Basic Quranic Terminologies


The word Kafir has three meanings: concealer, ungrateful and denier. Kufr is hiding the blessings, knowledge, guidance, religion and principles that Allah has sent to the people of the world, considering it as one’s fiefdom, disrespecting it, not paying its due right, and refusing to believe it as truth (Haq) even after understanding it properly.
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In the language of the Qur’an, being helpless, powerless or hiding your sadness is not called Sabr (patience) as is the common perception of the people. Rather, patience in the Qur’an means to go on facing the situation continuously, no matter what the situation may be, to keep on trying without stopping and without getting tired. It is not to get weak in difficulties, but to face all kinds of difficulties with determination.
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The meaning of the word Taqwa is “to avoid”. This word is used in the Qur’an to avoid disobedience to Allah. It is to have such a level of love for Allah that one should not have to feel to do anything against His will. Being careful about doing any such act that is displeasing to Allah. It is having a fear of annoying your beloved (ALLAH) that arises after intense love. Thus, Taqwa is being deeply in love with Allah and avoiding disobedience to Him.
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Maghfirat means ‘to cover’. Maghfirat of sins means covering the sins, hiding them, and preventing their bad consequences from coming to the fore. Being saved from the harm that can be done by our sins, and protected from the bad consequences of our mistakes, is our maghfirat from Allah.
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The concept of Jihad which is common in the minds of people today is totally wrong, Jihad does not refer to fighting or killing. The real meaning of Jihad is ‘to strive’. Jihad is engaging in a continuous struggle to establish a system of peace and justice and constantly striving with his life and wealth to build a better society for the betterment of the people.
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The root word of the word tasbeeh is ‘sa ‘ba’ ‘ha’, which literally means ‘to pass/move quickly’.
So doing Tasbeeh of Allah means getting busy in the work of Allah. Just as this whole universe is engaged energetically to fulfil the plans of Allah. In the same way, the real meaning of Tasbeeh is to walk swiftly on the path shown by Allah with all your might in order to fulfil the intentions of Allah.
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The word Tawakkul is derived from the word ‘Wakeel’ or ‘lawyer’. Tawakkul is usually understood to mean ‘trust’, which is correct to some extent, but Tawakkul means much more than this.
For example, when we hire a lawyer to present our side in court, we do not just rely on him and get convinced that now we do not need to do anything, but we do all kinds of things from our side. We present evidence, papers and witnesses, keep all our points, and do everything we can from our side, after that we hand over our case to the lawyer.
In the same way, tawakkul on Allah does not mean that leaving all efforts from our side, we should be completely sure that Allah will take care of everything, but tawakkul means that whatever is in our hands, we try everything from our side. So make your efforts, and after that leave the things which are not in our control to Allah, saying: ‘O Allah, we have tried everything from our side, now the things which we do not have the strength, which we are not aware of, you will take care of them by your grace, make it easy for us, and handle them’. This is called Tawakkul.
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Ehsaan is generally believed to mean ‘favour’. It is considered burying someone under debt, and the one who has been favoured is expected to bow his head for the rest of his life. However, as per the Qur’an, this is not the meaning of Ehsaan, the meaning of the word Ehsaan is beauty, and it is derived from the word ‘husn’. Husn means beauty, therefore, Ehsaan is such a behaviour or action that has Husn (beauty). Beauty (husn) comes from balance; where every part of a thing is present in its right proportion, that is beauty (husn). If there is any deviation from this balance, the beauty (husn) will cease to exist. That’s why the system in which everyone is considered equal, where everything is in its balance, no one is high or low, and everyone is treated fairly, is a system of Ehsaan. Good behaviour with people, in which there is balance, in which no one suppresses anyone, there is justice, if someone has something in excess, then he should give it to the one who has it less, without any pride or without showing it off, All these, in the language of the Quran, is called Ehsaan.
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The literal meaning of Zikr is to remember and to remind, but the meaning of Allah’s Zikr in the Qur’an is to realise the presence of Allah through His attributes, His unchanging law and understanding and analysis of His will and power in this observable universe. It is also to make people realise the presence of Allah through reason and evidences.
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Shukr (Gratitude) should not be just verbal but there should be a feeling of gratitude in the heart. It is easy to cheat the people of the world by showing false gratitude and regard but the one who knows the condition of the hearts cannot be cheated.
The feeling of appreciation of Nemat (provisions) in the heart, verbal and behavioural expression of it, Realisation of the importance and value of the blessings given by Allah, and utilising them properly is the real Shukr. Hiding the word of Allah hidden, not making it available to the people, hiding nemat, denying it or using it wrongly all come under ungratefulness.
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Tauba means to turn back. Allah has guided us through His Messengers and His Word. He has shown us the straight path on which we will get success.

