GLOSSARY OF ISLAMIC TERMS

Compiled by Ishaq Zahid
 Copyright 1998-2003 Sound Vision
All rights reserved.

 
A B CD EF GH I J KL M NOPQ R S T UVWXYZ


I:

 

'Ibadah 'Ibadah is used in three meanings: (1) worship and adoration; (2) obedience and submission; and (3) service and subjection. The fundamental message of Islam is that man, as God's creature, should direct his 'ibadah to Him in all the above-mentioned meanings, and associate none in the rendering of it.
Iblis Iblis literally means 'thoroughly disappointed; one in utter despair.' In Islamic terminology it denotes the jinn, who refused the command of Allah to prostrate before Adam out of  vanity. He also asked God to allow him a term when he might mislead and tempt mankind to error. This term was granted to him by God whereafter he became the chief promoter of evil and prompted Adam and Eve to disobey God's order. He is also called al-Shaytan (Satan). He is possessed of a specific personality and is not just an abstract force.
'Iddah 'Iddah denotes the waiting period that a woman is required to observe as a consequence of the nullification of her marriage with her husband or because of the husband's death. For details see the Qur'an, Al-Baqara (2:228-235), At-Talaq (65:4-7.
Iftar Breaking of the fast immediately after sunset. Iftar takes place at Maghrib as soon as the Call to Prayer (Adhan) is called.
Ihram Ihram denotes the state of consecration which is essentiallyrequired for performing Hajj and 'Umrah. The outward garb which consists in the case of men of just two sheets of cloth instead of tailored clothes is one of the conditions of ihram but not identical with it. Apart from donning that garb, one is required to pronounce talbiyah (Labbayk Allahumma Labbayk...). In the state of ihram the pilgrim is required to observe many prohibitions; e.g. he may not hunt, shave or trim his hair, shed blood, use perfume, or indulge in sexual gratification.
Ihsan Ihsan literally denotes doing something in a goodly manner. When used in the Islamic religious context, it signifies excellence of behavior arising out of a strong love for God and a profound sense of close relationship with Him. According to a Tradition the Prophet (S.A.W.) defined ihsan as worshipping God as though one sees Him.
Ijma Ijma refers to the consensus of eminent scholars (mujtahidun) of Islam in a given age. Ijma comes next to the Quran and the Sunnah as a source of Islamic doctrines.
Ijtihad To exercise personal judgement based on the Qur'an and the Sunnah.
Ila' Ila' denotes a husband's vow to abstain from sexual relations with his wife. The maximum permissible limit for abstaining from sexual relations in wedlock under such a vow is four months, after which ila' would automatically mean repudiation of the marriage.
Imam 1. Imam signifies the leader, and in its highest form, refers to the head of the Islamic state.
2. It is also used with reference to the founders of the different systems of theology and law in Islam.
3. A person who leads the prayer.
Iman Trust, faith and acceptance. Having faith and belief in Allah according to the Qur'an.
Imsak Start of the fasting time. Imsak begins when the first light of  dawn becomes visible, and ends at Fajr when the Adhan is called.
Injil Injil signifies the inspired orations and utterances of Jesus (S.A.W.) which he delivered during the last two or three years of  his earthly life in his capacity as a Prophet. The Injil mentioned by the Quran should, however, not be identified by the four Gospels of the New Testament which contain a great deal of material in addition to the inspired statements of the Prophet Jesus. presumably the statements explicitly attributed to Jesus (S.A.W.) constitute parts of the true, original Injil. It is significant, however, that the statements explicitly attributed to Jesus in the Gospels contain substantively the same teachings as those of the Quran.
Insha Allah "If Allah wills."
Iqamah The call to prayer that announces to the congregation that the obligatory prayer is just to begin.
Isha' Isha' (Night) Prayer signifies the prescribed Prayer which is performed after the night has well set in.
Islam Literally means "submission to the will of Allah." The most important and pivotal concept in Islam is the oneness of God. See Allah for more on the conept of God. Islam teaches that all faiths have, in essence, one common message:
bullet the existence of a Supreme Being, the one and only God, whose sovereignty is to be acknowledged in worship and in the pledge
bullet to obey His teaching and commandments, conveyed through His messengers and prophets who were sent at various times and in many places throughout history.
Islam demands a commitment to submit and surrender to God so that one could live in peace; peace (salam) is achieved through active obedience to the revealed Commandments of God, for God is the Source of all Peace. Commitment to Islam entails striving for peace through a struggle for justice, equality of opportunity, mutual caring and consideration for others' rights, and continuous research and acquisition of knowledge for the better protection and utilization of  the resources of the universe. The basic beliefs of Islam are:
bullet the Uniqueness of the one and only God who is Sovereign of the universes;
bullet the Revelation of the teaching and commandments of God through Angels in heaven to Prophets on earth, and written in sacred writings which all have the same transcendent source; these contain the will of God which marks the way of peace for the whole universe and all mankind;
bullet the Day of judgement which inaugurates the Afterlife in which God rewards and punishes with respect to human obedience to His will.
Islam teaches that human diversity is a sign of the richness of God's mercy, and that God wills human beings to compete with each other in goodness in order to test who is the finest in action; this is, according to Islam, the reason for the creation of the universe. A person who enters the fold of Islam is called a Muslim. Isra 1. "The Night Journey", refers to the journey of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) from Makkah to Masjid Al-Aqsa in Jerusalem.
2. Another name for Surah Bani Israel (Surah 17) of the Holy Qur'an.
Istikhara Asking Allah the Almighty to guide one to the right decision and action regarding a particular problem. The Istikhara Prayer consists of two Rakahs. A special invocation is said. See Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 263, Vol. 2.
Istisqa Invoking Allah Ta'ala for rain in the time of a drought. The Istisqa Prayer consists of two rakahs. See Sahih Bukhari, Hadith 119, Vol. 2.
 
 I'tikaf I'tikaf refers to the religious practice of spending the last ten days of Ramadan (either wholly or partly) in a mosque so as to devote oneself exclusively to worship. In this state one may go out of the mosque only for the absolutely necessary requirements of life, but one must stay away from gratifying one's sexual desire. The minimum period for i'tikaf is twenty-four hours. I'tikaf is not valid if one is not keeping the fast or if it is done outside the month of Ramadan.
Ithm Ithm denotes negligence, dereliction of duty and sin.