For something completely unrelated to anime and manga, I've been working my way through the novel The Taqwacores, by Michael Muhammad Knight, about Islamic punks. The book has a lot of Arabic, Muslim and other terms which would not be familiar to a non-muslim in the same way the average person would not be familiar with terms like "otaku", "yaoi" and "yuri". You can get through the book without understanding all the terms, but I've decided to try to find out what each term meant, to get a deeper understanding of the references in the book. And thought I might as well post the results of my searches, so that the next non-Muslim reader doesn't have to go through the same thing.
Please note that anglicised spellings of Arabic words seem to vary. Since this page is intended as a glossary of terms in The Taqwacores, I use the spellings in the book, even though they may not be "conventional" spellings. Also, in some explanations in this glossary you may find different spellings - if so, you should be able to work it out. Secondly, the results on this page are based on searches on Google and visiting various sites (often Wikipedia). I've tried to work as quickly as possible and so have not attempted at all to check the accuracy or neutrality or authoritativeness (is that a word?) of any of the explanations I found. If it made sense in the context of the book, then I've adopted the meaning. I'm just trying to understand the book, not earn a degree or write a thesis. If you want to learn more about Islam, don't rely on this page.
This page is a work in progress. I've got other projects which
I work on (or try to) in my space time. At the moment, this list
only goes up to page 47 of the Automedia edition printed in Canada.
And I haven't been able to find definitions for the following
jalab (seems to be a type of clothing)
qurtab (seems to be a type of clothing)
Numbers in square brackets are verses of the Quran.
[2:219] They ask you about
intoxicants and gambling: say, "In them there is a gross sin, and some
benefits for the people. But their sinfulness far outweighs their
benefit." They also ask you what to give to charity: say, "The excess."
GOD thus clarifies the revelations for you, that you may reflect, [2:220] upon this life and the Hereafter.
[5:90] O you who believe, intoxicants, and gambling, and the altars of idols, and the games of chance are abominations of the devil; you shall avoid them, that you may succeed.
Abbasid: the dynastic name generally given to the caliph of Baghdad, the second of the two great Sunni dynasties of the Arab Empire, that overthrew the Umayyad caliphs from all but Spain.
Abu Talib: Abu Talib ibn 'Abd al-Muttalib (549-619) was a pagan uncle of Muhammad. In one hadith, the Prophet was heard to say "Perhaps my intercession will be helpful to him [Abu Talib] on the Day of Resurrection so that he may be put in a shallow fire reaching only up to his ankles. His brain will boil from it."
adhan: the Islamic call to prayer, recited by the muezzin.
Ahlul-Bayt: "People of the House, family". In the Islamic tradition it refers to the household of Muhammad.
al-Aqsa: "the far place"; the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is on the Temple Mount and is the third holiest mosque in Islam.
al-Fatiha: "the Opening". The first chapter of the Quran. Its seven verses are a prayer for God's guidance and stress the lordship and mercy of God. This chapter has a special role in traditional daily prayers, being recited at the start of each unit of prayer, or rakat:
Praise be to Allah
The Cherisher and Sustainer of the Worlds
Most Gracious, Most Merciful
Master of the day of judgement
Thee do we worship and Thine aid we seek
Show us the straight way;
The way of those on whom Thou hast bestowed Thy Grace
Those whose (portion) is not wrath
And who go not astray.
al-hamdulilah: "praise to God, all praise to God, thank God". Used to praise God but also in response to the question "how are you?" - "praise to God (I'm fine)".
Al-hamdulilahi rabbil'Alameen: "Praise be to Allah, Lord of the worlds".
alim: "(religious) scholar, learned man".
Allah: the standard Arabic word for "God", derived from al-ilah, "the God". The term is best known in the West for its use by Muslims as a reference to God. Arabic-speakers of all faiths, including Christians and Jews, use the word "Allah" to mean "God". The Muslim and Christian Arabs of today have no other word for 'God' than 'Allah'.
Allahu Akbar: "God is greatest".
Allahu Alim: "God knows best".
