Islamic Jurisprudence Glossary

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Islamic Jurisprudence Glossary

English Department of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi's Office makarem news

Abstract: Considering the fact that a great deal of technical jurisprudential terms are frequently used in Fiqhi resources including his eminence’s book of ‘Practical Laws of Islam’ English Department of his eminence’s Office releases this compilation of jurisprudential terms along with their simplified explanation to maximize the understanding of the readers insha’Allah.
Keywords: Fiqh, Islamic Jurisprudence, Taqlid

Islamic Jurisprudence Glossary


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Adā: (الأداء) A prayer which is performed in its specified time period.

Ādil: (العادل) A just individual; this is Islamically defined as one who has an inner fear of God which prevents him from committing the major sins and from persisting upon the minor sins.

‘Ahd: (العهد) Covenant; A compact which an individual makes before Allah (swt) with regard to performing a good action or abstaining from a bad action. This is done through the recitation of a specific formula.

Aḥkām: (الأحكام) Laws; Rules; Islamic Laws

Ahl al-kitāb: (أهل الکتاب) People of the Book; A non-Muslim who follows one of the book holding prophets (a). This includes groups such as the Jews and the Christians.

A‘lam:  (الأعلم) The most learned person in deducing the rulings from the religious sources.

Al-fajr al-kādhib: (الفجر الکاذب) False dawn; a moment during the end of the night where a white light appears (on the eastern horizon). This white light is vertical in nature. During this moment, even though the night has ended, it is still not time for the Morning Prayer. This is why it is called the false dawn.

Al-fajr al-ṣādiq: (الفجر الصادق) True dawn [as opposed to false dawn (al-fajr al-kādhib)] is the glow that appears and spreads in the east of the sky a few minutes after the false dawn. It marks the beginning of the time for offering the Morning Prayer. As the light of the true dawn becomes more powerful, the stars begin to wane in the morning sky. The time for offering the Morning Prayer will be up with the first glow of sunlight appearing on the eastern horizon.

Al-wājib al-kifāyī: (الواجب الكفائي) Collective duty; this is an obligatory action which is due upon everyone but when one individual performs it, the duty is removed from the rest of the people.

‘Āmil: (العامل) Executor; one who acts based upon a Juʿālah type agreement.

Ārīyah: (العارية) Lending; giving one’s property to another so that they can use it temporarily without having to make any payments in return.

Āyāt Prayer: (صلاة الآيات) Signs prayer; a particular two rak‘at prayer which is obligatory to perform during times of earthquake, and lunar and solar eclipse.

Āyatulkursī: (آية الکرسي) The Throne Verse; the 255th verse of Surah al-Baqarah



Bā’in Divorce: (الطلاق البائن) Irrevocable divorce; this is a type of divorce where a man cannot return to married life (Rujū‘) with his wife.

Baytulmāl: (بيت مال المسلمين) A type of public wealth.

Bid‘ah: (البدعة) Innovation in religion; making something a part of the religion which is actually not a part of the religion.

Branches of religion (furu‘ al-dīn): (فروع الدين) The practical aspects of the religious law are called the branches of religion.



Compromise: (الصلح) A two sided compromise; this is where an individual gives a certain amount of money or certain rights to another for the purpose of compromise.

Conditional Sale: (بيع الشرط) A conditional sale is a type of sale where an item is sold whereby the seller has the right to cancel the transaction.

Congregational Prayer: (صلاة الجماعة) An obligatory prayer performed by two people or more in congregation. In a congregational prayer, one person leads the prayer, while the rest follow.
Consequential Ṭahārah:  In lexicon, this term pertains to following someone or something. In jurisprudence, it refers to the purification of an impure object at the same time as the purification of another impure object. For example, this can refer to a dish which has initially held grapes for the making of vinegar; this dish is initially impure due to the creation of wine, but it then becomes pure when the grapes turn into vinegar.



Dhikr: (الذكر) Prescribed religious formulae; these include all religious formulae which have been prescribed in religious law to be recited within one’s prayers, as well as during other times.


Dhimmī: (الذمي) Non-Muslim citizen; non-Muslims from the people of the Scripture, such as the Jews and Christians, who are living under the protection of a Muslim government through means of a treaty.


Dirham: (الدرهم) A Dirham is a type of silver based money which was used during the early Islamic period until the beginning of the fourteenth century AH. It was a prevalent type of currency amongst the Muslims and it had a weight of approximately 2.4192 grams of silver. Its size was about the size of a finger joint.