Now, if we follow our desires and choose the wrong path under the influence of Satan, and after moving forward on that path, if we realise our mistake and regret our actions, then it is called Naadamat, And after this, if one turns back towards the straight path, then this turning back is called Tauba and moving forward on the straight path is called Islah.

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Hamd is such a genuine praise, in which the one who is being praised should really be worthy of that praise. In this, there should be no false praise nor should it be done just to flatter someone. The one who is praising should not be praising under someone’s pressure or just out of habit, but he should be doing it thoughtfully, consciously and from the heart.

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The general perception of ​​people about Shafa’at (Intercession) is that pious people and Auliya will save their followers or people who have faith in them from the punishment of Hell and take them to heaven. This purview is completely against the Quran.

The word Shafa’at means to stand by someone – as a witness.

Shafaat will only happen by Allah’s will and order, no Wali or pious person will recommend anyone from his own will, but for whom Allah will decide as per his prudence. The one who will intercede by Allah’s permission will have to testify about that person (whose intercession would be done) in the court of Allah. It must be kept in mind that Allah will only allow the intercession of the one who really deserves it.

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Zulm is not just about beating or oppressing someone, but the real meaning of Zulm is the destruction of Tawazun or balance. It is to remove someone or one’s own self from the due place and status. 

Zulm is to commit the excess or deficiency in the place/status of someone or in the work for which one is meant.

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The word ‘Taqdeer’ is derived from ‘Qadr’. Qadr means to estimate, Allah Ta’ala has some estimates about every creation present in this entire universe, this Qadr of Allah is called Taqdeer. For the human being who is having free will, his destiny is decided as a result of the choices and free will given to him.

For example, there are five paths in front of a person at a time, he chooses one path, then five more paths come in front of him, out of which he chooses one path, then three more paths come in front of him. , then he chooses one of them.

So here the path chosen by a man was known to Allah, but the paths he left along with him, if he had chosen those paths, what would have happened to him on that path, what would have happened to him in the future and which other paths would have come, Allah knows about them all. This is the Qadr of Allah, which we call the fate or Taqdeer of human beings.

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The root word of the word Munafiq is ‘Na’ ‘Fa’ ‘Qa’ which literally means ‘two-headed’ or ‘two-faced’. Like a rat’s burrow or a water pipe in which one can enter from one side and exit from the other side.

The Qur’an has used the word hypocrite for those people whose hearts faith enters from one side and leaves from the other side, faith does not stay in their hearts.

Munafiqat (hypocrisy) is born out of a lack of faith, the more the faith decreases, the more the Munafiqat increases.

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According to the Qur’an, any group is said to be Firqa when the feeling of brotherhood among their people ends, when there is hatred and enmity with each other and when there is no mutual affection and brotherhood. There can be differences of opinion and points of view between two groups, but this thinking that only we are right and everyone else is wrong, and when they think that there is no need left for reformation for them, is a sign of Firqa.

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Maut and wafat

Usually, people use the two words “Maut” and “wafat” interchangeably. But in the Qur’an, these words are used for two different incidents.

Wafat means “to take out” or “to take away” something, as, in the time of sleep, the nafs of a person is seized from his body. And at the time of death, both the nafs and the soul of a person are taken out. So maut is one type of wafat but not every wafat is maut.


The real meaning of Fasiq is to exceed the limits or to cross the limits. The one who disobeys Allah, and goes beyond the limits set by Him in religion, has been called a fasiq by the Qur’an.

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Ilah is not just someone who is to be worshipped. The word Ilah includes infinite attributes. This is a place of wonder. It is a collection of all the good qualities. Ilah means Creator, Nurturer Elevator, Developer, Sustainer, Commander, Controller, Establisher, Provider, etc. He is to be worshipped, His orders are to be obeyed, the head should be bowed before him, and his obedience should be accepted in every way.

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Ism is someone’s identity or mark. This is such an identity which people are aware of. So that people can understand who is being talked about or referred to.  It is such an identity of someone that introduces him.

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Imaan is not just a matter of believing or saying something with the tongue. There are some requirements for having Imaan. Fulfilling these criteria/requirements can practically prove the existence of real Imaan.

