The Glossary of the terms related to the Holy Qur’an
Glossary of Qur’an-Related Terms
- Names of Surahs
- Al-Hurûf Al-Muqatta‘ah
- ‘Uthmanic Calligraphy
- The Seven Long Surahs
- The Prostration for Recitation
- Pause Marks
- Methods of Recitation
- The Well-Known Methods of
- The Compulsory Pause
Names of Surahs: the names of the Surahs of the
Glorious Qur’an are well known. However, we mention here some Surahs which have
more than one name:
- At-Taubah: it is also called “Bara’ah”
- Al-Isra’: it is also called “Bani Isra’il”
- Fatir: it is also called “Al-Mala’ikah”
- Ghafir: it is also called “Al-Mu’min”
- Fussilat: it is also called “Ha Mim As-Sajdah”
- Al-Insan: it is also called “Ad-Dahr”
Ishmâm: means merging the two lips like the
state of pronouncing Dammah [i.e. the short vowel (u)] without any noticeable
effect of this in pronunciation. Ishmâm does not occur amidst a single word in
the method of recitation according to Hafs except in the word Ta’manna « تأمنا»
[i.e. trust us] in the following verse from Surat Yusuf. Allah [Exalted and
Sublime be He] said: -Why do you not trust us with Yûsuf (Joseph) though we are
indeed his well-wishers? (12:11)
The two lips are rounded when pronouncing the doubled Nûn as a sign of the
assimilation of the Dammah [i.e. the short vowel (u)] of the first Nûn with the
second Nûn, as the word ‘Ta’manna’ «تأمنا» was originally ‘Ta’manuna’ «تأمننا ».
The sign of Ishmâm is to put a certain centre-effaced point ()
above the last part of the letter Mîm, a little bit before the doubled Nûn.
Thus, the word Ta’mannah «تأمنا » is written in this way ()
Ishmâm made before a pause is to round the two lips when pronouncing
the letter having Dammah at which the pause is made. An example of this
kind of Ishmam is found in the word « نستعين » (nasta’în) (we ask for help) in
this verse from Surat Al-Fatihah. Allah [Exalted and Sublime be He] said:
إياك نعبد وإياك نستعين
Iyyaka na‘budu wa iyyaka nasta‘în
“You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and
The “Nun” itself becomes vowelless due to the case of pause.
Al-Imâlah: it is to pronounce Fathah
[i.e. the short vowel point (a)] little bit like Kasrah [i.e. the short
vowel (i)] and to pronounce Alif little bit like Yâ’ without the
complete substitution of Fathah with Kasrah or of Alif with
Yâ’. This is the sheer Imâlah and it is also called Idjâ‘. The
only word read with Imâlah according to the Hafs-‘Asim’s method of
(its moving course), in verse no. (41)of Surat Hûd.
وَقَالَ ارْكَبُوا فِيهَا بِسْمِ اللَّهِ مَجْرَاهَا وَمُرْسَاهَا إِنَّ رَبِّي
Allah [Exalted and Sublime be He] said:
And he [Nûh (Noah) (صلى الله عليه وسلم)] said: “Embark therein: in the
Name of Allâh will be its (moving) course and its (resting) anchorage. Surely,
my Lord is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”
(11:41) In this verse the Fathah upon the letter Râ’ is inclined
to Kasrah and the letter Alif is inclined to the letter Yâ’.
The sign referring to this phenomenon is to put a point in the form of an
emptied diamond under the letter Râ’ like this: ().
See Pause Marks.
Al-Juz’ (The Part): the Glorious Qur’an is
divided into thirty parts nearly equal in size. In order to facilitate its
recitation once each month, each part is also divided into two sections.
Following are the beginnings of the thirty parts of the Glorious Qur’an:
The fools among the people (pagans, hypocrites, and Jews) will say, "What
has turned them (Muslims) from their Qiblah [prayer direction (towards
Jerusalem)] which they used to face in prayer...
Those Messengers! We preferred some of them to others,...
All food was lawful to the Children of Israel, except what Israel made
unlawful for himself before the Taurât (Torah) was revealed...
