The TAM Glossary Terms

Welcome to The TAM Group, Research Division’s glossary of terms. Below you will find scholarly researched words, terms, and phrases commonly found in the Arabic language, the Quran, and prophetic narrations (Hadith). Similarly, the use of these terms can be found in all forms of media and multiple settings, from casual conversations to local, state, and federal policy makers. The objective of this glossary is to educate the user as well as separate fact from legend, scholarly research from myth, and academia from rhetoric. The unfamiliarity of the Arabic language, Islamic theology, historical, and cultural context have all contributed to ubiquitous distortion of Islam and Islamic terminology, which has led to misunderstandings and misapplications. We hope the “Basic”, and “More Detailed”, explanations below will provide the reader with new insight and understanding to often generalized terms and phases.

How the terms are explained

For each term listed below you will find a “Basic” definition and a “More Detailed”, definition. The “Basic” definition is a robustly generalized summary of the term or phrase. This definition is useful to those looking for a general overview of the term. The “More Detailed” definition is much more comprehensive and provides greater detail than the “Basic” definition. In the “More Detail” section many of the terms are broken down into the following sections.

  • Linguistic Definition (LI) – This is the definition of the word as it relates to the Arabic language. In the Arabic language there are multiple meanings for a single word, which vary by the context in which they are used. One such context is how the word is used in everyday Arabic conversation.
  • Legislative Definition (LE) – This is the definition of the word as it relates to how it is used in Islamic theology. This definition can be significantly different than its use in the linguistic context. The legislative definition is more closely associated with religious text, scripture, and theological documents.
  • Misinterpretation = (ME) – This section proves examples and explanations as to the popularized and most frequently used definition. These uses tend to be highly generalized, inaccurate, biased and/or not based on scholarly research.
  • Application by example (ABE) – This section provides examples of the correct and incorrect usage of the term, how it is used in the Quran, and its usage in prophetic narrations (hadith). The goal is to empower the reader so that after reading the detailed definitions they are able to distinguish accurate and inaccurate usage of the word.
(LI) = Linguistic Definition, (LE) = Legislative Definition, (ME) = Misinterpretation, (ABE) = Application by example
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  • Jihad
    Jihad (جِهَاد) Basic Definition - The effort of an individual or sanctioned body in uplifting spiritual, educational, and governmental furtherance of an individual or populous, in alignment with God’s will. We kindly urge you to read the more detailed definition for context. Linguistically(...) - Read More