03 Nov Basic Islamic Phrases: Part 5
Qadr: This term is often translated as “Destiny” or “Pre-destination.” This is not entirely accurate. It means literally “to measure.” The religious idea behind it is that Allah measured everything in the universe. The length of your life is “measured,” as is your fortune and your life’s circumstances.
Qiblah: The direction of Prayer. All Muslims make their prayers, or salat, facing Mecca. Allah commanded us to do this in the Qur’an as a show of unity and to remember Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) who built the first shrine there in that place so many thousands of years ago. Prophet Adam is said to have built an even older shrine many thousands of years before that in that very place.
Qur’an: This is the name of the Book Allah revealed to the Prophet Muhammad from the years 610-632. Allah revealed it in stages, one section at a time, as the Muslims were ready to follow it. It has 114 chapters called surahs. It was revealed in the Arabic language and has never been lost, changed or edited, like the Bible or Buddhist books have.
We have lots of translations of the Qur’an into English, but a translation can never be as good as the original words and their full meaning. All Muslims try to learn Arabic so they can read the Qur’an. Be advised, there are two different types of Arabic. The first is the language of the Qur’an, in other words, whatever vocabulary words are used in the Qur’an. The second type of Arabic is everyday Arabic, in other words, things that would help you talk about a sports game, a vacation or a day at the office. Many Muslims get bogged down by studying the second type of Arabic. You should work towards the first type if your main goal is to understand the Qur’an.
Pbuh: Peace Be Upon Him (said to invoke peace and blessings on the Prophet Mohammad)
Ramadan: The ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims are required to fast from before sunrise to sunset every day of this month. There are many details concerning this so consult the section on beliefs and practices.
Rasul: This term means Messenger.
Ruh: Your spirit or soul. Allah gave it to you on loan and thus you had better not sin and dirty it up.
Sahaba: A companion of the Prophet.
Sahabiyat: The female companions of the Prophet.
Sajda: (Sujood) Bowing on the floor in prayer; prostration.
Salafi: This is the name of a group of Muslims who took stance of Abdul Wahaab who was a reformer. Their name is derived from the Salaf, (ancestors) which is a reference to the Sahaba and the generation immediately after them. They tend not to follow a madhab.
Salat: (or Salah) This means prayer, the prayer in which you stand, bow and prostrate. The literal meaning of the word is: to make a connection with.
Seerah: The biography of the life of the Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)
Shahadah: The Declaration of Faith. By believing in and declaring the following phrase, a person becomes a Muslim: “Ash hadu an la ilaha illallah, wa ash hadu anna Muhammadar rasulullah.” “I declare that there is no god but Allah, and I declare that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.” There are other ways to say this formula but this is the most common one. When a person accepts Islam, all his or her past sins are forgiven and his or her record is wiped clean and they start again from that moment as if they were just born.
Shaykh: Literally: Chief or Boss. It is the title that Muslims sometimes give to their scholars. It is not required in Islam but many people like to use this term. Muslim clergy
Shari’ah: It is usually translated as Islamic Law. It means the path of Islam.
Shirk: This is the greatest and most terrible sin. It is the one sin that can keep your soul out of Paradise and doom you to Hellfire. It means making partners with Allah. If a person says that there are many gods, or says that Allah is divided up into different people (such as the Trinity teaching of Christianity) then they are committing Shirk. Allah said it is the one sin He won’t forgive if you die while doing it. The Blessed Prophet Muhammad once mentioned also that a person who likes to feel greatness in their heart was also committing a kind of Shirk. This is because all greatness is for Allah and we should always try to be humble. The Prophet also said, “La Yad khulu al Jannah min kana fee qal beehee mith qalu habbatin min kibr.” “They won’t enter Paradise, the one who has even a little bit of the love of greatness in their heart.”
Shaytan: (or Shaytan) It means Satan. (The literal meaning is to separate from.) Islam teaches that a Jinn named Iblis didn’t want to bow when Allah commanded a bunch of angels to bow down to Adam in respect of his knowledge. Iblis thought he was better than both humans and angels. Allah banished him to earth and let him have extended life until the Day of Judgment. That is because Iblis challenged Allah and said if he had time he would corrupt all human beings. Iblis’s name literally means “Frustrated.” He is also known as the Shaytan, or Satan.
Siyam (or Saum) Fasting.
Subhanullah: “Glory to Allah.” This phrase is said whenever we’re happy or when we see something wonderful or hear about something wonderful.We as Muslims should say it as often as we can because of its GREAT rewards.