Discerning child: (الطفل المميّز) A child who has attained the age of discretion; A child who can discern between good and bad actions.


Dīyah: (الدية) The money prescribed in the Islamic Law and is paid in order to compensate the death or injury of a person.





Faeces-Eating Animal: (الحيوان الجلّال) An animal which eats human faeces.


Fatwā: (الفتوي) Religious decree; An expert opinion of a qualified jurist concerning Islamic Law.


Farsakh: (الفرسخ) League (Parasang); an itinerant distance of about 5.5 kilometers which is mentioned in some rulings on the laws pertaining to traveling and Friday Prayer.


Fiqh: (الفقه) Islamic Jurisprudence; the do’s and don’ts of religion.


Fundamentals of religion (usūl al-dīn): (اُصول الدين) The fundamentals of religion (contrary to the branches of religion) are a group of basic beliefs which Islam is composed of. It is not possible to be a Muslim without believing in them and the rejection of any one of them causes a state of disbelief and incurs divine punishment.



General Deputy: (النائب العام) This refers to a religious authority or an individual who is chosen to represent them.


Ghaṣb: (الغصب) Usurpation; utilizing another’s wealth without their permission or consent.
Ghufaylah Prayer: (صلاة الغفيلة) A specific two-rak‘at prayer which is performed in between the Maghrib and ‘ishā’ prayers.


Ghusālah: ( الغسالة) Remainder washing; this refers to the water which after washing things such as clothes comes out of them either by squeezing them or by itself.



Ḥā’iḍ: (الحائض) A woman who is menstruating


Ḥajj: (الحج) Visiting the House of Allah (swt) and performing specific rituals during a specific time of year.


Ḥanūṭ: (الحنوط) Applying Camphor; Rubbing camphor on the various body parts of a dead individual. The camphor is specifically applied to the forehead, the palms of the hands, the knees, and the tip of the two big toes.


Ḥarbī kāfirs: (الکافر الحربي) Non-Muslims who are at war with Muslims.


Ḥawālah: (الحوالة) Transferring the debt; where the debtor refers the creditor to a third party for the resolution of their loaned amount.


Ḥayḍ: (الحيض) Menstruation.
Ḥijāb: Canonical Islamic dress code of modesty; a specific dress code.



Ibādāt: (العبادات) Acts of devotional worship; the ultimate form of humility before Allah (swt) through worshipping Him.


Ibn al-sabīl: (ابن السبيل) This is a traveller who no longer has the money for continuing their journey or money for their basic expenses.


‘Iddah: (العدة) Waiting period; a period of time where a woman (due to divorce or the death of her husband, or the end of the period of her temporary marriage) must wait before she can remarry.


Iddah of a Widow: (عدة الوفاة) Widow waiting period; a waiting period pertaining to a woman whose husband has passed away [during which she cannot remarry]. Its period is four months and ten days long.


Ifḍā: (الإفضاء) Perineal tear (the laceration of the perineum); perineal tear is a spontaneous laceration of the skin and other soft tissue structures which, in women, separate the vagina from the anus or the urinary and menstrual tract. In general, the tear is in a way that sexual intercourse is not possible.


Iḥtilām: (الاحتلام) Nocturnal emission (Wet dream); the emission of semen during the state of sleep.


Iḥtīyāṭ: (الاحتياط) Precaution; taking the necessary precautions in order to ensure that one has, indeed, fulfilled one’s potential duties.


Al-iḥtīyāṭ al-wājib: (الاحتياط الواجب) Obligatory precaution; this is a type of precaution which the follower can act upon or they can refer to the ruling of another qualified jurist who is equal in knowledge to the qualified jurist that they follow or at least the next in knowledge.


Al-iḥtīyāṭ al-mustaḥab: (الاحتياط المستحب) Recommended precaution; this refers to a type of precaution where the follower can act upon the ruling or they can leave it aside.


Imam of prayer: (امام الجماعة) Prayer leader; an individual who is followed by others in the congregational prayer


Individual prayer: (صلاة الفرادي) A prayer which an individual offers by themselves.


Inqilāb: (الإنقلاب) transformation; If liquor becomes vinegar by itself, or by mixing it with something, it becomes ritually pure, and it is called Inqilab (transformation).


