Definitions

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Glossary of Islamic terms in Arabic

The following list consists of concepts that are derived from both Islamic and Arab tradition, which are expressed as words in the Arabic language. The main purpose of this list is to disambiguate multiple spellings, to make note of spellings no longer in use for these concepts, to define the concept in one or two lines, to make it easy for one to find and pin down specific concepts, and to provide a guide to unique concepts of Islam all in one place.

Separating concepts in Islam from concepts specific to Arab culture, or from the language itself, can be difficult. Many Arabic concepts have an Arabic secular meaning as well as an Islamic meaning. One example is the concept of dawah. One of the complexities of the Arabic language is that a single word can have multiple meanings. The word Islam is itself a good example.

Readers should also note that Arabic is written in its own alphabet, with letters, symbols, and orthographic conventions that do not have exact equivalents in the Latin alphabet (see Arabic alphabet). The following list is a transliteration of Arabic terms and phrases. Consequently, Muslims may transliterate certain Arabic words differently, such as din as opposed to deen, and aqidah as opposed to aqeedah. Most items in the list also contain their actual Arabic spelling.

A

(عبد) : servant, worshipper, slave. Muslims consider themselves servants and slaves of God. Common Muslim names such as Abdullah (Servant of God), Abdul-Malik (Slave of the King), Abdur-Rahmān (Slave of the most Beneficent), Abdus-Salām (Slave of Peace), all refer to names of Allah. Also used in modern times as a derogatory term for Blacks. Adab (أدب) : Traditionally describes good manners, as in etiquette. For example, being courteous is good adab. However, the term can be used very broadly, and the proper translation would be "the proper way to go about something," as in the example, Aadaab al Qitaal, or, "The Proper Way of Fighting in War," (Qitaal in Arabic means mortal combat) in which the word "etiquette" does not befit the context. Literally meaning literature. Ādhān (أذان) : call to salat (prayer), sometimes alternatively spelled and pronounced Azaan and Adhan. ‘Adl (عدل) : Justice especially distributive justice: social, economic, political, environmental. A.H. : "Anno Hegirae (In the year of the Hijra)." The Islamic calendar starts counting years starting from the time when Muhammad had to leave Mecca and go to Medina, an event known as the Hijra: July 16 622. Aḥad (أحد): literally "one." Islamically, ahad means One Alone, unique, none like God. Al-Wahid is one of the names of God. Aḥkām (أحكام): rulings and orders of the Qu'ran and Sunnah. Five kinds of orders: Wajib, Mustahab, Muharram, Makruh, and Halal. Ahlul-Bayt (أهل البيت ) : members of Muhammad's Household. Also known among Shia as the Masumin (infallibles; spiritually pure). Ahlul-Fatrah (أهل الفترة) : people who live in ignorance of the teachings of a revealed religion, but according to the "Fitra", the "Natural Religion" innate to human nature as created by God. Ahl ul-Kitāb (أهل الكتاب ) : "People of the Book", or followers of pre-Islamic monotheistic religions with some form of scripture believed to be of divine origin which were mentioned in Quran: Jews, Christians, Sabians, Magians or Zoroastrians. Sometimes said to include also Hanifs. Has at times been extended to include pre-Islamic religious traditions with scriptures which were not mentioned in Quran, e.g.: Buddhists, Hindus, Taoists, Confucians. Ākhirah (الآخرة) : hereafter or eternal life Akhlāq (أخلاق) : The practice of virtue. Morals. Ikhlas (إخلاص) : Genuine in religious beliefs. Al-Birr (البر) piety and righteousness and every act of obedience to Allah.

(عالمين) : Literally "worlds", humankind, jinn, angels and all that exists Alayhis Salam (السلام عليه) : "Peace be upon him" This expression normally follows after naming a prophet (other than Muhammad), or one of the noble Angels (i.e. Jibreel[Gabriel], Mikaeel[Michael], etc.) (الحمد لله) : "Praise be to God!" Qur'anic exclamation and also same meaning as hallelujah. Allāh (الله): God (in monotheistic understanding of the word); the only entity worthy of worship Allahumma (اللَّهُمَّ) : "O God." Allāhu Akbar (الله أكبر) : "God is the Greatest." Islamic expression. (عالم) : One who knows. A scholar (in any field of knowledge); a scientist (who knows science) or a theologian (who knows religion); similar to Japanese sensei, "teacher". Also meaning "world" Amānah (أمانة): the trust. Of all creation, only human beings carry the "trust", which is free will. Āmīn (آمين): Amen, a supplication meaning, "O God, accept our invocation!" (used only in Sunni Islam) (أمير المؤمنين) : In some countries like Morocco, a or Commander of the faithful is the religious chief. Aminah (أمنة) : Muhammad's mother. Aminah fell sick and died in Abwa, near Madina (then Yathrib) when Muhammad was six years old. Al Amr Bi'l Maruf : Islamic doctrine of enjoining right.anfal : Property of the Imam (أنصار): "Helpers." The Muslim converts at Medina who helped the Muslims from Mecca after the Hijrah. (عقيدة) : The Islamic creed, or the six article of faith, which consists of the belief in God, Angels, Messengers and Prophets, Scriptures, the Day of Judgment, and Destiny. Aqiqah : Islamic practice of shaving the head of the new born male and contributing the weight in silver for charity as well as 2 lambs. One lamb is slaughtered for a baby girl. (عقل): Intelligence, intellect, mind, understanding Arkan singular rukn (ركن/أركان) : The five rukn "pillars" of Islam. (See rukn) A.S. ('Alayhis-salaam) : This acronym evokes a blessing and is appended to the names of the prophets who came before Muhammad. It will also be applied the mothers of those prophets. When following a woman's name, the feminine form is 'Alayhas-salaam. Asl (pl. usool) : Root, origin, source; principle. Aslim Taslam (أسلم تسلم): "Submit to Islam" (See dawah) (أسماء الله الحسنى): List of God's 99 names. According to a hadith, the one who enumerates them all will enter Paradise. (العصر): The third salat prayer. The time of the day before sunset and after noon. also means "era". : The bridge on which judgement of where a person's Akhira (afterlife) will lie is passed. al-Asharatu Mubashsharun bil-Jannah or just Asharatu Mubashsharah (): The ten companions of Muhammad who were promised paradise (only in Sunni Islam) (عاشوراء) : Tenth day of the month of Muharram. It is the day God saved Moses and the children of Israel from the Pharaoh. The grandson of the prophet Muhammad, Imam Hussayn sacrificed his life along with 72 of his companions on the sand dunes of Karbala. Sunni Scholars recommended to fast during this day. To the Shias, it is also a day on which they mourn the death of the third Shia Imam, Husayn ibn Ali, along with his family and companions, who were killed in the famous battle in Karbala. They cry and weep and organize lamentating programmes where they not only learn how to live a proper Islamic life and improve their Spiritual Self but also cry at the end of the ritual to show their true love and faith towards imam Hussayn. (السلام عليكم): The Islamic greeting; literally "Peace be upon you"; In addition, means "and the Mercy of God and His blessing". The response to this greeting is --"And on you be the Peace and Mercy of God and His Blessing". Astaghfirullāh (أستغفر الله): "I seek forgiveness from God." Islamic expression. A'udhu billah (أعوذ بالله ’A‘ūdhu billāh): "I seek refuge in God". This is a paraphrase on the beginnings of the two last suras in the Qur'an. (أولياء): Friends, protectors, helpers, caretaker, maintainer. (singular: wali) (عورة) : The parts of the body, male or female, must be covered in public but not between spouses, such as, body parts must be concealed of a woman before non-related men.(non-related men means she can marry those men lawfully). Āyah (آية), plural āyāt (آيات) : A sign. More specifically, a verse in the Qur'an. Āyatullāh (آية الله, also spelled Ayatollah): Sign of God Title given to highly ranked religious scholars in Sh'ia sect.

