Glossary of Islamic Terms for the Month of Ramadhan
Compiled by I.M. Zahid
The month of Ramadan is the month in which the Qur'an was sent down, a guidance for the people, and clear verses of guidance and criterion." [Quran: Chapter 2, 183]
The name of one of the gates of Heavens (Jannah) through which
the people who often observe fasting will enter on the Day of
Three-day festival marking the end of Ramadan. It begins on
the 1st of Shawal, the 10th month of the Islamic calendar.
Compensation for missing or wrongly practicing necessary acts
of worship. Fidya usually takes the form of donating money, foodstuffs,
or sacrificing an animal. Contrast with Kaffara (making amends).
Iftar or Futoor
Breaking of the fast immediately after sunset. Iftar takes
place at Maghrib as soon as the Call to Prayer (Adhaan) is given.
Start of the fasting time. Imsak begins when the first light
of dawn becomes visible, and ends at Fajr when the Adhaan is
called. Literally means "holding back."
I'tikaf refers to the religious practice of spending the last
ten days of Ramadan (either wholly or partly) in a mosque so
as to devote oneself exclusively to worship. In this state one
may go out of the mosque only for the absolutely necessary requirements
of life, but one must stay away from gratifying one's sexual
desire. The minimum period for i'tikaf is twenty-four hours.
I'tikaf is not valid if one is not keeping the fast or if it
is done outside the month of Ramadan.
Kaffarah means atonement, expiation. In Ramadhan this would refer to the expiation for breaking the fast.
'The Night of Power,' concealed in one of the odd nights in
the last ten days of Ramadan; the night on which the Qur'an was
first revealed by Jibraeel to the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), and
which the Qur'an itself describes as "better
than a thousand months." [Al-Qadr (97:3)]
Ramadhan or Ramadhan
The ninth month of the Islamic (lunar) calendar. The month
in which Muslims fast.
Sawm or Siyam
The Arabic word for fast. Plural: Siyam. Literally in the Arabic language it means "to abstain."
"A CONCISE DICTIONARY OF ISLAMIC TERMS" by M.A. Qazi, Kazi Publications, 121 Zulqarnain Chambers, Ganpat Road, Lahore, Pakistan.
"A GLOSSARY OF ISLAMIC TERMINOLOGY" by Bassam Sulaiman Abughosh & Waffa Zaki Shaqra, Ta-Ha Publshers Ltd. 1, Wynne Road, London SW9 0BB, England.
"THE QURAN-BASIC TEACHINGS" by Khurshid Ahmad.
"TOWARDS UNDERSTANDING THE QURAN", Vol. I-III, edited by Zafar Ishaq Ansari, an English rendering of Tafhimul Quran (Urdu) by A.A. Maududi.
Al-Hamdulillah, praise and peace be upon His Prophet Muhammad and on his Family, Companions and his Followers, inwardly and outwardly.