A - B - D


Aadam; Adam

A prophet of Allah and father of the mankind. He is the first prophet who declared the oneness of Allah and led the foundation of Islam. The entire account of the creation of Aadam, his stay in Paradise and his repentance near Ka'bah is beautifully described in Surat ul-Baqarah and at other places in the Qur'an.

Aal; awlaad

Descendants, progeny, children.


A learned man; specifically a scholar in Islamic religious sciences; holy Imaams and their du'aat.


Deeds, acts; pl. of ‘amal. ‘amal-e-saaleh (a good deed) is an essential part of imaan (faith). Allah orders every believer to do good deeds and promises its reward in the hereafter.




The 10th of Muharram; the day of shahaadat (martyrdom) of Imaam Husain (AS) at Karbala .


A verse of the Holy Qur'an; miraculous sign.


Everlasting, eternal, endless.

‘Abd; ‘abdullah

A slave or a servant of Allah; ‘ibaadat meaning worship, devotional service.

Abu Taalib

He is the father of Maulana ‘Ali (AS). He looked after the Prophet (SAWS) when the latter was a child.

Abu zarr al-Ghiffaari (Jundub b. Junaada)

He was a most obedient companion of the Prophet (SAWS), who remained loyal to Maulana ‘Ali (AS). He died in 32 AH after being expelled by Usmaan.


Verses; pl. of bayt. In the ceremonial gathering verses of praise is recited by the hudood of Da'wat. The collection of abyaat is often termed as diwan if it is solely written by the single author.


Culture, good manners, decency, humanity.


Thinking, cogitation, contemplation; thought, idea, concept; pl. of fikr. Allah likes those who contemplate on the signs of Allah, i.e. all things around us.


It refers to After Hijrat. It is the reference used in the Islamic calendar, instead of A.D. which is used in the Christian calendar.

‘Ahd ; bay'at, misaaq

Promise, oath of allegiance given by the mumin to the Imaam or his representative.

Ahl ul-bayt

The people of the house, meaning the Muhammad Rasulullah (SAWA) and members of his household including especially his cousin and son-in-law Maulana ‘Ali, his daughter Maulatana Faatema, his grandsons Imaam Hasan and Imaam Husain as well as their progeny.

Ahl ul-Kitaab

The people of the Book (Scripture), people of the commandments revealed by Allah, such as Jews and Christians.

Ahl ul-Qiblah

Muslims; the Followers of Islam.

Ahl uz-Zikr

The people of the reminder; holy Imaams and their du'aat (deputy, representative)


Appointed time, deadline, instant of death; Allah has fixed an appointed time for every thing in this world.


Natural disposition, character of a person, morals; pl. of khuluq. ‘Makaarim ul-akhlaaq' meaning high moral standards.

‘Alavi Bohras

Muslim, Shi'a, Isma'ili, Musta'alavi, Taiyebi Bohras who believe that the 28th da'i-e-mutlaq Saiyedna Shaikh Adam Safiyuddin (QR) in succession appointed his grandson Saiyedna ‘Ali Shamsuddin bin Ibraheem (QR) as the 29th da'i-e-mutlaq and his successor through the tradition of propagation of nass.

Al-hamdu lillaahi rabbil 'aalameen

This is a verse from the Qur'an that Muslims recite and say many times per day. Other than being recited daily during prayers, a Muslim reads this expression in every activity of his daily life. The meaning of it is: "Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds." A Muslim invokes the praises of Allah before he does his daily work; and when he finishes, he thanks Allah for His favors. A Muslim is grateful to Allah for all His blessings. It is a statement of thanks, appreciation, and gratitude from the creature to his Creator.

‘Ali bin Abi Taalib; Maulana

The wasi (vicegerent), cousin of Muhammad Rasulullah (SAWA) and his son-in-law by marriage to his daughter Maulatana Faatema.

Allaahu akbar

This statement is said by Muslims numerous times. During the call for prayer, during prayer, when they are happy, and wish to express their approval of what they hear, when they slaughter an animal, and when they want to praise a speaker, Muslims do say this expression of Allaahu Akbar. Actually it is most said expression in the world. It means: "Allah is the Greatest." Muslims praise Allah in every aspect of life.


Prophets; pl. of nabi. ‘Saiyed ul-Ambiyaa' meaning ‘the chief of the Prophets' title of Muhammad Rasulullah (SAWA).

Ameer ul-mumineen

Commander of the Faithful (believers). A title exclusively used for Maulana ‘Ali (AS) and also for the Imaams in his progeny.

Amr; hukm, farmaan

Command; specifically the divine command or volition.