Intiqāl: (الإنتقال) Substantial Transfer; a change of location; changing the position of a Najis thing in a way that it is no longer the original substance, like transfer of human blood into the body of a mosquito.


Irtimāsī Ghusl: (الغسل الارتماسي) Major Ablution (Ghusl) by immersion; immersing one’s entire body into water for the purpose of the Ghusl.


Irtimāsī Wuḍū: (الوضوء الإرتماسي) Minor ablution by immersion; immersing one’s face and

hands in water for the purpose of the minor ablution (wuḍū).


Istibrā: (الإستبراء) This term pertains to avoiding various types of uncleanliness. It is used in three cases:
1) Istibra from urine (cleaning the urethra from urine)
2) Istibra from semen (cleaning the urethra from semen to ensure that no semen is left in the urethra by urinating after the discharge of semen)
3) Istibra for feces-eating animal from eating feces. (To prevent a feces-eating animal from eating feces until it returns to its natural food).
Islamic sacraments: (الشعائر, Sha‘ā’ir) Sacred Islamic traditions; practical manifestations of Islam such as the mourning ceremonies for the Ahl al-Bayt (a), or congregational prayers, etc. which serve as means to promote Islam.


Istiḥāḍah: (الإستحاضة) This refers to all female bleeding other than ḥayḍ, nifās, and regular wounds and boils in the female uterus.


Istiḥālah: (الإستحالة) Transubstantiation; to totally change in a way where it becomes of another essential nature. For instance, a piece of najis wood burns and changes into ashes or a dog’s body is transformed into salt as a result of falling into a salt marsh.


Istiṭā‘ah: (الإستطاعة) Capability to perform Hajj; the ability of performing the Hajj pilgrimage from the physical, economic, and travel based perspectives.



Jabīrah: (الجبيرة) Bandage; a piece of fabric/plaster with which a broken bone or a wound is bandaged.


Jā‘il: (الجاعل) Rewarder; One who formulates a Ju'ālah type agreement.


Janābah: (الجنابة) Major ritual impurity; this is a state of major ritual impurity which comes about from the ejaculation or through sexual intercourse (even without ejaculation). A person in this state can return to the state of ritual purity through performing the major ritual ablution (Ghusl).


Jārī water: (الماء الجاري) Flowing Water; running water; a type of water which constantly flows from the earth, such as the water of a spring or a Qanat. This also applies to rivers which originate from mountains, as well as city tap water which is connected to a main water source. The one condition which must apply is that the water source must be greater than one Kurr in size.


Ju‘ālah: (الجعالة) Payment of reward; a type of contract where an individual announces that whoever does a certain action for them will be given a specific reward. For example, whoever finds an individual’s lost book will be given a reward of 20 dollars.


Junub: (الجنب) This refers to one who has ejaculated or who has engaged in sexual intercourse (even without it resulting in ejaculation).



Kafālah: (الکفالة) Bail agreement; a guarantee or a bond.


Kaffāra (expiation): (الكفارة) actions which people perform in order to compensate for certain specific sins.


Kafīl: (الکفيل) Bailsman; a Guarantor of a bail.


Kathīr al-shak: (کثير الشک) One who doubts too much in ones acts of worship; an individual who falls into excessive doubt.


Khul‘ Divorce: (طلاق الخلع) Divorce at the wife’s instigation; a type of divorce where a woman does not wish to remain married to her husband and she forgoes her bridal gift (or relinquishes another amount of wealth to her husband) in exchange for divorce.


Khums: (الخمس) In lexicon, this term means one fifth. In religious jurisprudence, it refers to a twenty per cent tax on the excess of one’s yearly income. This must be given to a fully qualified religious jurist, i.e. a religious authority (the Marjaʿ Taqlīd).


Khums year:  (السنة الخمسية) A full year after one’s first earned wages. This date must then be used every year afterwards for paying the Khums.  


Kurr Water: (ماء الکرّ) A quantity of water which would fill a dish that is 3.5 hand spans in height, width, and depth according to obligatory precaution. This is approximately equal to a weight of 384 kilograms and it is also roughly equal to 384 litters of water. In addition, when it comes to calculating hand spans, the hand spans would be medium sized (not too small and not too large).



Legal guardian: (الولي) An individual who has the responsibility of making decisions in regards to a person or object.


