KEY TERMS AND CONCEPTS
Abrogation – This is a term referring to the teaching that the later revelations of Allah as revealed through Muhammad supersede the earlier revelations.
(In other words: “Allah changed his mind and what he said before no longer applies, follow these new commands.”)
Allah akbar – literally means “Allah is greater”
Caliph – The political and religious leader of the Caliphate.
(He is similar to the Pope in the Catholic Church, but a more accurate illustration would be to think of the Pope as an hereditary line of kings who not only rule the nations, but also the Church)
Caliphate – A unified body of Islamic nations living under Sharia law and lead by the Caliph.
Dhimmi – Arabic for “protected” and for “guilty”
(This term is used by Muslims to refer to Jews and Christians who have submitted to the rule of Muslims and agreed to pay the . In this sense, they are “protected,” as they cannot be harmed under Muslim law as long as they obey the terms and conditions of their submission. HOWEVER, they are also considered to be “guilty” in that Muhammad taught that the Qur’an was first given to the Jews, then the Christians and both went astray from Allah’s word: the Jews rejecting him and the Christians being deceived into believing a half-truth about Allah – that Christ is the Son of God)
Hadith – A saying or deed of Muhammad. The plural form is Ahadith
(There are many Ahadith, and they exist in several collections made into books by different authors/Islamic clerics and given varying degrees of credibility according to the standing of the person who collected them within the traditions of Islam. Muslim authorities readily admit that many Hadith are false, and were entered into the Ahadith by designing men. Discerning which are true and which are not is a source of great contention among Muslims even to this day)
Hajj – A term used for the pilgrimage to Mecca which all Muslims are commanded to make at least once in their lifetime.
(It should be noted that this pilgrimage was already in practice by the Quraysh pagans long before Muhammad was ever born)
Hijra – Arabic for “flight” or “immigration.”
(This refers to the time when Muhammad and his followers fled Mecca for a nearby town called Yathrib, which is now known as Medina. The Islamic calendar starts with the year of the Hijra)
Hypocrites (munafiqin) – Members of the tribe of Medina who converted to Islam out of fear and/or convenience and who later made common cause with the Jews and who started to act as a fifth column within the greater Muslim community..
Ibrahim — Abraham
Isa – Jesus
(According to Islamic prophecy, when Isa returns, he will testify to the Jews and Christians that they are wrong about him. That he is not the son of Allah. Isa will then slay the Jews and Christians and cast them into the hell fire)
Islam – Arabic for “submission”
(Muslim apologists will sometimes tell you that Islam means peace or safety, or that it means to surrender to Allah in much the same way Christians surrender to Christ, but in the greater context of the Qur’an and Ahadith, it is best understood as submission or to submit)
Jihad – Arabic for “struggle”
(While many Muslim apologists will claim that jihad refers to an inner struggle to avoid sin – and it can – in the greater context that Muhammad used this term and taught the principles of jihad, it can only refer to the spread of Islam through any and all means – especially by the sword. The Qur’an makes this very clear in several places)
Jinn – Arabic for spirit or demon, but more generally understood as a “genie.”
Jizya – A general term used to describe a greater system of rules governing non-Muslims living in a Muslim society. In this case, it also refers specifically to the non-Muslim poll tax that must be paid by Dhimmi.
(Along with this tax are a number of other requirements of the Dhimmi, to include wearing their religions traditional garments and shaving the fron of their heads so that Muslims can easily recognize them. There is a striking parallel between these conditions and the conditions placed on the Jews under NAZI rule)
Kafir – Arabic for “unbeliever” – specifically of a fact or truth, but also generally in Allah. An “infidel”
(The root of the Kafir word is the verb ‘kafar’ that means to cover on some truth to hide it or it means simply to disbelieve. Also, it means to deny a truth. A person who denies the favors of Allah is said to be “kafir”. So, Kafir is also the opposite of the grateful thankful person)
Musa — Moses
‘Night Journey’ (Miraj, or Ascension) – According to Islamic legend, this is when ‘Gabriel’ woke Muhammad from his sleep and took him for a journey on a Buraq (a mythical flying creature). It was during this journey that Muhammad set foot on the Temple Mount, (this is where Islam get’s its claim to this holy spot, as well as to Jerusalem). Muhammad was supposedly taken to through the seven heavens while on this journey as well, which is where he was given the command to pray toward Mecca five times a day.
