GLOSSARY Islam: A challenge to religion G A Parwez

We have already indicated in the Introduction that most of the terms and phrases used in the Qur’an in relation to its teachings and the system that it stands for cannot be properly translated into English or any other language. In the present work, therefore, we have not tried this almost impossible task; instead we have used the original Arabic terms and phrases wherever we apprehended that their meaning might be distorted in the process of translation. In this glossary, we shall try to explain the real meaning and true import of all such terms and phrases. These interpretations, it might be emphasised, are not subjective and ex cathedra; but are based upon authoritative and universally recognised lexicons of the Arabic language, for instance:


  1. Lane, Arabic-English Lexicon
  2. Lisaaan-ul-Arab
  3. Taaj-ul-Aroos
  4. Muheet-ul-Muheet
  5. Raaghib, Mufridaat-ul-Qur’an


These interpretations are also supported by the context in which they have been used in the respective Qur’anic verses. All the relevant terms and phrases have been discussed at great length in my other work Lughaat-ul-Qur’an (The Lexicon of the Qur’an) which has been published in four volumes (in Urdu). In the following explanations, the respective roots of the relevant terms and phrases have been given within brackets.

  1. Adl means justice, but not merely the justice dispensed by the courts; it covers justice in all spheres of life. Justice signifies the condition where every individual gets what is due to him. And “due” means not only what is due to him economically but all the fundamental rights that belong to him by virtue of his being a human being. The Qur’an has laid great stress on ‘adl, and the establishment of ‘adl is the ultimate end of the Qur’anic Social Order.

But the Qur’an enjoins not only adl but also ihsaan, which means compensating a person for his deficiencies and thus restoring his disturbed equilibrium. From the economic point of view, for instance, justice demands that every individual should receive the full product of his labours. But if it is found that this will not suffice for his needs, the gap between his earnings and his needs ought to be filled; this is called ihsaan. Ihsaan not only helps to restore the equilibrium of the person concerned but also to maintain the balance of the social system.

  1. Adyaan  This is the plural form of deen (q.v.). According to the Qur’an, every nation on earth has been blessed from time to time with Divine Guidance through the agency of Anbiya (Messengers). All these Anbiya were entrusted with the establishment of the same deen or way of life. But in course of time, their followers failed to maintain the deen established by their Anbiya in its pristine purity; they deviated from the right course, altered and modified God’s revealed Guidance, and foisted upon it elements utterly alien and repugnant to its spirit. Deen thus degenerated into religion (madhhab) and lost its soul.

The Qur’an rules out the plurality of deens and contemplates only one deen; indeed, the plural of deen (adyaan) does not occur at all in the Qur’anic text. However, the use of the plural form only refers to the several versions in which the Divine Guidance given to mankind through different Anbiya is known to exist. In the present work also adyan has been used only in such cases.

  1. A’maal-ul-Hasanah: A’maal is the plural form of ‘amal, which means action or deed. In English, the phrases “good deeds” and “evil deed” are commonly used; but the Qur’an uses the terms a’maal-ul-hasanah and a’maal-us-sayyi’ah, which are far more comprehensive. Hasanaat means acts that are haseen or result in the creation of husan (beauty); and husn signifies “proper proportion”. When a person conducts himself in accordance with the Divine Law, every act of his helps to bring about husn in his own personality or to make it balanced and properly proportioned; it is also conducive to the maintenance of balance and proportion in the social order and the universe at large. In the event, the individual develops a balanced personality, and a society rid of imbalances and disharmonies is thereby created, which ensures true happiness to all.

On the other hand is the kind of conduct that is described by the Qur’an as a’maal-us-sayyi’ah. Sayyi’ah is the antonym of hasanah; it stands for deeds that upset the balance of the individual personality and result in social disequilibrium.