The helpers, it refers to the Muslims of Medina who supported and assisted Muhammad Rasulullah (SAWA) and his followers after the hijrat (migration) from Mecca to Medina in 622 AD.


Reason, intellect, mind, intelligence.


A rationalist, an intellectual. As an adjective it means related to ‘ aql , i.e. mental, intellectual, or more commonly ‘rational'.


A Throne. The Qur'an describes Allah as the ‘Lord of the Throne' on which ‘He sat himself' and which is described as being ‘upon the waters' or ‘born by angels'. The Qur'anic ‘throne' is equated to the philosophical concept of Intellect.


It refers to 'Alayhis-salaam', (Allah's) peace be upon him. It is said after the names of all Prophets, their fathers, mothers and wasi, the 21 holy Imaams from the household of Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) and for Maulatana Faatema, it will change to 'Alayhas-salaam' (peace be upon her). After any two names it is said 'Alayhimas salaam' and after more than two names or when referring to a group of people it is said 'Alayhimus-salaam'. Thus, for the Imaams Hasan and Husain (A.S. means 'alayhimas-salaam) and for the Ahl ul-Bait (A.S. means 'alayhimus-salaam).


A foundation. Early Isma'ili du'aat during the time of holy Imaams, like Saiyedna Ibn Hawshab and his son Ja‘far (QR) divided the entire Islamic history right from Adam (AS) to Prophet Muhammad (SAWA) into seven eras, each inaugurated by a ‘speaking prophet' ( naatiq ), who is succeeded by a legatee or wasi (naaib, vicegerent), also called asaas , the founder, a teaching based on the knowledge of the spiritual meaning of the message delivered by the Prophet. In this system of thought Maulana ‘Ali (AS) is the asaas of Muhammad Rasulullah (SAWA) who led the foundation of the propagation of the divine message revealed on the Prophet.

Ashaab ul-Kisaa

The people of the mantle, i.e. Muhammad Rasulullah (SAWA), Maulana ‘Ali, Maulatana Faatema, Imaam Hasan and Imaam Husain.


A'immat-e-Taahereen (AS), the infallible Imaams are divided into the groups of seven. This one is the third group starting from the 15 th Imaam Maulana Azeez (AS) to 21st Imaam Maulana Taiyeb (AS).


Root, origin; descent, lineage of a noble character; foundation, basis; principles, fundamentals. ‘Hasb ul-Usool' means in conformity with regulations.


The afternoon Namaaz.


Secret; pl. of sirr. ‘Asraar ul-Quran' means the secret meaning of the Quran which Allah knows and is manifested only to His Prophets and his progeny.

As salaamu ‘alaykum

This is an expression Muslims say whenever they meet one another. It is a statement of greeting which establishes the real essence of Islam i.e. humble submission and peace. It means "Peace be upon you." The other forms are: "As salaamu 'Alalykum Wa Rahmatullaah," which means: "May the peace and the mercy of Allah be upon you," and "As salaamu Alalykum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakaatuhu," which means : "May the peace, the mercy, and the blessings of Allah be upon you."


Followers, companions, adherents, partisans; ‘atbaa' ul-A'immat' means followers of Imaams; the holy progeny of Maulana ‘Ali (AS).


This is the first group of seven holy Imaams starting from Maulana Imaam Hasan (AS) to Maulana Imaam Muhammad (AS).


Vicegerents; pl. of wasi. ‘Saiyed ul-Awsiyaa' meaning ‘The chief of the Vicegerents' title of Maulana ‘Ali (AS).

Ayyam ul-beez

The days of light, i.e. 13, 14 & 15 Rajab; this refers to the days in which Maulatana Faatema bint Asad (AS) gave birth to Maulana ‘Ali (AS) in the Ka'bah.

Ayyam ut-Tashreeq

Three days (11, 12 & 13 Zil hajj) following the Day of Zabeehat (sacrifice), i.e. ‘id ul-Azhaa.

Ayyoob; Job

A prophet of Allah mentioned in the Qur'an and the Taurat. He was struck with the disaster in which he lost all his riches including his children and was inflicted with a filthy and deadly disease, his body full of worms and the smell of which was so offensive that on one could dare to nurse him. In spite of all these hardships he continued to serve Allah and to return Him thanks as usual. He is regarded as the model of patience.


Punishment, torment, pain, suffering, agony for the bad deeds committed by an individual in this world.


Call to Namaaz; recited before fajr, zohr and maghrib namaaz and also before the sunnat of ‘asr and ‘ishaa il-Aakherat Namaaz.


Mind, intellect; pl. of zihn. ‘zihni' means mental related to zihn.




