abdāl, sing. badal: Spiritually accomplished human beings by means of whom goodness remains in the world. Cf. documentation under h.adīth #8 of our Forty H.adīths on the Excellence of Syro-Palestine and Its People.
adhān: The call to prayer raised by the mu'adhdhin.
ah.ad, pl. āhād: "Solitary" Lone-narrator, non-mutawātir h.adīth.
Ahl al-Bidʿa: "People of Innovation" Muslims who follow other than the doctrines and practices of Ahl al-Sunna. A common name synonymous with Ahl al-ahwā' or the "people of vain lusts."
Ahl al-H.aqq: "The People of Truth" The term denotes Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamāʿa as opposed to the sects and is identical with "The Saved Group" (al-firqa al-nājiya) mentioned in the h.adīth of the Prophet ﷺ.
Ahl al-Sunna wa al-Jamāʿa: "People of the Way of the Prophet ﷺ and the Congregation [of the Muslims]" also known as Sunni Muslims.
ʿālim, pl. ʿulamā': Possessor of knowledge in Islam or ʿilm.
ʿāmmī, pl. ʿawāmm: One who lacks Islamic scholarly training and learning: the common people; the general public. One may be an ʿālim in one discipline and an ʿāmmī in others.
ʿanʿana: undecisive h.adīth transmission terminology through the use of the phrase "from X" (ʿan fulān) instead of the phrase "X narrated to us" (h.addathanā fulān). ʿAnʿana often denotes tadlīs and irsāl.
ʿarad., pl. aʿrād.: "Accident"
ʿārif: Knower of Allāh. One who possesses maʿrifa.
Ashʿarīs: Adherents to the doctrinal tenets of Abū al-H.asan al-Ashʿarī, mostly from the Shāfiʿī and Mālikī Schools of Law, and forming the massive majority of the Ulema of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamāʿa.
azal, adj. azalī: Pre-eternity without beginning, applying both to the existent (mawjūd) and the non-existent (maʿdūm). In the latter sense the inexistence of creatures has no beginning and so is pre-eternally inexistent (maʿdūmun azalī) (but it has an end coinciding with the beginning of their existence). Azal is thus distinct from the beginninglessness of qidam, "pre-existence," which applies only to the pre-eternally existent. Qidam, unlike azal, is also necessarily everlasting.
ʿazīz: "Rare." Applied to a h.adīth, it refers to a type of ah.ad narration that has two to four narrators in each link of its chain and is thus between the level of gharīb and that of mashhūr. Note: this is not an index of its authenticity as a ʿazīz h.adīth may be either s.ah.īh., h.asan, or d.aʿīf.
bidʿa, pl. bidaʿ: "Innovation," classed by al-Shāfiʿī as either good (h.asana) or bad (sayyi'a), the latter being in doctrine, practice, or both, and unsupported by the principles of the Law. Examples of good innovations are those begun by the first Four Caliphs of Islam y. Examples of misguided innovations: anthropomorphism of the deity; rejecting agreed-upon h.adīths or h.adīth as a whole; dispensations for ribā and doffing the h.ijāb; rampant imitation of non-Muslims in dress, speech, keeping dogs as pets, and/or keeping mixed company and encouraging others to do so, etc. An innovator is a bidʿī or mubtadiʿ, pl. Ahl al-Bidʿa.
"The Companions": Those who saw the Prophet ﷺ even for a moment, believed in him, and died as Muslims y. Ar. s.ah.ābī, pl. s.ah.āba, as.h.āb; fem. s.ahābiyya, pl. s.ahābiyyāt.
d.aʿīf, pl. d.uʿafā', d.iʿāf: "Weak" Low grading of a h.adīth or of its chain of transmission - as opposed to s.ah.īh. or h.asan which are high gradings - or of a h.adīth narrator as opposed to s.adūq or thiqa. Ahmad ibn H.anbal and Abū Dāwūd made use of weak h.adīths for lack of strong ones in the inference of legal rulings, preferring them to conjecture. The majority of Scholars infer legal rulings from h.adīths of either sound or fair grade exclusively, and make use of weak ones only in other than legal rulings. Also: low grading of a narrator, one of the lowest gradings in the terminology of narrator-discreditation.
dhāt: Essence, Entity, Self, Person. Al-Dhāt wa al-S.ifāt, the (divine) Essence and the Attributes. Al-Dhāt al-Qudsiyya, the divine Entity. Bi-dhātihi, in person.
dhikr: Silent remembrance or spoken invocation. Mention, especially of Allāh. The Qur'an is named al-Dhikr. It is also a name for prayer.
duʿā': Invocation or supplication to Allāh.
dunyā: The world, as opposed to the hereafter or ākhira.
faqīh, pl. fuqahā': Person of superior understanding; Jurisprudent.
fard: Categorically obligatory. One of the five legal rulings that apply to all acts in fiqh, the other four being mustah.abb (synonymous with mandūb and also, sometimes, with sunna), mubāh. ("indifferent"), makrūh ("offensive"), h.arām ("prohibited") - and applying in the usage of Jurists from the second Hijrī century.
fatwa, pl. fatāwa: Pronouncement. A qualified legal response to a specific question.
fiqh: Superlative understanding; Islamic Jurisprudence and Law; al-fiqh al-akbar = us.ūl.
firāsa: keen discernment and intuition, similar to but less compelling than kashf.
"The Four Imāms": Abū H.anīfa, Mālik, al-Shāfiʿī, and Ah.mad ibn H.anbal.
"The Four Rightly-Guided Caliphs": Abū Bakr al-S.iddīq, ʿUmar al-Fārūq, ʿUthmān ibn ʿAffān, and ʿAlī ibn Abī T.ālib.
"The Four Schools": The H.anafī School, the Malikī School, the Shāfiʿī School, and the H.anbalī School.