B

Baghawat: insurgency against a legitimate government Bai'a : (بيعة) : pledge Batil: (باطل) : void Baitullah (بيت الله baytullāh) : A mosque, literally "house of God". Barakah (بركة) : a form of blessing. Also, spiritual wisdom and blessing transmitted from master to pupil. The special favor or divine grace which is possessed by the "friends of God," or Sufi masters in particular. BarakAllahu Feekum: may Allah bless you; response to expression of thanks. Barzakh (برزخ): The one-way barrier between the mortal realm and the spirit world which the deceased soul crosses and waits for qiyamah judgment. Basher (بشر) : Human(s). Literally means 'face' but generally it refers to a person (man/woman). (بصيرة) : Insight, discernment, perceptivity, deep knowledge. Sometimes used by Sufis to denote the ability to directly perceive a transcendental Truth. Batin : The interior or hidden meaning. A person who devotes himself to studying such hidden meanings is a batini. (بدعة) : Innovation in religion, i.e. inventing new methods of worship. Bad Bid'ahs in Islam are considered a deviation and a serious sin by many Muslims. Bid'ah sayyi'ah : Inquiry prohibited in Islam.Bint (بنت) : daughter Bismi-llāhi r-raḥmāni r-raḥīmi (بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم) : "In the name of God, Most Gracious, Most Merciful".Burda (بردة) : not an Arabic term; means "curtain" in Persian. Means covering or to cover. (بيعة) : an oath of allegiance to a leader, traditionally the Caliph or Imam.

C

Caliph (خليفة khalīfah) : literally successor; refers to the successor of the Prophet Muhammad, the ruler of an Islamic theocratic monarchy

D

Dahri: atheist - from the root ad dahr meaning time. In Islam, atheists are seen as those who think that time only destroys, hence the term ad dahriyyah for the concept of atheism. Dajjal (دجّال) : an Islamic figure similar to the Antichrist; means "liar" or "deceiver". Dallal (ضلال): going astray. Dar al'Ahd (دار العهد) : the Ottoman Empire's relationship with its Christian tributary states. Dar al-Amn (دار الأمن) : means house of safety; refers to status of a Muslim living in some of the Western world. Dar ad-Dawa (دار الدعوة) : a region where Islam has recently been introduced. Dar al-Harb (دار الحرب) : means house of war; refers to areas outside Muslim rule at war with Muslim states. Dar al-Islam (دار الإسلام): the abode, or land, of Islam. Dar al-Kufr (دار الكفر) : means domain of disbelief; the term originally refers to the Quraish-dominated society of Mecca between Prophet Mohammed's flight to Medina (the Hijra) and the city's conquest. Dar ash-Shahada (دار الشهادة) : See Dar al-Amn Darūd : blessing Da`wah (الدعوة) : the call to Islam. (See aslim taslam) Darwīš (درويش) : an initiate of the Sufi Path, one who practices Sufism Dhikr : A devotional practice whereby the name of God is repeated in a rhythmical manner Dhikr (ذكر) or zikr (in Farsi/Urdu): remembrance of God; spiritual exercise; Muslims believe that the primary function of prophets is to remind people of God. Dhimmi (ذمّي) : "Protected person"; Jews and Christians (and sometimes others, such as Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, and Zoroastrians), living in an Islamic state whose right to practice their religion is tolerated under Islamic law. Dhuhr : the second obligatory daily prayer. Dīn (الدين) : the way of life based on Islamic revelation; the sum total of a Muslim's faith and practice. Dīn is often used to mean the faith and religion of Islam. Diyya (دية): fine for unintentional murder. Dua (دعاء) : personal prayer, supplication Dhuhr (الظهر): second salat prayer Dunya (دنيا): The physical Universe, as opposed to the Hereafter

E

Eed Al-Adhha : The "feast of sacrifice." It is celebrated from the tenth through the thirteenth days of dhul-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Muslim calendar.Another Eed is Eed Al-Fitr (See Id) Ethiaat: Also Ahwat. A Precaution, either obligatory or optional. Ethiaat-Mustahabbi: A preferred precation. Ethiaat-Waajib: An obligatory precation.

