Common Islamic Terms
As you immerse yourself into the Muslim community, will you hear common phrases and terms. Below is a good starting point of words or phrases to learn.
Arabic phrases & greetings
Terms for teachers, scholars, etc
Note that these terms are not used consistently and that there is no formal rule on using these terms. Usama Canon mentions these terms at 1:4o of this video.
- Ustadh/a refers to a teacher of any level of knowledge. Listen to hear if others refer to the teacher as 'Ustadh/a x' and follow suit.
- Shaykh in arabic means elder. When you go to muslim majority countries they call men over 60 shaykh a female is a shaykha. However this word has become synonymous with "religious scholar". Usually it is ascribed to someone who has had a good amount of traditional islamic education, but there is no consistency or formal guide in usage.
- Mufti comes from the same root as "fatwa" so it is someone who issues rulings on/from Islamic Law that may or may not be clear-cut.
- Imam can mean many things. It can refer to the person leading prayer, but is used most frequently in the community to describe the appointed leader of a community.
- Masjid: This is the Arabic term for a mosque - the building of worship for Muslims, although a masjid is more literally in Arabic a place where you do sujood (a position of the 5 ritualistic prayers).
- Jumu'ah: This is typically referring to the Friday prayer, but also refers to the day of the week (Friday). It literally means 'the gathering'.