"The Four Sunan": al-Tirmidhī's Sunan, al-Nasā'ī's Sunan, Abū Dāwūd's Sunan, and Ibn Mājah's Sunan.
gharīb: Singular, obscure; applied to a h.adīth chain (e.g. by al-Tirmidhī in his Sunan), it refers to a type of ah.ad narration and means "with a single-narrator chain" i.e. with only one narrator among the Companions and the subsequent links. Applied to the h.adīth content, it refers to something not narrated anywhere else. This is not an index of its authenticity, as a gharīb h.adīth may be either s.ah.īh., h.asan, or d.aʿīf. A famous authentic gharīb h.adīth is, "Actions are only according to intentions." Applied to lexical terms, gharīb denotes cruxes or difficulties. There are manuals devoted to the gharīb of Qur'an and h.adīth.
Ghulāt: "Extremists," especially among the Shīʿī offshoots such as the "gnostic" (Bāt.inī) sects including the permissive and/or incarnationist Ismāʿīlīs and pseudo-S.ūfīs such as the Bakhtāshīs and Qalandarīs; and any of the modern Khawārij that indulge in the takfīr of Sunni Muslims in addition to holding heretical views in doctrine and Law.
h.adath: The quality of things originated and created. Anything other than Allāh (SWT) and His Attributes. In Law, whatever state or act that causes need for the ablution or greater ablution.
hādith, pl. ah.dāth: Originated; brought into being; contingent; created. Possessing the quality of h.udūth and h.adath as opposed to what is without beginning or pre-existent (qadīm).
h.adīth, pl. ah.ādīth: Saying. Narration of the Prophet's ﷺ speech, deed, or approval or disapproval - whether spoken or tacit - about something. Most Scholars extend this nomenclature to the sayings of the Companions, and some to those of the Successors, although many reserve the term for Prophetic narrations and call everything else athar, pl. āthār, or khabar, pl. akhbār.
h.āl, pl. ah.wāl: State. In tas.awwuf, an overwhelming spiritual state. Often used in contradistinction with "station" or maqām, pl. maqāmāt.
h.aqīqa: Truth, reality. Lexically, the real sense as opposed to the figurative.
h.aqīqī: Real. Distinguished from z.āhir, "literal," and majāzī, "figurative"
h.arām: Strictly prohibited and the commission of which constitutes a sin. One of the five legal rulings that apply to all acts in fiqh, the other four being fard. ("categorically obligatory"), mustah.abb (synonymous with mandūb and also, sometimes, with sunna), makrūh ("offensive"), and mubāh. ("indifferent") in the usage of Jurists from the second Hijrī century.
h.asan: Fair, authentic. The next to highest grading of a h.adīth or of its chain of transmission. The chain alone can be fair but not necessarily the h.adīth itself, or vice-versa: a fair h.adīth can be found narrated through a defective chain.
H.ashwiyya: Gross anthropomorphists. Literally, "Visceralists," Those who interpret corporeal attributions literally in the verses and narrations of the Divine Attributes.
h.udūth: Contingency. Originated or created nature of all other than Allāh.
h.ulūl: The heresy holding indwelling or incarnation of the Divine into a created being or place.
ih.sān: Excellence; perfection; to worship Allāh as if one saw Him.
ijmāʿ: Scholarly consensus in (Sunni) Islam.
ijtihād: Striving; scholarly endeavor; competence to infer expert legal rulings from foundational proofs within or without a particular School. The attribute of the mujtahid.
ikhtilāf: Divergence, difference in the positions of the scholars also named khilāf.
ʿilla, pl. ilal: Defect or defects hidden within the chain or text of an ostensively sound h.adīth. Knowledge of the ʿilal is an integral part of h.adīth expertise. Among those who authored works focussing on the ʿilal are Imām Ah.mad, Abū H.ātim al-Rāzī, al-Tirmidhī, al-Dāraqut.nī, al-H.ākim, Ibn al-Jawzī, and Ibn H.azm. One of its greatest experts was Imām al-Bukhārī.
ʿilm: Knowledge in the Religion; pl. ʿulūm: the Islamic sciences. The attribute of the ʿālim.
ʿilm al-tawh.īd: Science of the affirmation of Oneness. See us.ūl.
imām: "Leader," This applies to the overall leader of the Muslims or Caliph, or the political leader in a more local sense, or the leader of group prayer, or a major authority in the Religion such as al-Nawawī.
īmān: Belief, faith in Allāh, His angels, His Books, His Apostles, the Last Day, the Foreordained Decree - both the good and the bad as ordained by Allāh - and Resurrection after death. The attribute of the mu'min. In the above sense īmān is different from islām, otherwise they are synonyms.
innovators: Also known as Ahl al-Bidʿa, Muslims who follow other than the doctrines and beliefs of Ahl al-Sunna.
islām: "Submission," "surrender"; to declare "There is no God but Allāh, and Muh.ammad is the Messenger of Allāh," perform salāt, pay zakāt, fast the month of Ramad.ān, and perform the H.ajj if one is able. The attribute of the Muslim.
Jabriyya: Those who held that a human being's acts are all predetermined and that human beings are legally helpless and unaccountable.
jahl: Ignorance, either "basic" (basīt.), such as in the commonality of people, or "compound" (murakkab), such as in the people of innovation.