AMC: American Muslim Council.
ameen: "please accept". Used at the end of prayers and supplictions.
ana bikail: "I'm fine, good". [Thanks to TiGrBaLm on the AoD forums for the explanation.]
Arabiyya: the language of the Quran is known in the Western world as "classical Arabic"; among Islamic believers, however, it is known as al-Arabiyya.
ar-Rahman: the 55th sura of the Quran with 78 ayat. It has the refrain: "Then which of the favours of your Lord will ye deny?" Surah Rahman is often regard as the 'beauty of the Quran'.
ar-Rahmanir Raheem maliki yawmi-deen: "most gracious, most merciful, owner of the day of judgment".
ashadu an la ilaha illa Allah: "I bear witness that there is nothing to worship except God".
ashadu anna Muhammadu rasullullah: "I bear witness that Muhammad is God's messenger".
Asr: the afternoon daily prayer recited by practising Muslims. It is the third of the five daily prayers (salat).
as-salaam(s): I presume this means "peace".
as-salaamu alaikum: "peace be with you".
ayat: "signs/miracles", plural of ayah. The word usually refers to each one of the 6236 verses found in the Quran (6348 ayat counting the basmalas). Muslims regard each ayah of the Quran as a sign from God.
ayatollah: "sign of God". A high ranking title given to Shia clerics.
Ayesha: one of Muhammad's wives.
Badshahi Mosque: the 'Emperor's Mosque', built in 1673 by the Mughal Emperor Aurangzeb in Lahore, Pakistan. It is one of the city's best known landmarks, and a major tourist attraction epitomising the beauty and grandeur of the Mughal era.
bid'a: see bid'ah.
bid'ah: in Islam, any type of innovation. Can be innovation in worldly matters, or religious matters. Religious innovation (a new way of worshipping Allah) is not permitted in Sunni Islam.
Bilal's Boulder: Bilal was an Abyssinian slave for the aristocracy of Makkah in the year 623. When Muhammad came with this message of 'No god except Allah', Bilal denounced the 360 statues and idols that the tribes of Makkah were worshipping and believed in only Allah. His enraged slave master Umayyah would take Bilal out in the sizzling noon heat because of his beliefs and burn away Bilal's back on the sand. To intensify the pain, Umayyah would bring a boulder and place it on his stomach to press him down on the grilling sand, burning the skin away. All Bilal would whisper was, "He is only one (God), He is only one (God)" infuriating Umayyah who would only intensify the torture. Bilal was freed by one of Muhammad's closest friends and followers: Abu Bakr, and Bilal become the first Mu'adhdhin (the one who calls others to prayer) of Islam.
Bin Qarmat: "bin" means "son of". Qarmatians were an extremist Ismaili (Shia) Muslim sect centered in eastern Arabia, particularly the historical region of Bahrain, where they established a utopian community in 899 CE. Take their name from Hamdan (bin) Qarmat, who led the sect.
Bismillahir rahmanir rahim: this is a phrase from the Quran that is recited before reading the Quran. It is to be read immediately after one reads the phrase: "A'uzu Billahi Minashaitanir Rajim." This phrase is also recited before doing any daily activity. The meaning of it is: "In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful."
Bukhari: see Sahih Bukhari.
burqa: an enveloping outer garment worn by women in some Islamic traditions for the purpose of cloaking the entire body.
CAIR: Council on Americal-Islamic Relations.
Conference of the Birds: in this work by Farid ud-Din Attar, he describes a group of birds (individual human souls) under the leadership of a hoopoe (spiritual master) who determine to search for the legendary Simurgh bird (God). The birds must confront their own individual limitations and fears while journeying through seven valleys before they ultimately find the Simurgh and complete their quest.
dawah: "summons, call, invite, invitation". It is considered to be an obligation on Muslims to invite others to Islam. Dawah is often referred to as the act of "preaching Islam".
deen: "way" or "path." In Islam, deen consists of living according to the laws prescribed in Quran.
du'a: "call out, to summon". Supplication. Muslims use this term and call out to God, and Muslims regard this as one of the greatest acts of worship in Islam.
