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Key Islamic Terms

dawah - missionary sharing of Islam with nonbelievers

Hadith - the book of the Prophet's sayings

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hajj - pilgrimage to Mecca

hijab - woman's head covering

imam - prayer leader

ijma - community consensus

ijtihad - individual interpretation of religious law

ja'ma - striving to unify in a local community

jihad - spiritual struggle

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kafir - nonbeliever

Koran - book of Allah's sacred revelation to Muhammad

mullah - religious scholar

salat - ritual prayers

shari'ah - Islamic law emerging from Koranic writings

shoura - religious consultation

Sunnah - the collective words and deeds of the Prophet

ummah - the global Muslim community

ulema - collective group of scholars

zakat - required tithing