Islamic Glossary

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Ijtihad (إجتهاد)

Ijtihad is the process whereby a very educated Muslim makes up his own ruling on the permissibility of an Islamic law just for himself. This person would be labelled a 'Mujtahid'. An uneducated person is not permitted to do this and must follow the ruling of his Imam instead.

Ikhlas (إخلاص)

The word ikhlas means 'sincerity'. It is the name of a surah (chapter) in the Quran. This chapter is also known by the name 'tawheed', which means unity.

(Chapter 112. The Unity)

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
[112.1] Say: He, Allah, is One.
[112.2] Allah is He on Whom all depend.
[112.3] He begets not, nor is He begotten.
[112.4] And none is like Him.

Ikhwa (إخوه)

Means brothers/sisters. Often used in sentances like 'nahnu ikhwa(tun)', we are brothers/sisters.

Ikhwan (اخوان)

Ikhwan is the plural of Akh.

Ikhwatun (إخوةٌ)

From the word Ikhwa which means brothers/sisters; the 'tun' on the end of the word is a diacritic (harakah).

Ilah (إله)

God / Deity / Lord.

Ill (مريض)

The Arabic word for 'ill' is 'Mareedh'.

Ilm (علم)

Literally means 'knowledge' or 'knowledge of ...'. It can also mean science.

Ilyas (إلياس)

Elijah in English. He was a prophet sent to the people of Baalbek, in east Lebanon. He called them to worship only Allah and stop adoring their idol Ba`la. They subjected him to different punishments.

Ibn `Abbas said that Elijah was the paternal uncle of Elisha.

Imam (إمام)

The word Imam has multiple meanings:

(1) The person who leads a congretional (jamaa) prayer
(2) The Muslim leader who runs the Masjid (Mosque)
(3) A Khalif (leader of the Muslim peoples)
(4) A normal leader of Muslims, but this leader usually provides at least some spiritual guidance
(5) Any one of 12 infallible members of the Ahlulbayt (family of the Prophet) (AS). (Shia)
(6) Any one of the 4 recognised fallible grand scholars of the Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama`ah. (Sunni)
(7) Any scholar who is deemed educated enough, usually a mujtahid
(8) An `Alim
(9) An Ayatollah
(10) A Mufti
(11) A person who is given the special status of Imam by God; e.g. Prophet Abraham (PBUH).

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