The Qur’an describes various attributes of God, which are collectively known as al-asmaa-ul-husna, that is, attributes that are blended in a single Being in proper proportion and perfect equilibrium. The Qur’an further calls upon men to develop in themselves the Divine Attributes, of course, within the human limits, with the same balance and proportion. This is the proper way of attaining the growth and fulfilment of the human personality.

  1. A’maal-us-Sayyi’ah: see A’mal-ul-Hasanah.
  2. Amr: in English there is only one word to denote the production of a thing, namely, creation. The Qur’an however, has indicated two stages of creation. The first stage is that of Divine Planning, where God’s Directive Energy initiates an inchoate object on the path leading to its destined incarnation. And the process by which it finally assumes the material form intended for it is called the process of creation. Creation involves the blending of various elements in a particular manner and in particular proportions, so as to produce an entirely new thing; for instance, the formation of water through a combination of hydrogen and oxygen.

How the Divine Planning operates in the various stages of amr is not known to us; but in the world of creation it can be comprehended through the physical laws. Indeed, man can not only comprehend the operation but also co-operate with God in this creative process. The laws under which the various objects in the universe function are made in the world of Divine Planning (’alam-ul-amr), but they are enforced and executed in the world of creation (’alam-ul-khalq).

  1. Anbiya: the plural form of nabi (q.v.).
  2. Batil : see Haqq.
  3. Birr  It is generally translated as virtuous or pious deeds; in fact it has a much wider sense. The basic meanings of the word are extensiveness, largeness, ampleness. It, therefore, signifies conduct that tends to expand the personality of the individual and to ensure the fulfilment and happiness of the whole society. Such conduct helps to rid men of narrow-mindedness and to widen their outlook, and ensures for all an abundant supply of the necessities of life.
  4. Deen :This word has been used in various senses, among them being: ascendancy, sovereignty, management or conduct of affairs, ruling power, power of dominion, mastership, ownership, possession or exercise of power, code of law, constitution of a state (in modern terminology), law of requital, and order in which consequences of human actions can be measured, obedience, subjection, a way, course, mode, manner or conduct of life. Deen would be all these aspects taken together.

Now, the Qur’an has described Islam as ad-deen, which is generally translated in English as religion. In the light of the meanings given above, however, it should be clear that this supposed English equivalent is not only incorrect but distorts and vitiates the true significance of deen. Islam is not a religion; in the entire text of the Qur’an it has not been described even once as a religion (madhhab). Islam is in fact a way of life, a social system, a polity, a code of law. In the context of the external universe, Islam signifies the Divine Order that governs the life and movement of the entire universe. The whole aim and purpose of the Qur’an is the establishment of a universal order founded upon the Divinely-ordained values of life. This is ad-deen.

  1. Hajj: is the annual congregation of delegates of the Islamic community where they discuss the problems facing mankind and seek their solution in the light of the Divine Laws. The real purpose of this congregation is the creation of a universal brotherhood of men – which offers the only solution to the present difficulties of mankind.
  2. Haqq : a very comprehensive Qur’anic term. It is usually translated in English as truth or right, but it has in fact a much wider connotation.

According to Lane, its primary signification is suitableness to the requirements of wisdom, justice, right or rightness, truth, reality or fact; or to the exigencies of the case, as the suitableness of the foot of a door in respect of its socket for turning round rightly; the state, or quality, or property of being just, proper, right, correct or true. The state of being established or confirmed as a truth or fact. Everlasting existence. Valid, substantial or real. Existing as an established fact so as to be undeniable.

These several meanings of the word make it perfectly clear that haqq is by no means confined to the realm of thoughts and ideas, notions and beliefs; it stands for those constructive results of conceptions and beliefs which manifest themselves in a tangible form and are in harmony with the changing needs of the times. No belief or theory relating to this world can be described as haqq unless its truth is established by a positive manifestation of its constructive potentialities. These constructive results will be abiding and imperishable, for the word haqq is used only for things that are abiding and imperishable.

