Appendix B: Glossary
Ahmadi or Ahmadiyya
religious movement that emerged in late 19th-century India around Mirza Ghulam
Ahmad (1835-1908), whose followers believe he was a mujaddid (reformer) who showed the way to revive and restore
Alawite or Alawi
sect of Shia Islam centered in Syria that highly venerates Ali, the son-in-law
of the Prophet Muhammad, and incorporates elements of Gnostic teachings. Historically, the community has placed less
emphasis than other sects on the role of daily prayer, fasting during Ramadan
and performing the hajj.
Alevite or Alevi
sect combining elements from Shia Islam and Sufi traditions. Alevis comprise
the second-largest religious community in Turkey.
faith tradition that incorporates elements of animism, Hinduism, Buddhism and
Islam and is sometimes described by adherents as a meditation-based spiritual
path. It is found predominantly in parts of Southeast Asia, particularly
Sufi order in Sunni Islam that dates to the early 20th century. It was founded
in Algeria and has spread throughout much of North Africa, Europe and the Levant.
Sufi order in the Shia tradition. It is found predominantly in Turkey and the
Balkan countries. In Albania, it is recognized as an official religious order.
Sufi order in Sunni Islam dating from the 10th century. It was founded in
Afghanistan and is most prominent in South Asia and Africa today.
religious sect that emerged from the Ismaili branch of Shia Islam. The movement
was started in 11th-century Egypt by Muhammad bin Ismail al-Darazi, who taught
that the Fatimid caliph al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah was divine and did not die but
went into occultation. Today its followers are found mainly in Lebanon and
belief that certain people can cast curses or spells that cause harm. Certain hadith record that the Prophet
Muhammad said the evil eye is real, but others indicate that Muhammad rejected
this practice. Many Muslims believe that the evil eye can be averted by
repeating Quranic verses or by using amulets such as the hand of Fatima, a
traditional palm-shaped design.
or deeds ascribed to the Prophet Muhammad, and a key source of Islamic
authority and jurisprudence. In the first centuries after Muhammad's death,
Islamic scholars established a ranking system for the reliability of each
reported hadith. However there continues to be disagreement over the validity
of various hadith. For Sunnis, hadith contained in the volumes Sahih al-Bukhari
and Sahih Muslim are the most widely referenced, although other compilations
exist. Shia Muslims favor hadith with a chain of transmission through the
family of Ali, the son-in-law of Muhammad.
annual pilgrimage to Mecca and its associated rituals that take place on the
eighth through 12th days of the last month in the Muslim lunar calendar. It is
one of the five main practices or pillars of Islam, holding that all Muslims who
are physically and financially able to make the pilgrimage have a religious
duty to do so at least once in their lifetime.
recent movement in Indonesia that describes itself as an effort to counter
militant and radical Islam by promulgating a discourse on the faith that prioritizes
religio-ethics over textual literalism.
One of the major sects of Shia Islam (Ithnashari, or Twelver, Islam is another). Ismailis believe that Ismail ibn Jafar was the spiritual successor
(Imam) to Jafar al-Sadiq, whose lineage can be traced back to Ali, a
contemporary of the Prophet Muhammad.
Sufi order in Sunni Islam that is an offshoot of the Halvatiyya order. It was
founded in the 17th century and is most prominent in Turkey, the Balkans and
the Middle East-North Africa.
Jesus in Islam
(Isa) is mentioned more than 20 times in the Quran and is considered a holy
prophet in Islam, but not the son of God. According to Islamic teaching, Jesus will return prior to Judgment
Day to establish a reign of peace and justice on earth.
(the singular is jinni) are supernatural spiritual beings,
created by God, that are described in the Quran. Jinn can be good, evil or morally
Sufi order in Sunni Islam centered in Central Asia. It is a branch of the
Sufi order in Shia Islam that dates to the 13th century. The movement is
centered in Central Asia and is a branch of the Naqshbandiyya order.
redeemer or “Guided One” who many Muslims believe will rule on earth shortly
before the day of resurrection or judgment to rid the world of error,
corruption and injustice.
Sufi order in Sunni Islam commonly known as the “whirling dervishes” due to
their devotional dancing. The group dates to the 13th century and is centered
Sufi order in Sunni Islam dating to the late 19th century and founded by Abadu
Bamba M’Backe. It is especially prominent in Senegal and the Gambia.
of the largest Sufi orders in Sunni Islam, Naqshbandis are found throughout the
world. It encompasses many distinct branches and played a significant religious
and political role in historical times on the Indian subcontinent and in the
branch of the Naqshbandiyya order.
Sufi order in Sunni Islam with origins in 12th-century Iran. The tradition now
extends throughout Asia, Africa and Southern Europe.
Qadiriyya wa Naqshbandiyya
Sufi order in Sunni Islam that combines the teachings of the Qadiriyya and
Naqshbandiyya orders. It is found mainly in Southeast Asia.
Sufi order in Sunni Islam dating from the 12th century. It arose in modern-day
Spain and is now most prevalent in South and Central Asia.
Muslim holy book.
ninth month of the Muslim lunar calendar, marked by daytime fasting (sawm) to
commemorate the revelation of the Quran.
Salat or salah
Salat are formal prayers that adult Muslims are prescribed to
perform five times a day.
Shadhiliyya or Shaziliyya
Sufi order in Sunni Islam dating to the 13th century. Today, it is found in the
Middle East-North Africa, South Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Turkey.
Sufi order in Sunni Islam dating to the 15th century. It was founded in Iran
but is most prevalent in South Asia today.
of the two main branches of Islam. The name is a shortened form of the
historical term Shia-t-Ali, or
“party of Ali,” and refers to one of the factions that emerged from a dispute
over leadership succession soon after the death of the Prophet Muhammad in 632.
Over time, the political divide between Shia and Sunni Muslims broadened to
include theological distinctions and differences in religious practice.
mystical movement in Islam that encompasses a set of rituals, such as euphoric
worship, as well as certain beliefs, such as the existence of saints and the
possibility of gaining direct knowledge of God. Today, Sufism is organized into
orders, or tariqas, each
grouped around a spiritual leader or shaykh.
Sufi order in Sunni Islam dating to the 12th century. It was founded in Iraq
but is most prominent in South Asia today.
of the two main branches of Islam. Sunni Muslims make up a majority of the
world’s Muslim population. The name comes from Ahl al-Sunna Jammah, or “people of the Sunna and the community.”
Sunni Islam is associated with norms of Muslim conduct based on the sayings and
actions of Muhammad, particularly as enshrined in the four major schools of
jurisprudence – Hanafi, Shafi, Maliki and Hanbali.
Sufi order in Sunni Islam that emerged from the Qadiriyya order in the late 18th
century. It was founded in North Africa but has spread widely in sub-Saharan
Africa. It is considered a reformist movement that sought to simplify the
practice of Islam based on the words and practices of the Prophet Muhammad.
worldwide Muslim community of believers.
Sufi order in Sunni Islam that is an offshoot of the Qadiriyya order. It was
founded in the Caucasus region in the mid-20th century.
Sufi order in Sunni Islam that dates to the 11th century. The movement is
centered in Central Asia.
Zakat or zakah
religious duty of Muslims to give a portion of their wealth to charity. It is
one of the five main practices, or pillars, of Islam.
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