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Christian Apologetics toward Islam and Missions to Muslims

A Glossary of Islamic Terms – Part 3

You have no doubt heard about the attack in Roanoke, VA. A Muslim attacked 2 non-Muslims by stabbing them and the authorities are trying to figure out if the attacker was inspired by ISIS. We know he went to Turkey and tried to get into Syria. Doesn’t this tell us that he likes and admires what ISIS is doing? Their are witnesses who heard him cry Allah Akhbar while attacking his victims.

It never ceases to amaze me when the media and government officials question whether or not these kinds of attacks are Muslim terrorist attacks, or whether it is just someone who is mentally disturbed. The truth is, it doesn’t matter if he was inspired by ISIS, he was inspired by Muhammad. He did exactly what the Qur’an teaches Muslims to do. Not every Muslim is faithful in following the teachings. The Qur’an teaches that they are to strike non-Muslims at their necks, and this is precisely what he did.

Sura 47:4 – When ye meet the unbeliever smite at their necks.

Let’s get back to the terminology of Islam so we can better understand what it teaches and what it is all about.

Due to the confusion that abounds today, I think understanding Islamic terms will be very helpful. A lot of apologists are saying these terms mean something different from the official Islamic understanding.

It is our hope that understanding these words will help you better understand Islam and the problems we face in dealing with the issues involved. It is also our hope that this understanding will help you in your efforts to reach the Muslims God brings across your path for Christ. As you know, reaching Muslims for Christ is one of the major goals of our ministry here at Fortress of Faith.


Sounds Like

Brief Definition




Protection tax or Poll tax.  Extorted from Non-Muslims.

This is mention in Surah 9:29, one of the most famous verses in the Qur’an. This goes with the word “dhimmi” above. When a person is in dhimmitude, he is subject to Islam and pays the jizya, which is a protection tax. The tax can be 50% of what they own and 50% of what they earn. ISIS is receiving this from the Christians they allow to live. The best way to describe it is like the Mafia protection money.



Cube shape Temple in Mecca

It is adorned with a black cloth with gold writing in it. It has gold doors and writings inside. It has the black rock mentioned above. Before Islam, this rock was tied to moon worship. When you see the hoards of people in Mecca going around a black building, it is the Kaaba.



Vile word for unbeliever.  The filth or excrement.  The word used in the Qur’an to describe the infidel, the unbeliever. 

This is really a bad term, it means excrement. This is the word for the unbeliever in the Qur’an. The only thing worse than a kafr is an apostate, someone who was a Muslim and has left Islam.



Tax.  Literally a fifth.  War booty tax

This is a one fifth tax. Muhammad would get one fifth of the war booty, and his fighters would get the 95% to divide among themselves. They would then pay the khums to Muhammad.



Singlur of Kafr.



Type of doctrine of Islamic law.  School of thought or interpretation.

It is the 5 schools, or divisions, within Islamic jurisprudence.




This is a fundamentalist Islamic school. Obama went to one of these when he lived in Indonesia.



Messiah – ‘a guide’

Islam has a messianic figure in their prophecy. He is going to guide them into an Islamic World Order. There is a division between the Sunni and the Shi’ite Muslims on this. Shi’ite Muslims believe he is the 12th imam. They believe he has already come and waiting to be revealed. The Sunnis believe he is yet to come and that he will come with Isa (Jesus) and rule the entire world. It is a mirror image of what the Bible teaches. They also believe that he will sign a 7 year covenant with Israel.



Holiest city in Islam.  The birth place of Muhammad.

This is the birthplace of Islam.



City of the prophets. About 100 km North of Mecca in Arabia

In Medina things changed. This is where new revelation abrogated, or superseded, older revelation. This is were Muhammad became a warlord. He was no longer just a prophet, he became an emperor.



Prayer tower at a mosque.



Scholar who can issue Fatwas. 



Scholar of the Qur’an,Hadith & Fiqh



The surrendered one

This is someone who is surrendered to Allah.


means Peace Be Upon Him

This is usually referring to Muhammad. The reason they use this term is that in Islam there is no guarantee of salvation, and nothing in Islamic writing that says Muhammad went to Paradise. They are hoping that he is in a place of peace in submission to Allah.



Direction of prayers

The direction of Muslim prayers must be toward Mecca. It is interesting that Muhammad prayed toward Jerusalem when he was in Mecca, but when the Jews rejected him in Medina, he changed it to Mecca.

Qur’an or Koran

ko-ran or      k’ran

The recitations of Allah given to the prophet through the Angel Gabriel.

The Qur’an is a compilation of those things recited to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. It was not written down until the 3rd caliph, and we do not have an original manuscript of it anywhere in the world.

We will continue this glossary of Islamic terms tomorrow. Our goal is not to educate you in Islam, it is to help you understand what is being said when these words our used. Islam is an ideology that masquerades as a religion and understanding these terms will help you understand what we are dealing with. Our goal at Fortress of Faith is to reach Muslims for Christ, and these terms should also help you in your evangelistic efforts with Muslims.

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Updated: April 11, 2017 — 5:44 AM
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