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The Meaning of Common Islamic Words

Updated: May 29

In the rich tapestry of Islamic culture and tradition, language plays a pivotal role in shaping religious understanding and practice. The Arabic language, in particular, is deeply intertwined with the faith, being the language of the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam. This article aims to provide a comprehensive glossary of Islamic terms, offering insights into their meanings and significance. From fundamental concepts like 'Iman' (faith) and 'Salah' (prayer), to social principles like 'Zakat' (charity) and 'Ummah' (community), these terms encapsulate the essence of Islamic teachings. Whether you're a practicing Muslim seeking to deepen your understanding, or a non-Muslim interested in learning about Islam, this glossary serves as a valuable resource. It not only lists the terms in English and Arabic but also provides their meanings.

The Meaning of Common Islamic Words:



  1. Adhan (أَذَان): The Islamic call to prayer.

  2. Ahl al-Bayt (أهل البيت): The family of the Prophet Muhammad.

  3. Akhirah (الآخرة): The afterlife.

  4. Alhamdulillah (الحمد لله): Praise be to Allah.

  5. Allah (الله): The Arabic word for God.

  6. Ameen (آمين): Said after a prayer or supplication, meaning "may it be so."

  7. Ansar (الأنصار): The local inhabitants of Medina who took the Islamic Prophet Muhammad and his followers (the Muhajirun) into their homes when they emigrated from Mecca.

  8. Aqeedah (عقيدة): Islamic creed.

  9. Ayah (آية): A verse in the Qur'an.


  1. Barakah (بركة): Blessing or divine grace.

  2. Basmala (بسملة): The phrase "In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful".

  3. Bid'ah (بدعة): Innovation in religious matters that was not done in the life of the Prophet and his companions.

  4. Bismillah (بسم الله): In the name of Allah.


  1. Caliph (خليفة): The leader of the Muslim community.


  1. Da'wah (دعوة): The act of inviting people to Islam.

  2. Deen (دين): Religion or way of life.

  3. Dhikr (ذكر): Remembrance of Allah.

  4. Dua (دُعَاء): Supplication or invocation.

  5. Dunya (دُنْيا): The temporal world.


  1. Eid (عيد): A Muslim festival; there are two major ones in Islam, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.


  1. Fajr (فجر): The pre-dawn prayer.

  2. Fard (فرض): An obligatory duty in Islam.

  3. Fatwa (فتوى): A legal opinion or ruling issued by an Islamic scholar.

  4. Fiqh (فقه): Islamic jurisprudence.

  5. Fitnah (فتنة): Trial or tribulation.

  6. Fitra (فطرة): The natural inclination to goodness and the knowledge of God.


  1. Ghayb (غيب): The unseen, the future.


  1. Hadith (حديث): Sayings and actions of Prophet Muhammad.

  2. Hajj (حج): The pilgrimage to Mecca that every Muslim is required to make at least once in their lifetime.

  3. Halal (حلال): Permissible according to Islamic law.

  4. Haram (حرام): Forbidden according to Islamic law.

  5. Hijab (حجاب): A head covering worn by Muslim women.

  6. Hijrah (هِجْرَة): The migration of Prophet Muhammad from Mecca to Medina.


  1. Iftar (إفطار): The meal eaten by Muslims after sunset during Ramadan.

  2. Ihsan (إحسان): Excellence or perfection.

  3. Ijma (إجماع): Consensus among Muslim scholars.

  4. Ikhlas (إخلاص): Sincerity.

  5. Ilm (علم): Knowledge.

  6. Imam (إمام): Leader of the Muslim community or prayer

  7. Insha'Allah (إن شاء الله): If Allah wills.

  8. Iqama (إقامة): The second call to Islamic Prayer, given immediately before the prayer begins.

  9. Isha (عشاء): The night prayer.

  10. Islam (إسلام): Submission to the will of Allah.

  11. Istikhara (استخارة): A prayer for seeking guidance.


  1. Jahannam (جهنم): Hell in Islam.

  2. Jannah (جنة): Paradise or heaven in Islam.

  3. JazakAllah Khair (جزاك اللهُ خيرًا): May Allah reward you with goodness.

  4. Jihad (جهاد): Struggle or strive for a noble cause.

  5. Jinn (جن): Supernatural creatures in Islamic tradition.

  6. Jumu'ah (جمعة): Friday, the day of congregational prayer in Islam.


  1. Ka’bah (كعبة): The holy shrine in Mecca towards which Muslims pray.

  2. Kafir (كافر): A non-believer, one who rejects Islam.

  3. Khutbah (خطبة): A sermon given during Friday prayers or at a wedding.

  4. Kufr (كفر): Disbelief or ungratefulness to Allah.



  1. Madrasa (مدرسة): A school, particularly for Islamic instruction.

  2. Maghrib (مغرب): The prayer just after sunset.

  3. Masjid (مسجد): A mosque, a place of worship for Muslims.

  4. Muhajirun (المهاجرون): The early Muslims who followed Muhammad in his migration from Mecca to Medina.

  5. Mujahideen (مجاهدين): Those who perform Jihad.

  6. Mullah (ملا): A title often used for a learned Muslim.

  7. Muslim (مسلم): One who submits to the will of Allah.


  1. Nabi (نبي): A prophet in Islam.

  2. Niyyah (نية): Intention, particularly before performing an act of worship.




  1. Qadr (قدر): Divine predestination.

  2. Qibla (قبلة): The direction towards the Kaaba in Mecca, towards which Muslims pray.

  3. Qiyamah (قيامة): The Day of Judgment.

  4. Qur’an (القرآن): The holy book of Islam.


  1. Ramadan (رمضان): The holy month of fasting.

  2. Rasul (رسول): A messenger in Islam.

  3. Riba (ربا): Interest, which is prohibited in Islamic finance.

  4. Rizq (رزق): Provision or sustenance from Allah.


  1. Sadaqah (صدقة): Voluntary charity.

  2. Sahaba (صحابة): The companions of the Prophet Muhammad.

  3. Salah (صلاة): The Islamic ritual prayer.

  4. Sawm (صوم): Fasting, particularly during the month of Ramadan.

  5. Shahada (شهادة): The Islamic profession of faith.

  6. Shari'ah (شريعة): Islamic law.

  7. Shaytan (شيطان): Satan.

  8. Sunnah (سنة):The way of life prescribed by Prophet Muhammad.

  9. Surah (سورة): A chapter of the Qur'an.


  1. Tafsir (تفسير): Interpretation or commentary of the Qur'an.

  2. Tahajjud (تهجد): A voluntary night prayer.

  3. Tawheed (توحيد): The oneness of Allah.

  4. Tawbah (توبة): Repentance to Allah.


  1. Ulema (علماء): Body of Muslim scholars who are recognized as having specialist knowledge of Islamic sacred law and theology.

  2. Ummah (أمة): The global community of Muslims.



  1. Wudu (وضوء): The Islamic procedure for washing parts of the body.

  2. Yawm (يوم): Day, often used in context of Yawm al-Qiyamah (Day of Resurrection).




  1. Zakat (زكاة): The obligatory charity in Islam.

  2. Zina (زنا): Unlawful sexual intercourse.

  3. Zulm (ظلم): Injustice, wrongdoing.

  4. Zikr (ذكر): Remembrance of Allah.