The Islamic World: Past and Present - Vol. 1

By John L. Esposito | Go to book overview


Glossary

ablution ritual washing that Muslims must perform before prayer

adhan Muslim call to prayer that occurs five times daily Allah God

Allahu akbar “God is most great,” beginning of Muslim call to prayer

amir military commander, governor, or prince; amirate office or realm of authority of an amir

aqidah Islamic creed, which consists of the five articles of faith: belief in God, angels, prophets, scriptures, and the Last Day (or Day of Judgment)

arabesque artistic style that uses foliage, fruit, or figural outlines to produce an intricate pattern of interlaced lines

ayatollah highest-ranking legal scholar among some Shi’i Muslims

burqa traditional garment worn by some Muslim women that covers the whole body, leaving only the eyes visible

caliph religious and political leader of an Islamic state; caliphate office and government of the caliph

chador veil worn by Muslim women in public that covers the whole body except the face, hands, and feet

Crusades during the Middle Ages, the holy wars declared by the pope against non-Christians, mostly Muslims

dar al-harb “Land of War;” place where inhabitants do not practice Islam

dar al-Islam “Land of Islam;” place where Islamic law is observed

da’wah call to Islam; refers to efforts to convert people to Islam or to draw Muslim individuals and communities back to God

dawlah Arabic for “state”

dhikr Sufi chant for the remembrance of God

dhimmi non-Muslims under the protection of Muslim law; typically applied to People of the Book, particularly Christians and Jews

Dhu al-Hijjah last month of the Islamic calendar and month of pilgrimage to Mecca

Eid al-Adha Feast of the Sacrifice, celebration commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son to God; comes at the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca

Eid al-Fitr Feast of the Breaking of the Fast of Ramadan; celebration that ends the holy month of Ramadan

fatwa opinion issued by an Islamic legal scholar in response to a question posed by an individual or a court of law

fiqh human efforts to understand and codify divine law

Five Pillars of Islam five acts required of all Muslims: pledging one’s faith, praying five times daily, putting aside a portion of one’s wealth for the poor, fasting during the month of Ramadan, and making a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca

hadith reports of the words and deeds of Muhammad (not in the Qur’an, but accepted as guides for Muslim behavior)

hajj pilgrimage to Mecca that Muslims who are physically and financially able are required to make once in their lifetime

halal permissible; acceptable under Islamic law

haram illegal; prohibited by Islamic law

harem room in a Muslim household where the women live; also, female members of a Muslim household

heresy belief that is contrary to established religious doctrine or practice

hijab refers to the traditional head, face, or body covering worn by Muslim women

Hijrah celebrated emigration of Muhammad from Mecca in 622, which marks the first year of the Islamic calendar

hudud punishments prescribed by the Qur’an for specific crimes

ijma consensus of scholars on issues of law

ijtihad use of independent reasoning, rather than precedent, to interpret Islamic law

imam spiritual-political leader in Shi’i Islam, one who is regarded as directly descended from Muhammad; also, one who leads prayers

iman in Arabic, “faith”

-197-

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The Islamic World: Past and Present - Vol. 1
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Islamic World - Past and Present iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • Chronology of the Islamic World xi
  • Abbasid Caliphate 1
  • Glossary 197
  • People and Places 201
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