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Questions tagged [terminology]

Questions about Islamic terms, the ways they are used, and what they mean.

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33
votes
9answers
133k views

What is the difference between “nabi” and “rasul”?

In English, we use the word prophet, but in Quran two different names are used for prophets: rasul and nabi. What is the difference between rasul and nabi?
17
votes
6answers
11k views

What is a “Muslim” (surrendered) and what is a “Mumin” (believer/safe)?

In the Quran, two terms are used to refer to those on the straight path (suratal mustakeem): muslim and mumin. What are some similarities and differences between "muslim" and "mumin"? In the Quran, ...
15
votes
5answers
14k views

Why are converts to Islam called reverts?

I have noticed that when a person converts from one religion to Islam it is said that he or she reverted. This is said even when it is the first time he or she embraces Islam as a religion. Why is ...
15
votes
5answers
213k views

What does “Jazak Allah Khair” mean?

Asslamu allikum I would like to know the usage of Jazak Allah Khair. When is it best used and, is there any restrictions? What does "Jazak Allah Khair" mean? When do we use "Jazak Allah Khair"? ...
12
votes
3answers
18k views

What is the definition of a kaffir?

My understanding of the term kafir is that it refers to a person who literally rejects God's authority. So while even the most blatant polytheist would still be mushrik, he would not (necessarily) ...
12
votes
6answers
37k views

What is the definition of Muslim according to the Holy Quran?

Is there any verse in the Holy Quran that provides a clear definition of who should be considered Muslim? Some extremist groups of Muslims use their own definition of Muslim and call some other ...
10
votes
3answers
6k views

What does “shahid” mean?

When shahid is used to mean "martyr" (rather than "witness"), who is considered a shahid? Does someone who died in a battle qualify? What about suicide bombers? Does the act of becoming a shahid ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the Islamic definition of music?

Based on answers from questions like (Music in Islam?), it seems that music is haraam. My question is, has Islamdefined for muslims what music is? For example, is music: singing without musical ...
7
votes
1answer
8k views

What is the meaning of Shafa'ah (Sunni view)?

There is some narration from Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) installed in Masjid an Nabawi in Madinah, justified as "Sahih"(=Correct) or "Hassan"(=Well) in different Sunni references: النَّبِيِّ صلى الله ...
7
votes
1answer
602 views

What is Waqf in fiqh terminolgy?

What are the conditions and rules for someone to declare his or her assets as Waqf? Besides, does it apply for intellectual properties?
7
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the difference between Taraweeh and Qiyaam al-layl?

I can see both the prayers are prayed in my Masjid (mosque). Taraweeh time 8:45 to 10:00 pm Qiyaam al-layl time 2:30 to 3:30 am What is the difference between Taraweeh prayer and Qiyaam al-layl ...
6
votes
2answers
5k views

What is a “saint” in Islam?

How does Islam define the word saint? Does it just mean any reasonably good person; or a person in close communication with God? Is it in some way analogous to the Christian concept of a "saved" ...
6
votes
2answers
592 views

What is the difference between إِثْم and ذَنب and سَيِّئَة which refer to sin?

There are a number of Arabic words in Quran that refer to sin like: إِثْم and ذَنب and سَيِّئَة. I am looking for the difference between them and their usage.
6
votes
3answers
739 views

Is “zina” also used to describe homosexual relations?

Is Zina only used for illicit relations between a man and a woman or is it also used to refer to sexual relations between two men?
6
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the difference between 'Wahi' and 'Ilham'?

Are these interchangeable terms? Is there a way by which even non prophets can acquire information/communication from the unseen?
6
votes
1answer
3k views

What is a 'non-believer' or 'pagan'?

Under what conditions is someone considered a 'non-believer' or 'pagan' in Islam? Does believing in one God constitute 'belief', and is a Christian or Jew (or followers of monotheistic non-Abrahamic ...
5
votes
3answers
5k views

What does a.s. mean?

OK, so I know very little about Islam, but this question doesn't seem to be Google-able. I've seen some people in the Qur'an described with a.s. after their name - such as Nuh a.s. What does that mean?...
5
votes
4answers
102k views

What is the difference between SHIFA'ah and SHAFA'ah?

