GLOSSARY OF ISLAMIC TERMS
Compiled by Ishaq Zahid
©1998-2003 Sound Vision
All rights reserved.
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.
Major sins; such as Shirk (see Shirk), Qatl (murder), Zinah (fornication
and adultery), the taking of Riba (usury), Sirq (theft), etc.
Kaffarah means atonement, expiation.
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.
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, 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).
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 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 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).
Tax imposed on the revenue from land taken from non-Muslims to ensure
their equal rights under Islamic law.
Khul' signifies a woman's securing the annulment of her marriage through
the payment of some compensation to her husband. For reference see verse
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).
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
An Arabic script. Angular writing style often used for early hand-written
copies of the Qur'an.
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.
'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
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
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
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.
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