F

Fajarah (فجرة): Wicked evil doers. Plural of "Fajir" (فاجر). Fajr (فجر): morning, as in the morning prayer. The time of the day when there is light in the horizon before sunrise. (فلاح): deliverence, salvation, well-being Falsafah: "philosophy" The methods and content of Greek philosophy which were brought into Islam. A person who tries to interpret Islam though rationalist philosophy was called a faylasuf ("philosopher"). (فناء) : Sufi term meaning extinction - to die to this life while alive. Having no existence outside of God. Faqih (pl. fuqaha) : One who has a deep understanding of Islam, its laws, and jurisprudence. (see fiqh) Al-Faraj: the return of the Shia Mahdi (فرض), plural Fara’id (فرأض) : a religious duty, or an obligatory action: praying 5 times a day is fard Neglecting a fard will result in a punishment in the hereafter. (See wajib) Fard ayn : obligatory on every individual Muslim to aid in any way he can. Fard kifayah : an obligation on the Muslim community as a whole, from which some are freed if others take it up. Fāsiq (فاسق): anyone who has violated Islamic law; usually refers to one whose character has been corrupted (plural "fasiqun"). Fatiha: the short, opening sura of the Qur'an, which begins "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Praise be to God, the Lord of the Worlds..." These words hold an important place in Muslim liturgies and forms the core of the salat. Fatwā (فتوى) : legal opinion of an (alim) binding on him and on those who follow his taqlid Fi Amanullah: May Allah protect you. Said when a person departs. Fiqh (فقه) : jurisprudence built around the shariah by custom (al-urf). Literally means "deep understanding", refers to understanding the Islamic laws. (see faqih) Fī sabīlu-llāhi (في سبيل الله): for the sake of Allah; common Islamic expression for performing acts such as charity or Jihad and for 'qatlu' (fighting in mortal combat for the sake of Allah Fitna (فتنة) : trial or tribulation; also refers to any period of disorder, such as a civil war, or the period of time before the end of the world or any civil strife. (فطرة): innate disposition towards virtue, knowledge, and beauty. Muslims believe every child is born with fitrah. Furqān (فرقان): the criterion (of right and wrong, true and false); for example, the Qur'an as furqan.

G

Ghafara (غفر): (verb in past tense) to forgive, to cover up (sins). A characteristic of God. Ghaflah (غفلة): heedlessness, forgetfulness of God, indifference Ghayb (غيب): the unseen, unknown.Ghasbi : possessed unlawfully Ghusl (غسل): full ablution of the whole body (see wudu). Ghusl jenobat is the mandatory shower after having sexual discharge.

H

Hādī (هادي): a guide, one who guides; A Muslim name for God is The Guide, or Al-Hadi.Hidāyah (هداية) : guidance from God.Hadath asghar : minor ritual impurityHadath akbar : major ritual impurity which requires Niyyat for cleaning Hadith (حديث ḥadīth) plural ahādīth : literally "speech"; recorded saying or tradition of the Prophet Muhammad validated by isnad; with sira these comprise the sunnah and reveal shariah Hadeeth Mashhoor : Well-known hadith; a hadith which reported by one, two, or more Companions from the Prophet or from another Companion, but has later become well-known and transmitted by an indefinite number of people during the first and second generation of Muslims. Haid : menstruation (حلال) : lawful, permitted, good, beneficial, praiseworthy, honourable. (See mustahabb, mandub) (حافظ) : someone who knows the Qur'an by heart. Literal translation = memorizer or Protector.Hajj (الحجّ haj) : pilgrimage to Mecca. Sunnis regard this as the fifth Pillar of IslamHajj al Tamattu: performing `Umrah during the Hajj season, and on the Day of Tarwiah a pilgrim gets into the state of Ihram for Hajj. Before making 'Umrah, approach the Miqat and declare the intention. End by sacrificing an animal. Hajj al Qiran: At Miqat, declare intention to perform both Hajj and `Umrah together. After throwing the Jamrah of Al-`Aqabah, and getting hair shaved or cut that take off his Ihram garments and sacrifice animal. Hajj al Ifrad: At Miqat, declare intention for Hajj only. Maintain Ihram garments up to the Day of Sacrifice. No offering is required from him. (حاكم) : a ruler's or gubernatorial titleHakmiya : sovereignty (حنيف) : pre-Islamic non-Jewish or non-Christian monotheists. Plural: (حنفاء). Haqq (‎‍حق): truth, reality, right, righteousness. Al-Haqq is one of 99 names of God. (حرام) : forbidden. An individual is rewarded for keeping away from haram done out of obedience, (rather than out of fear, shyness or the inability to do it.) Antonym: halal. (See mazur, makrouh) (حرم) : sanctuary. (حسن): Good, beautiful, admirable. Also a categorization of a hadith's authenticity as "acceptable". (other categorizations include authenic and fabricated).Hawaa (pl. ahwaa') : Vain or egotistical desire; individual passion; impulsiveness. (حجاب) : literally "cover". It describes the self-covering of the body for the purposes of modesty and dignity; broadly, a prescribed system of attitudes and behaviour regarding modesty and dignity. (See abayah, al-amira, burnuk, burqa, chador, jilbab, khimar, milfeh, niqab, purdah, shayla) Hikmah : Literally this means "wisdom" and refers to the highest possible level of understanding attainable by a Muslim. In particular, it refers to the illuminative, mystical sort of wisdom which a Gnostic or Sufi might accomplish.Hijra (الهجرة) : Muhammad and his followers' emigration from Mecca to Medina. Literally, "migration". This holiday marks the beginning of the Muslim New Year on the first day of the month of Muharram. See Rabi Al-Awwal and abbreviation A.H.. (حمى) : wilderness reserve, protected forest, grazing commons, important to khalifa (حزب) : one half of a juz', or roughly 1/60th of the Qur'anHouri (حورية ; pl. حوريات) : beautiful and pure young men and women, that Muslims believe inhabit Paradise, or Heaven. Hudā (هدى) : guidanceHudna (هدنة) : Truce. Cease-fire (often temporary) (حدود) (sing. hadd) : Literally, limits or boundaries. Usually refers to limits placed by Allah on man; penalties of the Islamic law (sharia) for particular crimes described in the Qur'an - intoxication, theft, rebellion, adultery and fornication, false accusation of adultery, and apostasy. (See ta'zeer) Hujjaj: Pilgrim (حكم): ruling in the Qur'an or Sunnah

