Meanings of Arabic Terms of Common Usage

Here are some arabic terms of common usage and thier meanings.

There are several words of Arabic language that have entered into the vocabulary of non-Arabic speakers due to Islamic influence. Here are the meanings of some Arabic terms of common usage.

Adhan: The call to prayer

Da’wah: Call or mission

Fajr: Dawn. It is usually said with reference to the first daily obligatory prayer.

Fatwa: A religious verdict

Fitnah: Trial, test, temptation, affliction.

Ghusl: A ritual bath obligatory after intercourse, ejaculation and after a woman becomes clean from her menses.

Hadith: Report s of the Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) sayings, actions and approvals

Hajj: Major pilgrimage to the city of Makkha.

Halal: Permissible, allowed

Halaqa: A study circle

Haram: Prohibited, not allowed

Hijab: Cover. It is usually used in reference to the proper clothing of Muslim men and women.

Hijrah: Migration of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) to the city of Madinah

Imam: The leader of prayer, or a distinguished scholar of Islam

Iman: Faith, belief

Isha: Night. It is usually used with reference to the fifth and last of the daily obligatory prayers.

Jamaah: A Muslim congregation

Janazah: A funeral, body of the deceased prepared for burial.

Jannah: Paradise

Jihad: Striving in the path of Allah. This struggle can be with forces outside oneself or with oneself against the temptations created by Satan.

Jumuah: Friday. Mostly used with reference to the Friday prayer that is offered in congregation by Muslims.

Kafir: A person who rejects faith.

Kufr: The act of disbelief in God

Khutbah: Speech or sermon. Commonly used with reference to the speech in Friday congregation.

Maghrib: Sunset. Usually used with reference to the fourth daily obligatory prayer.

Mujahid: A person who performs Jihad

Qiblah: The direction the Kabah in Mecca

Riba: Usury or interest

Ruku: Bowing in prayer

Sadaqah: Charity which can be in monetary terms or in terms of actions.

Sahabah: Companions of the Prophet

Salah: Prayer

Salam: Peace, also the Islamic way of greeting

Shaykh: Elderly man, used in reference to a person with certain degree of Islamic knowledge

Shaytan: Satan, evil

Sujud: Prostration (as in prayer)

Surah: Quranic chapter

Tafsir: Quranic interpretations.

Takbir: Saying “Allahu Akbar—Allah is greatest”

Tawaf: Circumambulation around the Kabah

Ummah: Community, nation or followers

Umrah: A minor pilgrimage

Wudu: Compulsory ablution for prayers.

Zakah, Zakat: Obligatory charity which is a fixed percentage of an individual’s wealth.

Zina: Adultery or fornication

Zuhr: Noon. Normally used with reference to the second obligatory daily prayer.


Closer Than a Garment: Muhammad Mustafa al-Jibaly


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