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ONLINE BOOKS > THE MAKING OF A SOCIAL REFORMER : GANDHI IN SOUTH AFRICA, 1893-1914Glossary 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