Jahmiyya: Followers of Jahm ibn S.afwān (d. 128) who believed that Allāh was "the wind and everything else," considered the Qur'ān created and upheld the finiteness in time of heaven and hell. The Muʿtazila and Shīʿīs adopted his denial or over-interpretation of the Divine Attributes and his view that the Qur'ān is created while Ibn Taymiyya adopted his view that Hell would come to an end.
jarh: Narrator-discreditation, by which a narrator is declared untrustworthy.
jārih.a, pl. jawārih.: "Limbs," That which is precluded from the Deity whenever the Attributes that connote corporeality are mentioned, such as the face (wajh), hand (yad), eye (ʿayn), foot (qadam), and so forth. Abū Bakr al-Ismāʿīlī said in Iʿtiqād A'immat al-H.adīth: "One must not attribute organs (aʿd.ā') nor limbs (jawārih.) to Allāh (SWT) nor length nor breadth nor density nor thinness (walā al-t.ūl wal-ʿard. wal-ghilz.a wal-diqqa) nor any such characteristic the like of which applies to created beings."
jawhar: "Substance," That which is precluded from the Deity. "Allāh is neither a body (jism), nor an accident (ʿarad.)" [in the sense of an attribute characterizing, like "substance," created things] nor an indivisible substance (jawhar)" (Ibn Khafīf).
jihād: Struggle; fighting for the sake of Allāh against the enemies of the Religion. "The most obligatory of all jihads (afrad al-jihād) are the jihād against the ego, the jihād against lusts, the jihād against the devil, and the jihād against the lower world." (Ibn al-Qayyim).
kalām: Lit. "Discourse," "discussion," "speech"; dialectic, speculative, or systematic theology; theological discourse and the science of tawhīd in general, also called us.ūl al-dīn and al-fiqh al-akbar. In the terminology of the Four Imams it refers to the doctrines and methods of the Muʿtazila and their Qadarī and Jahmī sub-sects. Later, "a science consisting in the proofs of the credal doctrines through rational evidence and the rebuttal of the heretics who strayed from the way of the Salaf and Ahl al-Sunna" (Ibn Khaldūn, Muqaddima). Al-Kalām also refers to the Qur'an.
karāma, pl. karāmāt: Miraculous gift such as are granted to a walī.
Karrāmiyya: Followers of Muh.ammad ibn Karrām (d. 255). They said: "Allāh is a body unlike bodies."
kashf: Disclosure, unveiling. Insight into the unseen through karāma.
Khalaf: "Those that followed," A name used for Muslims that came after the Salaf.
Khawārij,sing. Khārijī: "Separatists," Those of Ahl al-Bidʿa who, in any day and age, fight against the caliph and/or against the mainstream Ulema of the Muslims and their commonality by force of arms and/or recourse to anathema which includes falsely declaring others "disbelievers" (takfīr), "pagans" (tashrīk), "misguided" (tad.līl), "innovators" (tabdīʿ), "pantheists" (ittih.ādī, h.ulūlī), "grave-worshippers" (qubūrī), "cultists" (t.uruqī), and so forth. Modern Khawārij include the Wahhābiyya (as stated by Ibn ʿābidīn, al-S.āwī, Abū Zahra, etc.) and their myriad modernist offshoots and hybrid grouplets and parties East and West - many purportedly Sunni - including certain professed S.ūfis, as well as the Rāfid.a. Modern Khawārij, unlike the early ones, all permit lying, forgery, and book-tampering in the furtherance of their causes.
kufr: Disbelief, apostasy, blasphemy. May refer to a statement that amounts to kufr without causing kufr in its speaker, such as saying: "This medicine saved my life" or "Country X. is a superpower," unless meant literally.
lā ilāha illallāh: "There is no God except Allāh." With the affirmation that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allāh, this phrase enters one into Islam. "The people of lā ilāha illallāh" are the Muslims.
madhhab: "Path" A School of Law (madhhab fiqhī) in Islām, varying in number from a single Mujtahid over a single position - such as the Madhhab of Abū Hurayra in considering the wearing of gold prohibited even for women - to an Imām of fiqh and his entire School down to our time, such as the four Madhāhib of Abū H.anīfa, Mālik, al-Shāfiʿī, and Ah.mad whose Jurisprudence encompass all aspects of public and private life.
Al-Nawawī in his time spoke of "the five Madhāhib," including that of Sufyān al-Thawrī. Other defunct Schools include those of al-Awzāʿī, al-T.abarī, Abū Thawr, Dāwūd ibn ʿAlī, and al-Layth. Among the multifarious non-Sunnī Schools some survive to our time, such as the Jaʿfarī ("Twelver" or "Duodeciman") Shīʿīs - nowadays mostly Rāfid.a; the moderate Zaydīs in Yemen; the moderate Khārijī Ibād.īs in Oman and North Africa; and others.
majhūl: "Unidentifiable" Said of a narrator whose reliability is unknown and from whom only one person narrates. Of slightly stronger status is the majhūl al-h.āl or "unknown in status," also called mastūr or "out of view," a narrator concerning whom neither commendation nor discreditation is available. The status of unknown is lifted if two or more trustworthy sources narrate from them, or even a single Imām known to narrate only from those who are trustworthy.
makrūh: Offensive, abominable, disliked. One the five legal rulings that apply to all acts in fiqh, the other four being mustah.abb ("desirable," synonymous with mandūb and also, sometimes, with sunna), mubāh. "indifferent"), fard. ("categorically obligatory"), h.arām ("prohibited"), in the usage of Jurists from the second Hijrī century.
mansūkh: Abrogated text in the Qur'an or h.adīth, as opposed to nāsikh. The verse [whether you make known what is in your minds or hide it, Allāh will bring you to account for it] (2:284) is abrogated by the verse [Allāh tasks not a soul beyond its scope. For it (is only) that which it has earned, and against it (only) that which it has deserved] (2:286).
maqām, pl. maqāmāt , see h.āl.
maqt.ūʿ: "Severed" Said of a h.adīth that is linked only up to a Successor.
marfūʿ: "Raised" A h.adīth linked back to the Prophet ﷺ.
maʿrifa: Knowledge of Allāh. The attribute of the ʿārif.
mashhūr: "Famous" Applied to a h.adīth, it refers to a type of ah.ad narration that has five to nine narrators at each link of its chain and is therefore nearly mass-narrated. Note that this is not an index of its authenticity as a mashhūr h.adīth may be either s.ah.īh., h.asan, or d.aʿīf. The label of mashhūr is sometimes given to merely famous narrations which are not nearly-mass-narrated.
