Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Arabic to English Transliteration Glossary - R, S, and T

Rak’ah* - “a bowing” This term designates one complete cycle of standing, bowing, and prostrating during salah (formal worship). Verses from the Qur’an, special prayers and phrases, are stated in these different positions. Each of the five formal worship times are comprised of varying numbers of such cycles: The morning worship is comprised of 2 rak’ahs, the evening worship 3 rak’ahs, and the other worship times 4 rak’ahs.

Ramadan* - The ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Ramadan is important because it is the month in which the first verses of the Qur’an were revealed to Muhammad. Thus, it is considered a blessed and holy month. Furthermore, Ramadan is the month in which, Muslims fast daily from dawn to sunset to develop piety and self-restraint.

Ruh - “Spirit”


Al-Sarwa al-Islamia - “The Islamic Awakening”, the term sometimes used to refer to the political Islam phenomenon.

Sabr - Patience

Sadaqah* - “righteousness”. This term refers to the voluntary giving of alms (charity). Sadaqah is distinct from zakah, which is a mandatory contribution paid yearly and calculated based on one’s weath or assets. Sadaqah can consist of any item of value, and can be provided to any needy person. The Qur’an states that Allah loves those who are charitable and promises great reward and forgiveness for those who give regularly to others in need.

(as-) Sahih* - The name applied to two important collections of Hadith, one (Sahih Bukhari) by Muhammad ibn Isma’il al-Bukhari (d.870 C.E.) and the other (Sahih Muslim) by Abu al-Husayn Muslim (d.73C.E.). Both collections are considered highly authoritative, due to the collectors’ scrupulous methods for verifying the authenticity of the Hadith contained in them.

Sahur* - A light meal taken by Muslims before dawn prior to beinning the daily fat of Ramadan. Arising for this meal is an emulation of Prophet Muhammad, since it was his practice to do so, and thus is part of his Sunnah.

Salafi - A follower of the Prophet Muhammad’s immediate successors (al-salaf al-salihin) Salfi movements have sought to restore Islam on the basis of its seventh century teachings – that is Islam as it was under the Prophet Muhammad and his immediate succors. Salafis usually belong to one of several groups, most notably the Muslim Brotherhood (Ikhwan) and the Wahhabis (al-Muwahhidun or Abl al-Taubid)

Salah - Ritual Prayer, performed in Arabic only.

Salihat - Just deeds (Makkan Suras)

Sahabah - companions (of the prophet)

Sawm* - The daily fast Muslims undertake during the month of Ramadan, and is one of the “five pillars” of Islam. For Muslims, fasting means total abstinence from all food, drink, and martial sexual relations from dawn to sunset. Muslims fast for many reasons, including to build a sense of will power against temptation, to feel compassion for less fortunate persons, and to reevaluate their lives in spiritual terms.

Shahadah* - An Arabic word meaning “witnessing” Shadadah refers to the declaration of faith (la-ilaha-illa-Lah Muhammadur-Rasul-Allah”)_ which all Muslims take as their creed – namely, that there is no deity but God and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God. The Shahadah constitutes the first of the “five pillars of Islam.

Shahid - “witness” or martyr A shahid is a martyr whose death is a jihad bears witness to his faith and who is assured a place in paradise on the Day of Judgment.

Sharia - “the way”, the Islamic legal code as stipulated in the Qur’an and Hadith.

- “the path”, this term refers to guidance from God to be used by Muslims to regulate their societal and personal affairs. The Shari’ah is based upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah of Muhammad, and is interpreted by scholars in deliberating and deciding upon questions and issues of a legal nature.

Sharif - “noble” The term sharif refers to the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatima; the Hashemites are regarded as a Sharifian family.

Shaytans - Satans (a species of Jinn)

Sheikh/Shaykh* - Local ruler, Sheikh is a title of respect given to a religious leader or elderly authority; it is also used to refer to the head of state in smaller Gulf States.

Shia/Shi’ah*/Shi’ite/Shi’ism - “party” or “sect” specifically referring to the “party of Ali”; a Muslim who follows Ali (the cousin and fourth successor of Muhammad), who was deposed as leader of Muhammad’s followers. Shiism is the minority branch in Islam. Also known as “partisans of Ali”, Muhammad’s son-in-law, because they attribute a special religious status to him. *A branch of Islam comprising abou 10% of te total Muslim population.

