Islamism The position or belief that Islam is not just a religion but also a political movement, and that any law that does not comply with Shariah must be challenged, or is illegitimate. Although the term can have negative implications in the West, where it can be seen as it is a somewhat militant movement, to Muslims all of life is governed by the rule of Islam, and politics is merely a part of that.
isnad As part of the forensic discipline which was developed to validate the Hadith, the isnad is the train of knowledge passed down the generations right back to the Prophet Muhammad himself and his companions.
Isra The first part of Muhammad’s Night Journey, where he is carried to Al-Aqsa Mosque on a mythical beast called a buraq and leads other prophets in prayer. The second part of the journey is the Mi’raj.
Isra wal-Mir’aj, al- The Night Journey, a two-part journey the Prophet Muhammad made in 619 ce, where he travelled great distances and met God and the prophets who came before him. The story starts with Muhammad praying when the Angel Gabriel appears with a mythical beast called a buraq, which will carry Muhammad; then the journey starts. In the first part (Isra) the Prophet is carried to Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem where he leads other prophets such as Adam, Moses and Jesus in prayer. In the second half (Mir’aj), the Prophet Muhammad goes to the seven heavens, where he meets prophets such as Abraham, Moses and Jesus again, before being taken by Gabriel to meet God.
israaf Literally, waste.
Israel A state in the heart of the Middle East, bordering Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Jordan, with the Mediterranean Sea to its west. The nation was formed in 1948 as a national home for the Jewish diaspora, and it remains today the only Jewish-dominated nation in the world. Israel is a republic and a democracy. Its location and manner of coming into existence has led to much controversy and warfare, both from within, the Palestinian struggle, and without, for example the 1948 Arab-Israeli War and the 1973 Yom Kippur War. To this day some governments, such as the Iranian administration, refuse to recognise Israel as a country, although other neighbouring nations have diplomatic relations with Israel, and globally it is recognised as a normal state. A major cause of dispute is that Israel’s borders contain several sites that are considered Holy to Islam, the religion that dominates in all directions around Israel. They include the Dome of the Rock, Al Aqsa Mosque and Mount Sinai.
istihsan A judgement in favour of one ruling over another, usually in the favour of the public good. It is seen as an Islamically sound way of modernising Islam in issues such as women’s rights.
istijrar A recurring sale, where differing quantities of a good are bought from one seller over time. It sometimes refers to transactions where the seller delivers various quantities in instalments to complete a purchase.
istislah The optimum solution for the public interest, particularly when the Qu’ran and the Hadith offer no specific solution and the decision is open to interpretation. What is considered positive for the public interest can be summed up as religion, life, reason, lineage and property.