Imaan is ‘Complete faith in the truthfulness of the law’. It is to believe from the bottom of the heart in the laws and principles given by Allah that the results will be according to what has been told, and nothing will happen against it or different from it. It is to believe that the things from which we have been asked to prevent ourselves would only cause destruction and misery. To be sure of all these to the last degree is faith. When a person has complete faith in something, he also acts accordingly.

For example:- If there is a very strong fire in a house, then no one will enter that house because everyone is sure that if they go inside the house, they will be burnt or consumed by the fire and its consequences will be very dangerous. This level of belief is called faith.

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Rahman and Raheem

The root word of both the words Rahman and Rahim is Rahm. In the Arabic language, the place where the child grows in the mother’s womb is also called Rahm. In the Rahm of the mother, all the arrangements for the needs of the foetus are made, and whatever things are needed for the foetus’ growth and development, are provided to him. So Raham or Rahmat is something that fulfils someone’s needs.

Rahman is that attribute of the mercy of Allah Ta ‘ ala, in which there is an effervescence of infinite mercy. It is like a stormy rain showering on everyone at once abundantly and equally. That attribute of Allah’s mercy is common to all, be they a disbeliever or rejector of  Him. Sun, wind, water, soil, knowledge, skills and abilities, all these things are common even to the disobedient of Allah, this is His Rahmaniyat (abundance of mercy).

Rahim is that quality of the mercy of Allah Ta ‘ala in which there is continuity. Like the rain that is continuous and never stops. The attribute of Allah’s rahimiyat (continuous mercy) is especially for those who follow His law. If we follow the laws that Allah Ta’ala has told us, we will continue to get good results from them, this is the attribute of Allah’s rahimiyat.

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Ahad and Wahid

Ahad and Wahid both mean ‘one’ but there is a slight difference between the two.

Wahid means one. If you say, you have a Wahid pen, it means that you have only one pen; however, there can be many more pens like that in the world.

But Ahad is called ‘such a one, like whom there is no one else in the world – absolutely unique.


The meaning of Rab is – the nurturer, the maintainer, the one who constantly evolves and develops, the one who takes forward, the uplifter, the one who purifies, the elevator, the one who prospers.

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Yom is generally understood to mean day, and in colloquial Arabic, this word is also used for these 24 hours of day and night. But in the Qur’an, this word is used for intervals of different periods, such as 24,000 years and 50,000 thousand years.

Hence, from this, we come to know that a certain period of time is called Yom.

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The word Deen has many meanings in the Arabic language, and in the Qur’an also this word is used with different meanings.

The meaning of Deen is power, strength, authority, supersede, capability, possession, system, obedience, law, etc.

Because one meaning of Deen is law, and through the law, people are judged, held accountable and reap the fruits of their deeds, that’s why the word Deen has been used interchangeably in the Qur’an and in the sense of reward and punishment.

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Ibadat is derived from “abd”- which means slave or servant, so Ibadat means servitude. Maabood – Whose slavery (servitude) should be done.

In Urdu, the meaning of Ibadat or Maabud becomes very limited. Generally, when we speak of worship, it is believed to mean Roza, Namaz, Hajj, and Zakat only. Maabud is considered someone to be worshipped. People consider some rites and rituals as Ibadat.

While Ibadat is a very broad word, Ibadat, worship, or slavery is not meant for a few hours or a few days. Slavery is for 24 hours, for every moment. Bandigi or ibadat is done every time. It is done while sleeping and awake, Eating-drinking, getting up, sitting, writing, reading, and doing any good deed. The whole life of the servant is spent in the service and obedience of his master. Every moment of life should pass in such a way that the owner likes it, in which there is the will of the owner. Ibadat should be done in such a way that one can not even think of doing anything against the will of the owner/master, this is the real meaning of ibadat or worship.

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Ianat and Istianat

Ianat and Istianat both mean help but there is some difference between the two.

Ianat refers to the help that human beings do for each other in this world through materialistic means. which we clearly feel.

Istianat is only from Allah, there is no interference from anyone else in it. This is help from outside the material world. Allah Ta ‘ ala creates those things, those means from his amr/will/plan, the results of which manifest here in this world.

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Alam-e-Amr and Alam-e-Khalq

Let’s understand Alam-e-Amr and Alam-e-Khalq with an example.

When a poet or writer writes a poem or an article, then when he puts down his thoughts on pen and paper for the first time, it is,actually, not the first time he composed that poetry/article. In fact, he was writing and erasing this in his mind for a long time; he was playing with different words and phrases in his mind, before putting them down on paper. Then, in the end, he expressed the results on paper.