Eid: "festival". There are two Islamic festivals: Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, Eid ul-Adha or Eid-e Qurban commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son for God. "Eid" often refers to the former.
fabi-ayyi ala irabbikuma tukaziban: "Then which of the Blessings of Your Lord will You both [jinn and men] deny?"
Fajr: "dawn". The first of the five daily prayers (salat) recited by practising Muslims.
fard: an Islamic term which denotes a religious duty.
Farid ud-Din Attar: (1142-1220) born in Neishapour, in the Iranian province of Khorasan. Originally a pharmacist (Attar means "herbalist/druggist") he became one of the most famous mystic poets of Iran. His works were the inspiration of Rumi and many other mystic poets.
Fatiha: see al-Fatiha.
Fatimids: the Shia dynasty that ruled over varying areas of the Maghreb, Egypt, and the Levant from 5 January 910 to 1171. The term Fatimite is sometimes used to refer to the citizens of this caliphate.
fatwa: a considered opinion in Islam made by a mufti, a scholar capable of issuing judgments on Sharia (Islamic law).
fiqh: Islamic jurisprudence. It is an expansion of what is called the Divine Law (Arabic: Sharia), complemented by the rulings (Arabic: fatwa) of Islamic jurists to direct the lives of Muslims. The Historian Ibn Khaldun describes fiqh as "knowledge of the rules of God which concern the actions of persons who own themselves bound to obey the law respecting what is required (wajib), forbidden (haram /mahzur), recommended (mandub), disapproved (makruh) or merely permitted (mubah)".
Fisabilillah: "For the sake of (or in the path) of Allah (God)".
fitna: an Arabic word, generally regarded as very difficult to translate. It is often used to refer to civil war, disagreement and division within Islam and specifically alludes to a time involving trials of faith, similar to the Tribulation in Christian eschatology. The word also implies meanings including schism, secession, upheaval and anarchy.
Fourteen Infallibles: according to Twelver Shia Islam The Fourteen Infallibles are historical figures who committed no sins and never made a mistake. The Shia believe that Muhammad, his daughter Fatima Zahra, and the 12 Shia Imams are infallible.
ghiba: back-biting. Saying things about someone that they may not want others to know about, and saying those things behind their backs.
hadith: traditions relating to the words and deeds of Muhammad. A narration about the life of the Prophet or what he approved - as opposed to his life itself, which is the Sunnah (the way Prophet Muhammad lived his life).
Hafiz: a Persian mystic and poet. He was born sometime between the years 1310 and 1337. His lyrical poems, ghazals are noted for their beauty and bring to fruition the love, mysticism, and early Sufi themes that had long pervaded Persian poetry. Moreover, his poetry possessed elements of modern surrealism.
hayyal al-falah: "come to success".
hayyal as-salat: "come to prayer".
hashishiyyun: "hashish taker".
hejab: "cover" (noun). In some Arabic-speaking countries and Western countries, the word hijab primarily refers to women's head and body covering, but in Islamic scholarship, hijab is given the wider meaning of modesty, privacy, and morality.
ICNA: Islamic Circle of North America.
Idries Shah: (16 June 1924-23 November 1996) an author in the Naqshbandi sufist tradition on works ranging from psychology and spirituality to travelogues and culture studies. A well-known Sufi and writer, he published a number of collections of Mulla Nasruddin stories, and suggested that the stories' various layers of meaning have a teaching-effect.
imam: "leader". In the Sunni sect, the leader of prayer. The term can also be used to refer to a recognised religious leader or teacher. To the Shia, Imam can have a more specific meaning.
Imam Siraj: Siraj Wahhaj (born as Jeffrey Kearse) is an African-American Muslim convert to Islam and public speaker in North America. He's the Imam of Al-Taqwa mosque in Brooklyn, New York.
insha'Allah: "God willing" or "If it is God's will".
Isa: the Arabic name for Jesus.
