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Glossary of Islamic Terms


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Sabr صبر

Patience, endurance, self-restraint at the very earliest moment.

Sadaqah صدقه

Charity; voluntary alms.

Sahabah صحابه

Companions of Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم

Sahih صحيح

"Sound in isnad." A technical attribute applied to the "isnad" of a Hadith.

Salaf (السلف الصالح)

Righteous - predecessors, ancestors. In Islam, Salaf is generally used to refer to the first three generations of Muslims.

Salah (صلاة) or salat

Any one of the 5 daily obligatory prayers. The second Pillar of Islam.

Salaam (سلام)


Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam صلى الله عليه و سلم

"May the blessings and the peace of Allah be upon him." Expression typically used after stating the names of prophets and messengers.

Sawm (صَوم)

Fasting during the month of Ramadhan.

Sayyid (سيّد)

A descendent of a relative (because all his sons Qasim, Abdullah, and Ibraheem died before having children) to Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم.

Shahadah (الشهادة)

The expression of faith: La ilaha illa Allah. Muhammadun rasulullah. ("There is no god but God. Muhammad is the messenger of God."). The first Pillar of Islam.

Shaheed (شهيد)

"witness". More specifically refers to a person killed whilst striving in Islam, a martyr.

Shaikh (شيخ)

A spiritual master.

Shariah (الشريعة)

Tthe eternal ethical code and moral code based on the Qur'aan and Sunnah; basis of fiqh.

Shaytan شيطان

Satan, the Devil; also known as Iblis

Shi'at (الشيعة)

A follower of Prophet Muhammad and his successors (the twelve Imams), the first being Ali. Shi'as constitute the second largest sect in Islam. 14%

Shirk (شرك)


Shura (شورى)


Majlis ash-shura (مجلس الشورى)

Advisory council.

Sira (السيرة)

Life or biography of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه و سلم ; his moral example - with hadith this comprises the sunnah.

Sunnah (السنّة) or sunnah al-Nabi (سنّة النبي)

The "path" or "example" of the Prophet Muhammad, i.e., what the Prophet did or said or agreed to during his life. He is considered by Muslims to be the best human moral example, the best man to follow.

Sunni (سنّي)

The largest sect in Islam. 85%

Surah (سورة)

Chapter; the Qur'aan is comprised of 114 suras.

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