GLOSSARY OF ISLAMIC TERMS

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

 
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K:

 

Ka'aba The cube-shaped stone building whose foundations were built by the angels and completed by Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and his son, Prophet Ismael, peace be on them, in Makkah. It was rebuilt with the with the help of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). It is the focal point towards which all Muslims face when praying.
Kabair (al) Major sins; such as Shirk (see Shirk), Qatl (murder), Zinah (fornication and adultery), the taking of Riba (usury), Sirq (theft), etc.
Kaffarah Kaffarah means atonement, expiation.
Kafir Kafir signifies one who denies or rejects the truth, i.e. who disbelieves in the message of the Prophets. Since the advent of  Muhammad (S.A.W.), anyone who rejects his Message is a kafir.
Kafura Literally means camphor. It is a special heavenly perfume that will be mixed with non-intoxicating, pure wine and be given to the righteous in the Hereafter. See the Holy Qur'an, Al-Insan (76:5).
Kalalah Kalalah, according to some scholars, refers to those who die leaving neither issue nor father nor grandfather. According to others it refers to those who die without issue (regardless of  whether they are succeeded by father or grandfather).
Kawthar (al) 1. "The fountain of Kawthar." A sacred fountain in Jannah (Paradise). It is the source of all the four rivers of Jannah, and feeds the Hawd of Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.). Surah 108 of the Holy Qur'an.
2. The Hawd which is filled by Al-Kawthar is at the end of the Siratul Mustaqeem. It is a gift from Allah to the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.). It is to quench the thirst of true believers.
Khalifah Khalifah or vicegerent is one who exercises the authority delegated to him by his principal, and does so in the capacity of his deputy and agent. This term has been used in the Quran with reference to man: 'Just think when your Lord said to the angels: Lo! I am about to place a vicegerent on earth...' (2:30). At certain places in the Qur'an, khulafa (pl.) also means (a) people with power to mobilize all that is on earth (27:62); (b) successors or inheritors who will inherit the earth and succeed one after another (24:55; 38:26). In the political history of Islam, khalifa became the title of  the successors of the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), notably the first four Rightly-Guided Caliphs known as al-Khulafa al-Rashidun (11-35 A.H., 632-655 C.E.). With the establishment of the Umayyad hereditary rule immediately after this, the institution of the Caliphate changed into monarchy. Yet the rulers called themselves Caliphs. Formally the institution of the Caliphate came to an end in 1924 C.E. when Kamal Ataturk of  Turkey arbitrarily declared its abolition.
Khamr Khamr literally means 'wine', and has been prohibited by Islam. This prohibition covers everything that acts as an agent of intoxication. See Holy Qur'an, Al-Baqarah (2:219), Al-Ma'idah (5:93).
Kharaj Tax imposed on the revenue from land taken from non-Muslims to ensure their equal rights under Islamic law.
Khul' Khul' signifies a woman's securing the annulment of her marriage through the payment of some compensation to her husband. For reference see verse 2:229.
Khums Khums, literally one-fifth. One-fifth of the spoils of war is earmarked for the struggle to exalt the Word of God and to help the orphans, the needy, the wayfarer and the Prophet's kinsmen. Since the Prophet (S.A.W.) devoted all his time to the cause of  Islam, he was not in a position to earn his own living. Hence a part of khums was allocated for the maintenance of the Prophet (S.A.W.) as well as for his family and the relatives dependent upon him for financial support. See Al-Qur'an, Al-Anfaal (8:41).
Khutbah Sermon. The greatest sermon in the history of mankind was called al-Khutbatul Wida' (the farewell address), given by the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), during his last Hajj in 10 AH. There are various types of sermons:
1. Khutbatul Jum'ah (the Friday Sermon). This is given immediately before the Jum'ah Salah (Friday Prayer).
2. Khutbatul Eid (the Eid Sermon) This is given immediately after the prayer of the two Eids.
3. Khutbatul Nikah (the marriage sermon). This is given during the marriage ceremony.
Kufee An Arabic script. Angular writing style often used for early hand-written copies of the Qur'an.
Kufr Its original meaning is 'to conceal'. This word has been variously used in the Quran to denote: (1) state of absolute lack of faith; (2) rejection or denial of any of the esentials of Islam; (3) attitude of ingratitude and thanklessness to God;  and (4) non-fulfilment of certain basic requirements of faith. In the accepted technical sense, kufr consists of rejection of  the Divine Guidance communicated through the Prophets and Messengers of God. More specifically, ever since the advent of  the last of the Prophets and Messengers, Muhammad (S.A.W.), rejection of his teaching constitutes Kufr.
 
 
 
L:

 

Lailatul-Qadr 'The Night of Power,' concealed in one of the odd nights in the last ten days of Ramadan; the night on which the Qur'an was first revealed by Jibraeel to the Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.), and which the Qur'an itself describes as "better than a thousand months." See the Holy Qur'an, Al-Qadr (97:3).
Al-Lat Al-Lat was the chief idol of the Thaqif tribe in al-Taif, and among the most famous idols in pre-Islamic Arabia. See the Holy Qur'an, An-Najm (53:19).
Al-Lateef The Subtle One Who is All-Pervading. One of the ninety-nine Attributes of God. The exact meaning of this word is very difficult to fully understand. It includes all of the following  meanings: 1. So fine that He is imperceptible to the human sight. 2. So pure that He is unimaginable to the human mind. 3. So kind that He is beyond human comprehension. 4. So gracious that He is beyond human grasp. 5. So near that He is closer to us than our jugular veins. See the Holy Qur'an, Al-Hajj (22:63), Ash-Shura (42:19).
Lauh al-Mahfudh A guarded tablet in the Seventh Heaven. The Holy Qur'an was first written on the Lauh al-Mahfudh in its entirety before it  was sent down to the Baitul 'Izza in the First Heaven.
Luqata Article found by a person other than the one who lost it.