The left-hand column gives Flugel's numbers; the corresponding numbers in the Egyptian text are obtained by adding or subtracting as shown. At the points of transition this applies only to part of a verse in one of the editions.


Abu I -Qasim. Father of Qasim, i.e., Muhammad, the Prophet; a kunya for Muhammad, the Prophet.

adab. Belles-lettres; refinement, culture.

`adalah. Probity; synonym of ta`dil.

adib. Writer of adab; man of letters.

cahd. Covenant, treaty, engagement.

Ahl al-Bayt. The people of the house, Muhammad's household (the family of the Prophet).

ahl al-Hadith. Those collecting and learned in the Hadith.

Ahl al-Kitab. "People of the Book," especially Christians and Jews.

ahl al-ra'y. People of reasoned opinion; those using their own opinion to establish a legal point.

ahl as -suffa. The people of the bench, of the temple at Mecca; they were poor strangers without friends or place of abode who claimed the promises of the Apostle of God and implored his protection.

akhbar. Reports, anecdotes, history.

`alam. Signs, marks, badges.

aman. Safe conduct.

amarat al-nubuwwa. Marks of prophethood.

`amm. Collective or common words.

ansar. The helpers; early converts of Medina, and then later all citizens of Medina converted to Islam; in contrast to the Muhajirun, or exiles, those Muslims who accompanied the Prophet from Mecca to Medina.

`agigah. The custom, observed on the birth of a child, of leaving the hair on the infant's head until the seventh day, when it is shaved and animals are sacrificed.

`arabiyyah. The standard of correct Arabic usage of the sixth and seventh centuries C.E., as envisaged by the eighth-century grammarians.

`asabiyyah. Tribal solidarity.

asbab al-nuzul. The occasions and circumstances of the Koranic revelations.

ashy b al-nabi. Companions of the Prophet. (A single companion is a sahabi.)

assonance. A repeated vowel sound, a part rhyme, which has great expressive effect when used internally (within lines), e.g., "An old, mad, blind, despised and dying king," Shelley, "Sonnet: England in 1819." It consists in a similarity in the accented vowels and those which follow, but not in the consonants, e.g., creep/feet skin/swim. Examples in the Koran at VI. 164; XVII. 15, etc., e.g., wa-la taziru wazir -atun wizra ukhra.

Awa'il. The ancients; the first people to do something.

ayah (pl. ayat). Sign, miracle; verse of the Koran.

ayyam al`Arab. "Days" of the Arabs; pre-Islamic tribal battles.

bab. Subchapter, especially in Hadith literature.

basmalah. The formula "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate" (bi-`smi `illahi `l-Rahmani ' l-Rahim).

bint. Girl; daughter of.

da`if (pl. du`afa'). Weak, as classification of a Hadith; traditionist of dubious reliability.

dala'il. Proofs, signs, marks.

dar. Abode.

Dar al -Harb. The Land of Warfare, a country belonging to infidels not subdued by Islam.

Dar al -Islam. The Land of Islam, the Islamic world.

dhimmah. Security, pact.

dhimmi. Non-Muslim living as a second-class citizen in an Islamic state; Christian or Jew.

diglossia. A situation where two varieties of the same language live side by side. The two variations are high and low: High Arabic and Low Arabic.

din. Religion.

diwan. Register; collection of poetry by a single author or from a single tribe.

duca'. Prayer; generally used for supplication as distinguished from salat or liturgical form of prayer.

fada'il. Merits.

fakhr. Boasting, self-glorification or tribal vaunting.

faqih (pl. fugaha'). One learned in figh.

fatihah. The first sura of the Koran.

figh. Islamic jurisprudence.

al-fitahl. The time before the Flood.

fitnah. Dissension, civil war; particularly the civil war ensuing on the murder of the Caliph `Uthman.

fusha. The pure Arabic language.

futuh. Conquests; the early Islamic conquests.

gharat. Raids.

gharib. Rare, uncommon word or expression; a rare tradition, or such traditions as are isolated, do not date from one of the companions of the Prophet, but only from a later generation.

ghazwah (pl. ghazawat). Early Muslim military expeditions or raiding parties in which the Prophet took part; synonym of maghazi.

habl. Covenant, treaty, engagement.

Hadith. The corpus of traditions of the sayings and doings of the Prophet.

hadith (with a small initial). Such a tradition

hajj. The annual pilgrimage to Mecca in the month of Dhu 11-Hijjah.

halal. Licit, permitted; opposite of haram.

hanif. A Koranic term applying to those of true religion; seeker of religious truth.

haram. Sacred enclave; esp. those of Mecca and Medina.

haram. Forbidden, illicit; opposite of halal.

harakat. Vowels.

hasan. Category of hadith between sound (sahih) and weak (da`if).

hijrah (hijra). Muhammad's migration from Mecca to Medina in 622 C.E.

hukm. Judgment.

ibn. Son of.

i Cjaz. Inimitability of the Koran.

ijazah. License given by a scholar to his pupil, authorizing the latter to transmit and teach a text.

ijma`. Consensus; the consensus of the Islamic community.

illah (pl. ilal). Cause; defect; esp. gap in chain of authentic transmission of a hadith.

imam. Leader, esp. religious leader; leader in communal prayer.