The antithesis of haqq is batil. It might be emphasised again that batil does not stand merely for ideas or actions with destructive potentialities but includes all thinking and conduct that do not lead to constructive results.

  1. Ihsaan: see ‘Adl.
  2. Ithm    The Qur’an uses various terms to denote “crime” or transgression of the Laws of God. These terms have in fact been used to indicate the different effects or results of crime. For instance, a person who wishes to keep to the right path in life ought to follow the party that has come into existence for the good of all mankind. (This party or group is called ummat-un-muslimatun.) If, however, he conducts himself in a manner that makes him so weak, depressed and listless that he is unable to keep in step with the party and tends to lag behind, he is guilty of ithm. In other words, every action which weakens human personality would fall within the category of ithm.

On the other hand, there are crimes that stimulate one’s spirit of defiance and prompt him to transgress the limits of the law; such crimes are described as ‘udwaan. Both these categories of crime – ‘udwaan as well as ithm – involve infringement of the Laws of God; they differ only in respect of their results. It should be clear that the prevailing conception of “sin” does not exist in the Islamic code of ethics. The notion that infringement of the Divine injunction is “sin” whereas violation of the social code and rules is “crime” is a fallacy which is in conflict with the Islamic view of life. The Islamic society is an agency for the enforcement of the Divine Laws; it, therefore, rules out a duality between the laws and injunction of God and those of society. This kind of duality is conceivable only in religion, not in deen.

  1. Eiman     to be convinced, to accept, to verify something, to rely upon, or have confidence in. This is usually translated in English as belief or faith; and faith in turn signifies acceptance without proof or argument, or without reference to reason or thought, knowledge or insight. Faith is generally regarded as the negation of knowledge or reason; it is said about Kant, for instance, that “he found it necessary to deny knowledge in order to make room for  faith.”

Indeed, Kant himself suggests a trichotomy of the modes of cognition into knowledge, opinion and belief:

Opinion is such holding of a judgment as is consciously insufficient, not only objectively but also subjectively. If our holding of a judgment be only subjectively sufficient, and is at the same time taken as being objectively insufficient, we have what is termed believing. Lastly, when the holding of a thing to be true is sufficient both subjectively and objectively, it is knowledge (The Critique of Pure Reason).

According to the Qur’an, however, eiman is not what has been described above as believing; it is what Kant calls knowledge. In fact, eiman is synonymous with conviction and is based upon reason and knowledge. The Qur’an does not recognise as eiman any belief that is divorced from reason and involves the blind acceptance of any postulate. It is true that deen involves the acceptance of certain things which cannot be known through sense perception; but there is no reason to presume that things which cannot be thus perceived do not exist. Indeed, our reason and thinking compel us to recognise the existence of many such things. In any event, eiman, according to the Qur’an, signifies the conviction that results from full mental acceptance and intellectual satisfaction. This kind of conviction gives one a feeling of amn – inner contentment and peace (amn and eiman have a common root). And mu’min is one who accepts the truth in such a way that it ensures his own peace and helps him to safeguard the peace and security of the rest of mankind. Indeed, Al-mu’min is one of the attributes of God Himself.

  1. Jahannam: usually translated as hell, which again does not properly convey the Qur’anic sense of the term.

According to the Qur’an, life has manifested itself in the human form after having gone through various stages of the process of evolution. This is the final link in the evolution of life in this world. But life is not limited to this world; it continues beyond death. The higher life that the individual with a developed personality is capable of leading after his life in this material world is called a heavenly life, or the life of jannah. On the other hand, the evolution of a personality not so developed is bound to be thwarted; this kind of life is called an infernal life or the life of jahannam. Jannah and Jahannam do not stand for places or localities; they denote different conditions of human life, which have been described metaphorically. It should also be clear that these conditions do not relate entirely to the life Hereafter; they have their beginnings here in this world of matter. A social order based upon Qur’anic foundations results in a happy situation: the necessities of life are available in abundance and are secured in extremely decent ways befitting the human dignity. This brings in a real happiness and peace of mind. This is called a heavenly life (jannah). On the other hand, a society based upon principles repugnant to the laws of God brings in anxiety and discontentment, and this is an infernal life (jahannam). Jahannam is a Hebrew compound made up of ji and Hinnum, and meaning the valley of Hinnom. This was a famous valley situated in the south of Jerusalem where men were burnt alive and offered as a sacrifice to the idol Moloch. Jahannam, therefore, denotes a situation in which humanity is ruined. In Arabic, the word jaheem is often used in this sense; it means to prevent – that is, it denotes a condition in which human evolution is prevented and life begins to stagnate instead of progressing.