I

(عبادة): worship, but not limited to ritual: all expressions of servitude to Allah, including the pursuit of knowledge, living a pious life, helping, charity, and humility, can be considered ibadah. Iblīs (إبليس): a jinn banished to Hell for his arrogance and disobedience; aka Satan : derived from the Greek Diabolos or Devil He is the equivalent of Lucifer. (عيد): festival or celebration. (عيد الأضحى): "the Festival of Sacrifice." The four day celebration starting on the tenth day of Dhul-Hijja. (عيد الفطر): "the Festival of Fitr (Breaking the fast)." A religious festival that marks the end of the fast of Ramadan.I'dad Al-'oda (إعداد العُدَّةِ): "preparation for battle" according to Qur'an (إفطار): a meal eaten by Muslims breaking their fast after sunset during the month of Ramadan. (إحرام): state of consecration for hajj. Includes dress and or prayer. (إحسان): perfection in worship, such that Muslims try to worship God as if they see Him, and although they cannot see Him, they undoubtedly believe He is constantly watching over them. Ijaz (إعجاز): miracle, the character of the Qur'an in both form and content.Ijazah (إجازة): a certificate authorizing one to transmit a subject or text of Islamic knowledge (إجماع): the consensus of either the ummah (or just the ulema) - one of four bases of Islamic Law. More generally, political consensus itself. Shi'a substitute obedience to the Imam; opposite of ikhtilafIjtihād (اجتهاد): During the early times of Islam, the possibility of finding a new solution to a juridical problem. Has not been allowed in conservative Islam since the Middle Ages. However, Liberal movements within Islam generally argue that any Muslim can perform ijtihad, given that Islam has no generally accepted clerical hierarchy or bureaucratic organization. The opposite of ijtihad is taqlid (تقليد), Arabic for "imitation". Ikhtilaf (اختلاف): disagreement among the madhhabs (scholars) of a religious principle; opposite of ijma. Ikraam (إكرام): honouring, hospitality, generosity - Dhul jalaali wal ikraam is one of the 99 names of Allah.Ilāh (إله): deity, a god; including gods worshiped by polytheists. (علم): all varieties of knowledge, usually a synonym for scienceImām (إمام): literally, leader; e.g. a man who leads a community or leads the prayer; the Shi'a sect use the term only as a title for one of the twelve Allah-appointed successors of Prophet Muhammad.Imamah (إمامة) or imamate : successorship of Prophet Muhammad and the leadership of mankind.Imān (إيمان): personal faith Innaa Lillaahi Wa Innaa Ilayhi Raaji'oon : To Allah we belong and to Him is our return - said to mournersInfāq (إنفاق): the habitual inclination to give rather than take in life; the basis for charityInjīl (الإنجيل): Arabic term for the holy book called The Gospel said to have been given to Jesus, who is known as Isa in Arabic; Muslims believe the holy book has been lost and the New Testament gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are not the word of Allah, only Christian stories about Jesus. Insha'Allah (إن شاء الله): Allah Willing.Iqamah (إقامة): the second call to prayer. Similar to the azhan.Irtidad (ارتداد): apostasy (see murtadd). Also riddah ردة (عيسى) : Jesus - 'Isa ibn Maryam (English: Jesus son of Mary), a matronymic (since he had no biological father. The Qur'an asserts that Allah has no sons and therefore, 'Isa is not the son of Allah. Muslims honor 'Isa as a nabi and rasoul. (عشاء): night; the fifth salat prayerIslam : "submission to God". The Arabic root word for Islam means submission, obedience, peace, and purity.Isnād (إسناد): chain of transmitters of any given hadithIsra (الإسراء): the night journey during which Muhammad (محمّد)is said to have visited Heaven. See miraj.Istigfar (استغفار): requesting forgivenessIstihada (استحاضة): vaginal bleeding except Haid and Nifas Istislah (استصلاح): public interest - a source of Islamic Law.Istish'hād (استشهاد): martyrdom. Itaqu: The faithful who fear Allah. Ithim (إثم): Negative reward for bad deeds that is tallied on qiyamah(judgment day.) Opposite of thawab. Itikaf : seclusion in the masjid for the purpose of worship usually performed during the last 10 days of Ramadan. Ittihad (اتحاد): "identity" or "union," the experience of personal union with Allah as felt by a Sufi mystic. Al-Ittihad al-Islami (AIAI): Somalia’s largest militant Islamic organization aiming to establish an Islamic regime in Somalia Itmām al-hujjah (إتمام الحجة):clarification of truth in its ultimate form.

J

Jaa'iz : That which is allowed or permissible. As a rule, everything that is not prohibited is allowed. (See halal, mustahabb, mandub) Jahannam (جهنم) : the Hell-fire; HellJāhiliyyah (الجاهليّة) : the time of ignorance before Islam was realized. Describes polytheistic religions.Jahl (جهل) : ignorance, arrogance.Jalsa - sitting. (جامعة) : "gathering"; i.e. a university, a mosque, or more generally, a community or association. Janaza (جنازة) : funeral prayerJannah (جنة) : Paradise, Heaven, the Garden Jazakallahu Khayran (جزاك الله خير) : "May God reward you for the good." Islamic expression of gratitude.Jihād (جهاد) : struggle. Any earnest striving in the way of God, involving personal, physical, for righteousness and against wrong-doing;
"Lesser Jihad" (الجهاد الأصغر): in defence, fighting to protect Islam from attack or oppression. In such fighting, no woman, child or innocent civilian is to be harmed, and no tree is to be cut down. (see Qitaal)
"Greater Jihad" (الجهاد الأعظم): internal struggle for the soul (nafs) against evil, e.g. Lust, Greed, Envy, etc. Also to thrive to do actions that have great value in Islam, and that one has to overcome one's self to do it, e.g.: to overcome the temptation to sleep when it is time to pray the morning prayer is a greater jihad. Jihād al talab: Offensive jihad.Jihād al daf’a : Defensive jihad. Jilbāb (جلباب) : (pl. jalabib) a long, flowing, baggy garment worn by some to fulfill the mandates of sartorial hijab. Some more conservative Muslims believe that jilbāb is incumbent upon Muslim women to wear this as a sign of modesty. (See abaya. burka, chador)Jinn (جنّ) : An invisible being of fire Jizya (جزية): A tax specified in the Koran (9:29) to be paid by non-Muslim males living under Muslim political control.Juhud : To deny. Jaahid (the denier). Disbelief out of rejection. When there comes to them that which they [should] have recognized, they refuse to believe in (kafaru) it. (2:89) Accordingly, juhud includes rejection (kufr at-taktheeb) and resistance (kufr al-‘inaad) (جمعة) : Friday prayerJunub : an unclean state of body as in breaking Wudu Janabat : an unclean state of body caused by discharge of semen or sexual intercourse Juz' (جزء) : one of thirty parts of the Qur'an

