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All of the practical laws of Islam have not been included in this book rather a good portion of the basic rules of Islam that the youth and young adults will need are not included in this small book. For those who are in need of more of the rules, we ask you to refer to the "Islamic Laws" the English version of Taudhiul Masail, as published by The World Federation of K.S.I.M.C.

Translation completed on February 3, 1998
Qum, Islamic Republic of Iran
Saleem Bhimji

Glossary of terms


A'lam: The Mujtahid considered most knowledgeable.
'Adil: The just individual.
'Aqil: The sane person.
Ahkam: Legal rulings, laws. Plural of Hukm.
Ahlul ul Bait: The near relatives of the Holy Prophet (S) mentioned in Qur'an (33:33) as the Ahlul Bait (AS). They are Imam 'Ali, Fatimah az Zahra, Imam al Hassan and Imam al Husayn, peace be upon them all.
Ahlul Kitab: "People of the scripture" a Qur'anic term used for Christians and Jews.
Ayatullah al 'Uzma: A Grand or senior Ayatullah.
'Ainul Najasat: An actual source of impurity, like blood.
Adhan: The Islamic call to prayer.


Baligh: A person reaching the age of legal maturity, a minimum of 10 years for girls and a maximum of 16 years for boys.


Du'a: Supplication, prayer.


Eid: Day of celebration, holiday.
'Eidul Adha: The holiday commemorating the Prophet Ibrahim's intended sacrifice of his son, Ismaa' il on the 10th of Zil Hijjah.
'Eidul Fitr: The holiday commemorating the end of the month long fasting of the month of Ramadhan on the 1st of Shawwal.
'Eidul Ghadir: The holiday commemorating me appointment of Imam 'Ali (A.S) as the successor of the Holy Prophet on the 18th of Zil Hijjah.


Fajr: Morning time before sunrise.
Faqir: A poor person, meaning one who does not have his yearly expenses on hand nor the means to earn it properly.
Farsakh/Farasikh: A unit of measure equal to approximately 5.4 Kilometers or 3.4 miles.
Fiqh: Islamic law and jurisprudence.
Fitrah: An obligatory charity in the amount of one Saa' of food (3 Kilograms/6.6 Pounds) given to the needy on 'Eidul Fitr.
Furu': A branch, as in a branch of religion, Furoo'ud Deen, meaning the practical aspects of faith.


Ghasbi: Usurped, taken or used without ownership or proper permission of the owner.
Ghusl: A bath according to Islamic law.


Hajj: Pilgrimage to the Holy Ka'abah in Makkah to perform specific rites and ceremonies.
Halal: Lawful, permissible.
Haram: Those actions which must be avoided, and performing them incure punishment from Allah.
Hijab: Islamic covering for women.
Hijri: Related to the Islamic calendar.
Ihtiyat Mustahab: A Mujtahid, in addition to expressing his opinion in the form of a fatwa, also attaches an Ihtiyat Mustahab to the ruling. The Muqallid can act either according to the fatwa or the Ihtiyat Mustahab, and is not allowed to perform Ruju' to another Mujtahid.
Ihtiyat Wajib: A Mujtahid does not give a fatwa in a particular ruling, rather, he gives an "Ihtiyat Wajib" which means the Muqallid can either act according to this Ihtiyat, or perform Ruju' to another living Mujtahid.
Intiqal: The transfer of an impurity, namely blood, from one person or animal to another person by means of an insect.
Iqamah: Part of the call to prayer recited to announce the actual beginning of the prayer.
Istibra': The process of removing urine and semen from the urinary tract. Also, to quarantine an impurity eating animal until its system becomes clean again.


Jari: Flowing, as in Maa' ul Jaari or flowing water.
Jabirah: A bandage, cast, splint and similar things which cover a wound or breakage.


Ka'bah: The House of Allah, the Holy Sanctuary built by the Prophet Ibrahim in Makkah. The place which Muslims pray towards daily and where the pilgrimage (Hajj) is performed.
Kafir: A non Muslim.
Kafarah: An atonement, usually for the lapse of one's duties or inability to perform a certain obligation.
Khums: An obligatory tax on excess wealth.
Kurr: A measurement of volume equal to approximated 102 US Gallons.


Maghrib: The time of sunset.
Mahram: A related person. One who it is not permissible to marry due to blood relation or family affinity.
Maitah: An animal which has died on its own without proper slaughtering.
Makkah: The birth place of the Prophet of Islam (S) and location of the Ka'abah, the direction toward which Muslims pray.
Makruh: Those actions which are better not performed, and if avoided, earn a reward, but if performed, do not accompany a punishment.
Masjid: A Mosque.
Mubah: Those actions whose performance or turning away from are equal; meaning neither gets a reward, nor punishment.
Mudd: A measurement equivalent to approximately 1.7 Lbs or 3.50 Kilograms.
Mudhaf: Mixed water.
Mujtahid: An Islamic jurist capable of independent derivation of legal rulings from the Islamic sources of law.
Mukallaf: One deemed as responsible and accountable under Islamic law.
Mustahab: These are actions which are recommended to be performed and earn the person a reward, but turning away from such actions does not incur punishment from Allah.
Mutahhir/Mutahhirat: Something capable of purifying an impure substance, like water.
Mutanajjis: Something which is contaminated by an impurity although not possessing the source of the impurity itself.
Mutlaq Water: Pure Water
Muwalah: Continuity, meaning that actions must be performed with continuity and continuation.