Māturīdīs: Adherents of the doctrinal school of Abū Mans.ūr al-Māturīdī, mostly from the H.anafī School of Law. They differ with Ashʿarīs on a small number of issues.
mawd.ūʿ: Forged. Knowledge of forged narrations is an integral part of the h.adīth sciences. The most famous index of forgeries is Ibn al-Jawzī's Mawd.ūʿāt. Among the most reliable such compilations are al-Suyūt.ī's al-La'āli' al-Mas.nūʿa, al-Qārī's al-Asrār al-Marfūʿa, and al-Shawkānī's al-Fawā'id al-Mawd.ūʿa.
mawqūf: "Halted" A h.adīth linked only up to a Companion.
mu'adhdhin: one who calls out the adhān or call to prayer.
muʿallaq: "Suspended" Said of a report whose chain is suppressed except for its last link or two, as found in the chapter-titles of al-Bukhārī's S.ah.īh..
Muʿat.t.ila: Those who nullify meanings. The Muʿat.t.ila of the Divine Attributes divest them of reality or over-interpret them at the opposite extreme of the H.ashwiyya. The Muʿat.t.ila of the Hereafter - such as the Muʿtazila, Shīʿa, and those who follow them - deny the reality of the life of the grave, the torture of the Fire, the delights of Paradise, and the beatific vision. The Muʿat.t.ila of the Sharīʿa deny its binding character and manipulate it at their convenience and according to their needs. The latter category includes pseudo-S.ūfīs; modernists; extremists; others of the Islamically illiterate mass that deny H.adīth in part or in whole; and all the re-formers and exploiters of Islām for worldly purposes who claim to speak for it.
mubāh.: Indifferent, permissible. One of the five legal rulings that apply to all acts in fiqh, the other four being fard. ("categorically obligatory"), mustah.abb (synonymous with mandūb and also, sometimes, with sunna), makrūh ("offensive"), h.arām ("prohibited") in the usage of Jurists from the second Hijrī century.
muʿd.al: "Problematic" A h.adīth of the Prophet ﷺ narrated with a chain missing at least two successive links.
mudallis: "Concealer" A narrator that omits one or more links in his chain of transmission through use of ʿanʿana or undecisive transmission terminology or deliberately misnames a link. There are different types of tadlīs.
mud.t.arib: "Muddled, confused" Said of a chain of transmission or textual content that present implausible variations, strongly suggesting error on the part of one or more of the narrators.
muftī: One who issues legal opinions and responses.
muh.addith, pl. muh.addithūn: Scholars of h.adīth.
muh.dath: "Contingent, originated" Said of all created things, which are mumkin al-wujūd, "of non-necessary existence" as opposed to Allāh Most High, the One and only Incontingent Who is wājib al-wujūd, "of necessary existence."
Mujassima: Those who attribute a body (jism) to Allāh.
muʿjiza, pl. muʿjizāt: "Staggering" miracle performed by a Prophet ﷺ.
mujtahid: Qualified to exercise ijtihād. A mujtahid mut.laq or "absolute mujtahid" is one that attained the rank of the Four Imams in knowledge of Arabic, qualification to apply legal reasoning, draw analogies, and infer rulings from the evidence independently of the methodology and findings of the Sunni Schools, through his own linguistic and juridical perspicuity and extensive knowledge of the texts, both the primary and those dealing with Jurisprudential khilāf from the S.ah.āba to his time.
mu'min, pl. mu'minūn: Believer. One who possesses īmān. A Muslim generally speaking. "The mu'min is he who watches his Lord, takes account from himself, and prepares for his return" (al-Tustarī).
munkar: Condemned, detested, rejected. Any act (pl. munkarāt) the Law prohibits or abhors. Applied to a h.adīth (pl. manākīr), a very weak chain or h.adīth contradicted by established narrations. Applied to a narrator by association: "Anyone about whom I say: munkar al-h.adīth, it is not permissible to narrate from him" (al-Bukhārī).
munqat.iʿ: "Cut up" The chain of a Prophetic h.adīth that is missing one or more links anywhere in the chain as per the majority of the Masters, while Ibn Hajar and others specified that they be at or "lower" i.e. more recent than the Successor-link and non-successive.
Murji'a: Those who dissociate acts from the sphere of basic belief, as does the entire Māturīdī School.
mursal: "Dispatched" A h.adīth of the Prophet ﷺ narrated with a chain missing the Companion-link or, sometimes, a lower link through irsāl.
Mushabbiha: Those who liken Allāh (SWT) to creation and to created beings.
mushrik, pl. mushrikūn: Idolater. One who practices shirk.
musnad: "Founded" A narration or compilation of narrations that are supported by a narrative chain going back to the Prophet ﷺ.
mustah.abb: "Desirable" Synonymous with mandūb and also, sometimes, with sunna among the five legal rulings that apply to all acts in fiqh, the other four being fard. ("categorically obligatory"), mubāh. ("indifferent"), makrūh ("offensive"), and h.arām ("prohibited") in the usage of Jurists from the second Hijrī century.
mus.t.alah.: Nomenclature, convention, usage, terminology.
mutakallim, pl. mutakallimūn: Expert in kalām.
Muʿtazila: "Isolationists" A sect who made reason the ultimate criterion of truth, forged a political alliance with the Shīʿa and, like them, held the Qur'an to be created and the Attributes to be null in themselves and to mean none other than the Essence. They also deny intercession (shafāʿa) and the karāmāt of the Awliyā'.
mutawātir: Mass-narrated. Applies to a narration that has, at each link of its transmission chain, a number of narrators such as precludes collusion and collective fabrication on their part, forming tawātur. The determination of that number varies among the scholars of h.adīth. Al-Suyūt.ī considers they must be at least ten at each link of the chain. Examples of mutawātir narrations are the seven canonical readings of the Qur'ān and a small number of h.adīths, denying or disbelieving any of which constitutes kufr.
nah.w: Arabic grammar and related disciplines.
nāsikh: Abrogating text, as opposed to mansūkh.