  1. Jannah: see Jahannam.
  2. Khair     usually translated in English as good, as against sharr, which is translated as evil. These equivalents again do not give the exact Qur’anic connotations of the words.

Man is endowed with manifold faculties and powers. When he uses these faculties in accordance with the laws of God, the results are conducive to the development of his own personality as well as to the welfare of mankind as a whole. This is khair. When, on the other hand, the potentialities of man are used in repugnance to the laws of God, the result tends to bring about the disintegration of the individual’s personality and harm the interests of humanity at large. This is sharr. Moreover, such human faculties as are not put to any constructive use also fall within the definition of sharr.

This exposition of the notions of khair and sharr also provides an answer to the question why God, Who is Himself khair, has created sharr. In fact, sharr is not an independent quality or force created by God: man has been created with a free will, and when he, by his own choice, uses his potentialities for destructive purposes, the result is sharr.

  1. Khalq; see Amr.
  2. Kufr      This is the antonym, or negation, of eiman (q.v). It means to deny the truth, to prevent, to defy the laws of God. Basically, the word means to cover or conceal. One who denies the truth in fact seeks to conceal it; he is, therefore, called a kafir. Kufr means open denial, not hypocrisy. The hypocrite professes to believe in a thing that he does not accept at heart; the kafir, on the other hand, has at least the forthrightness to proclaim his belief. That is why the Qur’an condemns and consigns the hypocrite to the lowest depths of hell.

The definition of kufr, however, is not confined to denial of the truth; it includes the concealment, or withholding of the means of subsistence, which God has created for the good of all mankind and which He wants to be freely available to all.

  1. Madhhab    literally means way or course. This word does not occur in the Qur’an and in the Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) it stands for “school of thought”. The English word “religion” is usually translated as madhhab, and since Islam is generally described in English as religion, the word madhhab has come to be used for it in Urdu also. This is a fundamental fallacy; it might be stressed once again that Islam is a deen, not a madhhab. Today, the only Divine deen is Islam, whose principles and precepts are enshrined in the Qur’an.
  2. Maghfirah usually  translated  as  forgiveness.  The  Qur’anic law of requital, however, entirely negates the very conception of forgiveness. Every human action, according to this law, has a natural and logical outcome for which there can be no forgiveness. The correct meaning of the word maghfirah is to protect: for instance, mighfar means the helmet or piece of mail with which a soldier protects his skull and neck.

The first prerequisite for the prevention of disease is one’s internal resistance: that is to say, his body should have sufficient internal strength to withstand an attack by forces detrimental to its health. If, however, the attack proves too strong and the person falls ill, his resistance must be strengthened so as to prevent the disease from taking a fatal turn and to effect its cure. This preventive and curative process would be called maghfirah.

Faithful compliance with the laws of God gives man sufficient strength to resist the destructive forces in life. But if he should ever fall into error and be guilty of infringing these laws, and his personality should consequently be weakened, the remedy would lie in good conduct calculated to recuperate and strengthen his personality and save him from the harmful effect of his lapse. This is called maghfirah.