‘A gate' or ‘a door'. This term is used for the administrative head of the Da'wat and the highest rank after the Imaam. For e.g. Saiyedna Ja'far bin Mansoor il-Yemen (QR) was the baab of the 14 th Fatimi Imaam Maulana Mo'iz (AS).


The inward, hidden or esoteric meaning behind the literal wording of sacred texts and religious prescriptions, notably the Quran and the Shari'at. This term is in distinction from the zaahir.

Baatini ta'wil

The allegorical, symbolic or esoteric interpretation of the Qur'an, the Shari'at, historical events of the Prophets and the world of nature. It denotes that there is an inner ( baatini ) meaning behind the external ( zaahiri ) text. By extension, it can be applied to other scriptures, as well as to rituals and the whole of nature. This was elaborated by Isma'ili du'aat such as S. Ja'far bin Mansoor il-Yemen (QR), S. Qadi Nu‘man bin Muhammad (QR) and S. Nasir Khusraw (QR). According to the authors mentioned above, while the revelation (tanzeel) was delivered by the Prophet to all people, the knowledge of its taweel rests with the wasi and his progeny, the sole authoritative source of interpretation, and is considered that this taweel should not be disclosed to the masses, lest it is misunderstood.


Supporters of the baatin, especially the Isma'ilis, who recognize an inner level of meaning ( baatin ) in the Qur'an and the universe at large. Fatimi Isma'ili authors such as S. Hamid ud-Din al-Kirmani (QR) and S. Nasir Khusraw (QR) strongly argues giving the explanation of Quranic verses in their books against those who rejects the inner level of scripture (baatin), rituals and prescriptions.

Bait ul-Haraam

The Ka'bah, the Sacred House.


A technical term used for invitation into the Fatimi Isma'ili Da'wat.

Balad il-ameen

A term used in the Quran for Mecca , translated as the city of security, serenity or salvation.

Banu Faatemah

The infallible Imaams, i.e. from the 1 st Imaam Maulana Hasan (AS) till the 21 st Imaam Maulana Taiyeb (AS) and also his progeny.

Banu Musa

The people of Moses.


subsistence or survival. This term is used in contrast with fanaa, which is on e of the attributes of this world. But after death the soul of the mumin gets merged with Allah, persists and lives on in the new divinely bestowed attributes by the Almighty.


Blessings, benedictions. ‘mubaarak' meaning blessed, fortunate.

Barr wa bahr

Land and ocean; Allah describes in His book Quran each and every thing present in the land as well as in the ocean.


Insight, power of mental perception, discernment. ‘basaarat' meaning acuteness of the mind, sharp-wittedness.


Deputation of a person as a nabi through the divine revelation and guidance.


Bringer of glad tidings; the title of Muhammad Rasulullah (SAWA). ‘bushraa' meaning good news.


A revered title given to a person who is from the royal family of Da'i-e-mutlaq and regarded as a most loyal and close associate and assistant to his higher ranks in the Da'wat.


The standard Islamic invocation, Bismi'llah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim derived from the Qur'an, meaning ‘In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful.'


Nomadic desert Arabs.


A bad innovation, generally disapproved; heresy

Bilaal al-aswad al-kindi

An Abyssinian slave, who was a companion of the Prophet (SAWS) honored and distinguished as the first mo'azzin or the caller to prayer.


Indian community of Muslim Musta'alavi Taiyebi Isma'ilis, who believe that the 19th Fatimi Imaam Musta'ali (AS) is the legitimate and rightful successor of Imaam Mustansir billah (AS).



Daar ul-Aakherat

The hereafter; the permanent abode after death.

Daar ul-hijrat

The abode of emigration. For Saiyed ul-Ambiya Muhammad Rasulullah (SAWA) daar ul-hijrat was Madinah-e-Munawwarah.

Daar ul-hikmat

The House of Wisdom; a scholarly institution founded in Cairo by the 16th Fatimi Imaam Maulana Hakim (AS) in 1005 AD. Its building housed a large library containing thousands of volumes and a public reading room. It was the meeting place for traditionists, grammarians, jurists, astronomers, logicians and mathematicians. It was there that Saiyedna Qadi Nu‘man (QR) gave lectures on the Isma'ili tenets and doctrines, which were called majaalis ul-hikmat (Sessions of Wisdom). The institution was also known as Daar ul-‘ilm (The House of Knowledge).

Daar ul-Islam

The realm of Islam, the abode of peace, Islamic territory; a term used in classical Islamic jurisprudence to denote regions or countries subject to Islamic law. Often contrasted with the daar ul-harb meaning ‘the realm of war'.


One who summons; a religious propagandist or missionary; a high rank in the Da'wat hierarchy of the Isma'ilis. This term is used in reference to any authorized representative of Isma'ili da'wat; a propagandist responsible for spreading Isma'ili religion and for winning suitable converts.