Lease contract: (الإجارة) A contract where the benefits of a property or work is given to another in return for certain wages (and for a set time period).


Maḥjūr: Legally incompetent: (المحجور عليهم) A person who is not allowed to utilize their wealth [because of having been legally ruled as incompetent].



Madhy: (المذي) Pre-ejaculate; this is a type of discharge seen during foreplay.


Mā fī al-dhimmah: (ما في الذمة) One’s responsibility; that which is necessary for a responsible individual to perform.


Mahr: (المهر) Bridal gift; an amount of wealth which a woman comes to own as her nuptial gift. A man is obliged to give this amount to his wife.


Maḥram: (المحرم) Close relatives; this term refers to some relatives (both by blood, through marriage or through being breastfed by a woman) about whom there are less stringent requirements in relation to one’s dress and social interactions. Marriage with one’s Maḥrams is also considered to be impermissible. These individuals include the following persons: One’s sisters, mother, daughters, granddaughters, aunts (both maternal and paternal) the rabība (stepdaughter), the mother and grandmother of one’s wife, as well as one’s daughters and foster-sisters through being breastfed by the one’s mother.


The major sins: (الصغائر) Mortal sins; the cardinal sins are sins which have been mentioned explicitly in the Quran as bringing about divine punishment, or they have been explicitly forbidden in the Quran, or they have been mentioned by name (as a mortal sin) in the Islamic traditions. Additionally, persisting in the commission of the lesser sins is also considered to be a mortal sin. It should be noted that all other kinds of sins are considered to be lesser sins.


Makrūh: (المكروه) Disliked; any action which Islamic law considers it to be undesirable and abominable; its commission is not unlawful but it is recommended to not perform it.


Ma’mūm: (المأموم) Follower; An individual who follows a prayer leader during their congregational prayer.


Masā’il: Rulings; rules; issues.


Mature: (البالغ) A religiously mature individual; religious maturity consists of four different types. The first type pertains to religious worship and abiding by the laws of the lawful and the unlawful. This type of religious maturity is achieved when a man completes fifteen lunar years or when a woman completes nine lunar years. There are also other signs for having reached this age which are mentioned in this book rule No. 1909. An example of this can be found in the issue of fasting. When someone has reached the age of religious maturity, they are obligated to perform the obligatory fasts so long as they are able to do so. If they find themselves unable to complete all of them, they must do as many as they can and the rest should be compensated gradually before the month of Ramadan of the following year. If they find themselves unable to do this, they can feed a poor person for each day’s fast which they missed and there will be no need for making up the fast any longer. The criterion for being unable to fast is defined by the existence of great difficulty and danger to oneself. This ruling is based on the Quranic verse which states:
 « فَمَنْ کانَ مِنْکُمْ مَريضاً أَوْ عَلي سَفَرٍ فَعِدَّةٌ مِنْ أَيامٍ أُخَرَ »(2:184)
This is a principle in Islam which calls upon the Muslims never to harm themselves.
The second type of maturity pertains to maturity in relation to marriage. This means that the individual in question must have reached certain levels of physical growth which allow for marriage and sexual intercourse. If they are not physically matured and will be harmed by sexual intercourse, then it is not permissible for them to get married. With this said, there is no issue with simply reciting the marriage contract and leaving the other aspects of marriage for a later time (when maturity has been reached). This ruling is based on the above-mentioned Quranic verse regarding the necessity of keeping oneself away from extreme difficulties; it is also evidenced by the Quranic verse which states:
 « فَإِنْ آنَسْتُمْ مِنْهُمْ رُشْداً »(6:4)
Although this verse is specifically about economic maturity, it can also be applied to the issue of marriage as well.
The third type of maturity pertains to economic maturity. An individual is said to have reached economic maturity when they can guard over their wealth and utilize it in a proper manner without being easily deceived and having their wealth taken from them. Economic maturity has various stages as well and when each of these stages is reached, the individual has permission to utilize their wealth to the degree to which they are able. For example, different levels of ability are required in making daily expenditures and real estate deals. The evidence for this ruling comes from the following Quranic verse which states:
«وَ ابْتَلُوا الْيتامي حَتّي إِذا بَلَغُوا النِّکاحَ فَإِنْ آنَسْتُمْ مِنْهُمْ رُشْداً فَادْفَعُوا إِلَيهِمْ أَمْوالَهُمْ»
The fourth type of maturity pertains to the issue of ordained punishments and the law of retaliation. In spite of this, when it comes to paying money for damages done, neither knowledge is a condition, nor intent. Therefore, if someone is guilty of unintentional or quasi-intentional homicide, they must still pay the blood money ordained for manslaughter. However, when it comes to the ordained punishments and the law of retaliation, one cannot be punished if they lack the proper mental faculties or understanding. This ruling is based on the following Quranic verse:
 «فَإِنْ آنَسْتُمْ مِنْهُمْ رُشْداً» (6:4)
This verse in reality pertains to the issue of intellectual maturity and not simple economics; therefore, it pertains to all types of maturity. Hence, responsibility cannot be imposed as long as the necessary levels of maturity have not been reached and if there is any doubt, then it should still not be imposed.


