Glossary Terms

A B C D F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W Y Z
Ibadis

Adherents of a branch of the Kharijis , named after their leader ‘Abd Allah b. Ibad in the 7th century CE.

Ibadiyya

Adherents of a branch of the Kharijis , named after their leader ‘Abd Allah b. Ibad in the 7th century CE.

ibda’

Lit. ‘origination’. Since the Qur’an describes God as ‘Originator’ (badi’, see Q 2:117), Ismaili Neoplatonists such as al–Nasafi (d. 661/1262–1263), al–Sijistani (d. after 971) and Razi (d. 934) used the derived term ibda’ to develop the Neoplatonist idea that God makes existents out of non–existence in a one–off, unparalleled act.

Iblis

The name given in the Qur’an to the Devil, mostly when he is said to have refused to bow down before Adam (Q. 2:34, etc,). Also called al–shaytan (‘the demon’) in the Qur’an. Muslim commentators and theologians have disagreed as to whether Iblis is an angel or a jinn.

idhn

Arabic word meaning ‘permission’.

Idrisids

A Muslim dynasty in the Maghrib founded in 789 (in present–day Morocco).

Ifriqiya

Mediaeval Muslim name for modern–day Tunisia; also the area where the Fatimids founded their state in the early tenth century.

iisiistest

but can click on that section to header (e.g. speeches) to go to the page where all the speeches are"

but can click on that section to header (e.g. speeches) to go to the page where all the speeches are"

 

Ijtihad/Idjtihad

(derived from the Arabic root ja-ha-da, meaning ‘to make an effort’, ‘exertion’, or ‘endeavour’.) In Muslim law, the term ijtihad refers to an independent mode of individual reasoning or interpretation using specific methods and sources to arrive at solutions to new legal problems. Ijtihad is applied to communal issues not covered explicitly in the Holy Qur’an or the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad. The one who is qualified to practice ijtihad is called mujtahid. The use of Ijtihad became prominent in the middle of the 2nd AH/8th CE century. With the establishment of the four Sunni schools of Muslim law (between 2ndAH/ 8th CE century until the early 4thAH/ 10th CE century), it came to be understood amongst many Sunni communities that all the essential questions had been discussed and settled by the opinions of medieval scholars. This led to what is known in Muslim traditions as the closing of the door of ijtihad.

Ikhshidids

Muslim dynasty that ruled in Egypt (935–969), succeeded by the Fatimids .

Ikhwan al-Safa’

From Arabic, lit. ‘Brethren of Purity’, a group of learned scholars who were based in Basra and Baghdad around the last quarter of the tenth century CE. It is more generally accepted that their line in literature belonged to the Shi‘a legacy with strong connections with the Ismaili tradition. The Ikhwan produced an encyclopaedic work of 52 volumes Rasa’il Ikhwan al-Safa’ (The Epistles of the Brethren of Purity). These embodied the scientific and philosophical knowledge of their time. The Epistles treated a wide array of subjects including astronomy, logic, math, music, and natural sciences. Besides, the Epistles also explored the nature of the soul and investigated associated matters in ethics, revelation, and spirituality.

ilhad

Arabic word found in polemical Muslim sources, meaning ‘deviation from the straight path,’ but may connote ‘apostasy’ or ‘heresy’. (See mulhid.)

ilm

Knowledge, science, learning; also, more specifically religious knowledge. In Shi‘ism this term also refers to the special knowledge of the Imams.

imam

In general usage, a leader of prayers or religious leader. The Shi‘i restrict the term to their spiritual leaders descended from ‘Ali b. Abi Talib and the Prophet's daughter, Fatima.

Imama

An abstract noun from the term Imam referring to the institution of hereditary spiritual leadership in Shi‘i Islam.

Imamah

An abstract noun from the term Imam referring to the institution of hereditary spiritual leadership in Shi‘i Islam.

Imamat

An abstract noun from the term Imam referring to the institution of hereditary spiritual leadership in Shi‘i Islam.

Imamate

An abstract noun from the term Imam referring to the institution of hereditary spiritual leadership in Shi‘i Islam.

Imamis

Adherents of a branch of early Shi‘ism which followed the Husaynid line of Imams, which later divided into the Ismailis and Ithna‘asharis .

Imamiyya

Adherents of a branch of early Shi‘ism which followed the Husaynid line of Imams, which later divided into the Ismailis and Ithna‘asharis .

irfan

Cognition, knowledge, gnosis. In one strand of modern Islamic discourse, the term is used for an amalgamated category which includes the mystical experience, sufism, esoteric doctrine and monist philosophy and is related to Shi‘ism . It is related to the thought of al–Kirmani (d. 1021) and the Epistles of the Ikhwan al–Safa’ on the one hand and al–Farabi (d. 950), al–Amiri (d. 992) and Ibn Sina (d. 1037) on the other hand. Major exponents are al–Suhrawardi (d. 1191), Ibn Arabi (d. 1240) and Haydar Amuli (d. 1305). The tradition is presented as reaching its climax in Safavid times with Mir Damad (d. 1630) and Mulla Sadra (d. 1640). Later authors included are Sabzavari (d. 1873) and Khomeyni before his involvement in politics in 1963. See ‘arif .

Isma‘ilis

Adherents of a branch of Shi‘i Islam that considers Isma‘il, the eldest son of the Shi‘i Imam Ja‘far al–Sadiq (d. 765), as his successor.

Ispahbadiyya

Refers to the Bawanids (1074–1210 CE), a local dynasty in Tabaristan and Gilan, who used the title of Ispahbadhi, meaning ‘army chief.’

Istakhr

A district of Fars province in mediaeval Persia.

Ithna ‘Asharis

Lit. ‘Twelvers,’ the majority branch of the Shi‘i Muslims who acknowledge twelve Imams in lineal succession from ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, after the Prophet Muhammad. Following Imam Ja‘far al–Sadiq (d. 765.) the Ithna ‘Asharis acknowledged his younger son Musa al–Kazim as their Imam while the Isma‘ilis recognised Isma‘il, the eldest son of Imam Ja‘far al–Sadiq, as their Imam.

Ithna ‘Ashariyya

Lit. ‘Twelvers,’ the majority branch of the Shi‘i Muslims who acknowledge twelve Imams in lineal succession from ‘Ali b. Abi Talib, after the Prophet Muhammad. Following Imam Ja‘far al–Sadiq (d. 765.) the Ithna ‘Asharis acknowledged his younger son Musa al–Kazim as their Imam while the Isma‘ilis recognised Isma‘il, the eldest son of Imam Ja‘far al–Sadiq, as their Imam.