Adhan: the call to prayer done from the minarets of the mosques by the muezzin.Allah: Arabic for God.Amir: commander or prince, frequently used with reference to the person who leads the community.Aya: verse of the Quran; also used in a general meaning of “sign” from God.Ayatollah: In Shia Islam, a high-ranking title given to clerics recognized as experts in Islamic studies.Basmala: the statement at the beginning of each sura of the Quran (except sura 9), “In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate”; also used by Muslims as an invocation.Buraq: the winged horse which carried Muhammad on his “night journey” from Mecca to Jerusalem.Dhimmi: a member of a protected community, especially referring to the Jews and Christians who live under Muslim rule. The right to practise their own religion was guaranteed by their payment of a special poll tax, the jizya.Fatwa: a legal decision rendered by a mufti, who is a jurist qualified to make decisions of a general religious nature.Fiqh: jurisprudence, the science of religious law, as described by the jurists known as the fuqaha (of which the singular is faqih).Hadd: the restrictive ordinances of God as stated in the Quran, all of which have a specific penalty involved for their violation.Hadith: a tradition or written report, being the source material for the sunna of Muhammad,gathered together in the six books of authoritative traditions in Sunni Islam.Hajj: pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the “five pillars” of Islam; a requirement for all Muslims, if they are able, once in a lifetime.Hijab: the veil or partition which prevents men from gazing at the “charms of women.” A variety of styles exist but most emphasize covering the hair and hiding the shape of the body.Hijaz: region in the west of central Arabia, the birthplace of Muhammad.Hijra: Muhammad’s emigration from Mecca to Medina in the year 622 CE, understood as the date for the beginning of the Muslim hijra calendar (year 0 for the Muslim calendar).Ijaz: doctrine which states that the Quran cannot be imitated; the “inimitability” of the Quran.Ijma: “consensus,” one of the four sources of law in Sunni Islam, the others being Quran,sunna and qiyas. Ijtihad: the use of one’s “personal effort” in order to make a decision on a point of law not explicitly covered by the Quran or the sunna; the person with the authority to do this is called a mujtahid.Imam: literally the “model,” here generally referring to the prayer leader in the ßalåt who stands in front of the rows of worshippers, keeping their actions in unison during the prayer.The word is also used in other contexts. It is a title of the revered early leaders of the Shia who are the source of authority in that community. The word is also commonly used as a title of the founders of the Sunni schools of law and similarly for other significant religious figures.Islam: the name of the religion preached by Muhammad, so named in the Quran, literally meaning “submission”; those who adhere to Islam are called Muslims.

Isma: a doctrine which states that the prophets, and especially Muhammad, were protected from sin during their lifetimes. It is also applied to the twelve Shia Imams.Isnad: the chain of authorities through whom a hadith report has passed; the list of these people forms the first part of the hadith report, the text which comes after it being called the matn.Isra: Muaammad’s “night journey” to Jerusalem, connected to the heavenly ascension.Jahiliyya: the “Age of Ignorance,” historically seen to be before Muhammad but in a general religious sense referring to ignoring, or ignorance of, Islam; especially used with moralovertones.Jihad: “striving for the faith” or “holy war,” sometimes seen as a “sixth pillar” of Islam.Jinn: genies, another dimension of animate creation on earth.Juma: with reference to prayer, salat; it is the Friday noon gathering of the community which is enjoined in the Quran and which takes place in the congregational mosque. Kaaba: the sacred black cube building in the middle of the mosque in Mecca; Muslims face in the direction of the Kaaba when they perform the ritual prayer (salat) and circumambulate itwhen they perform the pilgrimage (hajj).Khalifa, Caliph: the leader of the Sunni community, the “successor” to Muhammad.Khatib: the person at the Friday noon prayer who delivers the sermon to the community.Madhhab: a school of law formed around one of the four early figures significant in juristicdiscussions.Madrasa: religious school or college for the study of the Islamic religion, though this may not be the only subject studied.Maslaha: “general good” and “public interest,” used as a basis for legal decisions.Matn: the text of a hadith report.Mihrab: the niche in the wall of a mosque marking the qibla, or direction of prayer towards Mecca.Minbar: the “pulpit” on which the khatib gives the sermon in the mosque.Mufti: a jurist who is authorized to give a fatwa or legal decision on a religious matter.Mujaddid: a renewer of the faith, stated in a hadith report to appear in the Muslim community every 100 years, in order to revive the true spirit of Islam through the process of tajdid,“renewal.”Mujahideen: is the plural form for those engaged in Jihad. Mujtahid: a jurist who is qualified to exercise ijtihad or personal effort in making legal decisions on matters where there is no explicit text of the Quran or the sunna to be followed. Mullah: a Muslim man educated in Islamic theology and sacred law. In large parts of the Muslim world it is the name commonly given to local Islamic clerics or mosque leaders

.Muslim: a person who follows the Islamic religion.Qatib, Qadi: a judge who makes decisions on the basis of the religious law.Qibla: the direction in which one faces in prayer (Mecca), marked by the mihrab in the mosque.Qiyas: “analogy,” one of the four sources of law in Sunni Islam, the others being Quran, sunna and ijma.Salaf: the “pious ancestors,” the first three generations of Muslims, who some modern Islamists (also known as Salafis) hold up as embodying the ideal manifestation of Islam.Salat: the prescribed five prayers a day, one the “five pillars” required of all Muslims.Sawm: fasting performed in the month of Ramadan, one of the “five pillars” required of all Muslims.Sayyid: an honorific title denoting people accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.Shahada: “witness to faith”; saying (in Arabic), “There is no god but God and Mu ̇ammad is His messenger”; one of the “five pillars” required of all Muslims, indicating conversion to Islam but also a part of the ritual prayer (salat).Sharia: the religious law derived from the four sources of law in Sunni Islam (Quran, sunna,qiyas and ijma).Shaykh, Sheikh: literally, “an old man” and used as a term of respect for a religious teacher;used especially of a Sufi master.Shia: The second most important branch of Islam after Sunni. The religio-political party championing the claims of Ali and his heirs (the twelve Imams) to the rightful leadership of the Islamic community and to their status as Imams; since the beginning of the sixteenth century,the Shia branch has been the official state religion of Iran and most of its followers live there.They comprise about 12 per cent of the world population of Muslims

.Shura: “consultation,” a concept to which Islamists frequently appeal when speaking of Islamicways of structuring governments.Sufi: an adherent to the mystical way of Islam, Sufism.Sunna: “custom”; the way Muhammad acted which is then emulated by Muslims. The source material for the sunna is found in the hadith reports. The sunna is one of the four sources of law for Sunni Islam, along with Quran, qiyas and ijma. Sunnis: the largest branch of Islam, those who follow the sunna, who do not recognize theauthority of the Shia Imams.Sura: a chapter of the Quran.Tafsir: interpretation of the Quran, especially as found in written form.Taqlid: the reliance upon decisions made in the past in matters of religious law; the word is setin opposition to ijtihad, “personal effort,” and frequently has a negative sense in the modern context.tawhid: doctrine holding to the proclamation of the unity of God.Ulama: the learned class, especially those learned in religious matters.Umma: the community; the body of Muslims.Umra: the “visitation” of the holy places in Mecca, the lesser pilgrimage; it can be performedat any time of the year but is also joined with the hajj.Zakat: alms tax, one of the “five pillars” required of all Muslims.