Sufi: This is the name for a group of another sect of Muslims who want to be super-spiritually oriented. Sufis tend to try and be as close to the Sunnah as possible and they like to do group dhikr and chanting. While most Sufis are okay Islamically, there are a few groups that go way out and are close to being outside of Islam. Most Sufis you will encounter are of the okay kind. They are distinguished by their traditional Islamic dress and turbans. The word Sufi comes from the term for wool cloth, which was a material early Sufis liked to wear to emphasize how they didn’t want to be captured by the love of fineries in this world.
Sufis organize themselves into “orders” or groups, called Tariqas. These groups are headed by a leader called a Shaykh who is considered the most spiritual man with the most Taqwa among them. Some famous Sufi Tariqas that operate all over the world are the Naqshabandis and Qadiriyya. The most famous Sufi Muslim scholars that ever lived are Jalaluddin Rumi, Muhammad al Ghazali and Abdul Qadir Jilani.
Suhoof: “Scrolls.” This is the name of the revelation given to Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) about 4,000 years ago. It was lost.
Sunnah: The example or “way” of the Prophet. How he lived his life and what his practices were.
Sunni: This is the name of the largest sect or group of Muslims. This group amounts to about 85-90% of all Muslims world-wide. Sunni’s believe in the mission of the Prophet as he taught it and try very hard to adhere to the Prophet’s example with no changes. This doesn’t mean that Sunni’s are somehow the only ‘true’ Muslims, however, because the Prophet never taught that we should even label ourselves Sunni’s or Shi’as.
Sunni Islam is just closer to real Islam because it is the way of the Prophet and his companions as well as the righteous predecessors. The best thing for a Muslim to do is to drop all the labels and just say, “I’m a Muslim.“But there are many Muslims in the world who get emotional about wanting to call themselves some kind of label besides the basic, “I’m a Muslim.” Have patience with them and do what is right. The term Sunni comes from the title, “Ahl as-Sunnah wal Jam’a” which means, “People of the Example (of the Prophet) and the Main Group (of First Muslims).”
Surah: It is a chapter of the Qur’an. The word literally means “a step up in progression” or a “fence.”
Tafseer: Commentary or explanation of the Qur’an. Many Qur’an translations will have footnotes on the bottom of the page to help you understand the meaning of an ayah. That would be called Tafseer.
Taqwa: This term means many things at once. The first meaning is that you are always aware that Allah is watching you. This brings you to the second meaning and that is that you will try to be good always. Do you see how the two things wrapped together can be so beautiful? When a Muslim has Taqwa, we say they are “Aware of Allah” “Conscious of Allah” and striving to be righteous.The main meaning is the fear of allah, because if we fear him then we will not go astray.Allah loves those most who fear him the most.
Tauhid: Sometimes it’s spelled Tawheed. It means the Oneness of Allah. Allah has no partners, He is not divided up into parts and He is not in need of anyone to help Him in anything whatsoever.
Taurah: The revelation given to Prophet Musa (Moses). The first five books of the old testament in the Bible are said to be the “Torah” of Moses, but no serious Bible scholar, whether Jewish or Christian believes that anymore. Musa’s message was lost long ago. Just take a look, everything about Prophet Moses in the Bible is written in third person: “And Moses said this,” and “Moses went there,” Someone else wrote those things, certainly not Moses!
Tawakkol: Reliance on God
Ukhtee: Means “My sister.”
Wahy: This word means revelation or inspiration. When Allah was revealing His messages to the Prophet, we would say the Prophet was receiving “Wahy.” The Blessed Prophet once said that after him, all Wahy from Allah was finished except for one thing: dreams that can come true.
Wuduu: Washing for prayer.
Yowm ul Qiyamah: The Day of Judgment. (Literally: Day of rising.)Because that is the day all creation from the begining till the end will rise on the plains of arafat and be judged on their life and actions.
Zabur: The revelation given to Prophet Dawud (David). The Psalms in the Bible are not the pure Zabur. Christian scholars admit that at least half of the verses in Psalms were written by temple priests, government workers, etc, in ancient Israel. And no one knows which half are from Prophet Dawud and how many have been lost or altered.
Zakah: This is often translated as “Charity” or “Poor-due” but the literal meaning of the word is actually, “Purifying.”Zakah is the third pillar of Islam. It involves giving 2.5% of your yearly wealth, after expenses, for the benefit of the poor and the needy. The “purifying” part comes in by learning not to be greedy. If you give some of your money for the sake of Allah to the poor, you make your heart less prone to greed.