Isha: "night". Also the name of an obligatory Prayer that is done at this time - Salat al `ishaa. This prayer consists of four rakats.
Islam: "submission (of one's self to God)".
ISNA: Islamic Society of North America.
jamaat, jam'aat: "group".
Javad Nurbaksh: head of the Nimatullahi Sufi Order and current or past head of the Department of Psychology at Tehran University. He has written numerous books on the Sufi Way and its implementation in modern life.
Jazakullah khair: "May God reward you for the good".
Jehennam: Gehenna, Inferno, Hell. It consists of seven stages, one below the other.
jumaa: Friday. The Friday prayer at midday as a community.
Kaaba: a large cuboidal building located inside the mosque known as al-Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. The mosque was built around the original Kaaba. The Kaaba is the holiest place in Islam.
Kafr: "that which covers the truth"; any act of disbelief, heresy, or blasphemy.
Karbala: a city in Iraq. Prominent to Shia muslims as the location of the Battle of Karbala in 680.
kay fallahukum: "how are you?/what's up?" [Thanks to TiGrBaLm on the AoD forums for the explanation.]
key ali: I presume this means "how are you?"
Khalifah: the Islamic form of government representing the political unity and leadership of the Muslim world. The head of state's position (Caliph) is based on the notion of a successor to Prophet Muhammad's political authority. The caliphate is the only form of governance that has full approval in traditional Islamic theology.
khamr: liquor. Khamr is differently explained as meaning what intoxicates, of the expressed juice or grapes, or the juice of grapes when it was effervesced and thrown up froth, and become freed therefrom, and still or it has a common application to intoxicating expressed juice of anything, or any intoxicating thing that clouds or obscures the intellect.
Khaniqahi Nimatullahi: the word 'khaniqah' refers to the gathering place of the Sufis. The word 'Nimatullahi' is derived from the name of Shah Nimatullah Wali, who founded the Nimatullahi Sufi order at the end of the 14th century A.D.
khutbah: is the Islamic sermon delivered before Friday prayers and after Eid prayers.
kitab: "book". Al-Kitab is "the Book", the Quran.
kufi: a short rounded cap, traditionally worn by Muslims. Within the United States, it has become more commonly identified with persons of African descent.
la ilaha illa Allah: "there is nothing to worship except Allah".
ma'aazif: indicates a specific number of things (a) musical instruments (b) the sounds of those musical instruments (music) and (c) singing to instrumental accompaniment. There is some disagreement on the meaning, some saying that it refers to a certain type of musical instrument.
madrassa: the Arabic word for any type of school, secular or religious (of any religion).
Maghrib: "of the setting (sun)". The fourth daily salat in Islam, offered at sunset.
mahram: an unmarriageable kin with whom sexual intercourse would be considered incestuous, a punishable taboo. Aside from relations by blood and marriage, it includes the relationship between child and wetnurse in certain circumstances.
makrooh: "hated, disliked".
mash'Allah: "thanks be to God".
Masjid Haram: "The Sacred Mosque". A large mosque in the city of Mecca and the largest in the world. It surrounds the Kaaba, the place which Muslims wish to turn towards while offering daily prayer. It is considered to be the holiest place on Earth by devotee Muslims.
maulana: "our lord, our master". It is used as a title, mostly in the Indian subcontinent, preceding the name of a respected Muslim religious leader, in particular graduates of religious institutions, or scholars who have studied under other Islamic scholars.
mihrab: is a niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the qibla, i.e. the direction of Kaaba that Muslims should face when praying.
MPAC: Muslim Public Affairs Committee.
MSA: Muslim Student Association.
muezzin: a chosen person at the mosque who leads the call (adhan) to Friday service and the five daily prayers (also known as the salat) from one of the mosque's minarets.
mufti: an Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law (Sharia), capable of issuing fataawa.
Muhammad: (c. 570-8 June 632) the founder of Islam and regarded by Muslims as the last messenger and prophet of God. Muslims believe that he was not the creator of a new religion, but the restorer of the original, uncorrupted monotheistic faith of Adam, Abraham and others. They see him as the last and the greatest in a series of prophets.
mujahid: "struggler", plural mujahideen. A Muslim fighting in a war or involved in any other struggle.
mullah: a title given to some Islamic clergy.
