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Glossary of Muslim Terms

Do you know what a hijab is? What's a nikah, and how does it affect Hamza and Rafiah? Find out the definitions of some basic 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





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New Muslim Cool came out of my long-standing interest in the power of pop music and culture to create social change, and a deep feeling that we urgently need to look for common ground as our world grows increasingly diverse and interconnected.”

— Jennifer Maytorena Taylor, Filmmaker