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Early Islamic World

Glossary and Terms

History for Kids >> Early Islamic World

Abbasid Caliphate - The Abbasid Caliphate ruled the Islamic Empire from 750-1258 CE and 1261-1517 CE. Under Abbasid rule, the Islamic Empire experienced a period of cultural and economic prosperity called the Islamic Golden Age.

Al-Andalus - The region of the Iberian peninsula (Spain and Portugal) under Islamic rule for much of the Middle Ages.

Arab - A person originally from the Arabian peninsula who speaks Arabic.

Arabesque - A type of decoration or design used in Islamic art that uses scrolling patterns of foliage, lines, and leaves.

Caliph - The leader of the Muslim world and ruler of the Caliphate.

Caliphate - A united Islamic state under a single leader called the Caliph.

Dinar - A gold coin used by the Islamic Empire.

Five Pillars of Islam - The main framework of the Islamic religion: 1) Shahada (profession of faith) 2) Salah (prayer) 3) Zakat (charitable giving) 4) Fasting 5) Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca).

Four Caliphs - The Four Caliphs led the Islamic Empire after the death of Muhammad. They were also called the "Rightly Guided" Caliphs as each of them learned Islam from Muhammad.

Islamic Golden Age - A period of time from the 800s to the 1200s when science, culture, and the economy all flourished in the Islamic Empire.

Hadith - A collection of sayings from the prophet Muhammad.

Hajj - A pilgrimage to Mecca that each Muslim must carry out at least once in their life (if they are able).

Halal - Halal is the word used to describe food that is okay for a Muslim to eat according to Islamic law.

Hijab - A veil worn by Muslim women that covers the head and chest.

Eid Al-Adha - An Islamic holy festival that commemorates how Ibrahim (Abraham) was willing to sacrifice his son Isaac at God's command.

Imam - An Islamic religious leader who often leads the worship services at a mosque.

Islam - The religion followed by Muslims that was founded by the prophet Muhammad.

Jizya - A tax placed by the Islamic Empire on non-Muslims.

Mamluks - A group of slave warriors who eventually came to power and ruled Egypt.

Mecca - The birthplace of Muhammad and the most holy Islamic city. Each year millions of Muslims make a pilgrimage to Mecca.

Minaret - A tall narrow tower that is used to call Muslims to prayer. Many mosques have a minaret.

Mosque - The Muslim place of worship.

Muhammad - The founder of Islam.

Muslim - A follower of the religion of Islam.

Nomads - People that have no permanent home. They travel from place to place looking for new land and water for their livestock.

Ottoman Caliphate - The last major Caliphate, the Ottomans claimed the Caliphate from 1517 to 1924 CE.

Qiblah - The direction of Mecca. It is important for Muslims as they must face toward Mecca when they pray.

Quran - The most sacred book of the Islamic Religion. Muslims believe it is God's words as dictated to Muhammad from the angel Gabriel.

Ramadan - The most holy month of the Islamic Calendar. Muslims fast from sunrise to sunset during this month.

Salat - The name for the ritual prayer that Muslims perform five times each day while facing Mecca.

Umayyad Caliphate - The second major Caliphate of the Islamic Empire, the Umayyads ruled from 661-750 CE.

Zakat - Charitable giving typically used to help poor people.

More on the Early Islamic World:

Timeline and Events
Timeline of the Islamic Empire
First Four Caliphs
Umayyad Caliphate
Abbasid Caliphate
Ottoman Empire

Scholars and Scientists
Ibn Battuta
Suleiman the Magnificent
Daily Life
Trade and Commerce
Science and Technology
Calendar and Festivals

Islamic Spain
Islam in North Africa
Important Cities
Glossary and Terms

Works Cited

History for Kids >> Early Islamic World

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