  1. Mala’aikah or the latter being preferable: This is usually translated in English as angels; but the common religious notion of the word is very different from its Qur’anic conception. The universe can be divided into two parts: the material world which we can perceive through the senses, and the world beyond our powers of perception. The Qur’an, in the first instance, uses the word mala’aikah for the forces of nature at work in the world of matter. For instance, when it says, in the allegorical story of Adam, that all the mala’aikah prostrated themselves before Adam, it means that man has been endowed with the capacity to subdue and conquer the forces of nature. Moreover, the Qur’anic meaning of mala’aikah includes, besides the physical forces of nature, the psychological forces within the human individual himself. When used with reference to the other part of the universe – the one beyond our powers of perception – the mala’aikah stand for the forces at work there to fulfil God’s purpose and shape in practice the Divine Scheme of things. In this sense, the word also includes the agencies through which the word of God has been revealed to various Anbiya. So in this sense, mala’aikah may also be called messengers.

Mala’aikah are not endowed with any will or independent power; they are devoted to the performance of their respective duties, and cannot act otherwise than they do. Man is the only being in the whole universe endowed with a free will and independent power.

  1. Mushrik   one  guilty  of  shirk  (q.v.).  Plural  form:  mushrikeen.
  2. Nabi: This is usually translated in English as prophet (one who prophesies). This translation is again incorrect and misleading. Nabi is not a derivative of nabaun which means “to inform”. In olden times the word nabi was used for a special functionary in the Jewish temple whose function was to prophesy future events. In its Qur’nic  connotation  the  word  nabi  is  derived  from nabwatun

which means an elevated place; it, therefore, means a person standing on a pedestal; in other words, one who lives in this material world but can also perceive the unseen world beyond, because he (such a person) is endowed with Divine Revelation. The function or office of the nabi is called nubuwwah                that is, the function of securing Divine Guidance through revelation. (See also Rasool.)

  1. Nubuwwah: the function of securing Divine Guidance through revelation (for details see Nabi).
  2. Qur’an     the Book that God gave to Muhammad (PBUH) through revelation, and which he passed on to the Muslims in the form in which we know it today. The internal evidence provided by the Qur’an itself, as well as historical research, proves beyond a shadow of doubt that not even a comma of the original Qur’anic text has been changed or is likely to be altered in the future. This is a unique attribute of the Qur’an and is not shared by any other revealed Book now extant. The Qur’an embodies the deen revealed to the earlier Anbiya in its true and perfect form. This Book does not give us merely a code of ethics; it provides us with a code of life which embodies guidance, principles and laws relating to every sphere of human life and activity. The Qur’an according to Islam, is the final authority in matters of deen. The injunctions and the principles enshrined in the Book form the cornerstone of the Islamic polity and the limits laid down by it provide the framework within which the laws of the Islamic State may be formulated. These principles, or limits, or framework, are immutable, but the statutes made by the state within these four corners are open to modification and change according to the needs of the times. The Qur’an is the last of the Divine Books, because nubuwwah ended with Muhammad (PBUH). No subsequent human opinion or pronouncement in matters of deen, therefore, can be recognised as authoritative; nor can any man-made law repugnant to the Qur’an be regarded as binding upon the Muslims. The Qur’an is a book of guidance for all mankind and transcends the barriers of time and space. The Islamic State is an instrument for the enforcement of the laws and injunctions embodied in the Qur’an.
  3. Rabb     is usually translated in English as the Lord. Again, the English equivalent does not convey the real meaning and significance of the Arabic original. Rabb means one who enables a thing or person to grow and develop and eventually to realise all its potentialities; and the process by which a person (or object) thus fulfils himself is called Rububiyyah. Nothing in the universe comes into being in a state of perfection or fulfilment; it is born with certain potentialities which, when developed and actualised, enable the object concerned to become what it was designed to be. Like other objects and beings in the universe, man is also endowed with manifold potentialities which, if properly developed, enable him to rise from the animal to the human level. The Qur’an seeks to establish, in accordance with the Divine Laws, a social order under which the latent potentialities of every individual can be fully realised. This realisation of the individual’s potentialities will include the sustenance and growth of his body as well as the fulfilment of his personality. This kind of social system is called the Rububiyyah order, and its establishment is the ultimate end and purpose of deen of Islam.
  4. Rububiyyah: see Rabb.
  5. Rasool    The duty of the nabi does not end with the securing of Divine Guidance; in fact this is but the beginning of his task. The root of the word rasool means a messenger, or who has a message to deliver. It is the duty of the nabi to deliver to mankind the message revealed to him by God, without the slightest change or modification; it is by virtue of this function that he is called a rasool. But even the faithful delivery of the Divine Message does not complete the performance of the rasool’s function; he is also responsible for setting up a social order in accordance with the principles enshrined in the Divine Message that the has delivered. In other words, he is entrusted with the establishment of “God’s kingdom upon earth”. He is charged with the revolutionary function of ending the sway of tyrannical, oppressive and self-seeking rulers and priests and establishes a free order of society in which men will not be dependent upon other men and will not be subject to anything except the Divine Law. The rasool, from this point of view, appears as a great revolutionary who does not content himself with sermons but practically enforces by example the Divine Law and seeks to bring all men under its sway. This is the real function of the rasool (risalah).

