Glossary

©Dipl.-Ing. Walter Schober

Glossary

adhan

daily call from a mosque to the five obligatory prayers

maydan

large, open space or plaza in the center of a city, used for ceremonial purposes

bismillah

„In the name of Allah...“; the first verse of the Quran

mihrab

a niche in the qibla wall of the main prayer hall that shows the direction of Mecca

dar al-imara

governor‘s palace

minaret

“tower” from which the muezzin calls to prayer

dikka

raised platform from which the respondents (qadi) re peat the ritual postures of the Iman and speak the responses so that the stages of prayer may be transmitted to larger congregations

minbar

steps to the right of the mihrab; the Imam stands on the second highest step to deliver the Khutbah (address) on the day of the Jumah (Friday)

ghazi

leader; a person who has taken part in a ghazwa, a battle for the cause of Allah in which the Prophet Muhammad himself took part

muqarnas

ornamental stalactites adorning the cupolas or corbels of a building

hadith

literally: communication or narration; in the Islamic context it has come to denote the record of what Mohammed the Prophet said, did, or tacitly approved

namaz (salaat)

prayer; one of the five pillars of Islam

hajj

pilgrimage to Mecca, one of the five pillars of Islam, a duty one must perform during one‘s life- time if one has the financial resources for it

qadi

Islamic judge; his responsibility is limited to matters of religion

haram

consecrated space in a mosque where rituals and prayer take place; it is essentially the covered prayer hall but can also include an entire sacred area

qibla

wall of the mosque oriented perpendicularly to the direction of Mecca

imaret

public kitchen to feed the needy; a complex of religious and commercial institutions in Otto man cities, consisting of religious and charitable institutions such as a mosque, mad rasah, hospice and hospital on the one hand and mercantile establishments such as covered bazaars and market places on the other, the latter having been designed to provide for the expenses of the former

riwag

arcade around a central courtyard (sahn), providing shade from the sun

iwan

aulted architectural space whose facade is mostly open, usually towards a courtyard

sahn

open, interior courtyard of the mosque

jihad

the Lesser Jihad is the expectation that Muslims will defend their homeland and Islam from attack; the Greater Jihad is the inner battle which Muslims continually fight within themselves to submit to Allah and to fulfill his expectations

sharia

Islamic law, based upon the Quran and tradition

khutbah

address by the Imam during Friday prayers

shadirwan

pool or fountain for ritual ablutions before prayer

kursi

lectern for the Quran

shahadah

the Muslim declaration of faith:"There is no God but God; Muhammad is the Messenger of God"

külliye

in the tradition of Ottoman architecture, a complex of buildings made up of schools, hospitals and the like, joined to a mosque

sunna

paradigm of the behavior of the perfect Muslim, based on the example set by Mohammed; it includes aspects of ethics and morality, purity, prayer and worship, as well as matters of social and familial relations; it is derived from the hadith, the stories and sayings about Mohammed

madhana

place from which the call to prayer is made

sura

a chapter of the Quran

madrasa

literally: place of learning; Islamic school or university for theology and law

ulama

community of learned men; islamic theologists and legal experts, trained in the interpretation of the Sharia and Quran

manara

minaret or lighthouse; towers that were mainly used as a place to light fires so that people would know when to pray, break their fast, etc (from 'nar,' meaning fire)

umma

the entire community of all Muslims

maqsura

enclosure around the most sacred area of the mosque (the minbar and mihrab), meant to protect the sovereign attending prayers

waqf

religious endowment; a charitable trust in the name of Allah

masjid (Turkish: mescit)

mosque; derived from the word 'sadj,' the place where one prostrates oneself

zakat

almsgiving, one of the Five Pillars of Islam, an obligatory "poor tax" given directly to the poor or to a distribution official and used for hospitals, schools, helping indigent debtors and freeing slaves, as well as helping the poor

masjid-i jami

large communal mosque

ziyada

outer courtyard surrounding a mosque, separating it from its urban surroundings

masjid-i jumah

on Friday, Muslims are expected to gather in community prayer at noon; this is usually done in a large, centrally located mosque called a "Friday Mosque"