According to some scholars, this part starts from the preceding verse
By no means shall you attain Al-Birr (piety, righteousness - here it
means Allâh's Reward, i.e. Paradise), unless you spend (in Allâh's Cause) of
that which you love;
Also (forbidden are) women who are already married, except those (slaves)
whom your right hands possess.
Allâh does not like that the evil should be uttered in public except by him
who has been wronged.
Verily, you will find the strongest among men in enmity to the believers
(Muslims) to be the Jews and those who are Al-Mushrikûn (pagans)
According to some scholars, this part begins with the following verse
And when they (who call themselves Christians) listen to what has been sent
down to the Messenger (Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) you see their eyes
overflowing with tears because of the truth they have recognised.
And even if We had sent down unto them angels, and the dead had spoken unto
The chiefs, the arrogant party among his people said...
And know that whatever of war-booty that you may gain,...
The blame is only against those who are rich, and yet ask for leave...
(9:93)but according to some scholars this part starts from the following verse
They (the hypocrites) will present their excuses to you (Muslims), when you
return to them.
And no moving (living) creature is there on earth but its provision is due
from Allâh. And He knows its dwelling place and its deposit (in the uterus,
And I free not myself (from the blame). Verily, the (human) self is inclined
to evil, except when my Lord bestows His Mercy (upon whom He wills).
Alif-Lâm-Râ. These are Verses of the Book and a plain Qur’ân.
(15:1) According to some scholars, this part starts with the subsequent verse
How much would those who disbelieved wish that they had been Muslims [those
who have submitted themselves to Allâh’s Will in Islâm i.e. Islâmic Monotheism -
this will be on the Day of Resurrection when they will see the disbelievers
going to Hell and the Muslims going to Paradise].
Glorified (and Exalted) is He (Allâh) [above all that (evil) they associate
with Him] Who took His slave (Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) for a journey by
night from Al-Masjid-al-Harâm (at Makkah) to Al-Masjid-al-Aqsâ (in Jerusalem),
(Khidr) said: “Did I not tell you that you can have no patience with me?
Draws near for mankind their reckoning, while they turn away in
Successful indeed are the believers.
And those who expect not a meeting with Us (i.e. those who deny the Day of
Resurrection and the life of the Hereafter), said: “Why are not the angels sent
down to us, or why do we not see our Lord?
There was no other answer given by his people except that they said: “Drive
out the family of Lût (Lot) from your city Verily, these are men who want to be
clean and pure!
(27:56) and according to some scholars the part starts with this verse
(Ask them:) Who created the heavens and the earth,
And argue not with the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians), unless
it be in (a way) that is better (with good words and in good manner, inviting
them to Islâmic Monotheism with His Verses), except with such of them as do
(29:46) and according to some scholars this part starts from the preceding verse
Recite (O Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) what has been revealed to you of
the Book (the Qur’ân), and perform As-Salât (Iqamât-as-Salât).
And whosoever of you is obedient to Allâh and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه
وسلم), and does righteous good deeds, We shall give her, her reward twice over,
And We sent not against his people after him a host from the heaven, nor was
it needful for Us to send (such a thing).
(36:28) and according to some scholars this part starts from verse 22 in the
And why should I not worship Him (Allâh Alone) Who has created me and to Whom
you shall be returned.
Then, who does more wrong than one who utters a lie against Allâh, and
denies the truth [this Qur’ân, the Prophet (Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) and
the Islâmic Monotheism] when it comes to him!
To Him (Alone) is referred the knowledge of the Hour.
Hâ-Mîm. The revelation of the Book (this Qur'ân) is from Allâh, the
All-Mighty, the All-Wise.
[Ibrâhîm (Abraham)] said: “Then for what purpose you have come, O
Indeed Allâh has heard the statement of her (Khaulah bint Tha‘labah) that
disputes with you (O Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) concerning her husband (Aus
Blessed be He in Whose Hand is the dominion; and He is Able to do all
What are they asking (one another) about?
