Encyclopedia Topic


"Pani company or water-supplying is an institution in the Jamatkhana. It supplies water to the faithful daily and during the festive occasions. The word pani means water and company means assemblege, collection or multitude of things. The Arabic word birka means drinking-place or kafas al-ma means water-cage. The word ma' (pl. miyah or amwah) means water, which occurs over 60 times and river over 50 times in the Koran, while fountains, springs, rain, hail, clouds and winds occur less frequently.

QADR OR TAQDIR - <i>Idzlal</i> as ascribed to God

The mistaken idea that God leads people astray arises out of a misconception of the meaning of the word idzlal when it is ascribed to God. The word idzlal carries a variety of meanings besides leading astray. It should be noted that wherever idzlal is attributed to God, it is only in connection with the transgressors (2:26), the unjust (14:27), and the extravagant (40:34), not the people generally.


By the end of Rig Vedic period, the fourfold division of society was regarded as fundamental and primeval in India, making its society classified into four castes, i.e., the priest (brahmana), warrior (ksatriya), peasant (vaisya) and serf (sudra). Below the sudra are the people, called untouchable (achhut), outcastes or depressed classes, and sometimes they are called the fifth class (pancama). In Indo-Pakistan subcontinent, there are millions of untouchables, whom Gandhi (1869-1948) called harijan (children of God) in 1920. Dr.


The word naskh means changing or removing as it is said in Arabic naskhatish shams-azzil meaning the sun removed the shade or nasakhat al-ruhu athar al-qawmi idha adamat meaning the mind obliterated traces of the nation. The word naskh is also used in the law to denote "an order canceling the other order." It appears that once the law given for a people for a particular time must change with the passage and need of time or be improved to pave a way for further progress.


It was an association of brotherhood in the Ismaili community in India. The word panjibhai means a brother shaking hand. The word occurred once in the old prayer of the Ismailis. The term panjibhai became more famous however during the Aga Khan Case of 1866 in India. It was the time when the members of the opposition group were not excommunicated from the community, and they used to attend the Jamatkhana, but did not shake hand with the others at the end of the prayers, or they did not give shah didar to others.

QADR OR TAQDIR - God's sealing of hearts

Another misconception, which must be removed in this connection is that relating to God's setting seals on hearts. The misconception in this case is that it is thought that God has created some men with seals on their hearts, while other have been created with free and open hearts. No trace of any such distinction is met with anywhere either in the Koran or in hadith.


"Abu'l Hasan bin Suleman bin Muhammad, known as Rashiduddin Sinan was born in 528/1133 at Aqr al-Sudan, a village in the district of Basra. He was handsome, of middle height, with dark eyes and acute, learned, eloquent and quick-witted. He was brought up in Basra, where he became a schoolmaster and was converted to Ismailism. Subsequently, he went to Alamut where he was well received, and indoctrinated with Ismailism. He also studied theology, philosophy and the doctrines of philosophers and Ikhwan as-Safa.


The word nass is derived from nasaba meaning to raise a thing so that it is visible. Thus, nass means designation, referring to the designation of the successor of the Imam. The Imam has his authority to appoint his successor, and it is not from any human electors or from the pledge of ordinary people.


"Panjtan-i Pak (the Blessed Quincunx), Ashbah al-Khmsa (the five shadows) or Ashab al-Kisa (persons of the mantle) is a term coined for the five holy bodies, i.e., the Prophet, Ali, Fatima, Hasan and Hussain. They were created out of the substance of Illiyyun (Bihar al-Anwar, 25:10). The Koran (83:18) says, "Nay!

QAIM (322-334/934-946), 12TH IMAM

"He was born in 280/893 in Salamia. His name was Muhammad Nizar, surnamed al-Qaim bi-Amrillah (Firm in the ordinances of God). He married to Umm Habiba, the daughter of his uncle, and ascended in 322/934.


The Koran (3:7) says: "But none knows its interpretation, save only God and those firmly rooted in knowledge (rasikhun fi'l ilm)." Imam Jafar Sadik said, "We are the people obedience to whom God has made obligatory, and we are the rasikhun fi'l ilm" Kitab al-Burhan fi tafsir al-Koran (1:21). According to al-Safi fi tafsir kalam Allah al-wafi (1:21), once Imam Jafar Sadi said, "We are the rasikhun fi'l ilm, and we know the tawil of the Koran."


The word natiq (pl. nutaqa) means speaking and samit means silent one, the successor to a speaker (natiq). For further detail, see IMAM AL-NATIQ


The term parable is derived from the Greek arabolae, which means juxtaposition, the placing of two things or ideas side by side for comparison. In Septuagint, the 3rd century B.C. Greek translation of the Old Testament, the word parable is used as the Greek translation of the Hebrew word mashal. Hence, the Hebrew word mashal and the Greek word parable are broadly used to denote proverbs, allegories, riddles, illustrations and stories: they can refer to any striking speech formulated to stimulate thought.


"The word qalb is derived from qalaba, meaning to overturn, return, go back and forth, change, fluctuate, undergo transformation. The Koran uses a number of verbal forms from the same root in this meaning. It uses the term heart itself in a variety of senses

RASUL [ see NABI ]



The Koran directs man's attention to the phenomena of nature and the facts of history, as they reveal the power of God and His wisdom. Man is invited to look at and reflect upon the grandeur of the heavens, the beauty of the earth, the freshness of dawn, the glory of sunset and the terrifying force of the wind as it sweeps over the open spaces of the desert. Pointedly, it asks: "Are not these marvelous? What more do you want?' The phenomena of nature, at once beautiful and mysterious, can fully gratify man's sense of wonder.


Navroz is a Persian word, meaning new day of the year. The Arabs pronounced it as Niruz or Nairuz. The Sogdians called it Nau-Sard (the new year), and also is called Nishat Afroz Jashan in Iran. It is a spring festival, beginning with the first day of the Persian solar year, corresponding to the vernal equinox and the entry of the sun into the sign of Aries, and continued until the 6th day of the month. The last day was known as the Great New Year's Day (al-Niruz al-Akbar).


In 1969, the preliminary session of the conference of the Ismailia Association for East Africa, India and Pakistan held in Karachi to discuss on religious education and the Ismaili faith in relation to other Muslims. Soon after the end of the conference, the delegates visited Paris in the middle of November, 1969 and held important conference with the Present Imam, known as the Ismailia Associations Conference


"It is learnt that a group of Mubarakiyya in Kufa among the Ismaili orbit believed in the Mahdism of Imam Muhammad bin Ismail, anticipating his return, which had never been promulgated by the official dawa. Granted that it was the propaganda of the Ismaili dawa, there would hardly be a place left for the Imams for them in the line of Muhammad bin Ismail. This small Ismaili group was expecting the return of the Imam, and a da'i Hussain al-Ahwazi had also a leaning towards them. He had gone to southern Iraq for propaganda and procured large converts.


The word religion comes from Latin relegere or the French religiun meaning to bind or a state of life bound by holy orders or the pattern of belief. The Arabic word for religion is or milla or din, which is briefly defined as under:

Milla : It means dictate, occuring 15 times in the Koran. It has special reference to the prophet through whom the religion is revealed.