Maẓ;ālim: (المظالم) Injustices; this is the plural form of the word Ẓulm (injustice). The term Radd al-Maẓālim refers to making up for an act or acts of economic injustice when the original owner (who was oppressed) can no longer be reached. With permission from the religious authority or his representative, the individual then gives this amount of money to the poor on behalf of its original owner.


Menopause: (اليائسة) A woman who has reached a certain age where she no longer menstruates.


Mentally incompetent: (السفيه) An individual with a limited intellectual capacity. This specifically means that the individual does not have the ability to manage their own financial affairs and they would spend their wealth in useless things.


Miḥrāb: (المحراب) Prayer niche; a semicircular niche in the wall of the mosque facing the qiblah where the prayer leader stands.


Minor: (الصغير) Underage; An individual who has not reached the age of religious maturity and has lost their father.


Minor invalidator: (الحدث الأصغر) any action which invalidates wuḍū. [As opposed to Major invalidator which is any action which necessitates the major ritual ablution (Ghusl) for prayer.


Mithqāl: (المثقال) A unit of weight which is equal to 3.456 grams.


Mu’adhin: (المؤذّن) One who recites the call to prayer.


Mu‘āmilāt: (المعاملات) Transactions.


Mubāḥ: (المباح) Permissible; any action which is considered permissible in Islamic law.


Mubārāt Divorce: (طلاق المباراة) Divorce by reciprocal renunciation of right; a type of divorce where the husband and wife cannot reconcile with one another. The wife gives an amount of money to the husband in lieu of divorce.


Mubtadi’ah: (المبتدئة) Menarcheal woman; a woman who is menstruating for the first time.


Muḍāf Water: (الماء المضاف) Mixed water; this is a type of water which has been mixed with some other substance (such as sugar) in a way that it would no longer be considered water by the common understanding.


Muḍārabah: (المضاربة) A limited partnership which means that an individual or individuals invest their money and another individual or other individuals work with that capital and divide the proceeds in accordance with their agreement, and each will have his share of it.


Mudd: (المد) A measure unit which is approximately equal to 750 grams.


Muḍṭaribah: (المضطربة) A woman who has irregular menstruations.


Muḥtaḍar: (المحتضر) Dying person; A Muḥtaḍar by definition is a person on whom the signs of death are clearly visible.


Mujtahid: (المجتهد) A qualified religious jurist; the lexical meaning of this term is “to strive and struggle towards a certain goal. In jurisprudence, it is used to refer to someone who has reached a very high stage in deriving and interpreting jurisprudential law. This means that their intellectual knowledge is so great that they can derive rulings from the Quran and body of traditions (as well as through utilizing the intellect and scholarly consensus).


Musāqāt: (المساقاة) Sharecropping Contract on Fruit Trees; in lexicon, this term refers to watering. In religious jurisprudence, this is a contract between the owner of an orchard and the cultivator. The cultivator waters and takes care of the trees and then is entitled to a share of the end fruit yield.


Muṣī: (الموصي) Testator; an individual who makes or drafts a will.


Mustaḥab: (المستحب) Recommended; any action which is recommended in Islamic law but is not considered obligatory.


Mustaḥāḍah: (المستحاضة) A woman with menorrhagia; A woman who is in a state of Istiḥāḍah (i.e. with menorrhagia).


Mustaṭī‘: (المستطيع) Capable; in lexicon, this refers to capability. In religious jurisprudence, it refers to an individual who has the means and circumstances of performing the Ḥajj pilgrimage.


