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Glossary of Terms

  • Da’esh: (pronounced Da-eysh).  Arabic acronym referring to the self-proclaimed Islamic State.

  • Hadith: (pronounced Ha-deeth).  A compilation of narrations that communicate the prophet Muhammad’s sayings, actions and silent approvals.  The hadith are vast in number and have been recorded by various religious authorities throughout history.  The hadith have been examined, categorised and commented on extensively.    


  • Hijrah: (pronounced hij-rah).  Migration from one land to another.

  • Iman: (pronounced Ee-maan).  Belief in several critical components of the Islamic faith. 

  • Jama’at: (pronounced Ja-maa-ah).  Congregation and group.  Commonly used for congregational prayer but also used to refer to a group of people.

  • Jihad al-Nafs: The struggle against ones’ ‘self’ – desires and lusts.

  • Jihad: (pronounced Jee-had).  Commonly associated with conflict and understood to mean religious warfare.  Jihad embodies multiple meanings one of which is the ‘legitimate’ use of force.

  • Kafir: (pronounced Kaa-fir).  Adjective for someone who is not a Muslim. 

  • Khalifah: (pronounced Kha-lee-fah).  Adjective.  The designated leader/ruler of an Islamic State. 

  • Khilafah: (pronounced Khi-laa-fah).  The Islamic State.  A geographical location in which state governance is in accordance with Shariah.

  • Kuffar: (pronounced kuf-faar). Adjective.  Plural of Kafir.  

  • Murtadd: (pronounced murr-tadd).  Adjective for an individual who denounces Islam.

  • Mushriq: (pronounced mush-rik).  Adjective for someone who is a polytheist.

  • Mushriqeen: (pronounced mush-ri-keen).  Adjective.  Plural of Mushriq.

  • Qur’an: (pronounced Kur-aan).  The literal word of God (Allah).  Revealed onto the prophet Muhammad trough divine inspiration over the course of his lifetime from whence he was granted prophethood.  It was recorded in Arabic during the prophet Muhammad’s lifetime and assumed ‘book’ form for public consumption shortly after his death.  The Qur’an is the primary source of Islamic law and the most revered book in Islam.

  • Shariah: (pronounced Shar-eey-yah).  The legal framework of Islamic practice.  Shariah is a composite of the Quran, Hadith, deductive analogy and consensus of qualified Islamic scholars.  It represents a spectrum of legal opinion (on any given issue) and is incredibly diverse, not to mention complex.  Shariah and legal rulings are the privilege of qualified Islamic scholars, similar to solicitors, barristers and judges in the English legal system.   

  • Shia: (pronounced Shee-ah).  A ‘minority’ group within the Muslim community who hold some opposing beliefs and views from the Sunni group; specifically in relation to the prophet Muhammad’s companions.  Also used as an adjective for the individual.

  • Sunnah: (pronounced Sun-nah).  Argued as the habitual practice of the prophet Muhammad.  The sunnah is established through hadith narrations and consist of things like the manner in which the prophet Muhammad ate, drank, dressed, prayed etc.

  • Sunni: (pronounced Sun-nee).  A ‘majority’ group within the Muslim community who hold particular beliefs and views in relation to the prophet Muhammad and his companions.  Also used as an adjective for the individual.  

  • Taghut: (pronounced taa-gh-oot).  Reference to an oppressive model of governance.   

  • Takfir: (pronounced tak-feer).  Excommunication of a Muslim

  • Taqwa: (pronounced Tak-waa).  Spiritual consciousness of Allah that directs individuals to live a life that is compliant to Allah’s commands.

  • Tawhid: (pronounce Taw-heed).  The oneness and absolute divinity of Allah.

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