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Glossary of Terms


 Athan: The Islamic call to Prayer.

'Asr: The 3rd of the five daily Prayer services, offered any time between the time when the sun starts declining and sunset.

Atta'awwuz: Set words for seeking the protection of God against Satan, recited at the beginning of Prayer.

At-tashahud: A set prayer recited silently at the beginning of the Qa'dah, or second Sitting position, in Prayer.

Du'a-e-Qunut: Arabic name of the special prayer recited in the last Rak'at of Vitr Prayer.

Durood: Invocation of blessings upon the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him.

Eid-ul-Adha: The Islamic festival commemorating the obedience to god of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, (or Abraham), and his son Prophet Ishmael, peace be upon him.

Eid-ul-Fitr: The Islamic festival concluding the fasting of the month of Ramadhan.

Fajr: The 1st of the five daily Prayer services, offered any time during the period starting from dawn and ending a few minutes before sunrise.

Faraidh: Plural form of Fardh.

Fardh (plural Faraidh): Compulsory or obligatory, used when describing categories of Prayers or constituent parts of Prayer.

Fardh-i-Kifaya: Obligatory duty binding on all Muslims, but which is deemed to have been discharged (by all of them), when a body from among them perform it; e.g. the funeral Prayer of a Muslim.

Fitrana: Money contributed by Muslims before the Eid-ul-Fitr Prayer service and spent on the needy so that they may also join in festivities.

Hajj: Pilgrimage to the Ka'aba in Makkah, Arabia; also known as the fifth pillar of Islam.

Imam: The person who leads a congregational Prayer service.

Iqamat: A shortened verse of the Athan, which is recited loudly to indicate that a congregational Prayer is about to start. See also Takbeer.

Isha'a: The 5th and last of the five daily Prayer services, offered any time between nightfall and midnight, or before going to bed.

Jilsa: The Sitting position which occurs in between two prostrations during Prayer.

Kalimah: The credo of Islam, There is none worthy of worship except Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.

Kalimah Shahadah (also called Kalima): The declaration of Islamic faith, i.e; to bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, the He is One, without any associate, and to bear witness that Muhammad is the servant and Messenger of Allah.

Khusoof: Eclipse of the moon, during which a special Prayer is to be offered.

Kusoof: Eclipse of the sun, during which a special prayer is to be offered.

Maghrib: The 4th of the five daily Prayer services, which can be offered any time in the period starting from immediately after sunset and ending when there is still some light left on the horizon.

Makroohat: Acts which are considered undesirable or below the dignity of Prayer.

Malikis: One of the sects of Islam.

Mu'athin: The person who says the Athan, or Call to Prayer.

Mustahab (plural Mustahibbat):Preferable or praiseworthy things, when referring to the style or manner of performing Prayer.

Nawafil: Optional or supererogatory as applied to types or categories of Prayer.

Niyyah: The Formal intention which one makes in one's mind before starting a Prayer.

Qa'dah: Sitting position adopted towards the end of the second Rak'at in Prayer.

Qadah: Offering a missed Prayer.

Qasr: The act of shortening one's Prayer.

Qauma: The posture of Standing erect after Ruku.

Qiyam: The standing position in Prayer.

Rak'at: One complete unit within Prayer, consisting of a number of different postures of the body with corresponding prescribed prayers, words of glorification and of praise of God.

Raka'at: Plural form of Rak'at.

Ruku: The Bowing down position in Prayer.

Sajdah: (Sajood) The position of Prostration in prayer.

Salat-ul-Jumma: The Friday prayer service.

Salat: Prayer in the prescribed form; also known as the second pillar of Islam.

Salat-ul-Hajaat: Prayer offered when one is in need or in difficulty Salat-ul-Ishraq: Optional Prayer offered in two phases in the forenoon.

Salat-ul-Zoha: The second phase of Salat-ul Ishraq.

Salat-ut-Tasbih: Optional Prayer of four Raka'at, to be offered at least once in one's lifetime.

Saum: Fasting in the month of Ramadhan; also known as the fourth pillar of Islam.

Shias: One of the sects of Islam.

Sujood: (Sajdah): The posture of Prostration in Prayer.

Sujood-us-Sahv: Prostrations of condonement performed when a mistake has been committed during Prayer and which may affect its validity.

Sunan: Plural form of Sunnat.

Sunnah or Sunnat: One of the types or categories of Prayer; less compulsory than a Fardh (obligatory) Prayer, but more so than a Nawafil (voluntary) one.

Sunnis: One of the sects of Islam.

Sura (Surah): Arabic word for 'chapter', and used for designating the chapters of the Holy Quran.

Sutra: An object which a worshipper places before him to mark the physical boundary of his Prayer.

Tahajjud: Optional Prayer of great merit offered in the latter part of the night.

Tahmeed: The prescribed words recited by the congregation in response to the Tasmee of the Imam; also, words of praise and remembrance of God.

Takbeer: A set formula, recited loudly in order to indicate that a congregational Prayer is about to start.

Takbir-i-Tahreema: The Arabic expression Allahu Akbar (God is the Greatest), proclaimed loudly by the Imam while he raises his two hands to his earlobes at the very beginning of a congregational Prayer service.

Taraveeh: Special Prayer offered after Isha'a Prayer during the month of Ramadhan.

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