THE BIBLE AND ISLAM

Sharing God's Word with a Muslim
by Bassam Michael Madany

GLOSSARY

A‘alana: Arabic for revealed, used also for advertise in modern Arabic. Kashafa is a good synonym to use.

Ahad: One, used in Arabic for God in the sense of alone or solitary, thus precluding the Trinity.

‘Aleem: Arabic for all knowing.

Allah: Arabic for God. It derives from Ilah: God, but has the distinct notion that Allah is the true God, etymologically formed by the use of ‘Al,’ the Arabic definite article and ‘Ilah’ and then combined into ‘Allah’ .
___________________

Beyn: Between.
___________________

Caliph: Anglicized form of Khalifa, i.e., successor. Used to denote the successors of Muhammad beginning with Abu Bakr, the first caliph, A.D. 632-634; the second caliph was ‘Omar (634-644), the third Caliph was ‘Uthman (544-656), and the fourth caliph was ‘Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad. Muslims regard the age of the first caliphs as the golden age of Islam. The conquests (Futuhat) of the world began during this era.

Caliphate: The system of succession in Islam that combined both religion and state under the rule of one caliph. After the assassination of ‘Ali in 661, the caliphate became dynastic. The first dynasty of the Umayyads began in 661, and was centered in Damascus, Syria. It ended with a blood bath in 750. It was followed by the ‘Abbasid dynasty (750-1250) and was centered in Baghdad, the last one was the Ottoman dynasty that was abolished by Ataturk, the founder of the Turkish Republic in 1924.
___________________

Dar: House, household, realm.
___________________

 
Goy: Hebrew for gentile, its plural is goyim.
___________________

Harb: War.

Hizbullah: Party of Allah, a radical Shi’ite terrorist group in south Lebanon, funded by the Islamic government in Iran.
___________________

Ibliss: The devil.

Ilah: God or a god.

Imam: Leader at the worship service in the mosque. In Shi'ite Islam, it refers to the Leader who is a descendant of ‘Ali, the fourth caliph. After a certain number of Imams (7 or 12), the last one disappeared without dying and will return at the end of time to bring justice to the world through the spread of Shi'ite Islam.

Iman: Faith, especially in its subjective meaning, the faculty of believing the revelations of Allah.

Injeel: Gospel. In the Islamic tradition, it is understood as a Book that the Messiah received from heaven, and which contained a message to Israel similar to the Law of Moses.

Islam: The name of the religion that was initiated by Muhammad early in the 7th century and which means surrender to Allah.

'Issa: The Qur’anic name used for Jesus. As all Arabic names have a meaning since they derive from specific verbs, 'Issa does not conform to this general rule. It is devoid of meaning, but has been associated with the person of the Messiah who is often called in the Qur’an, Son of Mary.
___________________

 
Jinn(s): According to the Qur’an, there are three categories of rational creatures: Angels (and demons), jinn(s) and humans. Jinns may be good or evil, and occupy a middle position between angels and humans.
___________________

Kashafa: Unveiled, i.e., revealed. Perhaps it is a better word than A’alana (used in most Arabic translations of the Bible for revelation).

Khalil: Friend, used especially to refer to Ibrahim, i.e., Abraham, the friend of Allah. It is also the Arabic name of Hebron in Palestine.

Khawarej: Dissenters in the early history of Islam. They were the radicals who murdered ‘Ali; they differed with both the Shi’ites and the Sunnis, declaring both groups as apostates.

Kitab: Book. It refers also to the Bible. Christians and Jews are called Ahlu'l Kitab, i.e., the People of the Book.
___________________

Manzilat: Level or degree, dual form of the word is Manzilatayn, a theological expression that dealt with the state of being neither a good Muslim, nor an unbeliever.

Massih: Messiah often used in Arabic with the definite article ‘al’ to make the title: al-Massih.

Mujbar: Forced, i.e., has no freedom of choice.

Mukhalles: Savior.

Muslim: The follower of Islam.

Mu'tazilite: A religious party in Islam that tended to be rationalistic. It took part in the controversy about the Qur’an and taught that the sacred book of Islam was created in time.

Mutlaqa: Absolute.
___________________

Qur’an: The Holy Book of Islam. Muslims believe that it "descended" from heaven upon Muhammad between 610 and 632. Its chapters are known as Surahs; they were either revealed in Mecca (610-622) or Medina (622-632). Theologically, the Qur’an is a book of law containing no gospel in the Biblical sense of good news.

Quds: Holy; as a proper noun it refers to Jerusalem, and is often preceded by al-Quds.
___________________

Rab: Lord.

Rasool: Apostle.
___________________

Salaam: Peace, used also as an Islamic greeting, Assalaam 'Alaykom.

Shalom: Hebrew for peace.

Shari’a: Law, specifically the divinely revealed laws of the Qur’an.

Shirk: According to Islam, this is the worst sin, i.e., associating other beings with God.

Shi’ite: Partisan or follower of ‘Ali, the fourth caliph.

Sunna: The prescribed way of orthodox Islam, equivalent to tradition.

Sunni: One who follows the Sunna, therefore orthodox, or a non-Shi'ite Muslim.
___________________

Tawheed: The doctrine of affirming and defending the unity of God in the Islamic sense of Unitarianism.

Ta'weel: Unlawful exegesis or exposition of a passage of inspired scripture.

Tawrat: The revelation received by Moses, the Law of Moses often used to designate all the books of the Old Testament.

Torah: Hebrew for the Five Books of Moses, the first division of the Old Testament.
___________________

Umma: Nation or community often used for the entire household of Islam.
___________________

Wahed: One.

Wahdaniyya: Oneness.

Wa'd: Promise.

Wa'eed: Warning.
___________________

Yesua: Used in the Arabic Bible for Jesus. Not used in the Qur’an where the name 'Issa is used with the title: al-Massih.
___________________

Zaboor: The Quranic name for the Psalms of David.

 


Table of Contents