Shirk - Polytheism

Shirk* - “association”, this term is commonly used to mean association of something other than God with God. The Sin of association, a sin that Allah does not forgive, according to the Qur’an. Thus, paganism, or even atheism, are viewed as expressions of shirk.

Shuru - Consultation, the duty of a leader to seek the consultation of religious experts or the people.

Soh-han Allah - “Glory be to God” especially used by Sufis.

- One who endeavors to achieve direct inward knowledge of God through adherence to various spiritual doctrines and methods. These include repeatedly invoking the Divine Names and reciting other religious expressions, living an austere lifestyle, and participating in various spiritual gatherings usually formed around a spiritual master with the title shaykh. Historical, Sufis have been grouped into organizations known as tariqahs.

Sufism - Islamic mysticism (dhikrs).

- “ruler” The title Sultan was used by heads of state in the Ottoman Empire and is currently used by Oman’s head of state. Ibn Saud briefly used the title when he was ruler of the Najd, before his conquest of the hijaz.

Sunnah* - Habit, practice, customary procedure, action, norm, or usage sanctioned by tradition. Sunnah refers to Prophet Muhammad’s sayings, practices, and habits. The Hadith of the Prophet constitute a written record of his Sunnah.

Sunna/Sunni - “path”, following the example of Muhammad set out in the Quran and Hadith, refers to the majority Muslim denomination. One who follows the traditional or orthodox practice of Islam.

Sunni* - A term designating those Muslims who recognize the first four successors of Prophet Muhammad as the “Rightly-Guided” caliphs, and who attribute no special religious or political function to the descendants (Shia’s) of the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib. Sunnis hold that any pious, just, and qualified Muslim may be elected Caliph. Sunnis comprise the majority of Muslims, numbering about 90% of the total.

Sura - Chapter of the Qur’an.
Surah* A distinct chapter of the Qur’an, designated by a title. An individual verse within a surah is called an ayah. The Qur’an is comprised of 114 surahs of varying lengths.


Tafsir* - Any kind of explanation, but especially a commentary on the Qur’an. Translations of the Qur’an from Arabic into other languages are considered tafsirs of the Qur’an, since only the original Arabic text actually constitutes the content of the Qur’an.

Talbiyah* - The name for the set of phrases attributed to Prophet Abraham and uttered by Muslims in emulation of him during the annual Hajj.

- “students” An Iranian militia, which calls itself Islamic, that has imposed a strict fundamentalist regime upon the country of Afghanistan and denied the rights of Afghan women.

Taqwa - Mindfulness (from the root word “to shield oneself) vigilance.

Taslim* - Name for the greeting of Muslims, “As-Salaam Alaykum”, meaning “Peace be unto you”. The taslim is also used at the completing of the ritual worship performed five times daily.

Tawbah* - Repentence, turning to God to seek forgiveness of sins or other wrong actions. Often a component of the personal prayer known as du’a.

- Belief in the oneness of God. Tawhid is the central Islamic tenet that Wahhabism has stressed; Wahhabi leaders have stated that those who stray from tawhid are guilty of shirk, or polytheism.

- Arabic name for the holy book revealed to Prophet Moses thousands of years ago. A Scriptural precursor to the Qur’an, just as Moses as a processor of Muhammad in the history of divinely revealed monotheism.

Approaching the Qur’an, the Early Revelations, Introduced and Translated by Michael Sells, White Cloud Press, Ashland, Oregon

Islam, Opposing Viewpoints, Jennifer A. Hurley, Book Editor, Greenhaven Press, Inc., San Diego, CA

Hatred’s Kingdom, How Saudi Arabia Supports the New Global Terrorism, Dore Gold, Regnery Publishing, Inc

The Koran, A Very Short Introduction, Michael Cook, Oxford University Press

*Teaching About Islam & Muslims in the Public School Classroom, A Handbook for Educators, 3rd edition, CAIR ISBN 1-93109-00-8
It is clearly seen that all derogatory terminology to non-Muslims is absent from the CAIR publication. Another example of taqiyya and kitman.

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