K

(الكعبة) : cube-house; the cube-shaped building i.e. in Mecca toward which Muslims pray. Muslims, however, do not worship it, nor pray to it. Muslims only pray to Almighty God. Kāfir (كافر) : from the word kafara - "to hide." Those who deliberately hide the truth; unbelievers, truth-concealers; one who is ungrateful. Plural: Kāfirūn. Extreme care ought to be taken with this word, as it is was (and is) occasionally misused as an offensive term for black people by white South Africans.Kalam (علم الكلم) : Literally, `words' or `speech,' and referring to oration. The name applied to the discipline of philosophy and theology concerned specifically with the nature of faith, determinism and freedom, and the nature of the divine attributes. Khalīfah (خليفة) : Caliph, more generally, one performing the duties of khilafa. Khalq: Creation - the act of measuring; determining, estimating and calculating. Khalq is the noun form of the verb khalaqa (see bara, sawwara). Al-khaliq: The Creator, Allah. Khamar: Intoxicant: wine. (خاطب): the speaker at the Friday Muslim prayer, or Jumu'ah prayer. Khatm: Complete recitation of the Qur'an.Kharāj (خراج) : a land tax. Khilaaf : Controversy, dispute, discord. Khilāfah (خلافة) : Man's trusteeship and stewardship of Earth; Most basic theory of the Caliphate; Flora and fauna as sacred trust; Accountability to; God for harms to nature, failure to actively care and maintain. Three specific ways in which khalifa is manifested in Muslim practice are the creation of haram to protect water, hima to protect other species (including those useful to man), and by resisting infidel domination over Muslim lands, in jihad. Khalīfāt Rashīdūn : four first caliphs, believed by most Muslims to be most righteous rulers in historyKhimār (خمار) (pl. khumur) : headcovering (Q. 24:31).Khums (خمس) : a Shi'a article of faith that refers to a one-fifth tax, divided between Sehme Sadaat, a poor sayyid, and Sehme Imam, given to a Mujtahid.Khushu' - humility, devotion, concentration (especially in prayer). (خطبة): the sermon at Jumu'ah prayer.Kitāb (كتاب) : book; The Qur'an is often referred to as "Al-Kitāb" (The Book).Kufr (كفر) : In Arabic - ungratefulness and disbelief in God and denial of the truth. Kufr-i jahli: Disbelief from not being aware of or not understanding. Kufr-i-juhudi: Disbelief from obstinacy after being presented with truth. Kufr-i-hukmi: Disbelief from judgment.Kun (كن) : God's command to the universe, 'Be!' is sufficient to create it.

L

Lā ilāha ill-Allāh (لاإله إلا الله) : "There is no god other than Allah." The most important expression in Islam. It is part of the first pillar of Islam. Also is the message of all the Prophets, such as Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad. Labbayk Allahuma : Allah, Here I am (said during hajj) Laghw (لغو) : Dirty, false, evil vain talk (لعنة) : Imploration for withdrawal of God's mercyLaylat al-Qadr (ليلة القدر) : the Night of Power, towards the end of Ramadan, when Muhammad received the first revelation of the Qur'an.

M

Madh'hab (مذهب) : (pl. Madhahib) school of religious jurisprudence, school of thoughtMadrasah (مدرسة) : school, universityMaghrib (مغرب): the fourth daily salat prayerMahdi (مهدي) : "a guide". More specifically al-Mahdi (the guide) is a figure who will appear with Prophet Jesus before the end of time, when God allows it, to bring world peace, order and justice, after it has been overcome with injustice and aggression. The Shi'ah regard the twelfth Imam as Imam Mahdi Imam-e-Zamana who was hidden in a cave when he was 5 years old ghabat and will reappear zuhur. The Sunnis regard someone else as the Mahdi. Mahdur ad-damm : he whose blood must be wastedMahram (محرم) : a relative of the opposite gender usually described as being "within the forbidden limits"; a better description is "within the protected limits". means relatives who one can appear before without observing hijab and who one cannot marry.Makrūh : Means "detested", though not haraam (forbidden); something that is disliked or offensive. If a person commits the Makruh, he does not accumulate ithim but avoiding the Makhruh is rewarded with thawab. (ملائكة) : angels (Sing. Malak). It was one of these mala'ika, Jibril (Gabriel) who delivered Allah's revelation to Muhammad. Ma malakat aymanukum (ما ملكت أيمانكم) : one's rightful spouse (literally: what your right hands possess)Mandub : commendable or recommended. Failure to do it would not be a sin. (See halal mustahabb) Manzil (منزل): one of seven equal parts of the Qur'an. (معروف) : consensus of the community (مقصد) : goals or purposes; such as the purposes of Islamic lawMasha Allah (ما شاء الله) : Allah has willed it. Mashhad (مشهد) : a shrine. Literally, a "place of martyrdom," and such shrines usually are located where someone has been martyred. (مسيح) : the (Biblical) Messiah, Jesus Christ.Masjid (مسجد) : place of prayer; mosque Masjid al-Haram : the area around the Kaaba. (معصوم), plural Ma'sumin (معصومين) : literally, innocent or free of sin; children are considered masum. Can also refer to an adult individual who does not commit sins, does not make mistakes, does not forget, etc. although he/she does have the choice to commit sins. The Shi'as regard the Prophet Muhammad, his daughter Fatimah, and the twelve Imams to be the fourteen Masumin. Finally assumed as a title for an 'infallible leader sent by God', notably by the Almohads' founding Mahdi and Imam. Mawlā (pl. mawli) : protector or supporter.Mawlānā (مولانا) : an Arabic word literally meaning "our lord" or "our master". It is used mostly as a title preceding the name of a respected religious leader, in particular graduates of religious institutions. The term is sometimes used to refer to Rumi.Maulvi (مولوی) : an honorific Islamic religious title often, but not exclusively, given to Muslim religious scholars or Ulema preceding their names. Maulvi generally means any religious cleric or teacher.Mecca (مكّة Makkah) : the holiest city in IslamMedina (مدينة Madīnah) : "city"; Medinat-un-Nabi means "the City of the Prophet." See Hijra (Islam).Mi‘ād (معاد): the Resurrection; God will resurrect all of humankind to be judged. Shi'as regard this as the fifth Pillar of Islam.Mihrab (محراب) : a niche in the wall of all mosques, indicating the direction of prayer Millah: In Arabic, millah means "religion," but it has only been used to refer to religions other than Islam, which is din. Millet: In an Islamic state, "Ahl al Kitab" may continue to practice their former religion in a semi-autonomous community termed the millet.Minaret (منارة) : a tower built onto a mosque from the top of which the call to prayer is madeMinbar (منبر) : a raised pulpit in the mosque where the Imam stands to deliver sermonsMinhaj (منهج) : methodology, e.g. methods, rules, system, procedures. Miqat (ميقات ) : intended placeMiraj (المعراج) : the Ascension to the Seven Heavens during the Night Journey See also: isra (المعوذتين) : suras Al-Falaq and an-Nas, the "Surahs of refuge", should be said to relieve suffering (also protect from Black Magic) (مباح) : literally permissible; neither forbidden nor commended. Neutral. (See halal)Mubaligh (مبلغ) : person who recites Qur'anMuftī (مفتى) : an Islamic scholar who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law (Sharia), capable of issuing fataawa (plural of "fatwa").Muhajabah (محجبة) : woman who wears hijab (polite form of hijabi).Muhammadun rasulullah : "Muhammad is the messenger of God." This statement is the second part of the first pillar of Islam. This is the second most important statement in Islam.Mu'adhdhin (مأذن): a person who performs the call to prayerMufsidūn (مفسدون) : evil-doer a person who wages jihad (war) not in accordance with the Qur'an. Plural mufsideen. Muhsineen : good-doers (opposite of Mufsideen)Muhājirūn (مهاجرون) : The first Muslims that accompanied Muhammad when he traveled to Medina.Muhartiq : heretic. Mujāhid (مجاهد) : a fighter for Islam. Plural mujahidīn. Mujtahid (مجتهد) : a scholar who uses reason for the purpose of forming an opinion or making a ruling on a religious issue. Plural: Mujtahidun.Mullah (ملا) : are Islamic clergy. Ideally, they should have studied the Qur'an, Islamic traditions (hadith), and Islamic law (fiqh).Mū’min (مؤمن) : A Muslim who observes the commandments of the Qur'an.Munafiq (منفق) : hypocrite. Plural: MunafiqunMuntaqabah (منتقبة) pl. muntaqabāt (منتقبات) : woman who wears niqabMurshid (مرشد) : a Sufi teacherMurtadd (مرتد)female apostate is Murtadah: apostate (see irtidadsee mahdur ad-damm.)Mushaf : a copy, codex or redaction of the Qur'an. Mushrik (pl. mushrikoon): One who associates others in worship with God; a polytheist. Muslim (مسلم) : a follower of the religion of Islam. One who sumbits their will to Allah (God) (مستحبّ) : commendable or recommended. (See halal, mandub) Mut‘ah (متعه) : literally joy; a type of temporary marriage practiced only by the Shī‘ah; or a practice between ‘Umrah and Ḥajj.Muta'sibūn : fanatics Mutaween (مطوعين) Singular = mutawa: Religious police. Mutawātir (متواتر) : "agreed upon"--used to describe hadith that were narrated by many witnesses through different narration chains (isnads) leading back to Muhammad

