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Glossary of Islamic Terms


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Ibadah (عبادة)

Worship, but not limited to ritual: all expressions of servitude to Allah, including the pursuit of knowledge, living a pious life, helping, charity, and humility, can be considered ibadah.


A jinn banished to Hell for his arrogance and disobedience. We said to the angels, 'Prostrate to Adam!' and they prostrated, with the exception of Diabolis. He refused and was arrogant and was one of the disbelievers. (2:34)

Iftaar الافطار

A light meal eaten by Muslims breaking their fast after sunset.

Ihram (إحرام)

State of consecration for hajj. Includes dress and or prayer.


Perfection in worship, such that Muslims try to worship God as if they see Him, and although they cannot see Him, they undoubtedly believe He is constantly watching over them.

Ijma (إجماع)

The consensus of either the ummah (or just the ulema) - one of four bases of Islamic Law. More generally, political consensus itself. The four bases of islamic law are;
  1. Qur`aan
  2. Sunnah
  3. Ijmah (consensus)
  4. Qiyaas (Analogical deduction)

Ijtihad (إجتهاد)

During the early times of Islam, the possibility of finding a new solution to a juridical problem. This act is performed by a Mujtahid, a very learned scholar of Islam.

Ilm (علم)

All varieties of knowledge, usually a synonym for sciences.

Imam (إمام)

Iiterally, leader; e.g. a man who leads a community or leads the prayer.

Iman (إيمان)

Faith, Belief.

Injil (الإنجيل)

Iiterally means 'Good News' Muslim term for the holy book said to have been given to Jesus عليه السلام, who is known as Isa عليه السلام to Muslims.The New Testament gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Insha'Allah (إن شاء الله)

God Willing.


The second call to prayer just before starting prayer. Similar to the adhan.

Isha (عشاء)

Night; the fifth salat prayer

Islam (الإسلام)

'Submission to Allah'. The Arabic root word سلم for Islam means submission, obedience, peace, and purity.

Isnad (إسناد)

Chain of transmitters of any given hadith.

Isra (الإسراء)

The night journey during which Muhammad is said to have visited Heaven. See Me'raj

Istislah (إستصلاح)

Public interest - a source of Islamic Law.

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