Nafilah/Nawafil: A voluntary prayer.
Najasat/Najasat: An impure substance according to Islamic law, like blood and urine.
Najis: Something containing a Najasah or an impurity.
Nadr :A vow.
Niyyah: Intention in matters of worship.


Qadha': The performance of a duty which has lapsed unperformed, like a prayer which was not performed in its proper time.
Qalil Water: A small quantity of water that is less than a Kurr or 102 US Gallons.
Qiblah: The direction of the Holy Ka'abah, the direction to which Muslims pray.
Qiyam: The standing position in prayer.
Qunut: The supplication made in prayer in the 2nd Raka'ah.
Qurbah: The intention to perform a duty only for the sake of Allah, to gain nearness to Him and fulfill one's duty.


Rak'at: One cycle in prayer.
Ramadhan: One of the holy months on the Islamic calendar in which Muslims fast during the day time hours.
Rukn: A pillar of prayer.
Ruku: The bowing position in prayer.


Sayyid/Sadat: A descendant of the Bani Haashim (the Prophet's family branch of the Quraish tribe). Also, the descendants of the Infallibles.
Sahm: A share, as in the two shares of Khums, Sahm al Imam and Sahm As Sadat (the share of the Imam and the share of the descendants of the Prophet).
Sajdah Sahw: Two prostrations that are performed to rectify some inadvertent mistakes committed during the prayer, like forgetting one prostration.
Salatul Ayat: The Sign Prayer, an obligatory prayer performed upon the occurrence of eclipses, earthquakes and other extraordinary natural occurrences.
Salatul 'Asr: Mid afternoon prayer.
Salatul 'Eid: Prayers of the two high celebrations of'Eid (Ref: 'Eid).
Salatul Fajr: The morning prayer, also called salatus Subh.
Salatul ihtiyat: The prayer of precaution, performed when one has doubt in the number of Raka'at performed.
Salatul 'Isha': The evening prayer said after sunset when the sky darkens.
Salatul Jama'at: Congregational prayer.
Salatul Jumu'ah: Friday Prayer.
Salatul Lail: The late night prayer, usually performed after sleeping and before the morning prayer.
Salatul Maghrib:The sunset prayer.
Salatul Mayyit: The prayer for the deceased. Also called Salatul Amwat.
Salatul Musafir: The prayer of the traveler, meaning a prayer shortened from four Raka'at to two Raka'at due to traveling.
Salatush Shafa: Two Raka'at prayer which is part of the eleven Raka'at of the late night prayer (Salatul Lail).
Salatuz Zuhr : The noon time prayer.
Salawat: To send salutations and prayers upon the Prophet Muhammad (S) and his family. Recited as: Also, the plural of Salah.
Sayyid/Sayyidah: Male/female descendant of one of the twelve A'immah (a.s.)
Shahid: A Martyr.
Suhur: An early morning meal before beginning the fast at Fajr time.
Sujud: Prostration.
Surah: A chapter of the Holy Qur'an.


Ta'qibat: The actions (du'a, etc..) which follow the prayer.
Tahir: Pure according to the Islamic law.
Taqlid: Following a Mujtahid in matters pertaining to the practical laws of Islam.
Tartib: Sequence, proper order.
Tasbih: Glorification, praise.
Tasbihat Al Arba': The Zikr recited in the third and fourth Raka'ah of prayer in place of Surah Al Hamd.
Tashahhud: The recitation of the Shahaadatain in me prayer.
Tayammum: Dry purification used as a substitute of Wudhoo" and Ghusl for specific reasons.
Turbah: Soil, dirt.


'Ulama': Scholars, plural of Alim.
'Ummah: The Muslims worldwide, the Muslim nation.


Wajib: Those actions which must be performed, and turning away from them, incur Allah's punishment for example Salat, and Sawm.
Waqf: An Islamic Trust.
Wasiyah: A will.
Witr: The one Raka'ah prayer that is part of the late night prayer (Salatul Lail).
Wudhu: A ritual of purification necessary before prayer and other acts of worship which require purification. Involves washing the face, arms from the elbows to the fingers, wiping the head and feet.


Zakat: An obligatory and, sometimes recommended, charity given on animals, agriculture and gold and silver.
Zakatul Fitrah: An obligatory charity given to the poor after the month of fasting (Ramadhan).
Zuhr: Noon time or the noon time prayer (Salatuz Zuhr).

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