Islam: Getting Started

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Terms & Spelling Variations (A-Z)

See the Oxford Dictionary of Islam or the Alim Foundation's Islamic Terms Dictionary.


  • Allah: Arabic word for God
  • Arab/Arabian/Arabic
    • Arab: indicates an ethnicity associated with origins in the Arabian Peninsula
      • "the Arab students"
    • Arabian: used in the name of the Arabian Peninsula (geographic region) but not to describe people 
    • Arabic: a language which is the original language of the Quran. Read this note from the Internet Sacred Text Archive to learn more about the language of the Quran. 
  • Islam/Islamic/Muslim
    • Islam: The name of the religion 
    • Islamic: This adjective is often used to indicate the community or religion as a whole
      • "the city's Islamic community"
      • "the Islamic architectural style"
    • Muslim or Moslem: describes religious followers of Islam
      • "the panel of Muslim speakers"
  • Muhammed, Mohammad, Mohametor other spellings: The name of Islam's prominent prophet 
  • Quran, Qur'an, or Koran: The name of Islam's most sacred text

What's in This Guide?

Welcome to our Islam research guide.

Explore this research guide by clicking these links or the tabs above. 

Islam's Background

Islam in the Modern World

Women & Islam

Islam in America

Islamic Art & Architecture

Additional Help

Population Map

Religion ≠ Ethnicity

Arabian Peninsula

map source

Many people identify as both Arab (having ethnic origins in the Arabian Peninsula) and Muslim (a follower of the religion of Islam). However, many Muslim individuals are not Arab, and many Arab individuals are not Muslim.

While conducting research on Islam, you may still find that sources on religions in Arab culture can be helpful due to Islam's founding and background in the Arabian peninsula region. 

Prayer Times

Try to discover prayer times for more than 2.7 million cities worldwide. 

More about the Arabic Language

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