N

Nabī (نبي) : literally, prophet. In the Islamic context, a Nabi is a man sent by God to give guidance to man, but not given scripture. The Prophet Abraham was a Nabi. This is in contrast to Rasul, or Messenger. Plural: Anbiya. See: Rasul.Nafs (النفس) : soul, one's self Najāsah : Impurity Najasat, Najis : an unclean thing Naji: impure Nakir and Munkar (نكير و منكر) : two malaikah who test the faith of the dead in their gravesNasīha : adviceNaskh : Abrogation of certain parts of the Qur'anic revelation by others. The principle is mentioned in the Qur'an (2:106). Nass (نصّ) : a known, clear legal injunction Nifas: the bleeding after childbirth (see Haid)Nifaq : falsehood; dishonestyNiyyat : intention Niqāb (نقاب) : veil covering the faceNubuwwah (نبوّة) : prophethood. Shi'as regard this as the third Pillar of Islam. Nukra: a great munkar - prohibited, evil, dreadful thing.Nūr (نور) : light. Muslims believe angels were created from light and jinn from fire.

P

P.B.U.H. : an ancronym which stands for "peace be unto him" a blessing which is affixed to Muhammad's name whenever it is written. This is obviously the English version of it, and the Arabic version is S.A.W. Prophet : A person who has had messages from Allah. (see nabi).Prayer: Prayer is performed five times a day. It is the direct link between the worshiper and Allah. The prayers are said in Arabic.

Q

Qadhf : false imputation of unchastity specifically punished by sharia.Qadar : predestination.Qādī (قاضي) : judge of Islamic LawQatlu nafsi-hi: suicide is forbidden in IslamQiblah : the direction Muslims face during prayer Qitaal fee sybil Allah (وقاتلوا في سبيل الله ) : fight in the cause of Allah, a Qur'anic commandment.Qiyāmah : resurrection; return of the dead for the Day of Judgment (قصاص) : equitable retribution - a fine for murder if the heirs forgive the perpetrator. (See hudud, tazeer)Qiyam : to stand, a position of prayer Qiyās (القياس) : analogy - foundation of legal reasoning and thus fiqhQudsī : classification of a hadith that are believed to be narrated by Muhammad from God.Qur’ān (القرآن) : Muslims believe the Qur'an (Koran) to be the literal word of God and the culmination of God's revelation to mankind, revealed to prophet Muhammad in the year 610 A.D.

R

Rabb (ربّ): Lord, Sustainer, Cherisher, Master.Radiyallahu anha: May Allah be pleased with her.Radiyallahu anhu: May Allah be pleased with him.Radiyallahu anhuma: May Allah be pleased with them.Radiyallahu anhum: May Allah be pleased with them.Rahman (رحمن): Merciful; Ar-Rahman (الرحمن) means "The Most Merciful"Rahim (رحيم): compassionate; Ar-Rahim (الرحيم) means "The Most Compassionate" as in the BasmalaRajm : the practice of stoningRaka'ah : one unit of Islamic prayer, or Salat. Each daily prayer is made up of a different number of raka'ah.Ramadhan : month of fasting when the Qur'an was first revealed Rashidun : Sunnis consider the first four caliphs as the "orthodox" or "rightly guided" caliphs. They were Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman and 'Ali. Rasul (رسول): messenger; Unlike prophets (Nabi), messengers are given scripture. Moses, David, Jesus and Mohammed are considered messengers. All messengers are considered prophets, but not all prophets are given scripture. See: Nabi.Riba (ربا) : interest, the charging and paying of which is forbidden by the Qur'an
Riddah : apostasy, in which a person abandons Islam for another faith or no faith at all. Risalah : literally, message or letter. Used both in common parlance for mail correspondences, and in religious context as divine message.Ruh (روح): spirit; the divine breath which God blew into the clay of Adam.Rukn plural arkan : means what is inevitable. One of the five pillars of Islam. (See fard, wajib)Ruk'u : the bowing performed during salat.