I want to know the exact meaning and difference between SHIFA'ah and SHAFA'ah and which one we need to ask Allah for?
5
votes
2answers
2k views

what is a bidah (bid-ah), the definition and the way to identify it?

I've read a lot about bid-ah here and other places, but it seems there is no definite meaning for it as someone expands it to anything new even innovations in technology and saying there are good ...
5
votes
2answers
314 views

What is the difference between 'illa and sabab in usul al fiqh?

I have been reading that some scholars do not differentiate between 'illa العلة and sabab السبب in usul al fiqh, while others do. Question: What is the difference between 'illa and sabab in usul al ...
5
votes
4answers
1k views

Who are the “unbelievers” in the Quran whom Muslims are not meant to take as friends?

There are some verses in Quran about relationship with unbelievers: لَّا يَتَّخِذِ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الْكَافِرِينَ أَوْلِيَاءَ مِن دُونِ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ ۖ وَمَن يَفْعَلْ ذَٰلِكَ فَلَيْسَ مِنَ اللَّهِ ...
4
votes
2answers
4k views

Refering to Allah (SWT) as “him”?

I was watching a khutba on youtube and the Imam referred to Allah (SWT) as "him". If you need a context to go with this the sentence was, "Allah (SWT) doesn't need us, we need him." I sometimes feel ...
4
votes
3answers
376 views

What exactly does being a Muslim mean?

Can someone please give a brief answer describing the major and main responsibilities which is a must and sufficient enough to make a Muslim. Please provide references as well.
4
votes
2answers
111 views

Is there a term to describe narrations from Sahaba?

Take the account of the slander of Aisha (r.a.) from her own mouth, for example: it is not hadith. Do such narrations (narrations from sahaba and the wives of the Prophet Muhammad (peace and ...
4
votes
2answers
9k views

What is the exact meaning of Karrar? (As a Laqab (title) of Imam Ali a.s.)

I have heard that Karrar is one of Imam Ali's names. Actually Imam Ali (a.s.) has many titles. Karrar is one of them. Well, I was wondering: What is the exact meaning of it?
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Is it appropriate to use the term “Semite” for Muslims?

I am an American Jew who has been reaching out to Muslim friends and neighbors. To stress the connection I feel, I sometimes describe myself as a fellow (or sister) Semite or say that I consider anti-...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

If something is not Halal, does that mean it's Haram?

Actually, this came to me when I was watching some shieks talking about music status in Islam, and referring to the famous hadith that says: There will be a group of my people who will make ...
4
votes
10answers
7k views

Did the Quran ever mention Universe?

I am intrigued by the world السماواتthat is often used in Holy Quran to describe God creation of skies and the earth. In arabic السماوات means skies, which is not the same as Universe. Sky is the ...
4
votes
1answer
538 views

What are the minimum requirements for someone to be a “student of knowledge”?

A student of knowledge (طالب العلم) describes someone who studies Islam (or, more specifically, sacred knowledge). However, it's hard for me to tell if someone is genuinely a student of knowledge, or ...
4
votes
2answers
654 views

who is a Musafir?

Musafir is a traveler, but after covering how much distance is a person called Musafir? I've been searching for this everywhere but the distance varies everywhere.
4
votes
2answers
22k views

Is it correct to use Al-Haj before the name of persons who completed their haj?

I saw most of the Muslims who have completed their Hajj add the prefix Al-Haj or Hajito their names, like adding Al-Hafiz to those who finished memorizing the whole Al-Quran. Haji is an honorific ...
4
votes
3answers
12k views

What is the difference between “mukhlis” and “mukhlas”?

Two words mentioned in the Qur'an are mukhlis (with I) and mukhlas (with A). They come from the same root word as "ikhlaas," which means sincerity. The former is often translated as "a person of ...
4
votes
3answers
947 views

Are all non-Jewish/Christian/Muslim people kafirs?

Is everyone who is not either Jewish or Christian (dhimmis) or Muslim kafirs? I assumed that was the case, but Wikipedia says The term refers to a person who rejects or disbelieves in the god of ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

What is the difference between Syed and Sharif?

What is the difference between both of the terms? Definition of Sharif is here. Don't use Wikipedia English page for it cause it's talking about something different, if you want to see an English ...
4
votes
1answer
136 views

Is it wrong to use the words Namaz, Khuda, Roza?