Al-Hurûf Al-Muqatta‘ah (Separated Letters):
they constitute half of the alphabets with which twenty-nine Surahs of the
Glorious Qur’an begin. Examples of Al-Hurûf Al-Muqatta‘ah are:
Alif Lâm Mîm, Kâf Ha-ya ‘Ain Sâd, Tâha etc. These
abbreviations point out the miraculous style of the Glorious Qur’an, as the
Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) challenged the polytheists to produce the
like of it, but they could not, even though it (the Glorious Qur'an) consists of
the same letters that constitute their language (Arabic).
Hizb (Section): it is half of a Juz’
‘Uthmanic Calligraphy: it is a system of writing with
which the Mushafs are written, which is different in some aspects from the
conventional method of writing.
Ar-Rukû‘: in the Indian sub-continent’s Mushafs
the Surahs of the Glorious Qur’an are divided into parts called “Ruku‘ât”.
The Rukû‘ is a number of verses recommended for reading in each Rak‘ah
of Prayer. The sign for Rukû‘ is the letter ‘Ain (ع)
placed on the right and left margins of the Mushaf.
The Seven Long Surahs: they are Al-Baqarah,
Al-‘Imran, An-Nisâ’, Al-Ma’idah, Al-An‘âm, Al-A‘râf, and the seventh is either
Al-Anfâl and At-Taubah together or Yunus.
The Prostration for Recitation: it is
a recommended prostration performed after reciting or listening to specific
verses of the Glorious Qur’an. These verses are fifteen in number, and they are
Surely, those who are with your Lord (angels) are never too proud to worship
Him, but they glorify His Praise and prostrate themselves before Him.
And unto Allâh (Alone) falls in prostration whoever is in the heavens and
the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and so do their shadows in the mornings and
And to Allâh prostate all that is in the heavens and all that is in the
earth, of the moving (living) creatures and the angels, and they are not proud
[i.e. they worship their Lord (Allâh) with humility]. They fear their Lord above
them, and do what they are commanded to do.
And they fall down on their faces weeping and it increases their humility.
Those were they unto whom Allâh bestowed His Grace from among the Prophets,
of the offspring of Adam, and of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nûh
(Noah), and of the offspring of Ibrâhîm (Abraham) and Israel, and from among
those whom We guided and chose. When the Verses of the Most Gracious (Allâh)
were recited unto them, they fell down prostrate and weeping.
See you not that whoever is in the heavens and whoever is on the earth, and
the sun, and the moon, and the stars, and the mountains, and the trees, and
Ad-Dawâbb [moving (living) creatures, beasts], and many of mankind prostrate
themselves to Allah. But there are many (men) on whom the punishment is
justified. And whomsoever Allâh disgraces, none can honour him. Verily! Allâh
does what He wills.
O you who have believed! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship
your Lord and do good that you may be successful.
And when it is said to them: “Prostrate yourselves to the Most Gracious
(Allâh)! They say: “And what is the Most Gracious? Shall we fall down in
prostration to that which you (O Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم)) command us?" And
it only increases in them aversion.
[As Shaitân (Satan) has barred them from Allâh's Way] so they do not
prostrate themselves before (worship) Allâh, Who brings to light what is hidden
in the heavens and the earth, and knows what you conceal and what you reveal.
Allâh, Lâ ilâha illâ Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), the Lord
of the Supreme Throne!
Only those believe in Our Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons,
signs, revelations, etc.), who, when they are reminded of them, fall down
prostrate, and glorify the Praises of their Lord, and they are not proud.
[Dâwûd (David)] said (immediately without listening to the opponent): “He
has wronged you in demanding your ewe in addition to his ewes. And, verily, many
partners oppress one another, except those who believe and do righteous deeds,
and they are few.” And Dâwûd (David) guessed that We have tried him and he
sought Forgiveness of his Lord, and he fell down prostrate and turned (to Allâh)
And from among His Signs are the night and the day, the sun and the moon.
Prostrate not to the sun nor to the moon, but prostrate yourself to Allâh Who
created them, if you (really) worship Him. But if they are too proud (to do so),
then those who are with your Lord (angels) glorify Him night and day, and never
are they tired.
So fall you down in prostration to Allâh, and worship Him (Alone).
And when the Qur'ân is recited to them, they fall not prostrate.