Muṭahhir/Muṭahhirāt: (المطهّرات) Purifying agent(s); the Lexical meaning of this term refers to anything which purifies something else. In jurisprudence however, it refers to agents and procedures which remove impurity and restore a state of ritual purity.


Mutawallī: (المتولّي) Custodian; an individual who takes on the responsibility of following up on a certain amount of money.


Muṭlaq Water: (الماء المطلق) Unmixed water; this is a type of water which is considered as water by the common understanding (though it may be mixed with something else). Due to this reason, juice is or water which is excessively mixed with salt or soil etc. in a way that it would no longer be considered water by the common understanding is not muṭlaq water.


Muwakkil: (الموکّل) Principal; the one who makes another a representative.


Muwālāt: (الموالاة) Maintenance of succession; consecutively and without more than usual pause.


Muzāra‘ah: (المزارعة) Farming partnership; this is a contract between the owner of a piece of land and the farmer. The owner agrees to a share of the end agricultural product (in return for renting out his land to the farmer).



Nadhr: (النذر) Vow; making it obligatory upon oneself to perform a good action or to abstain from a bad action.


Nafaqah: (النفقة) Maintenance; the basic expenses of a person’s life which are obligatory upon certain other individual(s) who are responsible in this regard.


Nafsā’: (النفساء) A woman who experiences the bleeding after childbirth.


Naḥr: (النحر) Sacrificing a camel; the method of Islamically slaughtering a camel.


Najāsah/Najis: (النجاسات) [ritual] Impurity; these are certain, limited things which human beings must abstain from because they are considered to be ritually impure.


Nāsīyah: (الناسية) A woman who has forgotten the time of her monthly period.


Nawāfil/Nāfilah: (نوافل النافلة / النوافل/نافلة) Supererogatory prayers; recommended prayers.


Nawāṣib: (الناصبي) Individual who slander or insult the Ahl al-Bayt (ʿa).


Nifās: (النفاس) Lochia; birth bleeding; this is bleeding which takes place after childbirth (and originates from the uterus).


Niṣāb: (النصاب) Taxable limit; a determined limit for various items where the giving of the Zakāt becomes obligatory.



Qaḍā: (القضاء) Making up an action after its time has passed.


Qalīl Water: (الماء القليل) Less than Kurr Water; this is a quantity of water that is less than Kurr in amount and which does not come out of the earth (such as a spring).


Qarā’ah: (القراءة) Recitation; what is recited during the standing portion of the prayers. It consists of Surah al-Fātiḥa with the other surah recited after al-Fātiḥa, along with the ‘Four Praises’ (tasbīḥāt arbaʿah).


Qaṣr prayer: (صلاة القصر) Shortened prayer; the shortened prayers are originally four rak‘at prayers which are shortened to two rak‘at prayers during the course of a journey.


Qurbah: (القربة) Attaining nearness to Allah (swt); an action done purely for the sake of Allah and to win Allah’s favor.



Rajā’: (قصد الرجاء) Doing something in the hope of attaining nearness to Allah (swt); where an act is done with the hopes that it will potentially bring an individual closer to Allah (swt).


Rak‘at: (الرکعة) A unit of prayer which is composed of standing, genuflecting, and prostrating.


Ramaḍān: (شهر رمضان) The ninth lunar month where the Muslims fast.


Rashīdah: (الرشيدة) An intellectually mature girl; a girl who has reached an age of growth both in terms of age and intellectual development where she can determine the things which are to her benefit and harm and act upon them.


Ribā: (الربا) Usury; charging interest on a loan.


Riḍā‘ī: (الرضاعي) Girls or boys who have been breastfed by the same woman.


Right of rescission: (خيار الفسخ) The choice of invalidating a transaction.


Rij‘ī Divorce: (الطلاق الرجعي) Revocable divorce; this is a type of divorce where a man can return to his wife (they can restart their married life again) during her waiting period.


Rujū‘: (الرجوع) Revocation of divorce; in lexicon, this term means a return. In jurisprudence, it refers to an action performed by a man, who has divorced his wife based on the principles of revocable divorce, through which he can revoke the divorce during the waiting period of his wife, in which case he can return to a state of married life without needing to make another marriage contract.


Rukn: (الواجبات الركنية واجبات رکنية) Foundational element; in lexicon, this term means a foundation. It is the most essential part of every act of worship and it has certain rules.



Ṣā‘: (الصاع) A unit of measure of approximately three kilograms.