So, whatever thoughts were going on in his mind, it is an example of Alam-e-Amr and when it appeared in front of everyone after he penned them down, it is an example of Alam-e-Khalq.

All the decisions and plans that Allah Ta’ala makes for this material world of ours are a part of His Aalam-e-Amr; when Allah’s decisions become materially visible in this world through different means, then that is Aalam-e-Amr. They become part of the world.

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Kiraman Katibeen

Generally, people think that Kiraman is sitting on one shoulder and Katibeen on the other, and they are writing down all our good and bad deeds, which is not correct. It is an attributive name. Kiraman means very old and katibeen means recorders. This is the name of those angels whom Allah Ta’ala has appointed to record our deeds. However, we do not know what is the form and nature of this recording.

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Salat is not just our five-time prayer. What we call Namaz in the common language is not Salat. Salat means an entire system. It is the complete system of deen that Allah has given us. It is a system of peace and justice. Its implementation is called the establishment of Salat. Our five times prayers are also a small part of the same system.

We are made to practise five times Salat on a small scale, mostly as a part of training to establish that ideal system of justice in society and reach our real goal. Salat is a very broad term, which includes Dua (supplication), Rahmat (mercy), and Nizam (system) in its meaning.

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Imaan Bil-Ghaib

Imaan bil-ghaib means to believe without seeing, not without understanding. For example, we have not seen the wind but we get evidence of it when the wind blows. When leaves and clothes are moved by it, we can feel the wind – this is called Imaan Bil-Ghaab. It is to have complete faith and belief in something that we have never seen, but have perceived its existence through evidence, and felt it through our senses and intellect.

The Qur’an nowhere asks us to believe without understanding, rather the Qur’an talks everywhere with proofs and reasons.

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Najat means to get out of momentary trouble or problem or to get rid of some trouble. Islam does not talk about Najat (salvation). Islam does not just give a concept of getting out of trouble or problem but gives a concept of the best reward and success that awaits us after this life.

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The Arab people used to call the farmer “Fallah”. From that, the word Falah is derived. The farmer works hard for his crop, ploughs the field, and pours water and manure, on time, every day. He takes care of it, with the hope of getting good produce, till the harvest is done. Then as a result of his long hard work and continuous efforts, he gets a good harvest.

Similarly, when a person keeps on doing good deeds with constant effort and gets the best result from his good deeds, this is called Falah.

In the Quran, the word Falah is used for the reward and success that the believers get as a result of their righteous deeds.

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Tafaqquh means to reach the depth of something with thorough contemplation. To find out the nuances of something from its appearance. To reach something to its real state or condition by analysing its superficial appearance.

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Islah means to maintain or restore balance.

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This word has two meanings-

  1. To turn back
  2. Wilayat and Wali, which means to rule and to command. Tawalla is made from the same root word. Tawalla, thus, means to rule, to come into power, to get authority, to get power and strength.

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Mihad means bed or cradle. As an idiom, the meaning “destination” can also be taken.

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Creating something else out of something, in other words, using something that already existed to make something else is called takhleeq (creation). And the one who does takhleeq is called Khaliq.

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Abd (Banda)

The meaning of being an Abd (Banda) is to obey and follow the law given by that one God.

It means to adopt in our life, whatever he has asked; spending life according to His wish and the law given by Him.

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The word Sama has three meanings as per the Qur’an:-

  1. Altitude
  2. The first sky among the seven skies (Samawat), this whole universe- about which the Qur’an has said that we have decorated it with the moons, stars, planets, satellites and galaxies.
  3. There are seven more layers over this first sky, which has also been called Samawat and Sama by Allah in the Qur’an. These are the seven protective layers, protecting us from harmful things coming from outside

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Andad is the plural of “Nid”. “Nid” means opponent/rival. Andad means such a partner or ally who takes you away from Him or in the opposite direction with the same power as he is pulling you towards himself. He will turn you away from the success and growth towards which Allah is calling you.

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Generally, people understand the meaning of Hidayat in such a way that Allah makes, whom He wills, walk up on the right path. But the real meaning of Hidayat is not to walk up on the straight path, but to guide someone towards the straight path. Only those people receive guidance (Hidayat) who tries to find it.

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The common translation of shajara is a tree. But basically the word shajara can be used for anything that has a single beginning or source but later on it divides into different branches. It is any such thing which has started from the same point but later on it spreads or scatters in different directions. For this reason, tree, family, clan or race have also been included in the meaning of shajara. Apart from these meanings, the word Shajara has also been used in the Qur’an for such a group which was initially united but later on got divided into different groups due to some mutual estrangement.

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