S

: patience, endurance, self-restraintSadaqah (صدقة): charity; voluntary alms above the amount for zakat.Sahabah (الصحابه) (sing. Sahābi): companions of Muhammad. A list of the best-known Companions can be found at List of companions of Muhammad.Sahih : "Sound in isnad." A technical attribute applied to the "isnad" of a hadith. Sakina : divine "tranquility" or "peace" which descends upon a person when the Qur'an is recited.Salaf (السلف الصالح) : (righteous) predecessors/ancestors. In Islam, Salaf is generally used to refer to the first three generations of Muslims. (صلاة) sala(t): any one of the daily five obligatory prayers. Sunnis regard this as the second Pillar of Islam Salaat al-Istikharah: Prayer for guidance is done in conjunction with two rakaahs of supererogatory prayer.Salām (سلام) : peaceSallallahu alayhi wa sallam (صلى الله عليه و سلم) : "May Allah bless him and grant him peace." The expression should be used after stating Prophet Muhammad's name. See abbreviation: S.A.W. or S.A.W.S. also P.B.U.H.Samad : eternal, absolute; Muslims believe Allah is "The Eternal."Salsabil : a river in heaven (al-firdaus) Sawa : awakening, revival S.A.W. (or S.A.W.S.) : Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam (صلى الله عليه و سلم). See P.B.U.H. (صَوم) : fasting during the month of Ramadhan. The word sawm is derived from Syriac sawmo.Sayyid (سيّد) : master or a descendant of a relative of Muhammad, usually a title given to a descendant who comes from Hussayn.Sema : refer to some of the ceremonies used by various sufi ordersShahādah (الشهادة) : The testimony of faith: La ilaha illa Allah. Muhammadun rasulullah. ("There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah."). Sunnis regard this as the first Pillar of Islam. Also may be used as a synonym for the term Istish'hād meaning martyrdom.Shahīd (شهيد) pl. shuhada: witness, martyr. Usually refers to a person killed whilst fighting in "jihad fee sybil Allah" (jihad for the sake of Allah). Often used in modern times for deaths in a political cause (including victims of soldiers, deaths in battle, et cetera) which are viewed by some Muslims as a spiritual cause not just a political cause. But the real meaning of Jihad is to defend Islam in any way; thus, it could be in an economic way or could refer to fighting for the rights of the oppressed or the believers; most often it refers to mastering one's own inclination for evil and shirk.Shaykh (شيخ) : a spiritual master, Muslim clergy (الشريعة) : "the path to a watering hole"; the eternal ethical code and moral code based on the Qur'an and Sunnah; basis of fiqhSharīf (شريف) : a title bestowed upon the descendants of Muhammad through Hasan, son of his daughter Fatima Zahra and son-in-law Ali ibn Abi TalibShaytan (شيطان) : Satan, the Devil; also known as Iblis (الشيعة) : a follower of Prophet Muhammad and his successors (the twelve Imams), the first being Ali. Shi'as constitute the second largest sect in Islam.Shirk (شرك) : idolatry; polytheism; the sin of believing in any divinity except God and of associating other gods with God.Shūrā (شورى) : consultation
; Majlis ash-shūrā (مجلس الشورى) : advisory council in a CaliphateSidrat al-Muntaha (سدرة المنتهى ): a lotus tree that marks the end of the seventh heaven, the boundary where no creation can pass. Sirah (السيرة) : life or biography of the Prophet Muhammad; his moral example - with hadith this comprises the sunnahSirat al-Mustaqim : the Straight Path Subhanahu wa ta'ala (abbreviated S.W.T.) : expression used following written name or vocalization of Allah in Arabic meaning highly praised and glorified is He. Subhan'allah : expression used by Muslims to express strong feelings of joy or relief. (صوفي) : a Muslim mystic; See: Sufism (tasawwuf).Suhūr : the meal eaten by fasting Muslims just before dawn.Sujud : kneeling down, a position of salat. Sukuk : bond that generates revenue from sales, profits, or leases rather than interest. Sunnah (السنّة) or sunnah al-Nabi (سنّة النبي) : the "path" or "example" of the Prophet Muhammad, i.e., what the Prophet did or said or agreed to during his life. He is considered by Muslims to be the best human moral example, the best man to follow.Sunnat : an act which the Prophet performed; not required but carries much reward Sunni (سنّي) : the largest sect in Islam.Sūrah (سورة) : chapter; the Qur'an is comprised of 114 suras