I am from Bangladesh. Here almost everyone exclusively use the word Namaz to refer to Salat. Recently my parents have been pressuring me to use the word Salat in place of Namaz. Their argument goes ...
4
votes
0answers
65 views

Is there any prescribed/Sunnah way of apologizing or saying sorry to someone?

There are certain Islamic terms we Muslims are to use, for example, while thanking someone we say "Jazak Allahu Khayran" and before starting something "Bismillah", intention to do something in the ...
4
votes
2answers
742 views

Is this a case of sighar marriage?

My elder sister marriage is adjusted with my cousin. I like sister of my cousin. Can I marry her after my sister marriage. Is it a sighar marriage?
4
votes
0answers
242 views

What is the etymology of the word “jihad?” [duplicate]

Specifically, was this word in use in the Arabic language before Islam? If so, how was it used? Did it have a holy connotation or was the word a generic term for all kinds of struggles? Can this word ...
3
votes
5answers
52k views

What is the literal meaning of the word “Qur'an”?

I know that the Qur'an is the book revealed by the prophet Muhammad, but I'd like to know what the meaning of this word "Qur'an" is literally? What is its root?
3
votes
2answers
431 views

What's a “Dweller of hell”?

In the following passage, what's a "dweller of hell"? A dead human, or some non-human being? Abu Umama narrated: “The Messenger of God said, ‘Everyone that God admits into paradise will be ...
3
votes
3answers
1k views

What does the attribute of Allah “shafiul mudhnibin” mean?

I was advised by an honourable person to chant the following: Ya Allahu, Ya Rahmanu, Ya Rahim, Ya Rahmatallil Alamin, Ya Shafiul Mudhnibin. But I want to verify its meaning first. First four phrases ...
3
votes
3answers
705 views

Is to say “God” the same as to say “Allah”?

Clearly I'm not very familiar with Islam, but I prefer to become knowledgeable in a wide range of things, so if I'm asking a question here, or speaking to a Muslim, should I strictly use "Allah" to ...
3
votes
3answers
908 views

Why use the word Allah instead of God?

As an Arab, for me the use of the Word "Allah" is only the arabic translation of God. So why create the distinction of the 2 words? I have read somewhere that this idea of using the word came from ...
3
votes
1answer
107 views

What is “Taqleed”? And who should do complete Talqeed and who is not obliged to do taqleed?

My question is that what is the explanation of "Taqleed", and who should do Taqleed and who is free from it? And up to what extent one should do Talqeed and which Islamic practices come under Talqeed ...
3
votes
2answers
110 views

Who uses “sharia” as a synonym for “fiqh” or “din”?

A. Maftuhin, The Historiography of Islamic Law: The Case of Tarikh al-Tashri' Literature, Al-Jāmi‘ah: J. Islamic Studies, 2016 (URL), writes: For those who use shariah as the synonyms for fiqh, the ...
3
votes
2answers
8k views

What is the precise meaning of “Surah”?

According to my research, the word "Surah" has some meanings, such as: Enclosure, Altitude, the wall which is around the city. (www.islamquest.net) But I was wondering what its precise meaning is? ...
3
votes
4answers
13k views

Does “nikah” mean “sex”?

In another question, we have this quote: I heard that the word "nikah" has a disgusting meaning to it? All this time I thought "nikah" meant marriage, but apparently it means to have sex or f***. -...
3
votes
2answers
414 views

Who exactly can be called a hafidh?

In popular parlance hafidh or hafiz seems primarily to refer to a person who has memorized the whole Qur'an. But when we read books we find this title mostly used to introduce a hadith scholar such as ...
3
votes
1answer
101 views

What does shahada 'amaliyya (faith by deed) mean?

I've encountered the term "shahada 'amaliyya" twice now: Every Muslim must enact a practical shahada [shahada 'amaliyya] on the ground of our lived reality after they have pronounced a verbal ...
3
votes
4answers
33k views

What is the exact meaning (or interpretation) of Yaseen? (as the initial verse of Surah-Yasin)

As you are aware, Surah Yasin consists of 88 verses and it begins with Ya, Seem (Yaseen) Yasin: بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ يس (1) والقرآن الحکیم (2) إِنَّكَ لَمِنَ ...