Religion Exam Study Guide
Hadith- A traditional report about a reputed saying or action of the Prophet Muhammad.
Important for daily life.
Mullah- A teacher. Usually serves as the Imam (A person who delivers the sermon. Any adult
Madrassa- School’s or academies attached to the mosque. Where young boys go to study the
Qur’an and Islamic law (Shariah).
Sunni- A follower of the majority branch of Islam (about 80%), which feels that successors
(caliphs) to Muhammad are to be chosen by the Muslim community.
Shiite- The minority branch of Islam (20%), which feels that Muhammad’s legitimate successors
were Ali and a series of Imams. The prophet did not have a biological son, but the prophet did
designate Ali as his successor. They were overruled.
Husayn- Son of Ali. In 680 C.E, he led the Shiites and took arms against the Sunni forces. They
were attacked, overwhelmed, and massacred by the Sunni’s.
Karbala- Currently called Iraq. Where the massacre of the Shiites occurred in 680 C.E.
5 pillars- Ritual actions that are required.
Shahadah- Declaration of faith. The first sentence chanted into the ear of a traditional
Salaht- Communal prayer. Sunni’s pray 5 times a day (dawn, noon, mid-afternoon,
sunset, at night before bed.), towards Mecca. Can be done anywhere, but typically in a
mosque led by an Imam.
Zakaht- Charity, tax, alms. “Prayer tax,” where you give a portion of your wealth to the
less fortunate (widows, orphans, poor, religious institutions.) Every year, about 2.5% of
your net worth is given. This is used to purify your wealth.
Sawrn- Fasting during the daylight hours of Ramadan. The single most holy period in the
Islamic year. Cannot drink, smoke, have sex until the sun sets.
Hajj- Pilgrimage to Mecca. Every Muslim should do this at least once in their lifetime.
Must tie up all lose ends before you go. A long white rob must be worn to make everyone
equal. After completing the Hajj, the person may add Hajji to their name.
Jihad- Arabic term, “striving/exertion in the ways of Allah.” Attempts by
the devout Muslims to go the extra mile. Inner struggle to be a good human being against
one’s sinful nature. Extra charity, teaching of Islam.
Jihad- The Muslim’s struggle against the inner forces that prevent God-realization and the outer
barriers to establishment of the divine order.
Irhab- Illegitimate persecution. No justification for it.
Shariah- The divine law. The caliph is the leader of worship and the administrator of it.
Compared to the Qur’an in specific life situations.
Hijab- The veiling of women for the sake of modesty. Women are allowed to join the work force
if they wear this.
Halal- Anything permissible under Islamic law.