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Unformatted text preview: ISLAM TERMS 10th of Muharram : Traditional date among Shi'a Muslims for commemorating the tragic death of Husayn (third Imam , according to their understanding) by means of the ritual drama called the Ta'ziya . 570 CE : Date of birth of Muhammad. 610 CE : Date of "the Night of Power" when the Qur'an is said to have first begun to be revealed to Muhammad. 622 CE : Date of the Hijra , the emigration of Muhammad and his followers from Mecca to Yathrib (later called Medina ["City of the Prophet"], the birthday of the Ummah (the Muslim community), and the date from which the Muslim calendar commences. 632 CE : Date of the death of Muhammad and the closing of the revelation of the Qur'an. Abraham (or Ibrahim ) : The patriarch to whom Jews, Christians, and Muslims all trace their spiritual origins, and to whom all uphold as a model of true faith in God. Regarded among Muslims as one of the most important of prophets, the first to denounce idolatry and emphasize worship of God alone, and the builder of the original Ka'bah . Many stories about Abraham may be found in the Qur'an which are not in the Bible. Abu Bakr : First caliph (successor or deputy) from 632 to 634 CE, succeeding Muhammad, of the Muslim Ummah according to Sunni Muslim understanding. al-Ghazali (1058-1111): Regarded by many as the second greatest Muslim after Muhammad. Great philosopher, theologian, interpreter of Sharia , inspirer of popular piety and devotion, and mystic ( Sufi ). He did more than any other Muslim theologian to defend and gain respect for Sufism among othodox Muslims. Ali: The nephew and son-in-law of Muhammad, one of the first to accept the prophethood of Muhammad and a close associate of Muhammad. Believed by Shia Muslims to have been chosen by Muhammad to be the successor to Muhammad as both the Caliph (ruler) and Imam (religious leader and interpreter of the will of God) for the Ummah , and therefore unjustly deprived of his rightful leadership by the first three caliph s recognized by Sunni Muslims. Sunnis recognize Ali to be the fourth caliph. Alid Imams : The Imams recognized by one or another Shia Muslim sect, beginning with Ali and continuing with one or another of his direct lineal descendants. Allah : Literally, "the God." The Arabic word for the one and only God. (It is not a proper name, say, for the god of Muslims. The Arabic word " Allah " has the definite article built into it, so it cannot gramatically be made plural.) " Allahu akbar " : Literally, "God is greater!" A devotional phrase found throughout Muslim life, but especially in the daily Salat and in the Call to Prayer. The point is that, whatever may at the time be occupying ones attention and may be thought to be important, God is greater! (and should never be permitted to be lowered to a level of "association" [ shirk ] in value with whatever that may be)....
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