Wuḍoo' (Ablution)
Adhān (The Call To Prayer)
The Second Rak'ah (Unit Of Prayer)
The Middle Tashahhud (Testification Of Faith)
The Third And Fourth Rak'ah (Units Of Prayer)
The Final Tashahhud (Testification Of Faith)
Remembrance Of Allah After Praying
Witr Prayer
Jumu'ah (Friday Congregation)
Taraweeḥ Prayer (Optional Night Prayers During Ramaḍaan)
'Eid Prayer
Prayer For Seeking Guidance
Janāzah (Funeral Prayer)
Glossary Of Arabic Terms

Whilst we've tried to minimise the use of Arabic terminology, and to provide translations of the most important terms, it is inevitable that when talking about prayer, there are a lot of Arabic terms that are used. This is a glossary of the most common Arabic words used in relation to the prayer:


Aameen - a word which is said at the end of reciting al-Fātiḥah (see Fātiḥah below) and other supplications, which means 'Accept our supplication!'.

Adhān  - the Muslim call to prayer which serves to tell people that the time for prayer has begun.

Adhkār - the plural of dhikr (see below).

'Asr - the obligatory prayer that takes place in mid-afternoon, when the shadow of an object is equal to its length.


Basmalah - saying the words Bismillaah, meaning: "In the name of Allah"


Dhikr - words of remebrance, often said in certain situations or times of the day.

Dhuhr - the obligatory prayer that takes place just after the sun has passed its zenith.

Du'ā - the Arabic word for supplication, whether it is for the purpose of asking for something, or simply glorifying God.

Du'ā al-Istiftāḥ - the supplication which is said at the very beginning of the prayer, before reciting the Qur'an.


'Eid - the Arabic word for a day of celebration, of which there are two in the year; one at the end of Ramaḍān and the second after Hajj.


Fajr - the obligatory prayer that takes place at dawn, and before sunrise.

Farḍ - the Arabic word for something obligatory; with regard to the prayer, it refers to those prayers which are obligatory.

Farḍ Kifāyah - a communal obligation; something that if enough people do it from the community, the others are not required to do it, and if not enough people do it, the entire community is sinful.

(al-)Fātiḥah - the opening chapter of the Qur'an.


Hajj - the pilgrimage to Makkah which a Muslim is required to perform once in a lifetime, if they are able. It takes place in the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar.


Imām - someone who leads others in prayer.

Iqāmah - the second call to prayer which serves to announce the start of the congregational prayer.

'Ishā' - the obligatory prayer that takes place in the late evening, when the twighlight has disappeared.

Istisqaa' - a special prayer to ask for rain.


Jamā'ah - the Arabic word for congregation; with regard to the prayer, it refers to praying in congregation.

Janāzah - the funeral prayer that is prayed over a dead body.

Jumu'ah - the Arabic word for Friday. In relation to the prayer, it refers to the special congregational prayer performed on a Friday, instead of the Dhuhr prayer.


Ka’bah - a mosque built by the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) in Makkah; it serves as the direction that the Muslims face in prayer (see Qiblah below).

Khuṭbah - the Arabic word for a sermon; normally referring to the sermon delivered as part of the Friday congregational prayer.


Maghrib - the obligatory prayer that takes place immediately after sunset.


Nāfilah/Nafl - the Arabic word for a voluntary prayer; commonly used for a voluntary prayer that is not one of the regular voluntary prayers.

Niyyah - the Arabic word for intention, referring to an awareness of the action in the heart, which precedes the action itself.


Qiblah - the direction which a person faces in prayer, see Ka'bah above.

Qur'an - the Muslim holy book; a direct revelation of the words of God.


Rak'ah - a unit of prayer, of which there are at least two in every prayer; it represents an entire set of movements, from standing, to bowing, rising up from bowing, prostrating, sitting up from prostration, and prostrating again.

Ramaḍān - the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, in which Muslims fast from dawn until sunset.

Rātibah/Rawātib - the voluntary prayers which are prayed regularly every day, and are attached to the obligatory prayers.

Rukoo' - the bowing position which a person adopts during prayer, after the recital.


Sajdah - see sujood below.

Ṣalāh - the Arabic word for the prayer.

Shayṭaan - the Arabic word for a devil; satan.

Sujood - the position of prostration in the prayer.

Sujood as-Sahw - two extra prostrations performed at the end of the prayer, because of a mistake during the prayer, or a doubt as to whether a mistake was made.

Sunnah - the guidance of the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

Sunnah Muakkadah - a voluntary action which is highly encouraged.

Sūrah - a chapter of the Qur'an, of which there are 114.

Sūrah al-Fātiḥah - see Fātiḥah above.

Sutrah - a screen, barrier, wall, or object placed in front of the person who is praying, to stop others passing in front of them.


Tahajjud - the voluntary prayer that a person prays at night, sometime between the 'Ishā' prayer and the Fajr prayer.

Tajweed - the science of reciting the Qur'an, summarised as learning to give each letter its due pronunciation and length during recital.

Takbeer - saying the words Allaahu Akbar whether inside or outside of the prayer.

Takbeerah - a single instance of takbeer, see above.

Takbeerat-ul-Iḥraam - the first time that the praying person says takbeer, in order to begin the prayer, see above.

Tarāweeḥ - a special form of the night prayer (see tahajjud above) which is prayed in congregation during the month of Ramaḍān.

Tashahhud - a particular supplication, bearing witness to the oneness of Allah, which is said in a special sitting position during the prayer.

Tasleem - saying the words Assalaamu 'Alaykum Waraḥmatullaah; in the context of prayer, this refers to saying these words while looking over the right and left shoulder, in order to end the prayer.

Tawarruk - a special form of sitting that the Prophet (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would adopt in the final tashahhud (see above) of a prayer that was longer than two units in length.


Witr - the Arabic word for odd-numbered; It refers to an odd-numbered prayer which is generally (although not always) the last prayer of the day.

Wuḍoo' - a particular kind of ritual washing which a Muslim must perform in preparation for prayer and certain other acts of worship.