Injil. The Gospel.

I`rab. Usually translated as "inflection," indicating case and mood, but the Arab grammarians define it as the difference that occurs, in fact or virtually, at the end of a word, because of the various antecedents that govern it.

isnad. Chain of authorities; in particular in Hadith and historical writings.

isra`. Journey by night; the famous night journey of Muhammd to Jerusalem

Jahiliyyah. Period before Muhammad's mission; era of ignorance; pre-Islamic period.

jihad. Holy War.

jizyah. Poll tax; capitation tax.

kafir. Unbeliever.

kahin. Pre-Islamic soothsayer.

kalala. (a) one who dies leaving neither parent nor child, or, all the heirs with the exception of parents and children; (b) a bride, daughter-in-law, or sister-inlaw.

kalam. Scholastic theology.

karshuni. Syriac alphabet adapted to suit the Arabic language.

khabar (pl. akhbar). Discrete anecdotes, reports.

khafi. Sentences whose meanings are hidden

khaji. Sentences in which other persons or things are hidden beneath the plain meaning of a word or expression contained therein.

Khass. Words used in a special sense.

khassiya, khasa'is. Privilege, prerogative, feature, trait.

khatib. Orator; person pronouncing the Friday khutbah.

khulq. Disposition, temper, nature.

khutbah. Oration; address in the mosque at Friday prayers.

kiblah. See qiblah.

kissa. See qissah.

kitab (pl. kutub). Writing; Scripture, book; in Hadith, a division approximating a chapter.

kufic. Style of Arabic script, used in early Koran codices.

kunya (konia, kunyah). A patronymic or name of honor of the form Abu N or Umm N (father or mother of N).

kussas. See qussas.

mab `ath. Sending; the Call, when Muhammad was summoned to act as God's Prophet.

maghazi. Early Muslim military expeditions or raiding parties in which the Prophet took part.

majlis (pl. majalis). Meeting, session, scholarly discussion.

managib. Virtues, good qualities.

mansukh. Abrogated.

mashhur. Well known, widely known; a statement handed down by at least three different reliable authorities.

mathalib. Defects.

matn. Main text; narrative content.

mawla (pl. mawali). Client, non-Arab Muslim.

Midrash. (Hebrew for "exposition or investigation.") A Hebrew term for the method of biblical investigation or exegesis by which oral tradition interprets and elaborates on the scriptural text. This investigation became necessary because the Written Law in the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Old Testament) needed to be reinterpreted in the light of later situations and disagreements. The Midrashim are usually divided into two broad groups:

1. Halakha Midrash, which is the scholastic deduction of the Oral Law (Halakha) from the Written Law; the totality of laws that have evolved since biblical times regulating religious observances and conduct of the Jewish people; tend to be rather dry and legalistic.

2. Haggada Midrash, which consists of homiletic works whose purpose is edification rather than legislation; while less authoritative than halakhic ones, they are often highly imaginative stories, with a great deal of charm.

mi `raj. Ascent; the Prophet's vision of heaven.

Mu`allagah (pl. Mu`allagat). A collection of supposedly pre-Islamic poems.

Mu'awwal. Words that have several significations, all of which are possible.

mubtada'. Beginnings.

Mufakharah. Contests of vaunting, a war of words constituting a literary genre.

Mufassar. Explained. A sentence that needs some word in it to explain it and makeit clear.

Mufassal. Set forth or described minutely or in great detail.

muhaddith Hadith. Scholar, collecting and studying the Hadith.

muhajirun. Those who went with the Prophet from Mecca to Medina at the time of the hijrah.

Muhkam. Perspicuous; a sentence the meaning of which there is no doubt.

Mujmal. Sentences that may have a variety of interpretations.

muruwwah. Manliness, chivalry, prowess; the qualities of the ideal pre-Islamic Arab.

musannaf. Classified, systemized compilation. Hadith compilations arranged according to subject matter.

mushaf. Koran codex.

mushkil. Sentences that are ambiguous.

mushtarak. Complex words that have several significations;

musnad. Work of hadith in which individual hadith can be attributed to the Prophet himself.

mut`ah. Temporary marriage.

mutakallim. Scholastic theologian.

mutashabih. Intricate sentences or expressions, the exact meaning of which it is impossible for man to ascertain.

