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Common Islamic Terms You May Not Know

posted on: Jul 27, 2020

By: Tasnim Elnasharty/Arab America Contributing Writer 

The following list consists of striking ideas that are coming in both Islamic and Arab traditions. These Islamic terms are expressed as words in the Arabic language and the fundamental motivation behind this list is to disambiguate various spellings, to make note of spellings no longer in use these days, and to characterize the idea in a couple of lines. In order to make it simple for one to find and pin down explicit ideas, this is a manual for exceptional ideas of Islam across the board. While these ideas are a baseline, they are essential for understanding Islam at a deeper level. 

Common Islamic Terms

ʾAdab (أدب): Customarily depicts great habits, as in etiquette. For instance, being courteous is goodʾadab. However, the term can be utilized comprehensively, and the best possible interpretation would be “the best possible approach to something,” as in the model, ʾādāb al Qitāl, or, “The Proper Ways of Fighting in War,” (Qitāl in Arabic methods mortal battle) in which “behavior” does not befit the unique circumstance and the auxiliary importance of Adab is “literature.”

Fatwah (فاتوه): A legal pronouncement in Islam usually issued at the request of a judge or individual to settle a question when Islamic law is unclear on the subject. 

Imam(إمام): Community religious leader. In some context, ‘Imam’ merely refers to the prayer leader. 

Khalifa (خليفه): Political Sunni leader chosen by elders. 

Qur’an (قرآن): Islamic holy book, given by Allah to the Prophet Mohammed. 

Madrassah (مدرسة): A school. It is normally secular with some integrated Islamic subjects, sometimes purely Islam oriented. 

Mosque (مسجد): Muslim place of worship similar to a church or temple. 

Ayatollah (آيات الله): Ashia Islamic law scholar who is an interpreter of Islamic law (Sharia) and capable of issuing a fatwa/fataawa.

Akhlaq (اخلاق): The practice of virtue, morals.

Aqidah (عقيده): an Article of faith, tenet, or dogma.  

Muezzin (مؤذن): A person who calls the faithful to prayer.

Ayatollah: A Shia Islamic law scholar who is an interpreter of Islamic law (Sharia) and capable of issuing a fatwa/fataawa. 

Muslim: local of the Sharia Islamic law.

Qadi: Judge of the Sharia Islamic law.

Sharia: Islamic law. 

Sheik: Leader of a family/village/tribe or mosque. 

Sunni and Shi’a

These terms refer to the two main sectors of Islam. Sunni and Shia Muslims share the most essential Islamic convictions and articles of confidence. Moreover, the contrasts between these two principle sub-bunches inside Islam at first stemmed not from otherworldly contrasts, but rather political ones. 



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