"The Nine Books": Al-Bukhārī's S.ah.īh., Muslim's S.ah.īh., Mālik's Muwat.t.a', Abū Dāwūd's Sunan, al-Tirmidhī's Sunan, al-Nasā'i's Sunan, Ibn Mājah's Sunan, al-Dārimī's Sunan, and Ahmad's Musnad.
qad.ā': Divine foreordainment. "When qad.ā' comes to pass, it is called qadar." (Al-But.ī)
qadar: Divinely-foreordained destiny, in the sense of each and every event that takes place in the world. Ahl al-Sunna hold that Allāh (SWT) creates qadar while human beings bear responsibility and earn credit for their acts.
Qadariyya: A sect that held - like Christians - that a human being creates his own destiny and that Allāh (SWT) finds out man's acts after enactment. Like the Muʿtazila and Christians, they also believe that Allāh only creates good, while evil has other creators.
qidam, adj. qadīm: Pre-existence without beginning in addition to everlastingness. "The Pre-Existent without end" (al-Qadīm) is one of the exclusive Attributes of Allāh Most High, applicable also to His Attributes including his Attribute of Speech, hence to the Glorious Qur'ān and the other revealed Books.
Qarāmit.a: pl. of Qarmat.ī, a heretical "gnostic" (bāt.inī) sect also known as Ismaʿīlīs (al-Shahrastānī).
qibla: The direction of prayer, i.e. the Kaʿba in Mecca the Magnificent.
qut.b: "Pole" One or more human beings who occupy a pivotal spiritual position in the world. Synonymous with ghawth according to al-Shafiʿi.
Rawāfid. or Rāfid.a, sing. Rāfid.ī: "Rejecters." The Shīʿa who disrespect Abū Bakr and ʿUmar (ra) and deny the validity of their imamate as well as ʿUthmān's (ra), declaring as apostates the majority of the Companions and of the Umma to our time including the Mothers of the Believers (ra).
s.ah.ābī, pl. s.ah.āba , see Companions (ra).
s.adūq: "Truthful" One of the ranks of narrator-commendation, applied to a narrator whose rank falls short of "trustworthy" (thiqa). A s.adūq's narrations reach the rank of "fair" (h.asan).
s.ah.īh.: Sound, rigorously authentic. The highest grading of a h.adīth or of its chain of transmission. Note: the chain alone can be sound but not the h.adīth itself, or vice-versa, as a sound h.adīth can also be narrated through a defective chain.
Salaf: "The Predecessors"; a name applied to the righteous Muslims of the first three centuries of Islam.
"Salafī": Properly, a strict imitator of the Salaf such as the adherents of the Four Sunnī Schools but the Salafiyya today is a misnomer referring to an anti-traditional free-thinking current spawned by the Wahhābiyya, both patching up views from modernism, the Muʿtazila, the Z.āhiriyya, and the Karrāmiyya, and both claiming to represent Ahl al-Sunna in vociferous opposition to Ashʿarīs and Māturīdīs. The "Salafīs" give themselves the names of Ahl al-H.adīth (in India and Pakistan) and Atharī (in the Gulf) while their opponents name them H.ashwiyya, Mujassima, and Khawārij.
shādhdh: "Wayward," anomalous. Said of an ostensibly authentic h.adīth or chain by which a trustworthy narrator singled himself out in contradiction to firmly established narrations. Also applied to fatwas and/or beliefs.
Shīʿa: "Faction" Originally, those who sided with ʿAlī against his foes. After ʿAlī's time: Those who hold ʿAlī to be better than Abū Bakr and ʿUmar, rejecting the Prophetic narrations in praise of the latter two. The Shīʿa are the first sect in Islām and have split into multifarious groups, the most important of which are the Zaydīs and the Jaʿfarīs. They share many doctrinal creeds with the Muʿtazila such as denial of the vision of Allāh (SWT) in the hereafter and the belief that the Qur'ān is created.
shirk: Idolatry; polytheism; belief in more than one God, such as paganism and animism; or in incarnation of the Divine, as in the Greek, Roman, Christian, and Hindu creeds; or in a many-personed single Divine Substance, such as Trinitarianism and Vedantism.
s.iddīq: Most truthful and trustful. The title of Abū Bakr. The highest level of sainthood after Prophethood.
"The Six Books": Al-Bukhārī's S.ah.īh., Muslim's S.ah.īh., and the Sunan of al-Tirmidhī, al-Nasā'ī, Abū Dāwūd, and Ibn Mājah.
"The Successors": Those that narrated from at least one Companion, even for a moment, and died as Muslims. Ar. Tābiʿī, pl. Tābiʿīn.
S.ūfī, pl. S.ūfiyya: One who follows a path of tas.awwuf, "He who gazes at the Real in proportion to the state in which He maintains him" (Bundar). They wore wool (s.ūf): "I found the redress of my heart between Makka and Madīna with a group of strangers - people of wool and cloaks" (as.h.āb s.ūf wa ʿabā').
Sunna, pl. sunan: "Road" or "practice(s)." Standard practice, primarily of the Prophet ﷺ, including his sayings, deeds, tacit approvals or disapprovals. H.adīth Scholars add his personal traits - including physical features - to this definition.
The "sciences of the Sunna" (ʿulūm al-Sunna) refer to the biography of the Prophet ﷺ (sīra), the chronicle of his battles (maghāzī), his everyday sayings and acts or "ways" (sunan) including his personal and moral qualities (shamā'il), and the host of the ancillary h.adīth sciences such as the circumstances of occurrence (asbāb al-wurūd), knowledge of the abrogating and abrogated h.adīth, difficult words (gharīb al-h.adīth), narrator criticism (al-jarh. wal-taʿdīl), narrator-biographies (al-rijāl), etc. This meaning is used in contradistinction to the Qur'ān in expressions such as "Qur'ān and Sunna" and applies in the usage of h.adīth Scholars. "The Sunna in our definition consists in the reports transmitted from the Messenger of Allāh e, and the Sunna is the commentary (tafsīr) of the Qur'ān and contains its directives (dalā'il)" (Ah.mad).
