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Glossaries

Term Definition
Salman Farsi

The first Persian who converted to Islam, Salman Farsi, or Salman the Persian "was born Zoroastrian, then was attracted to Christianity. He was sold to a Jew of the Banu Qurayzah but became a Muslim when he was ransomed by the Prophet" (Adamec 276-77). Famously, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) "counted Salman as a member of his own household, the ahl al-bayt, the point which makes Salman a prominent figure in Persian Shi'a discourse" (Phyllis 761).

Sahifa Sajjadiyya

Sahifa Sajjadiyya is a series of supplication attributed to Imam Zaynul Abideen (a.s.), also known as Imam Sajjad, the fourth Imam of Shia. Due to the hard and tumultuous political climate following the martyrdom of Imam Sajjad's father, Imam Hussain (a.s.) and consequently the almost impossibility of open leadership of the Muslim community, Imam Sajjad through supplicatory texts successfully attempted to communicate Islamic teachings to the people.  Sahifa Sajjadiyya is known for its eloquence of style and magnificence of content.

Rozeh

Rozeh is a gathering in which touching and passionate accounts of the sufferings of Imams are recited. It is worth mentioning that the rationale behind rozeh in Islamic culture and tradition is at least twofold: firstly, it is for preserving and reviving the very injustices that the Imams (pbuh) and the Muslims went under throughout history. Secondly, the rozeh sessions keep alive the sense and spirit of Truth- and justice-seeking in the individual attending it.

Ramadan

The 9th month of Islamic calendar which all the able Muslims must fast. In view of Abrahamic religions, fasting is prescribed by God to create spiritual growth and maturity in the observer. 

Prayer beads

 A string consisting 99 beads used by Muslims as a help in counting their remembrances (dhikrs).

Nudba supplication

Nudba (i.e Lamentation) is a popular prayer among Shia by reciting which Muslims plea to God to hasten the reappearance of the Savior.

Maytham al-Tammar

Maytham al-Tammar was a companion of Imam Ali (a.s) and his son. He was martyred prior to the Battle of Karbala.

Mashhad

Literally, the term "mashhad" in Arabic refers to the place where a martyr has been martyred. Mashhad is Iran's the second most populous city and also the capital of Razavi Khorasan province. Due to having the honor of being host to the holy shrine of the eighth Imam of Shia, Ali b. Musa al-Rida (Reza) (a.s.) (764–818 C.E.), Mashhad "is the country's most important pilgrimage site, visited annually by over thirteen million pilgrims from Iran and abroad" (Ja'fariyan 436). By the same token, Mashhad is also known as the "spiritual capital" of Iran. The academic side of the city of Mashhad also deserve mention. It has a seminary second to Qom seminary in size and importance, the fruit of which have been considerable number of outstanding Islamic scholars. Besides that, the Imam Reza's Holy Shrine complex (known as Astane Quds) "maintains a major library, one of the oldest in Iran and dating from tenth century, with 26,400 manuscripts, 2,820 Qur'an manuscripts, and over 300,000 printed books" (Ja'fariyan 437).

Martyrdom

Someone slain in the cause of God. Quran doesn't equate martyrdom to death but says that it leads to a privileged life before God. Islam considers the slain believers fighting the invaders and not non-invaders, as martyrs.

Synonyms: Shahadah,Martyrdom
Laylat al-Qadr

Laylat al-Qadr or Night of Destiny is the night when the first verse of Quran was revealed to the Prophet (pbuh). The night is believed to be one of the three specific nights in the month of Ramadan. On these nights Muslim read Quran and pray until the morning following the recommendation of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

La ilaha ill Allah

An essential Islamic motto meaning "there is no god but Allah." The centrality of this principle is due to its urging human beings not wasting their lives worshiping immortal and self-made deities, instead of worshipping the one and only God as the Creator of all being.

Kumayl supplication

Of the frequent supplications among Shia, it is Imam Ali's devotional supplication and communion with God transmitted by his commander, Kumayl ibn Ziyad. At one point Imam Ali (a.s.) says, "Oh God, should I manage to endure your punishment, what should I do with Your severance."

Karbala

A city in Iraq that is host to the holy shrine of Imam Hussain (a.s.). The city reminds one of the unjust massacre of Imam and his companions and symbolizes justice- and truth-seeking ideals.

Jihad

Literally meaning strife, Jihad in Islam refers to the holy strife first against evil inclinations and then evil-doers. Unlike Wahhabists, Muslims believe that a Jihad-striver is not allowed to fight non-invaders; therefore, only those slain fighting the invaders are entitled as martyrs.

Islamic Revolution

Iran's Revolution in 1979 led by Imam Khomeini against US backed monarchy of Pahlavi to form a Shia-Islamic government based on justice, progress, and divine law. Their slogans were: “Independence, Freedom, Islamic Republic” and “Equality, Brotherhood, The Just Rule of Imam Ali.”

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