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Islamic Glossary



Iblis - Denotes the jinn, who refused the command of Allah to prostrate before Adam (pbuh) out of vanity. He also asked God to allow him a term when he might mislead and tempt mankind to error. This term was granted to him by God hereafter he became the chief promoter of evil and prompted Adam (pbuh) and Hawwa (pbuh) to disobey God's order. He is also called al-Shaytaan (Satan). He is possessed of a specific personality and is not just an abstract force.

Eid-al-Adha - The four day festival of Muslims starting on the tenth of Dhul-Hijjah.

'Iddah - Denotes the waiting period that a woman is required to observe as a consequence of the nullification of her marriage with her husband or because of the husband's death.

Iftar - Breaking of the fast immediately after sunset. Iftar takes place at Maghrib as soon as the Adhan is called.

Ihdad - Mourning for a deceased husband.

Ihram - A state in which one is prohibited to practice certain deeds that are lawful at other times. This is essentially required for performing Hajj and 'Umrah. In the state of ihram the pilgrim is required to observe many prohibitions; he may not hunt, shave or trim his hair, shed blood, use perfume, or indulge in sexual gratification.

Ihsan - The highest level of deeds and worship. Islamic religious context, it signifies excellence of behavior arising out of a strong love for God and a profound sense of close relationship with Him.

Al-Ihtiba - A sitting posture, putting one's arms around one's legs while sitting on the hips.

Ila' - Denotes a husband's vow to abstain from sexual relations with his wife. The maximum permissible limit for abstaining from sexual relations in wedlock under such a vow is four months.

Iliya - Jerusalem

Imam - Signifies the leader, and in its highest form, refers to the head of the Islamic state.

Iman - Trust, faith and acceptance. Having faith and belief in Allah according to the Quran.

Imsak - Start of the fasting time. Imsak begins when the first light of dawn becomes visible, and ends at Fajr when the Adhan is called.

Inah - When a person is asked to lend money, refuses and instead offers him an article at a higher price then his original demand. Later buys the same article from him at a lesser price. He then becomes indebted to him for the difference. Swindling.

Iqamah - The call to prayer that announces to the congregation that the obligatory prayer is just to begin.

Iqama-as-salaat - Means that every able body Muslim, is required to perform all five required prayers, according to the ways of the Prophet (pbuh).

Isha' - Night prayer signifies the prescribed prayer which is performed after the night has well set in.

Islam - Submission to the will of Allah.

Istabraq - Thick pure silk cloth.

Istihadad - Bleeding from a woman between her normal periods.

Istikharah - Asking Allah the Almighty to guide one to the right decision and action regarding a particular problem. The Istikhara Prayer consists of two rakahs. A special invocation is said.

Istisqa - Invoking Allah for rain in the time of a drought. The Istisqa Prayer consists of two rakahs.

I'tikaf - Refers to the religious practice of spending the last ten days of Ramadan (either wholly or partly) in a mosque so as to devote oneself exclusively to worship. In this state one may go out of the mosque only for the absolute necessary requirements of life, but one must stay away from gratifying one's sexual desire. The minimum period for i'tikaf is twenty-four hours. I'tikaf is not valid if one is not keeping the fast or if it is done outside the month of Ramadan.

Izar - A sheet worn below the waist to cover the lower half of the body.


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