The early Sunnī h.adīth Masters such as Abū Dāwūd and Abū Nas.r al-Marwazī also used the term "the Sunna" in the narrow sense to refer to Sunnī Doctrine as opposed to the creeds of non-Sunnī sects. In the terminology of us.ūl al-fiqh or principles of jurisprudence, sunna denotes a saying (qawl), action (fīʿl) or approval (taqrīr) related from (nuqila ʿan) the Prophet ﷺ or issuing (s.adara) from him other than the Qur'ān. In the terminology of fiqh or jurisprudence, sunna denotes whatever is firmly established (thabata) as called for (mat.lūb) in the Religion on the basis of a legal proof (dalīl sharʿī) but without being obligatory, the continued abandonment of which constitutes disregard (istikhfāf) of the Religion and sin, and incurs blame (lawm, ʿitāb, tad.līl) - also punishment (ʿuqūba) according to some jurists.
Some made a distinction between what they called "Emphasized Sunna" (sunna mu'akkada) or "Sunna of Guidance" (sunnat al-hudā), such as what the Prophet ﷺ ordered or emphasized in word or in deed, and other types of Sunna considered less binding in their legal status, such as what they called "Non-Emphasized Sunna" (sunna ghayr mu'akkada) or "Sunna of Habit" (sunnat al-ʿāda). The above jurisprudential meanings of Sunna are used in contradistinction to the other four of the five legal categories for human actions - fard. ("obligatory"), mubāh. ("indifferent"), makrūh ("offensive"), h.arām ("prohibited") - and apply in the usage of jurists from the second Hijrī century.
tābiʿī, pl. tābiʿūn, tābiʿīn , see Successors.
taʿdīl: Narrator-commendation whereby a narrator is declared trustworthy.
tadlīs: Concealment of one's source by a mudallis narrator of h.adīth, often accompanied by ʿanʿana or undecisive transmission terminology. There are three types of tadlīs: tadlīs al-shuyūkh, tadlīs al-taswiya, and tadlīs al-isnād. In the first case all link(s) are present and none is omitted, except that the mudallis deliberately names his link as other than the commonly-known name due to one reason or another such as
(a) wanting to give the impression that the link is someone else or that one narrates from more people than what is actually the case;
(b) wanting one's source not to be recognized easily;
(c) disliking to acknowledge one's source due to some personal enmity, as happened between al-Bukharī and al-Dhuhlī. The second type of tadlīs is the worst type, as there is actually one or more omitted links and the mudallis is often trying to hide the weakness in his chain by only citing the strong links.
The third type of tadlīs, called tadlīs al-isnād, is the most difficult to detect: A not only omits mentioning B, but is on top of it contemporary with C. So the concealment here is harder to detect because it is quite possible that A actually heard C when in fact he did not.
tafwīd.: Committal. The resignation of knowledge to Allāh (SWT) examplified in al-Shafiʿi's saying: "We believe in what came from Allāh in the meaning meant by Allāh and we believe in what came from the Messenger of Allāh in the meaning meant by the Messenger of Allāh ﷺ" (al-Shāfiʿī).
tanzīh: Divine transcendence beyond the attributes of things created - such as lying or betaking a mate and son. The affirmation of transcendence is required of every true monotheist (Muwah.h.id) and is expressed in tasbīh., tah.mīd, takbīr, and tahlīl: respectively saying that Allāh is beyond all imperfections ("subh.ān Allāh"), praising and glorifying Him ("al-h.amdu lillāh"), magnifying Him above all things ("Allāhu akbar"), and declaring his absolute oneness ("lā ilāha illā Allāh"). Synonymous with taqdīs.
taqdīs: The affirmation of Divine transcendence beyond any defect or other attributes of things created such as corporeality as in Fakhr al-Dīn al-Rāzī's Asās al-Taqdīs ("Foundation of Transcendence"). Synonymous with tanzīh.
taqwā: Godwariness. The attribute of the muttaqī (pl. muttaqūn), "To keep clear of what Allāh has forbidden" (Abū ʿUthmān al-Maghribī).
t.arīqa: Path, specifically S.ūfī path.
tas.awwuf: Purification of the self from all other than the remembrance and obedience of Allāh; the realization of ih.sān; zuhd combined with maʿrifa; the attribute of the S.ūfī. "Ceasing objection" (S.uʿlūkī); "Abandoning the world and its people" (Ibn Samʿūn). "Knowing the excuses of God's servants" (Risāla Qushayriyya). "Tas.awwuf is neither knowledge nor deeds but an attribute with which the essence of the S.ūfī adorns itself, possessing knowledge and deeds, and consisting in the balance in which these two are weighed" (Ibn Khafīf).
tawātur: Mass transmission. See mutawātir.
tawassul: Seeking means (al-tawassul) to Allah through his Prophet or the Prophets or the Righteous (al-salihin) or with the deeds (aʿmal) that are done purely for His glorious countenance: There is no legal prohibition against it, rather it is legally commendable (mustahsanu sharʿan), and it is not permitted (la yajuz) to cast the label of shirk on the believer. okn [../o/ftaw_e.html]
tawh.īd: The affirmation of Oneness. Islamic belief and doctrine. Another name for Sūrat al-Ikhlās. (#112).
ta'wīl: Explanation, particularly of the Qur'ān, as in the s.ah.īh. invocation of the Prophet ﷺ for Ibn ʿAbbās (ra)# in the Musnad and others: "O Allāh! Grant him fiqh in the Religion and teach him ta'wīl." Later, it tends to refer specifically to figurative interpretation and metaphorical reading. In the latter senses ta'wīl is defined as "the diversion of meaning away from the patent sense of the word."