T

Taba'īn (تابعون|تابعين): followers of the SahabahTafsīr (تفسير): exegesis, particularly such commentary on the Qur'anTaghut (طاغوت) (taghout): originally Aramaic, meaning "false god"; also tyranny. Tahajjud (تهجُّد): optional (supererogatory), late-night (pre-dawn) prayerTaharah (طهارة): purification from ritual impurities by means of wudu or ghuslTahir (طاهر): pure, ritually clean (تحريف): corruption, forgery. Muslims believe the Bible Scriptures were corrupted but the Qur'an is in its original form.Tajdīd (تجديد): to purify and reform society in order to move it toward greater equity and justice, literally meaning to make new in present tenseTajdif (تجديف): blasphemyTajwīd (تجويد): a special manner of reciting the Qur'an according to prescribed rules of pronunciation and intonation.Takbīr (تكبير): a proclamation of the greatness of Allah; a Muslim invocation. Takdir : fate, predestinationTakfir (تكفير): declaration of individual or group of previously considered Muslim as kaffir.Tamaninat : to be motionless Taqlīd (تقليد): to blindly follow a person whose following is not based on proof and does not rely upon knowledge.Taqiyya (تقيّة): the mostly Shi'a principle that one is allowed to hide one's true beliefs in certain circumstances.Taqwa (تقوى): righteousness; goodness; Piety: Taqwa is taken from the verbe Ittaqua, witch means Avoiding, Fearing the punishment from Allah for committing sins. It is piety obtained by fearing the punishment of Allah.Tarawih (تراويح): extra prayers in Ramadan after the Isha prayer.Tarkīb (تَرْكِيب): the study of Arabic grammar issued from the Qur'an (طريقة): a Muslim religious order, particularly a Sufi orderTartīl (ترتيل): slow, meditative recitation of the Qur'anTashkīl (تشكيل): vocalization of Arabic text by means of diacritical marks. An integral part of the Arabic writing system. Literally meaning to form or arrangeTaslim (تسليم): salutation at the end of prayerTatbeer : Shia Ashura ceremony of self-flagellation by hitting head with sword. (See zinjeer)Tawassul (توسُّل): asking Allah Almighty through the medium and intercession of another person.Tawbah (توبه): repentanceTasawwuf (التصوّف) or SufismTawaf (طواف): circumambulating the Ka'bah during Hajj.Tawhīd (توحيد): monotheism; affirmation of the Oneness of Allah. Muslims regard this as the first part of the Pillar of Islam, the second part is accepting Muhammad as rasoul (messenger). The opposite of Tawheed is shirkTawrat (توراة): the Torah as revealed to Musa (Moses.)Tayyib (طيِّب): all that is good as regards things, deeds, beliefs, persons, foods, etc. Means "pure." The Shahaddath is tayyib. Also, the name by which Turkish people call their present P.M., literally meaning pleasent Ta'zeer (تعزير): Discretionary punishment - a sentence or punishment whose measure is not fixed by the Shari'ah. (See hudud, qisas)Tazkiyah (تزكية): Purification of the Soul.Thawab (ثواب): Reward for good deeds that is tallied on qiyamah (judgment day.) Opposite of ithim. Tilawa (تلاوة): ritual recitation of passages of the Qur'an.

U

(علماء) or ulema: the leaders of Islamic society, including teachers, Imams and judges. Singular alim.Ummah (الاُمّة) or umma: the global community of all Muslim believers (عمرة) : the lesser pilgrimage performed in Mecca. Unlike hajj, can be performed throughout the year. Uqubat : the branch of sharia that deals with punishment. (See hudud, qisas, tazeer) (عرف) : custom of a given society, leading to change in the fiqh Usul (sing. asl) : Principles, origins. Usul al-Fiqh : the study of the origins and practice of Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh)

W

Wafat: death (Barah-wafat) Muhammad was born on the twelfth day of Rabi-ul-Awwal, the third month of the Muslim year. His death anniversary also falls on the same day, the word 'barah' standing for the twelve days of Muhammad's sickness. (وحدة الوجود) : "unity of being". Philosophical term used by some Sufis. Related to fanaaWahy : revelation or inspiration of God to His prophets for all humankindWahn : love of this life and hatred of deathWajib : obligatory or mandatory see fard Wali (والي) : friend, protector, guardian, supporter, helper Waqf : An endowment of money or property: the return or yield is typically dedicated toward a certain end, for example, to the maintenance of the poor, a family, a village, or a mosqueWarrāq (ورّاق) : traditional scribe, publisher, printer, notary and book copierWasat : the middle way, justly balanced, avoiding extremes, moderation Waseelah : the means by which one achieves nearness to Allah (see tawassul )Witr (وتر) : a voluntary, optional night prayer of odd numbers rakaats.Wudu (الوضوء) : ablution for ritual purification from minor impurities before salat (see ghusl)

Y

Ya Allah (یا الله) : O, God!Yajooj-o-Majooj : Gog and Magog Yaqin : certainty, that which is certain Yar Hamukallah: May Allah have mercy on you (said when someone sneezes)Yawm ul-Qiyāmah (يوم القيامة) : "Day of the Resurrection"; Day of Judgement

Z

Zabur (زبور) : the Psalms revealed to King David Zabiha (ذَبِيْحَة) see dhabiha : Islamic method of slaughtering an animal. It from the root word Zakah (to purify). Using a sharp knife the animal's windpipe, throat and blood vessels of the neck are severed without cutting the spinal cord to ensure that the blood is thoroughly drained before removing the head. See halalZahir : Exterior meaningZaidi (الزيدية) : Islamic sub-sect of Shi'ah, popularly found in Yemen, with similarities to SunniZakat (زكاة)Al-Maal : tax, alms, tithe as a Muslim duty; Sunnis regard this as the fourth Pillar of Islam. Neither charity nor derived from Islamic economics, but a religious duty and social obligation.Zakat (زكاة)Al-Fitr: Zalimun : polytheists, wrong-doers, and unjust. Zināa (زناء , زنى) : sexual activity outside of marriage (covering the English words adultery and fornication)

Notes

  • Arabic words are created from three-letter "roots" which convey a basic idea. For example, k-t-b conveys the idea of writing. Addition of other letters before, between, and after the root letters produces many associated words: not only "write" but also "book", "office", "library", and "author". The abstract consonantal root for Islam is s-l-m.

  • Some English words or phrases would translate very poorly into Arabic for cultural reasons, for instance the English word "crusade" would most likely be interpreted as meaning "genocide", and "infinite justice" would most likely be interpreted as meaning "divine judgement" – adl in Arabic implying God's justice. Probably it is best to avoid such terms for anything one intends to translate into Arabic, or knows will be translated.
  • Some Islamic concepts are usually referred to in Persian or Turkic. Those are typically of later origin than the concepts listed here; for completeness it may be best to list Persian terms and those unique to Shi'a on their own page, likewise Turkic terms and those unique to the Ottoman period on their own page, as these are culturally very distinct.
  • The word "crusade" in English is usually translated in Arabic as "Hamlah Ssaleebiyah" which means literally "campaign of Cross-holders" (or close to that meaning). In Arabic text it is "حملة صليبية" and the second word comes from "Ssaleeb" which means "cross."
  • The verses in the Qur'an that Christians usually refer to as jihad verses have the phrase "qitl fee sybil Allah" (fight/kill for the sake of Allah).
  • Westerners use the terms non-observant (secular), fundamentalist, extremist, reformist or moderate to refer to differing Muslim practices. Muslims use the terms tableeghi, takfiri, ikhwani, shirazzi.

References

See also

External links

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