Ṣadaqa: (الصدقة) Alms; this is charity which an individual gives from his own wealth with the intention of gaining proximity to Allah (swt). It is sometimes obligatory from a religious perspective such as Zakāt. It can also be considered as recommended in certain times such as the giving of normal charity.


Sajdah al-sahw: (سجود السهو) Compensatory prostration; an act of prostration which a praying individual performs in lieu of certain mistakes which they accidentally performed.


Sajdah for Shukr: (سجدة الشکر) Prostration for thanking.


Ṣalāt al-iḥtīyāṭ: (صلاة الإحتياط) Precautionary prayer; a prayer which is performed without reciting the Quranic Surah, which is usually recited after surah al-Fātiha in prayers, in lieu of prayer rak‘ats where the individual had doubts whether they had performed them or not.


Ṣalāt al-mayyit: (صلاة الميّت) Burial prayer; a specific prayer which is performed for the dead before burial.


Sayyids: (السيّد) People who are descendants of “Hāshim”, the great grandfather of Prophet Muḥammad (ṣ). These include the descendants of ʿAbbās, Jaʿfar, Abū Ṭālib, Abū Lahab, Ḥārith, and ʿAbdullāh.


Sidr: (السدر) A powder taken from Ziziphus Spina-christi tree and if that is not available whatever is most similar in appearance to it from Ziziphus genus.


Shaf‘ Prayer: (نافلة الشفع) Lexically means even in number; This is a two-rak‘at recommended prayer which is performed after the eight rak‘ats of the supererogatory night prayers and before the Witr prayer.


Shahādatayn: (الشهادتين) The statement of faith; testifying to the oneness of Allah (swt) and the prophethood of the Prophet Muḥammad (ṣ).


Sharī‘a: (الشريعة) Sharia; the laws which Allah (swt) has determined for his servants.


Specific deputy (al-nāib al-khāṣ): (النائب الخاصّ) A representative who has been specifically chosen by the Infallible Imam (ʿa).


Specified obligatory fast: (صوم واجب معيّن) A day where fasting has become obligatory upon an individual due to a vow (or another similar reason).


Suḥūr: (السحور) A meal which is eaten before the morning adhān on days when one has decided to fast.



Ṭahārah/Ṭāhir: (الطهارة) [ritual] purity; in lexicon, this term refers to purity, while in jurisprudence, it is used to refer to a spiritual state which is brought about from performing the minor ablution (wuḍū), or the major ritual ablution (Ghusl), or dry ablution (Tayyamum).


Tajwīd: (التجويد) Correct recitation of the Quran; The art of reciting the Quran with proper pronunciation.


Takbīr: (التکبير) The recitation of the phrase, Allah is Greater (Allahū Akbar).


Takhyīrī wājib: (الواجب التخييري) Obligatory with choice; having a choice between two or more tasks, the fulfillment of at least one of which is considered as obligatory.


Takbīrat-ul-iḥrām: (تکبيرة الإحرام) Reciting the phrase, Allah is Greater (Allahū Akbar) with the intention of prayer.


Taqīyyah: (التقيّة) Dissimulation; expressing a belief or performing an action which is contrary to one’s actual beliefs due to necessity or an overriding reason.


Taqlīd: (التقليد) To Follow; following the rulings of a qualified religious jurist and acting upon them.


Tarakhuṣ: (حدّ الترخّص) The Limit of Tarakhus; certain distance from one’s city where the sounds of the city’s Call to Prayer can no longer be heard and the people of the city can no longer see the traveller.


Tartīb: (الترتيب) Sequence; doing acts of worship in proper sequence. With regard to prayers, this involves the maintaining of the proper sequence of actions in prayer.


Tartībī Ghusl: (الغسل الترتيبي) Sequential Ghusl; Washing the body with a particular order with the intention of performing the major ablution (Ghusl).


Tashyī‘: (التشييع) Accompanying a dead individual before their burial. This is considered to be one of the recommended actions in Islam.


Ṭawāf: (الطواف) Circumambulation; a circular movement around the Ka‘ba. This is one of the rituals related to the Ḥajj and ‘Umrah pilgrimage.


Ṭawāf al-nisā’: (طواف النساء) Circumambulation of women; the last circumambulation of Ḥajj and the independent (Mufradah) ʿUmrah. If one does not perform this circumambulation, sexual contact with their spouse becomes unlawful to them.