thabat: In the Muslim East, a Scholar's collected chains of transmission (e.g. Thabat Ibn ʿābidīn), synonymous with fahras in the Maghreb (e.g. Imām Muh.ammad Jaʿfar al-Kattānī's Fahras al-Fahāris).
thabt: Firmly established as a reliable and trustworthy thiqa narrator.
thiqa, pl. thiqāt: "Trustworthy," Top ranking in narrator-commendation. A thiqa's narrations reach the rank of "sound" (s.ah.īh.). The thiqa is both morally upright (ʿadl) and accurate (d.ābit.) by definition. The Muh.addithūn have also used the term jabal ("Mountain") and h.ujja ("Proof in himself"), both beyond thiqa. Also used are the compounds thiqa thiqa, thiqa thabt, thiqa ma'mūn, thiqa imām. Rarest of superlatives is the title h.ākim ("Wise man").
"The Two S.ah.īh.s": Al-Bukhārī's S.ah.īh. and Muslim's S.ah.īh..
"The Two Shaykhs": in history, Abū Bakr al-S.iddīq and ʿUmar al-Farūq; in h.adīth terminology, al-Bukhārī and Muslim; in H.anafī fiqh, Abū H.anīfa and Abū Yūsuf.
ʿulūw: Elevation, height; applied to Allāh: exalted rank, loftiness. "Allāh has made Himself exalted over the heaven with the ʿulūw of sovereignty and authority, not that of movement or displacement." (Al-T.abarī)
us.ūl, sing. as.l: Bases; the tenets of Faith and principles of Islamic belief; Islamic doctrine. Also known as us.ūl al-dīn, ʿilm al-tawh.īd, and al-fiqh al-akbar. Applied to jurisprudence (us.ūl al-fiqh), the principles and methodology of the Law. The term us.ūl is also used in conjunction with tafsīr and h.adīth to refer to their respective methodologies.
Wahhābiyya: The most important sect in latter-day Islām. Abū Zahra said in his book on the history of the madhāhib in Islām: "The Wahhābīs appeared in the Arabian desert [...] and revived the School of Ibn Taymiyya. The founder of the Wahhābiyya is Muh.ammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb who died in 1786. He had studied the books of Ibn Taymiyya which became inestimable in his sight, deepening his involvement in them until he brought them out from the realm of opinion into the realm of practice....
The Wahhābīs exaggerated Ibn Taymiyya's positions and instituted practical matters that can be summarized thus:
I. They did not restrain themselves to view worship (ʿibāda) in the same way that Islām had stipulated in the Qur'ān and Sunna and as Ibn Taymiyya had mentioned, but they wished to include customs (ʿādāt) also into the province of Islām so that Muslims would be bound by them. Thus they declared cigarette smoking h.arām and exaggerated this ruling to the point that their general public considered the smoker a mushrik. As a result they resembled the Khawārij who used to declare apostate whoever committed a sin.
II. In the beginning of their matter they would also declare coffee and whatever resembled it as h.arām to themselves but it seems that they became more lenient on this point as time went by.
III. The Wahhābis did not restrain themselves to
proselytism only, but resorted to warmongering
against whoever disagreed with them on the grounds
that they were fighting innovations, and innovations
are an evil that must be fought, and it is obligatory
to command good and forbid evil. [...]
The leader of Wahhābī thought in the field of war and battle was Muh.ammad ibn Saʿūd, the ancestor of the ruling Saʿūdī family in the Arabian lands. He was a brother-in-law to Shaykh Muh.ammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb and embraced his madhhab, defending it fervently and calling unto it by force of arms. He announced that he was doing this so as to uphold the Sunna and eradicate bidʿa. Perhaps, this religious mission that took a violent turn was carrying with itself a rebellion against Ottoman rule. [...]
Until the governor of Egypt, Muh.ammad ʿAlī, faced them and pounced on the Wahhābīs with his strong army, routing them in the course of several battles. At that time their military force was reduced and confined to the Arabian tribes. Ryadh and its vicinity was the center for this permanent daʿwa that would turn violent whenver they found the strength and then lie still whenever they found violent opposition.
IV. Whenever they were able to seize a town or city they would come to the tombs and turn them into ruins and destruction [...] and they would destroy whatever mosques were with the tombs also. [...]
V. Their brutality did not stop there but they also came to whatever graves were visible and destroyed them also. And when the ruler of the H.ijāz regions caved in to them they destroyed all the graves of the Companions and razed them to the ground. [...]
VI. They would cling to small matters which they condemned although they had nothing to do with idolatry nor with whatever leads to idolatry, such as photography. We found this in their fatwas and epistles at the hands of their Ulema, although their rulers ignore this saying of theirs completely and cast it by the wayside.
VII. They expanded the meaning of bidʿa to strange proportions, to the point that they actually claimed that draping the walls of the noble Rawd.a is an innovated matter. Hence they forbade the renewal of the drapes that were in it, until they fell in tatters and became unsightly, were it not for the light that pours out to all that are in the presence of the Prophet ﷺ or feels that in this place was the abode of Revelation on the Master of Messengers. In fact, we find among them, on top of this, those who consider that the Muslim's expression "our Master Muh.ammad" (sayyidunā Muh.ammad) is an impermissible bidʿa / and they show true extremism about this and, for the sake of their mission, use foul and furious language until most people actually flee from them as fast as they can.
VIII. In truth,
the Wahhābīs have actualized the opinions of Ibn
Taymiyya and are extremely zealous followers and
supporters of those views. They adopted the positions
of Ibn Taymiyya that we explained in our discussion of
those who call themselves Salafiyya. However, they
expanded the meaning of bidʿa and construed as
innovations things that have no relation to worship.