In view of the above explanation it is clear that nabi and rasool are two facets of a single entity, or two faces of the same coin. A nabi is also a rasool, and vice versa. The plural form of rasool  is rusul.

Nubuwwah, or the reception of the revelation of Divine Guidance by anbiya or rusul, ended with Muhammad (PBUH). The Guidance revealed to him is preserved and enshrined fully and exactly in the Qur’an. But the function of risalah, or the delivery of the Divine Message to all mankind and the establishment of a social order in accordance with is principles, has devolved upon the nation or ummah that believes in that Book, that is, the Qur’an.

  1. Ruh usually translated as spirit or soul. “Spirit” has a special meaning in Christian metaphysics, and “soul” is the expression for a peculiar notion in Greek philosophy. The Qur’anic conception of ruh differs essentially from “soul” as well as “spirit”. Its most appropriate translation would be “Divine Energy,” which expresses itself through a free and self-determining will. Free will is possessed only by God, who imparts it to human beings also; no other being is endowed with this power. The Qur’an holds that the power of the human will is not a product of man’s natural constitution; it cannot, therefore, be called a material force. It is a power specially bestowed by God upon men; that explains why God has described it as “His ruh” – meaning thereby the human personality, which is the bearer of the free will.

This should not, however, be taken to mean that the human personality is a part of the Divine Personality. Personality is absolutely indivisible; no personality, therefore, can possibly be a part of any other personality. We are all familiar with the fallacy that the human spirit is a part of the Spirit of God bogged down in the world of matter, and that the whole end and purpose of man’s life on earth is to purge this spirit of its material impurity, so that it may merge again with the Divine Spirit. This misconception is thoroughly repugnant to the spirit. God has endowed every individual with an inchoate personality, and the purpose of his worldly life is to develop his personality so that it may be able, after death, to continue its journey further.

The word ruh has been used in the Qur’an in other senses also. But in the present work it has not been used in any of the other senses; the other meanings are, therefore, not given here.

  1. Shaitaan   Man is endowed with manifold faculties and is free to use them as he wills. These faculties include his impulses. If he uses these faculties in accordance with the laws of God, constructive results, which are conducive to benefit the interests of all mankind, follow. If, on the other hand, he uses his faculties in a manner repugnant to the laws of God, the results are destructive. The impulse that induces man to use his faculties in contravention of the Divine Laws is called shaitaan. The common English equivalent for this word, namely, devil, does not properly express the Qur’anic sense of the original term.

The word shaitaan has also been used for defiant or rebellious human beings; in other words, for such men as defy the laws of God themselves and also induce others to defy those laws.

Since destructive activity inevitably brings frustration and sorrow, shaitaan has also been called iblees – which means a disappointed being who fails to secure happiness in life.