Da‘i ul-balaagh

A missionary or propagandist in charge of invitation into the da'wat during the period of Fatimi A'immat (AS).

Da‘i ud-du‘aat

A rank in the Fatimi Isma'ili Da'wat for ‘chief da'i'. Sometimes this rank is also called ‘baab ul-abwaab'; the highest rank, after the Imaam, in the da'wat hierarchy.

Da‘i ul-mutlaq

The highest rank in the Isma'ili Musta'ali Taiyebi Da'wat organization; pl. is Du'aat ul-mutlaqeen; the administrative head enjoying temporal and religious authority in the community of the Taiyebi Alavi Da'wat after the ghaibat (occultation, concealment) of Imaam Taiyeb (AS) from Misr. This mode of hierarchy in Taiyebi Da'wat is adopted by all Bohra branches during its Yemeni phase.

Da'i uz-zamaan; Saiyedna Abu Haatim Taiyeb Ziyauddin Saheb (TUS)

The present day Da'i ul-mutlaq and the head of the Da'wat; He is the 44th in the line of succession of Du'aat ul-Mutlaqeen; He ascended to the rank of Da'i ul-mutlaq on 17th Rajab 1394 AH.


Step, degree, grade; rank, class, order.


A mission or propaganda; in the religio-political sense. It is the call or an invitation to adopt the cause of an individual or family claiming the right to the seat of Imamat. It also refers more specifically to the hierarchy of the Isma'ili religious organization right from the period of A'immat-e-Taahereen (AS) till the present day. The Isma'ili Taiyebi Bohras often referred to their religious movement simply as Da'wat, or more formally Ad-Da'wat ul-Hadiyyah meaning ‘the rightly guiding mission.'


The rightly guiding mission, an expression used by the Isma'ilis who felt that the caliphate had been wrongfully taken from the Ahl-e-Bayt (AS). The movement began to be particularly successful around the middle of the 3rd century AH when a multitude of Isma'ili Du'aat began their activities in Iraq , Persia , eastern Arabia and Yemen.

Da‘wat ul-haqq

The true mission; a term used by the Isma'ili Taiyebi Bohras to refer to their da'wat activities.

Dawood; David

a Prophet of Allah and the king of Israel mentioned in the Qur'an and the Old Testament. He was bestowed of the miracle of making iron soft and could mould it in any form and his voice was so sweet and sharp that while reciting Zaboor , every creature around him became standstill and would listen his chanting carefully. Zaboor was revealed upon him.


Cycle of history, era, revolution, period. Together with kawr - a great age or aeon. It is a division of the cyclical religious history developed by some early Isma'ili authors such as S. Ibn Hawshab Mansoor ul-Yemen (QR) and his son S. Ja‘far (QR) as well as by Fatimi thinkers such as S. Abu Ya‘qub is-Sijistani (QR), S. Qadi Nu‘man bin Muhammad (QR) and S. Mo'ayyad al-Shirazi (QR). It is held that the hiero-history of mankind consisted of seven cycles, each inaugurated by a speaking prophet ( naatiq) who brought a revealed message in the form of a religious law.

Dawr us-satr

The period of concealment. Saiyedna Qadi Nu‘man bin Muhammad (QR) uses this term to refer to the period of around 150 years in which the three Isma‘ili Imaams namely Imaam Abdullah (AS), Imaam Ahmed (AS) and Imaam Husain (AS) were hidden from public knowledge, and which ended with the appearance of the 11th Fatimi Imaam‘Abdillah al-Mahdi, who started the period of disclosure ( dawr al-kashf ). It also speaks of periods of concealment that can take place when the Imaam's true spiritual reality is not manifested, even if he is physically present in this world but hidden from public knowledge. As per Musta'ali Taiyebi Bohras the 21st Fatimi Imaam Maulana Taiyeb (AS) went into concealment in 528 AH which commences dawr us-satr.


Support, pillar; ‘Da'aaim ul-Islam' meaning the ‘pillars of Islam' namely Walaayat, Salaat, Sawm, Tahaarat, Zakaat, Hajj and Jihaad.


The faith, the religion; often contrasted with dunyaa, the material world. In the Qur'an it means a) retribution, judgment (as in yawm ud-deen , the day of judgement); b) religion in a broad sense. The pair din-dunyaa is sometimes used to define the relation between the religious and the temporal aspects.


A public financial register; or a government department or office; the collected works of a poet.


Supplication, prayer; it is deemed as the true (divine) armor of the faithful.


This world, i.e. the visible world, as opposed to aakherat (the hereafter).

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