din/Deen - is a word in Arabic roughly meaning "creed" or "religion" that features heavily in Islam. It is also used in Sikh, Baha'i and Arab Christian worship. The term is loosely associated with religion, but in the Qur'an, it means the way of life in which righteous Muslims must adopt to comply with divine law (Quran and sunnah), or Shari'a, and to the divine judgment or recompense to which all humanity must inevitably face without intercessors before God

Epistemological - relating to the theory of knowledge, especially with regard to its methods, validity, and scope, and the distinction between justified belief and opinion.

Exegetes - critical explanation or interpretation of a text, especially of scripture.

Hadith/Hadeeth - a collection of traditions containing sayings of the prophet Muhammad which, with accounts of his daily practice (the Sunna), constitute the major source of guidance for Muslims apart from the Koran.

Hermeneutics - the science of interpretation, especially of the Scriptures.

Islam - the religion of the Muslims, a monotheistic faith regarded as revealed through Muhammad as the Prophet of Allah.

Istiqa - is a prayer consisting of two rakaah performed during the times of drought to ask Allah for rain.

Itjihad - a technical term of Islamic law that describes the process of making a legal decision by independent interpretation of the legal sources, the Qur'an and the Sunnah. The opposite of ijtihad is taqlid, Arabic for "imitation".

Monotheist - the doctrine or belief that there is only one God

Muslim - a follower of the religion of Islam.

Naskh - an Arabic word usually translated as "abrogation". It is a term used in Islamic legal exegesis for seemingly contradictory material within, or between, the two primary sources of Islamic law: the Quran and the Sunna.

Progressive -happening or developing gradually or in stages.

Rakah - a portion of the salat, the prescribed prayers said five times a day that combines a ritual of bows and prostrations with the recitation of prayers

Quran/Qur'an - the Islamic sacred book, believed to be the word of God as dictated to Muhammad by the archangel Gabriel and written down in Arabic. The Koran consists of 114 units of varying lengths, known as suras ; the first sura is said as part of the ritual prayer. These touch upon all aspects of human existence, including matters of doctrine, social organization, and legislation.

Salat - the prescribed prayers said five times a day that combines a ritual of bows and prostrations

Shariah - Islamic canonical law based on the teachings of the Koran and the traditions of the Prophet (Hadith and Sunna), prescribing both religious and secular duties and sometimes retributive penalties for lawbreaking. It has generally been supplemented by legislation adapted to the conditions of the day, though the manner in which it should be applied in modern states is a subject of dispute between Muslim traditionalists and reformists.

Sufi - a Muslim ascetic and mystic.

Sheikh - An Arab leader, in particular the chief or head of an Arab tribe, family, or village or a leader in a Muslim community or organization.

Sunnah/Sunna - the body of traditional social and legal custom and practice of the Islamic community

Surah - The Holy Quran is arranged in 114 Surahs of very unequal size. A Surah is usually spoken of as a Chapter in English, but that translation is not entirely accurate. If you examine the order you will find that each Surah is a step in a gradation. Surahs are numbered and the consecutive number is shown just before the title of the Surah. Each Surah consists of a number of Ayats or verses.

Taqlid -  Arabic for "imitation".


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