Tuesday, April 5, 2011


A group termed a ‘sect’ by the Madhabs of Orthodox Islam because it is amongst the La-Madhabis.


 Prostration; a reference to bowing with hands, forehead and nose to the ground. 


‘sound’, ‘authentic’; a term used to denote the best accepted collections of Ahadith declared today as being 6 (sittah) collections, those of Bukhari, Muslim, al-Nisa’i, Abu Da’ud, at-Tirmidhi and ibn Maja.


The generation which saw Muhammad; declared to be the first of the four righteous generations.


The body position in which the follower of Islam is bent forward 90 degrees at the waist and the hands are placed upon the knees.


A different version of an existing reading; a reference to the varying versions of readings which are accepted although they are declared to have been transmitted from one individual.

Rightly guided Caliphs

A reference to the first 4 Caliphs, being Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, ‘Uthman and ‘Ali, who are seen by Orthodox Islam in the light of a Hadith which declares that the first four generations will be trustworthy.


 The way of vocalising the Arabic text; generally in reference to the ‘7 Readings’, but also to the ‘Ten’, ‘Fourteen’, and even more, none of which always agrees with the graphic form but which require amending of it; some also belong to graphic forms which agree with the records concerning the content of the Companion codices which ‘Uthman burnt. These are admittedly not the same as the ‘7 Ahruf’ in which the Qur’an is believed to have been ‘revealed’.


Units; a reference to the divisions of the Qur’anic text into sections.


 Analogical deduction; a term referring to legal rulings deduced from an example which seems to run parallel to the situation for which a ruling is sought. 


one who carries the correct recitation of the Qur’an; some believe a qarra was sent to each Islamic centre to ensure the ‘true’ recitation of the Qur’an was known when ‘Uthman’s copies were sent out.


‘Outwitting’ - a term used to define a category of activity in which a person ‘outwits’ another by word or deed; generally perceived to be used in battle and so termed ‘battle is an outwitting’ in one Hadith. It can encompass the use of tauriyya, taqayyah or kithman.


The text of the Qur’an or Hadith.


 Universally accepted; a term generally referring to the wide circulation of a Hadith.


Manuscript or copy of the Qur’an, as in ‘Mushaf Al-Madinah’.


The content of the Hadith or piece of information which is thought to be confirmed or denied by checking the reliability of the isnad.


A school of fiqh; today accepted by orthodox (Sunni) Islam as being 4 in number, namely Hanbali, Maliki, Hanafi, and Shafi’i; formerly they numbered in the hundreds. The Shi’ah school denoted as coming from Jafar Sadiq is accepted by some within the Sunni ranks as another Madhab.


(i.e. ‘no Madhab’) - those who reject adherence to the 4 Orthodox schools of Fiqh (Madhabs).


A form of ‘outwitting’ (see ‘outwitting’) attributed to the Shi’ah.


 The small mark by which a short ‘i’ is denoted in vocalisation.


Chain of transmitters; the list of names which represent the persons through whom a particular piece of information is believed to have been transmitted. This is one means by which the orally transmitted information is verified as ‘true’; thus it is ‘the way to mat’n (content)’ i.e. the way to establish the reliability of the content. 

Injil (Injeel)

The Message of the Gospel; perceived by Islam to be a pre-existing revelation ‘sent down’ to Jesus and referred to as a ‘Book’.


‘Personal opinion’ - generally that of a Mujtahid scholar in his scholarly assessing of the Qur’an and Sunnah to derive an interpretation of the religion; today what is embodied in the 4 Madhabs alone is accepted since ‘the gate of ‘Ijtihad was closed in the early centuries.


Consensus; there are admittedly several varieties of consensus; generally the reference is to the majority of the scholars having accepted something. 


One group which today is at the forefront of pushing those in Islam to seek the ‘vice-regency’. 


Something declared to be forbidden.


Something declared to be clean or encouraged to be done. 


 The pilgrimage to Mecca; something believed obligatory at least once in a lifetime for each individual who can afford it.


(huffaz) - a reference to one who memorises well; today it is used of those who can recite the Qur’an off by heart.

Graphic Form

That portion of the Arabic text which made up the early written form, something which contained only the consonantal symbols. It does not include the diacritical dots which denotes which consonant each symbol is meant to represent, nor the fatha (short ‘a’), kasra (short ‘i’), or damma (short ‘u’), nor the shadda indicating the need to double the consonant.


The small vocalisation mark used to indicate a short a.


Originally a word which was used interchangeably with the terms ‘Islam’ and ‘religion’ encompassing at that time all that was believed to be ‘Islam’; today it has a very restricted meaning.


The small vocalisation mark used to indicate a short ‘u’.


Weak; the categorisation of a Hadith on the grounds of poor transmission.


One of those who saw Muhammad, and preferably knew him for a time; generally a reference to a select number who are well-known.


The rulers of Islam chosen by various means after Muhammad died. 


Void; a reference to the unacceptability of a Hadith on the grounds of unacceptable transmission.


Circumstances for the revelation; the circumstances in which it is believed ayas (verses) of the Qur’an were revealed; these can vary from source to source over the same aya.


Meaning ‘form’ or ‘word’; used specifically in reference to the belief that the Qur’an was revealed in ‘7 Forms’ (‘7 Ahruf’).

Monday, March 29, 2010


Lit. "The House of Property." The public treasury of a Muslim state, which the ruler is not allowed to use for his personal expenses, but only for the public good.

The sources of income are:
(1) Zakat, or the legal tax raised upon land, personal property, and merchandise, which, after deducting the expense of collecting, should be expended in the support of the poor and destitute.
(2) The fifth of all spoils and booty taken in war.
(3) The produce of mines and of treasure-trove.
(4) Property for which there is no owner.
(5) The Jizyah, or tax levied on unbelievers.
(Hidayah, Arabic ed. vol i. p. 452.)