Mulla Nasruddin: a satirical sufi figure who lived during the Middle Ages (around 13th century), somewhere in Greater Khorasan. A populist philosopher and wise man, remembered for his funny stories and anecdotes. Much of Nasreddin's actions can be described as illogical yet logical, rational yet irrational, bizarre yet normal, foolish, yet sharp, and simple yet profound. What adds even further to his uniqueness is the way he gets across his messages in unconventional yet very effective methods in a profound simplicity.
muslim: "one who submits (to God)".
Muslimah: muslim woman.
Mutaween: the government-authorized or -recognized religious police (or clerical police or public order police) who enforce varied interpretations of Sharia Law within Islamist theocracies.
Muwatta: the Al-Muwatta is an early collection of hadith of Muhammad that form the basis for the jurisprudence of Islam. It was compiled and edited by Imam Malik.
Nafl: denotes supererogatory performance, or doing more than is required. For example, in Islam nafl prayers have been legislated to make up for any deficiencies left in the performance of obligatory (fard) prayers.
nafs: "self". In Sufi teachings, it means more of false ego. When Sufis talk about opposing Nafs, they mean Nafs Ammara. There are four stages of Nafs or egos that you encounter as you attempt to master them. The first stage is Nafs Ammara - in its primitive stage, the ego tells one to commit evil. This is what Sufis refer to when they speak of fighting Nafs.
Najaf: one of the holiest cities of Shia Islam and the center of Shia political power in Iraq. Najaf is renowned as the site of the tomb of Ali ibn Abi Talib (also known as "Imam Ali"), whom the Shia consider to be the righteous caliph and first imam.
niqab: a veil which covers the face.
NOI: Nation of Islam.
pakul: a soft, round-topped Afghan men's hat, typically of wool. The pakul gained some attention in the West in the 1980s, as it was a favored head covering for Afghan mujahideen who fought the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan (1979-1989).
Prophet's Masjid: the Mosque of the Prophet, in Medina, is the second holiest mosque in Islam. It is the final resting place of the Prophet Muhammad.
purdah: is the practice of preventing men from seeing women. This takes two forms: physical segregation of the sexes, and the requirement for women to cover their bodies and conceal their form.
qad iqama tis-salaat: "stand for prayer".
Qari Abdul-Basit: (1927-1988) an Egyptian Quranic Recitor, considered to be one of the greatest, if not the greatest, of his era. He is admired worldwide for his superb breath control and high, clear melodious recitation with perfect pitch and tone control, a feat that requires a great deal of self discipline.
qiblah: the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca.
qiyamah: Yawm al-Qiyamah ("Day of the Resurrection") is the Last Judgement in Islam. Belief in Qiyamah is a fundamental tenet of faith in Islam.
Quran: "the recitation". The central religious text of Islam. Muslims believe the Quran to be the book of divine guidance and direction for mankind, consider the text in its original Arabic to be the literal word of Allah revealed to Muhammad over a period of twenty-three years, and view the Quran as God's final revelation to humanity.
rakat: salat/prayer is performed in "units" of prayer called raka'ah. One raka'ah consists of a series of positions (and movements from one position to the next), along with specific supplications and verses from the Quran which are read in each position. A raka'ah begins in a standing position called qiyaam and ends with the musallee in a prostrate position called sujood.
Rasullullah: "Messenger of God". A title applied to several people in the Quran (Moses, Jesus) but to muslims it generally refers to Muhammad.
ruku: The root of this word is Raka'a which means bow down. During prayers (Salah), a Muslim is to make Ruku' in respect to Allah: he or she bows forward at the waist, and stands with the hands on the knees and the back parallel to the ground.
Rumi: (30 September 1207-17 December 1273), a philosopher and mystic of Islam, but not a Muslim of the orthodox type. Poet. After his death, his followers founded the Mevlevi Order, better known as the "Whirling Dervishes".
