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ONLINE BOOKS > THE MAKING OF A SOCIAL REFORMER : GANDHI IN SOUTH AFRICA, 1893-1914 > Glossary of Terms
Glossary Of Terms
agnihotra
rituals of sacrifice with the use of fire
alim (plural ulama)
learned men in Islamic religious sciences
anjuman
a Muslim association
arthi
waving of lamps before the alter
bhajan
religious hymn
cha-pani
refreshments
darshana
visual feasting of the gods
Dassera
Hindu festival commemorating Rama’s victory over Ravana
Diwali (Dipavali)
the Hindu festival of lights
Eid-ul-fitr
festival marking the end of fast observed during month Ramadan
Eid-ul-Zuha (Bakri-id)
festival to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim
ghazal
genre of lyric poems originating in Arabia in the late seventh century
haj
pilgrimage to Mecca
homa
rituals of sacrifice
ilm
Islamic knowledge
imam
Muslim priest who leads the prayers in mosque
jamat
Muslim congregation
kavady
religious festival honoring Muruga, son of Lord Shiva
khalifa
a successor of the Prophet Mahomed as head of the Muslim community
kirtan
religious hymn
kom
community
Krishna Jayanti (Krishnajanmastmi)
celebration of Krishna’s birthday
madressa
school teaching the Koran in Arabic
majlis
an assembly commemorating the sufferings of the House of Hussain
mandal
association/club
mantra
sacred chants
masjid
mosque
maulana
an Islamic religious scholar
maulvi
a religious leader.
mehfil (mehafil)
a committee or an organization
Milad-ul-Nabi
festival to honor Prophet Mahomed’s birthday
Mohurram (Muhharum)
festival commemorating the martyrdom of Imam Hussain, grandson of  Prophet Mahomed in 680 ACE
mosque (masjid)
a place of worship for Muslims
murthi
icons representing gods and deities
namaz
prescribed prayer in Islam
nyati
caste/community
ooros (urs)
festival commemorating death of a saint; also term for wedding or fare
panchamrita
liquid confection
pir
spiritual guide in the Sufi tradition
puja
prayers
praja
nation.
prasada
food representing the deity’s power and grace
Ramadan (Ramzan)
fast observed during the holy month of the Muslim calendar
Ramnavami
celebration of Lord Rama’s birthday
sabha
association
sharia
Islamic law
sandhya
rituals of prayer
Shia
follower of Ali, the first cousin of Prophet Mahomed
Shravan
a Holy month for Hindus dedicated to Lord Shiva
Sunni
Muslim who acknowledges first four Khalifas as successors of Prophet Mahomed
swadeshi
self-reliance through support of indigenous institutions; patriotism
tajjia
decorated miniature mausoleums carried during mohharum
qawwali
devotional songs in the Sufi tradition
yagna
sacrifice