Tayammum: (التيمّم) Dry ablution; when one does not have access to water, tayammum can be performed instead of wuḍū or Ghusl. There are seven cases where one can perform tayammum.


Turbah: (التربة) what people prostrate upon during their prayers and it can be made of stones, the dirt from the area around the shrine of Imam al-Ḥusayn (a), etc...


Turbah of Imam al-Ḥusayn (a): (تربة الإمام الحسين عليه السلام) This refers to the dirt found in Karbala within a limited area around the shrine of Imam Ḥusayn (a).



‘Umrah pilgrimage: (العمرة) Visiting the House of Allah (swt) and performing its related rituals. This type of pilgrimage is similar to the Ḥajj pilgrimage but with some differences. The Umrah pilgrimage is of two kinds: first is the Umrah al-Tamatu‘ which has to be performed before the Hajj al-Tamatu‘ and the second is the Mufradah Umrah which is performed as an independent pilgrimage or after the Qirān Hajj, or the Ifrād Hajj.


Unspecified obligatory fast: (صوم واجب غير معيّن) An obligatory fast where the individual has a long span of time to perform it.


‘Urf: (العرف) Common understanding/view; the general culture of the people.



Wady: (الودي) A type of discharge which is sometimes seen after urination.


Wadhy: (الوذي) A type of discharge which is sometimes seen after ejaculation.


Wadī‘ah: (الوديعة) Deposit; property given in trust (i.e. something one is entrusted with).


Waḥshat Prayer: (صلاة الوحشة) The prayer of fear; this is a two-unit prayer which is recited for the first night when someone has been buried. It possesses specific rules.


Wājib: (الواجب) Obligatory; this refers to any action which is considered to be obligatory in Islamic law.


Wakālah: (الوکالة) Agency; giving another individual the right to certain decisions on one’s behalf.


Wakīl: (الوکيل) Agent; a representative who is given the right to perform certain actions or make certain decisions on behalf of another.


Waqf: (الوقف) Endowment; waqf is of three types:
1) Private endowment (specific to an individual or individuals). This involves a type of property which cannot be transferred, nor can it be inherited. This includes endowing something for one’s own children
2) Genaral endowment (which intends groups). This type of endowment does not pertain to all of the people but it rather pertains to a specific subset of people. For example, an endowment can be created for the use of ‘religious students’ or an endowment can be made for ‘the ill’ who are currently being treated in a hospital.
3) The third type of endowment pertains to the separation of a property from specific ownership. This means that a property becomes ownerless and is then owned by the public in general. A mosque is typically of this type of endowment. There is also some controversy over whether such a property belongs to Allah (swt) or if it belongs to the Muslims in general or if it has no owner at all.


Waqt al-faḍīlah: (وقت الفضيلة) Meritorious time; a time period which possesses the most reward for the performance of an action (e.g. Meritorious time of the ẓ;uhr prayer).


Waṣī: (الوصي) Executer of a will; an individual who is responsible for practically implementing a will.


Waṣīyah: (الوصية) Will; in lexicon, this term means “advice”. In religious jurisprudence, it refers to the tasks and duties which an individual entrusts with another individual for the time after their death.


Waswās: (الوسواس) Obsessive-compulsive Disorder; a type of excess caution which results from a lack of awareness; one must not pay such concerns any mind. This can also be caused by a type of psychological illness which causes excess doubt and obsession in performing various acts of worship or other related things.


Waṭan: (الوطن) Homeland; A place where an individual chooses to live on a permanent basis.


Witr: (نافلة الوتر) Lexically, this term means something which is odd in number. In religious practice, this term refers to a one-rak‘at prayer which is a part of the supererogatory night prayers.


Wuḍū: (الوضوء) Minor ablution; this is a devotional act which is comprised of washing one’s face and arms, and wiping one’s head and feet with a wet hand. The specifics of this ritual washing have been mentioned in this book.



Zakāt: (الزکاة) In lexicon, this term refers to purity from corruption. In religious jurisprudence, it refers to a specific amount of money which one pays from their wealth when it reaches a certain point (in regards to certain specific things).


Zakāt of fiṭrah: (زکاة الفطرة) Alms of the fast-breaking; the amount of three kilograms of normal foodstuff given as alms on the Eid al-Fiṭr.


English Department of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi's Office
Published on: « 1/1/2017 6:16:07 PM »
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