Sahih Bukhari: a collection of sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad, also known as the sunnah.
salaam: "peace". A Muslim form of salutation.
salaam-alaik: "Peace be with you".
salaam-alaikum: see salaam-alaik.
sallallaho alayhe wa salaam: "Allah honours him and supports his Mission".
shahadah: "to testify, to bear witness". The Islamic creed (there is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God). A single honest recitation of the shahadah in Arabic is all that is required for a person to become a Muslim according to most traditional schools.
shahadahtain: "declaration or witnessing of faith". The Islamic creed - 'There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger'.
shaheed: "witness". It implies martyrs as they live their lives bearing witness of the truth and spare nothing to remain steadfast in the way of their Lord even their lives.
shaikh: see shaykh.
shaykh: "man of old age". An elder of a tribe, lord, revered wise man, or Islamic scholar.
Shiah: a follower of the faction of Imam Ali according to the Shia ideology. Shia Islam is the second largest denomination of the Islamic faith after Sunni Islam. Shias adhere to the teachings of Muhammad and the religious guidance of his family (who are referred to as the Ahl al-Bayt) or his descendents known as Shia Imams. Muhammad's bloodline continues only through his beloved daughter Fatima Zahra and cousin Ali which alongside the prophet's grandsons are the Ahl al-Bayt. Thus, Shias consider Muhammad's descendents as the true source of guidance while considering the first three ruling Sunni caliphs a historic occurrence and not something attached to faith.
shirk: the Islamic concept of the sin of polytheism specifically, but in a more general way refers to serving anything other than the One God; i.e. wealth, lust, the ego, etc.
siwak: a natural toothbrush made from the twigs of the Salvadora persica tree.
Spectacle of Death: a book which tells in graphic detail what death entails, what the stations of heaven and hell are, and what the conditions for the righteous and the sinful will be in the hereafter.
staghfir'Allah: an expression used by a Muslim when he wants to ask Allah forgiveness. The meaning of it is: "I ask Allah forgiveness." A Muslim says this phrase many times, even when he is talking to another person. When a Muslim abstains from doing wrong, or even when he wants to prove that he is innocent of an incident he uses this expression. After every Salah (payer), a Muslim says this statement three times.
subhana'Allah: "glory be to Allah".
Subhana Wa Ta'Ala: an expression that Muslims use whenever the name of Allah is pronounced or written. The meaning of this expression is: "Allah is pure of having partners and He is exalted from having a son." Muslims believe that Allah is the only God, the Creator of the Universe. He does not have partners or children.
Sufi: Sufism is a mystic tradition within Islam and encompasses a diverse range of beliefs and practices dedicated to divine love and the cultivation of the heart.
sujdah: devotional prostration.
sujdah-e-sahw: the prostration of forgetfulness. Required whenever one inadvertently adds extraneous parts or misses parts or is in doubt regarding parts of the arkaan (essential pillars) of the prayer and/or its other requirements.
Sunna: "trodden path". The sunnah of the prophet means "the way of the prophet". Terminologically, the word "Sunnah" in Sunni Islam means those religious actions that were instituted by Muhammad during the 23 years of his ministry and which Muslims initially received through consensus of companions of Muhammad (Sahaba), and further through generation-to-generation transmission. Sunnah means what Muhammad said and the Sahaba noted it down.
Sunnah: see Sunna.
Sunni: Sunni Muslims are the largest denomination of Islam. They represent the branch of Islam that accepted the caliphate of Abu Bakr due to him being chosen by Shurah in the caliphate, being the first distinguishing factor in Sunni Islam.
Suratul-Hijr: the 15th sura of the Quran. Ayats 19 and 20 are as follows:
[15:19] As for the earth, we constructed it, and placed on it stabilizers (mountains), and we grew on it a perfect balance of everything.
