Islamic Glossary

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Kaaba (كعبه)

A square stone building in Al-Masjid-al-Haram (the well-known mosque at Makka). Muslims line up in prayer facing towards this direction. It is covered by a large black cloth embroidered with gold thread to display Quranic verses.

Kaba (كعبه)

See Kaaba.

Kabah (كعبه)

See Kaaba.

Kabeer (كبير)

Big or large.

Kabir (كبير)

See Kabeer.

Kafee (كافي)

See Kafi.

Kafir (كافر)

Generally the word kafir means 'unbeliever' and it is not meant as a derogatory label (unless it is used against Muslims by another Muslim). Of course, there are different levels of Kufur (disbelief) so although a person may be correctly identified as a kafir, that person is not kafir in the strongest sense of the word. Absolute kufur is the denial of God. Here are some examples of kufur:

(1) A person is known as a Kafir if they are disbelievers in Allah, in His Oneness, and in His final Messenger, Muhammad (SAW). (E.g. An apostate from Islam)
(2) A 'Muslim' who disbelieves in a necessary tenant of Islam like the 5 pillars or some other things is known as a disbeliever.
(3) An originally non-Muslim person who denies the religion of Islam while knowing in his heart that it is true.
(4) A disbeliever in Islam only because they originally follow another (monotheistic) faith.
(5) A person who follows another (monotheistic) faith and knows nothing about Islam.
(6) A person who believes in many gods (polytheist).
(7) An agnostic who is a monotheist is a lesser kafir than a polytheist.
(8) An Atheist - ultimate kufur.

Generally a Christian or Jew is not identified as a kafir but they are known respectfully as Ahlul kitab - People of the Book(s), and Islam considers their religions valid but once they find Islam they are expected to follow the updated covenant sent by God.

وَإِذْ قُلْنَا لِلْمَلاَئِكَةِ اسْجُدُواْ لآدَمَ فَسَجَدُواْ إِلاَّ إِبْلِيسَ أَبَى وَاسْتَكْبَرَ وَكَانَ مِنَ الْكَافِرِينَ

And behold, We said to the angels: "Bow down to Adam" and they bowed down. Not so Iblis: he refused and was haughty: He was of those who reject Faith. [Quran 2.34]

Notice the use of the word 'kafireen' in the Arabic. This is one of the reasons why one must learn Arabic to understand the full meaning of the Quran, the words of Allah. Kafir is derived from the word meaning 'to cover' and Kafir also means 'disbeliever in God'. But in this case, Iblees (Satan) is fully aware of Gods' existence and power yet he is still described as a kafir! This goes to show that a person can be a kafir even if he believes in a God. In other words, just because someone believes there is a God, that someone can still be a kafir and be (technically) condemned to hell. Therefore, a kafir can be more correctly defined as someone who 'rejects submission to God' even though he is fully aware of His existence, as well as meaning a person who is a true Atheist - one who 'rejects the existence of God'.

Kafireen (كافرين)

This plural word means 'unbelievers'. It is derived from the singular word 'kafir'.

Kafiroon (كافرون)

This plural word means 'unbelievers'. It is derived from the singular word 'kafir'.

Kafur (كافر)

See Kafir.

Kaif (كيف)

'How', or 'How is...' or 'How did...'.

Kalam (كلام)

Kalam means speech (spoken words).

Kalimah (كلمة)

(1) The Kalimah, also known as The Shahadah, is the name of a phraze a person must say in order to become a Muslim.

(2) Kalimah means 'word'.

Karbala (كربلاء)

Kerbala is a word made formed of two words, 'ker' means anguish and 'bala' means vexation. Karbala is a city in Iraq. It is where Imam Hussain (AS) (and his family and companions), grandson of Prophet Muhammed (SAW) was slaughtered by the army of the Khalif (leader) of the time, Yazeed bin Muawiyah.

Kareem (كريم)

The word Kareem means 'generous'. It is a popular boy's name.

Karim (كريم)

See Kareem.

Kathaab (كذاب)

A liar.

Katheer (كثير)

Many/a lot.