(Originally, Muhammad claimed to have been taken on this trip in bodily form, but his youngest wife, Aisha, later said that he told her he was asleep when this trip was said to happen and that he had been taken in spirit form – as though his soul had been ripped from his body and whisked away)
Qur’an (Koran) – Arabic for “recitation”
(Muhammad claimed that he merely recited – word for word – the words that ‘Gabriel’ gave him, and that ‘Gabriel’ got them from the Qur’an, which is in heaven with Allah. It was dictated in Arabic because – according to Muslims – Arabic is the perfect language. Muslim authorities readily admit that a great deal of the Qur’an is missing because it was lost when the Prophet died unexpectedly – before all of it had been collected in one place. Prior to that, Muhammad’s revelations were recorded on whatever was handy, even the bones of animals. Muslim authorities have also admitted that Satan caused Muhammad to reveal false revelations, known as the Satanic verses, and that the Qur’an has been corrupted at points by ‘designing men’)
‘Satanic Verses” – This refers to a revelations that Muhammad handed down in which he said that it was permissible for Muslims to pray to the godesses (daughters) of the Quraysh moon god (specifically al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat) as ‘intercessors’ before Allah. It was at this point that the Quraysh finally accepted Muhammad as a profit.
(However, this caused a great deal of revolt among the Muslims, and Muhammad later claimed that Satan had forced him to say these things and he rescinded his permission for Muslims to pray to what he now called pagan gods. Today, the records of this revelation can only be found in the Hadith, as Muslim clerics have purged it from the Qur’an)
Sharia – A term used to describe Islamic law. It is derived from the Sunnah.
Shi’a or Shi’at Ali (Party of Ali) – A sect of Islam that broke off from the main body of Islam over the belief that Ali, Muhammad’s cousin and son-in-law, was the rightful successor to Muhammad after his death. Shias believe that the Caliph should be of a direct blood line to Muhammad. Ali eventually became the 4th Caliph. Shi’ites represent about 15% of Islam and are primarily located in Iran and Iraq. They derive their name by proclaiming to follow the Sunnah (i.e. they practice a much more pious – or fundamental — form of Islam than Sunnis).
Sira – The first biography of Muhammad
(The first Sira appeared some 150 years after Muhammad’s death. The first and most respected biographer was Muhammad Ibn Ishaq, generally known as Ibn Ishaq (704-773))
Shirk – A term used to describe the most heinous sin in Islam: polytheism. There is no greater sin according to Muhammad.
(This not only includes idolatry, but it also includes the Christian belief in the Trinity)
Sunnah or Sunna – ‘Model of the Prophet’
(A term used to describe the Qur’an and Sira when taken together. The Sunnah is second in Islamic authority only to the Qur’an and is considered by most Islamic clerics to also be from Allah)
Shahada – The Islamic creed
(There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger)
Sunni – This is the majority sect of Islam. It makes up about 85% of all Muslims. Sunnis believed that Abu Bakr was the rightful heir to Muhammad’s role as the leader of Islam. Bakr was the first Caliph.
Ummah — an Arabic word meaning “community“. It is distinguished from Sha’b, which means a nation with common ancestry or geography. It is commonly used to mean the collective community of Islamic peoples. In the Quran the ummah typically refers to a single group that shares common religious beliefs, specifically those that are the objects of a divine plan of salvation.
‘The way of Allah’ – This is a phrase that can be easily misunderstood by Westerners and even many Muslims. It is often described by Muslim apologists as the struggle to follow Allah’s teachings and to avoid sin, and in many ways, this is accurate. But what is not explained to those outside Islam is that this term is often used to translate the word jihad. Muhammad used the two interchangeably.
‘Which your right hand possesses’ – This is a phrase that is used in place of the word ‘slave.’ They are interchangeable when reading the Qur’an.
Zakat – A term referring to the charity tax, or giving to the poor (i.e. poor Muslims).