Glossary of Muslim Terms

New Muslim Cool: Hamza and Rafiah at their wedding
Rafiah and Hamza at their wedding. Rafiah is wearing a hijab.

dawa – religious outreach

hijab – head covering

imam – religious leader/teacher; prayer leader

inshallah – God willing, similar to “ojala” in Spanish

jihad – struggle

khutba – sermon

mashallah – literally “as God wills it;” colloquial use: “that’s the way it goes”

masjid – Muslim community center or mosque

masjid masallah – mosque prayer room

nafs – ego, lower self

nikah – marriage contract

shahada – declaration of faith at moment of conversion, stating the person bears witness that there is no God but God and Muhammad is his messenger

sheikh – elder