GLOSSARY OF ISLAMIC TERMS
Compiled by Ishaq Zahid
Copyright ©1998-2003 Sound Vision All rights reserved.
A four-day festival that completes the rites of pilgrimage and takes place on the 10th-13th
of Dhul Hijjah (the 10th is the day of Nahr and 11th-13th
are the days of Tashriq.) Literally means "the feast of the sacrifice." This
feast commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's obedience to Allah by being prepared to sacrifice his
only son Ismel, peace be on both of them. See Holy Quran, as-Saffaat (37:100-103).
Three day festival marking the end of Ramadan. It takes place on the 1st of
Shawal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar.
A type of interest. Taking something of superior quality in exchange for giving less of
the same kind of thing of poorer quality. See Holy Qur'an, Al-Baqarah (2:275-280),
War booty gained without fighting.
"The Dawn". The time of the first obligatory prayer (Salah). It can be prayed
at any time between the first light of dawn and just before sunrise. Also called Subh
(morning). See Surah 89 of the Holy Qur'an.
An Islamic scholar who can give a legal opinion or judgement.
An action which is obligatory on every Muslim.
Fard bi al-Kifayah
It signifies a collective duty of the Muslim community so that if some people carry it
out no Muslim is considered blameworthy; but if no one carries it out all incur a
Fasad, literally 'corruption', in Qur'anic terminology, means creating disorder and
corruption on earth by following a path other than God's. Islam maintains that true peace
and happiness emanate only through the observance of God's commands and through making a
conscious effort to see that His laws alone are implemented in every sphere of life. Fasad
occurs when man violates God's laws and disobeys Him. Fasad may therefore be partial as
well as total; partial when one disregards God's law in one aspect of life while
acknowledging His sovereignty in other spheres. If a society is based on the denial of
God, that society is bound to be a corrupt and exploitative society - hence full of fasad.
transgressor, evil doer, disobedient. The one who commits fisq.
A legal verdict given on a religious basis. The sources on which a fatwa is based are
the Holy Qur'an, and the Sunnah of the Prophet.
Fawahish applies to all those acts whose abominable character is self-evident. In the
Qur'an all extra-marital sexual relationships, sodomy, nudity, false accusation of
unchastity, and taking as one's wife a woman who had been married to one's father, are
specifically reckoned as shameful deeds. In Hadith, theft, taking intoxicating drinks and
begging have been characterized as fawahish as have many other brazenly evil and indecent
Compensation for missing or wrongly practicing necessary acts of worship. Fidya usually
takes the form of donating money, foodstuffs, or sacrificing an animal. Contrast with
Kaffara (making amends).
Fi sabil Allah
Fi sabil Allah (in the way of Allah) is a frequently used expression in the Qur'an
which emphasizes that good acts should be done exclusively to please God. Generally the
expression has been used in the Qur'an in connection with striving or spending for
Fisq is transgression. It consists of disobedience to the command of God.
Fitnah has been used in the Quran in two meanings. It refers, firstly, to persecution,
to a situation in which the believers are harassed and intimidated because of their
religious convictions. Secondly, it refers to the state of affairs wherein the object of
obedience is other than the One True God.
Furqan signifies that which enables one to distinguish between true and false; between
real and fake.