In fact, it has been noticed that the Ulema of the Wahhābīs consider their own opinions correct and not possibly wrong, while they consider the opinions of others wrong and not possibly correct. More than that, they consider what others than themselves do in the way of erecting tombs and circumambulating them, as near to idolatry. In this respect they are near the Khawārij who used to declare those who dissented with them apostate and fight them as we already mentioned. This was a relatively harmless matter in the days when they were cloistered in the desert and not trespassing its boundaries; but when they mixed with others until the H.ijāz country was in the hand of the Saʿūd family, the matter became of the utmost gravity. This is why the late King ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz of the Saʿūd family opposed them, and treated their opinions as confined to themselves and irrelevant to others." 
Among the titles Wahhābīs gave themselves are the
names Muwah.h.idūn, Is.lāh.iyyūn, and Salafiyyūn while
their opponents name them H.ashwiyya, Mujassima and
Khawārij. They name Muh.ammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb
Shaykh al-Islām and name his descendants āl al-Shaykh
while his brother Sulaymān declares him a heretic in
fatwā printed under the title Fas.l al-Khit.āb min Kitāb Allāh wa-H.adīthi al-Rasūl e wa-Kalāmi Ulī al-Albāb fī Madhhab Ibni ʿAbd al-Wahhāb ("The Final Word from the Qur'ān, the H.adīth, and the Sayings of the Scholars Concerning the School of Ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhāb"), also known as al-S.awāʿiq al-Ilāhiyya fī Madhhab al-Wahhābiyya ("The Divine Thunderbolts Concerning the Wahhābī School"). This book is the earliest refutation of the Wahhābī sect in print, consisting in over forty-five concise chapters spanning 120 pages that show beyond doubt the fundamental divergence of the Wahhābī school, not only from the Consensus and us.ūl of Ahl al-Sunna wal-Jamāʿa and the fiqh of the H.anbalī madhhab, but also from their putative Imāms, Ibn Taymiyya and Ibn al-Qayyim on most or all the issues reviewed.
walī, pl. awliyā': Friend of Allāh; Saint.
zāhid, pl. zuhhād: Ascetic; S.ūfī. See zuhd.
z.āhir: Outward, external, plain, literal. Sometimes opposed to and sometimes identical with h.aqīqī, "real," "literal" as opposed to majāzī, "metaphorical," Al-Z.āhir, the All-Victorious; the Manifest.
Z.āhiriyya: Name of a defunct Madhhab founded by the former Shāfiʿī Dāwūd ibn Khalaf, notorious for taking the outward understanding of the Qur'ān and Sunna to absurd extremes and rejecting the validity of analogy (qiyās). Its most brilliant adherent was the erudite, acerbic Andalusian Ibn H.azm, formerly a Mālikī then a Shāfiʿī, among whose many contradictions is his rabid anti-Ashʿarism although he is an Ashʿarī in his interpretation of the Divine Attributes.
zindīq: Lit. Mazdean. Free-thinker, atheist, heretic guilty of zandaqa such as most of the Ghulāt and the manufactured modern sects of the Qād.yānīs, Bahais, and others.
zuhd: Simple living; detachment from the world; "doing-without"; asceticism. The attribute of the zāhid. "Freedom of the heart from whatever the hand does not possess" (al-Junayd).
And Allāh knows best.
Al-Dhahabī, al-Mūqiz.a (p. 43). For gharīb in al-Tirmidhī's usage see Nūr al-Dīn ʿItr's comments in al-Imām al-Tirmidhī (p. 185-199) and his notes on Ibn al-Salāh.'s Muqaddima (p. 39-40) and Ibn Rajab's Sharh. ʿIlal al-Tirmidhī (1:385-393). When al-Tirmidhī says of a h.adīth "gharīb" without any further grading, the h.adīth is weak in his view..
Narrated from ʿUmar ibn al-Khat.t.āb alone by al-Bukhārī and Muslim..
Al-Ismāʿīlī, Iʿtiqād A'immat al-H.adīth (p. 51-52) cf. Ibn H.ajar, Fath. (8:664)..
Cf. also Shāh Wali Allāh al-Dihlawī in al-Iʿtiqād al-S.ah.īh., printed with S.iddīq H.asan Khān's commentary on the margins of his friend Nuʿmān al-Alūsī's Jalā' al-ʿAynayn: "He is neither an indivisible substance, nor an accident, nor a body, nor is He spatially bounded, nor does He possess direction."
As cited in Ibn ʿAbidīn, Rasā'il (2:276). Cf. also al-Haythamī, Fatāwā H.adīthiyya (p. 322-325)..
Sufyān al-Thawrī as cited from Khalaf ibn Tamīm by al-Dhahabī, Siyar (7:203)..
Cited by Ibn Qudāma in Lamʿat al-Iʿtiqād (Ryadh ed. p. 10=Damascus ed. p. 9=ʿUthaymīn ed. p. 36) and Dhamm al-Ta'wīl (1994 ed. p. 9 = 1981 ed. p. 11 and 1994 ed. p. 42 = 1986 ed. p. 44), al-Mawāhibī in al-ʿAyn wal-Athar (Damascus: al-Ma'mūn ed.) p. 62, and Ibn Taymiyya in al-Risāla al-Madaniyya (p. 121), al-ʿAqīda al-As.fahāniyya (p. 86), and Majmūʿ al-Fatāwā (4:2 and 6:354)..
Abū Zahra, Tārīkh al-Madhāhib al-Islamiyya (p. 235-238)..
The Fas.l/S.awāʿiq received the following editions:
1.) Bombay:Mat.baʿa Nukhbat al-Akhbār, 1306/1889;
3.) Istanbul: Ishik reprints at Wakf Ihlas, 1399/1979;
4.) (Unannotated) Damascus, 1418/1997 (al-S.awāʿiq);
5.) (Annotated) Damascus,1420/1999 (Fas.l).