Nay! (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم)! Do not obey him (Abû Jahl). Fall
prostrate and draw near to Allâh!
It is worth noting that the second prostration for recitation in Surat
Al-Hajj and the prostrations for recitation in Surahs Sad, An-Najm, Al-Inshiqaq
and Al-‘Alaq are not unanimously agreed upon. The character representing the
prostration for recitation, i.e. a mihrab, is placed at the end of the relevant
verse, while the word «سجدة» is written on the margin of the Mushaf.
See Pause Marks.
Vowelization: it is the branch of Qur’anic
science with which the vowel marks placed on the letters [i.e. Fath,
Damm, Kasr, Sukun, Shadd, Madd and other vowels]
are recognised. Vowelization is synonymous with diacritization.
Pause Marks: they are special marks placed in
the Mushaf in order to show a person who recites the Glorious Qur’an when he can
pause and when he can recite consecutively. There are six types of Pause Marks
The Compulsory Pause, as in the verse
The Impermissible Pause, as in the verse
The Permissible Pause (It is equally
permissible to make pause or not), as in the verse (18:13)
The Permissible Pause (though
continuation is preferable), as in the verse (6:17)
The Permissible Pause (pause is
preferable), as in the verse (18:22)
The Interchangeable Pause, where two pause marks are found; a reciter may pause
on either of them, but not on the two, as in the verse (2:2)
Methods of Recitation: they are
related to the dissimilarities of the words of the Glorious Qur’an in terms of
pronunciation, performance, linguistic rules and inflection reported from the
Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) through a recurrent chain of
The Well-Known Methods of Recitation :
are ten; each of which is attributed to a respected scholar, on behalf of whom
at least two famous narrators reported such a method of recitation.
Following are the names of the well-known Imams of the ten methods of
recitation and their narrators;
- Nafi‘ul-Madani; his narrators are Qalun and Warsh.
- Ibn Kathir Al-Makki; his narrators are Al-Bazi and Qunbul.
- Abu ‘Amr Al-Basri; his narrators are Hafs Ad-Dûriyy and As-Susi.
- Ibn ‘Amir Ash-Shami; his narrators are Hisham and Ibn Dhakwan.
- ‘Asim Al-Kufi; his narrators are Shu‘bah and Hafs.
- Hamzah Al-Kufi; his narrators are Khalaf and Khallad.
- Al-Kisa’i Al-Kufi; his narrators are Abul-Harith and Hafs Ad-Dûriyy.
- Abu Ja‘far Al-Madani; his narrators are Ibn Wardan and Ibn Jimaz.
- Ya‘qub Al-Hadrami; his narrators are Ruwais and Ruh.
- Khalaf Al-‘Ashir; his narrators are Ishaq and Idris.
See Pause Marks.
Al-Mu‘anaqah (i.e. Interchangeable Pause):
See Pause Marks.
Al-Mu‘awwidhatân: they are the last two
Surahs of the Glorious Qur’an [i.e. Al-Falaq and An-Nâs]
Al-Mufassal: according to the correct
opinion Al-Mufassal is that part of the Glorious Qur’an starting from
Surat Qâf and ending with Surat An-Nâs. It is divided into three parts;
- Long Surahs of Al-Mufassal: which begin with Surat Qâf and end with
- Middle-Sized Surahs of Al-Mufassal: which begin with Surat An-Naba’
and end with Surat Al-Lail.
- Short Surahs of Al-Mufassal: which begin with Surat Ad-Duha and end
with Surat An-Nas.
Al-Manzil: in the Indian sub-continent the
Glorious Qur’an is divided into seven parts almost equal in length, in order to
enable the reciter to conclude the recitation of the entire Qur’an in one week,
one portion every day. Each part is called Manzil.
Following are the beginning of the seven Manzils:
- The beginning of Surat Al-Fatihah
- The beginning of Surat Al-Ma’idah
- The beginning of Surat Yunus
- The beginning of Surat Al-Israâ’
- The beginning of Surat Ash-Shu‘arâ’
- The beginning of Surat As-Saffât
- The beginning of Surat Qâf
The Compulsory Pause:
See Pause Marks.