  1. Sharr : see Khair.
  2. Shirk    obedience to man-made laws along with or in contravention of the laws of God. Islam does not permit obedience to any laws other than those laid down by God. Indeed, not only actual obedience to other laws but even the belief that it is permissible and proper to obey these laws is tantamount to shirk. Polytheism is generally understood to mean the worship of idols. It is, of course, true that idol worship, or the worship of any of the forces of nature, amounts to shirk. But this definition is not exhaustive, nor are these forms of worship the most serious manifestations of shirk, for they result mainly from ignorance. The most heinous form of shirk is the obedience to laws and injunctions other than those of God. From the Islamic point of view, the important thing is obedience, not worship. Muslims obey God;  they do not worship Him in the general sense of the word.
  3. Taqdeer       This is generally translated as fate, and fatalism is widely believed to be one of the fundamental elements of the Islamic creed. This is absolutely wrong. A theory of life, which is based upon the freedom of the human will, cannot possibly have anything to do with fatalism. Human freedom and fatalism are mutually contradictory concepts.

A mango stone embedded in soil, if properly looked after and nourished, has the capacity to grow into a mango tree, which will eventually yield the mango fruit. The realisation of this potentiality of the mango stone is called its taqdeer. To be more precise, taqdeer means measure. The true measure of the mango stone is the mango tree; if a stone does not grow into a tree, it does not conform to its measure. On the other hand, no mango stone can grow beyond its measure: this is the destiny of the mango stone.

Man has been endowed with manifold potentialities. If he follows the right path in life, and adheres to it, his potentialities are gradually realised, and his personality is so developed that he is enabled to attain the perfect human stature in this life and to cover the evolutionary stages yet to come beyond this world. This development of the individual is called his taqdeer.

  1. Taqwa       The common English equivalent, namely, piety, does not properly express the real meaning of the word. Deviation from the path of right conduct leads man to ruin; taqwa helps to keep him on the right path and thus save him from ruin. But merely saving oneself from ruin is a negative virtue, whereas the Qur’an regards the positive aspect of life as of fundamental importance. In the context of the Qur’an, therefore, taqwa involves not only saving oneself from the forces of destruction but also stabilising one’s personality through the preservation and enforcement of the laws of God. To be more concrete, it means the faithful and efficient performance of all the duties that God has enjoined upon man through Revealed Guidance. This meaning is wide enough to include loftiness of character and purity of conduct. One who leads a life of taqwa is called Muttaqee.
  2. Tauheed     exclusive obedience to the laws of God. As already indicated under “Qur’an,” these laws are embodied in the Qur’an.
  3. Taubah        When  on  his  way  to  a  particular  place,  a  person reaches a crossing, there he takes a turn and goes along. But after a short while he realises that he had put himself on the wrong path which will not take him to his destination. He must now turn back and return to the point where he took the wrong turn. This kind of return is called taubah.

It is obvious, however, that a mere return to the crossroads will not take the man to his destination; he will also have to adopt the right path. Taubah, therefore, covers all the three aspects of the process: realising one’s error, retracing his steps and taking to the right course.

  1. Udwaan: see Ithm.




-a                                                            -t

-b                                                            -z

-t                                                             -’

-th                                                          -gh

-j                                                             -f

-h                                                            -q

-kh                                                         -k

-d                                                            -I

-dh                                                         -m

-r                                                             -n

-z                                                            -w

-s                                                            -h

-sh                                                          -’

-s                                                            -y




(i) short

– a (as u in but)

– i  (as i in tin)

– u (as u in bull)

(ii) Long

a (as a in father)

i  (as ee in bee)

u (as oo in root)

au (as in aught)

ai (as in bat)


  1. Al (represents the article the) as in al-kitab. But in “solar letters” (1) should be passed over in pronunciation and assimilated to the following consonent.

2.     at the end has been represented by h, for example Rahmah, for Rahmat

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