Mu`tazilah. Theological school that created speculative dogmatics of Islam.

mutawatir. A report handed down successively by numerous Companions, which was generally known from early times, and to which objections have never been raised.

nabi. Prophet.

nahdah. Renaissance.

nasab (pl. ansab). Genealogy.

nasikh. Passage in the Koran or Sunnah that abrogates another passage.

Nuqat. The diacritical points, the function of which is to differentiate letters of the basic rasm; there are seven letters that are the unmarked members of pairs where the other member has over-dotting.

Peshitta (Psitta). The official text of the Bible in Syriac.

Poetical koine. The written but not spoken language common to pre-Islamic poetry. (Not a happy term, as Rabin says (chap. 3.4) since the Greek koine was a spoken language; thus Classical Arabic resembles more closely the status of Homeric Greek.)

Qaddarites. A group of teachers during ther Abbasid period who championed free will against the theory of predestination.

Qadi. Judge of a shari`ah court.

gara'a `a1a. Literally, read aloud to; study under.

gari' (pl.qurra'). Reader, reciter of the Koran.

qiblah. Direction of prayer.

gira'ah. Recitation of the Koran; variant reading of the Koran.

gissah (pl. qisas). Story, fable, narrative tale; the narrative tales of the Koran.

giyas. Analogy; the process of arriving at a legal decision by analogy

qussas. Storytellers, relaters of qisas.

Rashidun. The first four caliphs (the orthodox or rightly guided caliphs), that is, Abu Bakr, 'Umar, `Uthman and `Ali.

Rasm. The basic (unpointed) form, shape, or drawing of the individual word.

Rasul. Messenger; apostle.

Rawi (pl. ruwah). Reciter, transmitter.

ra'y. Opinion.

rijal (sing. rajul). Men; trustworthy authorities in Hadith literature.

risalah (pl. rasa'il). Epistle.

riwayah. Transmission (of a nonreligious text); recension; variant reading in poetry.

Sadaga. Alms, charitable gift; almsgiving, charity; legally prescribed alms tax.

Sahabah. The group of the Companions of the Prophet.

sahifah (pl.suhuf). Page leaf; in the plural: manuscripts, documents containing Hadith material.

sahih. Sound (category of Hadith); name of the Hadith collections of al Bukhari and Muslim.

saj`. Balanced and rhyming prose.

saraya. Early Muslim military expeditions at which the Prophet was not present.

shadhdh. Peculiar; esp. unacceptable variants of the Koranic text.

shama'il. Good qualities; character, nature.

shari'ah. The corpus of Islamic law.

shawahid. Piece of evidence or quotation serving as textual evidence.

Shicah. Sect that holds that the leadership of the Islamic community belongs only to the descendants of 'Aliand Fatima.

Shu`ubiyyah. Anti-Arab political and literary movement, especially strong in Iranian circles.

Sira/sirah (pl. siyar). Biography, esp. of the Prophet.

Sitz im leben. (German: situation or place in life.) A term used initially in biblical criticism to signify the circumstances (often in the life of a community) in which a particular story, saying, etc., was created or preserved and transmitted.

stanza/strophe. Some poems are divided into groups of lines that stricly speaking are called "stanzas"; though in popular language they are often called "verses." The stanza will have a predominating meter and pattern of rhyme. For example, the Omar Khayyam stanza has four iambic pentameters, rhyming AABA; it receives its name from its use by E. Fitzgerald in his translation of the Rubaiyat.

sunnah. Way, path; customary practice, usage sanctioned by tradition, the sayings and doings of the Prophet that have been established as legally binding.

sura/surah. A chapter of the Koran.

tabagat. Historical works organized biographically.

tabi`un (sing. Tabi`). Followers, the generation after the Prophet's Companions (saha bah).

to `dil. Confirming the credibility of a muhaddith.

tafsir. Koranic exegesis.

tafsir bi'l-ma'thur. Interpretation or exegesis of the Koran following tradition.

tafsir bi'l-ra'y. Interpretation or exegesis of the Koran by personal opinion.

tajwid. The art of reciting the Koran, giving each consonant its full value, as much as it requires to be well pronounced without difficulty or exaggeration.

tanzil. The divine revelation incorporated in the Koran; occasionally, the inspiration of soothsayers.

ta'rikh. History.

tawhid. The doctrine of the unity of God.

ta'wil. Interpretation; sometimes used as a synonym for tafsir; later acquired specialized sense of exposition of the subject matter of the Koran, in contrast to the more external philological exegesis of the Koran, which was now distinguished as tafsir.

ummah. Folk; the Islamic community.

Ur-. (German origin; prefix.) Primitive, original.

usul. The fundamentals of jurisprudence.

warraq. Paper seller, stationer, bookseller, copyist.

wad u' . Ablution.

zakah. Alms tax of prescribed amount.

zuhd. Asceticism.

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