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Culture - Glossary

(note: many Islamic words/names have different spellings, for example the word Koran is also spelled Quran)

Allah - The Islamic name for God.

Assalamu Alaikum - The Islamic greeting which means "May peace be upon you."

Calligraphy - Writing as an art form.

Eid Ul-Fitr - The holiday following the end of Ramadan (Ramazan) during which Muslims celebrate successful fasting.

Eid Mubarak - The Islamic greeting during Eid celebrations, which means "Have a happy and blessed Eid."

Fajr - The first of the five dialy Islamic prayers, performed after Suhur.

Fasting - The practice of refraining from eating or drinking for a certain period of time. Muslims fast from dawn to sunset during Ramadan.

Hira - The cave where Muhammad was first revealed the Quaran.

Iftar - The meal Muslims eat at sunset to break their fast during Ramadan. It often begins with a date.

Imam - The man who leads the prayers in Mosques and helps people understand the Koran.

Islam - The Muslim religion of over one billion people who follow the teachings of the Prophet Muhammad and worship Allah.

Kabba - A cubed shaped structure in the center of the grand mosque in Mecca.

Koran (Quran) - The religious book of the Muslims that was revealed to Muhammed.

Lunar Calendar - The calendar that calculates months by using the moon.

Maghrib - The fourth of five daily prayers, performed after Suhur.

Mecca - City in present-day Saudi Arabia. The birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad. The Kabba is located in Mecca. The most sacred city in Islam.

Medina - The Prophet Muhammad lived in Medina while in exile from Mecca. It is located in Saudi Arabia, it is the second most sacred city in Islam, and the Prophet Muhammad is buried there.

Mosque - The place where Muslims go to worship.

Muhammad - The last Prophet of Allah, who was sent the Quran 1,400 years ago.

Muslim - A person who follows the religion of Islam.

Prophet - A person chosen by Allah to instruct people as to the will of Allah. The Muslim prophets are the same as Christian and Hebrew prophets and include Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad.

Quran (Koran) - The religious book of the Muslims that was revealed to Muhammed.

Quraysh - The tribe that the Prophet Muhammed belonged to. The twelve Arab tribes are descended from the twelve sons of Ishmael, son of Abraham.

Ramadan - The holy month of fastings for Muslims. The ninth month of the Muslim calendar.

Ramadan Mubarak - The Islamic greeting during Ramadan, which means "Have a happy and blessed Ramadan."

Suhur - The early meal that Muslims eat before sunrise to start their fasts during Ramadan.

Taraweeh - The special night-time prayers performed only during Ramadan.

Zakah - The money that every earning Muslim must give to the community every year. It is generally given at the end of Ramadan.