Kayf Halek (كيف حالك)

When an Arabic speaking person greets you and asks kayfa halek? He is saying 'how is your health?' or 'how are you?'.

Kefer (كفر)

See Kufr.

Kelb (كلب)


Khabeeth (خبيث)

An evil or sickening person or thing.

Khad (خد)


Khadijah (خديجه)

Khadijah is an old Arabic name for girls. The Prophet Muhammed (SAW) married Khadijah bint Khwaylid (RA), his first wife. She was the first person to become a Muslim - the first person to become a Muslim was a woman!

Khair (خير)

Good or Goodness.

Khalas (خلص)

Khalas means 'enough','stop' or 'end'. It is popularly used as a phraze akin to the English phraze 'All right-then'.

Khalid (خالد)

Khalid is a popular boy's name. It means content and happy.

Khalif (خليف)

Khalif (pronounced Khaleef) means successor. A Khalif is a leader of the Muslim Ummah (nation/peoples). After Prophet Muhammed (pbuh&hp) died there came after him numerous khalifs (successors) who were called Khalifs (Khaleefs).

The famous first four Khalifs are:

1 - Abu Bakr bin Abu Qahafa (RA)
2 - Umar bin al-Khataab (RA)
3 - Uthman bin Afaan (RA)
4 -Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS), AmirUl-Mo'menin

They are titled Al Khulafa' ar-Rashideen - The Rightly-guided Leaders.

Subsequent leaders were also called Khalifs as they had rulership of the whole Islamic Ummah (nation/peoples). Each khalif was titled 'Ameer al-Mu'mineen' (Commander of the Faithful) even though this title was given to Imam Ali by the Prophet exclusively.

The Khalifate issue is quite controversial as the purpose of leadership was to manage the Muslim Ummah. The Shia Muslims argue and state that the Prophet (SAW) chose Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) to be the leader after his departure and his sons after him, as an order by Allah.

Khalifah (خليفه)

The Muslim Ummah's (nation/peoples) Leadership. Also see Khalif.

Khaliq (خالق)

Khaliq means 'Creator', and Al-Khaliq (The Creator) is one of the names of God, as He is the supreme Creator.

Khamr (خمر)

Drink containing Alcohol. Usually refering to beer. Alcoholic drinks are forbidden in Islam.


land revenue, land tax, paying allegiance, tribute (a country's annual income from lands taxes)

Khawf (خوف)

Fear or fright.

Khayr (خير)

See Khair.

Khenzeer (خنزبر)

A Pig.

Khilafah (خلافه)

The Caliphate system - The leadership system of the Muslim nation (ummah). See Khalif.

Khimar (خمار)

A type of cloak.

Khuda Hafiz (خدا حافظ)

This is an Urdu/Farsi language phrase which means goodbye. It literally means 'God Protect'.

The 'z' on the end of the word should actually be 'dh' instead because that is how it is written, but people have difficulty pronouncing this properly so they take a shortcut and convert 'dh' to 'z'. This phenomenon is seen throughout the language.

Khulafa (خلفاء)

The word 'khulafa' is the plural of the word khalif.

Khurooj (خروج)

An exit, leaving or emergence.

Khushuu (خشوع)

Khushu' means deep reverence and devotion (in prayer to God).

Khutbah (خطبه)

A speech or sermon. It is mostly used to refer to the sermon given during the Friday congregational (Jamaa) prayer.

King (ملك)

Melik is the Arabic word for King. Al-Melik (The [supreme] King) is one of the names of God.

Kitab (كتاب)


Knowledge (علم)

The Arabic word for knowledge is '`ilm'.

Koran (قرآن)

See Quran.

Kuffar (كفار)

Kuffar is the plural of the word Kafir. It means 'unbelievers'.

Kuffur (كفر)

The word kuffur means 'disbelief'. E.g. Associating partners in worship with God is considered an act of kuffur.

Kuffur comes from the root word 'kafir'.

Kufr (كفر)

The action of showing ungratefulness to Allah and disbelief in Him and His Prophets. One who does this is known as a kafir.

Kurdi (كردي)

A person is known as a kurdi to identify their ethnicity as being descended from Kurdish lineage.

Kursi (كرسي)

A Chair.

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