The reader should  understand that there is significant differences between the Arabic "alphabet" and those used to write words in other writing systems.   As a result, Arabic words translated into written English, for example, may be spelled a number of different ways and it is impossible to say that one spelling is correct and that the others are wrong.   In the list below we have usually chosen to simply land on a common spelling for the word and trust the reader to make the connection to any alternate spellings that may be encountered.


Al-Asharaf:  (Ka'b ibn Al-Ashraf) was a Jewish man in Medina who wrote poems insulting Mohammad.  He was murdered at the request of Mohammad in 625 AD.​

​Asma bint Marwen - Mother of five murdered in her bed at Mohammad's request.

Bani:  Tribesmen.

Banu:  Tribe.

Bin / ibn: "Son of" Depending on the position in the name, these words are used to construct Arabic names.  The actual personal name is usually the first name written (for example Osama bin Laden means Osama, the son of Laden) but to much of the world the last name is seen as the more prominent.  Therefore people would be looking for "Laden", or more likely "bin Laden" when searching for this name.  We will normally use the last names (without the bin / ibn) in this listing.

Bint - ​the feminine form of ibn or bin  i.e. "daughter of".

​Firdaws - the highest level of the Islamic heaven.  Where the prophets, martyrs and most pious will dwell through eternity 

​Hiyal - ​a concept in Islam allowing legalistic deception or trickery.

​Jannah - In Islam: garden - roughly equivalent to the Christian concept of ""Heaven".

​Ka'b ibn Al-Asharaf - ​See Al-Asharaf.

Kitman - a subfield of Ḥiyal, consisting of the art of making ambiguous statements and/or paying lip-service to authority while reserving personal opposition, in a kind of political camouflage.

Koran:  (Also spelled "Qu'ran", "Coran")  A book supposedly dictated to Mohammad in a series of "revelations" by the angel Gabriel which is claimed, by Mohammad, to be the words of Allah.  The shortest of three bodies of documentation that guide and define the beliefs of Islam. 

Maslamah: (Muhammad ibn Maslamah) was the man who murdered Ka'b ibn Al-Ashraf at the request of Mohammad.

Nadir:  A tribe of Jews originally living in Medina when Mohammad moved there.  They were expelled in 625 AD and their possessions were stolen by the Muslims.

Nakhla (caravan raid) - The seventh attempt that the Muslims made to capture a caravan of the Quraysh was the first successful caravan raid after their move to Medina.  This raid was conducted in a month when, by Arab tradition, no warfare was permitted.

​Naskh - ​the Arabic word for abrogation which is the doctrine that explains inconsistencies in the Koran by stating that later verses supersede and are better than earlier ones.

Quanunqa:  A tribe of Jews originally living in Medina when Mohammad moved there.  They were expelled in 624 AD and their possessions were stolen by the Muslims.
Quraysh:  The tribe that held prominence in Mecca.  Although Mohammad was born a member of this tribe, it was the primary enemy of Islam during its formative years.

Qurayza:  The last of the three tribes of Jews that had been living in Medina when Mohammad moved there.  In 627 AD all the men of this tribe were all beheaded, the women and children enslaved and their posessions were stolen by the Muslims.
​Shariah (law) - A body of Islamic law derived from the Koran and Sunnah.

Shirk - ​according to Islam, the most serious sin - that of practicing polytheism or idolatry.

​Sira - ​any one of many biographies of Mohammad.  These, together with the Hadith, form the Sunnah.

Sunnah - The ​verbally-transmitted record of the teachings, deeds and decisions of Mohammad.  These were compiled and documented, sometimes centuries later, by various Muslim scholars.  The Sunnah form the majority of the Islamic scriptures

Surah - a chapter in the Koran.​ 

Takkiya - is the Islamic concept that allows Muslims to lie and deceive nonbelievers in order to advance Islam.


-  ​Arabic Names / Words / Definitions / Explanations

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