[15:20] We made it habitable for you, and for creatures you do not provide for.
takbir: an Arabic name for the phrase Allahu Akbar "God is (the) greatest". The phrase has gained relative infamy in the eyes of some Westerners who view it as mainly a battle cry.
taqwa: the Islamic concept of "God-consciousness". Having taqwa allows a person to be constantly aware of both God's omnipresence and attributes and a reminder of their relationship and responsibility to God as his creation and servant.
Tashahud: what every moslem says during his/her last session of praying:
Greetings, prayers and the good things of life belong to Allah.
Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be on you, O Prophet.
May peace be upon us and on the devout follower of Allah.
I testify that there is no god but Allah and I testify that Muhammad is His messenger.
tawhid: the Islamic concept of monotheism. In Islam, Tawhid means to assert the unity of Allah. The opposite of Tawhid is shirk, ("division"), referring to idolatry.
teega, acha: "I'm fine, good" [Urdu words. Thanks to TiGrBaLm on the AoD forums for the explanation.]
Tragedy of Karbala: apparently refers to Husayn ibn Ali. The Battle of Karbala took place on 9 or 10 October 680 in Karbala, in present day Iraq. On one side were supporters and relatives of Muhammad's grandson Husayn ibn Ali; on the other side was a military detachment from the forces of Yazid I, the Umayyad caliph. Husayn ibn Ali's group consisted of notable members of Muhammad's close relatives, around 72 men, of which some were either very old or very young. Husayn and some members of his group were accompanied by some of the women and children from their families. The battle resulted in the military defeat of Husayn ibn Ali's group, the death of almost all of his men, and the captivity of all women and children. The Battle of Karbala is one of the most significant battles in the history of Shiite Muslims.
umma: "community, nation". It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of Islamic states or (in the context of pan-arabism) the whole Arab nation. In the context of Islam, the word ummah is used to mean the diaspora or "Community of the Believers" (ummat al-mu'minin), and thus the whole Muslim world.
Uthman: Uthman ibn Affan (c. 580-17 July 656) is the third Caliph of Islam and is regarded by Sunni Muslims as the third of the Four Rightly Guided Caliphs of Islam.
wa-alaikum as-salaam: "and to you be peace".
wa-alaikum as-salaam wa Rahmatullahi wa barakatuh: "wa-alaikum as-salaam wa Rahmatullahi" means "and to you be peace together with God's mercy". "wa barakatuh" adds a wish for Allah's blessing to the other person.
wa'Allah: "by Allah".
Wahabbi: describes a branch of Islam practiced by those who follow the teachings of Muhammad ibn Abd-al-Wahhab, after whom the movement is named. Ibn Abdul Wahhab reintroduced Shariah (Islamic) law to the Arabian peninsula. According to John Esposito, "Wahabism" is among the most conservative forms of Islam. Others have described the doctrine as inspiring violence and intolerance.
Warith Deen Mohammed: (born 30 October 1933) an influential American Muslim leader. Former leader of the Nation of Islam.
wasalaam: I presume this means "peace".
Witr: an optional Muslim prayer yet that can be performed at night after Isha'a and before Fajr.
wudhu: ablution. Compulsory before each prayer and in certain cases even a full bath has been made obligatory before prayer.
ya Allah: "my dear God".
yakee: "bro" [Thanks to TiGrBaLm on the AoD forums.]
Ya Sin: a surah/chapter 36 of the Quran, known as the Heart of the Quran.
yawm: "day". Also "The Day (of the Resurrection)" - the last judgment in Islam. Every human, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, is held accountable for his or her deeds and are judged by Allah accordingly.
Zaqqum: a tree that Muslims believe grows in Jahannam (hell). The damned are compelled to eat Ad-Dhari, bitter fruit, to intensify their torment (Quran 69:36-37).
zina: adultery, fornication. Zina in its broad meaning indicates any haram (prohibited) act, whether the act was sexual intercourse or a look, talk, touch, or desire that is related or may lead to elicit sexual relations.
Zuhr: "noon". The prayer after midday (but before the shadow of the sun becomes twice its length from midday.) Performed daily by practicing Muslims, it is the second of the five daily prayers (salat).
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