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Christian Encounter with Islam Resources: Home

Resources on Islam

Resources on Islam

The Christian Encounter with Islam: Research Tools





in RTS Libraries

Quick-Finding Aid


This guide is meant to help students browse book resources on our shelves by Library of Congress (LC) Classification (call numbers).  We have only listed *some of the primary locations*; for a fuller search, you need to do a subject or keyword search in the online catalog See also a “Subject Heading Searches" relating to Islam to help your research.



LC Call Number range


B 740-753

Islamic Philosophy

BJ 1291-1292

Islamic ethics

BP 1-253

Islamic Studies (the primary section for research on Islam; Qur’anic studies, life of Muhammed, the Hadith, etc.)

BT 1170

Christian apologetics and Islam

BV 2625-2626

Christian mission to Islam

(see also missions to Muslim countries)

D 151-173

The Crusades

DS 35-39

Islamic Civilization and History

(see also history of individual countries)

HQ 525.I8

Family in Islam

HQ 1170

Women in Islam

PJ 6070-6819

Arabic Language


This is not an exhaustive list, but here are some subject headings to get you started.

Islam – 20th century

Islam – 21st century

Islam – Apologetic works

Islam – Appreciation

Islam – Customs and practices

Islam – Doctrines

Islam – Government

Islam – History

Islam – Missions

Islam – Liturgical objects

Islam – Prayers and devotions

Islam – Relations

Islam – Research

Islam – Rituals

Islam – Study and teaching

Islam and civil society

Islam and culture

Islam and justice

Islam and philosophy

Islam and politics

Islam and reason

Islam and science

Islam and secularism

Islam and social problems

Islam and state

Islam and world politics

Civilization, Islamic

Civilization, Islamic – Study and teaching

Courts, Islamic

Islamic countries – Civilization

Islamic countries – Study and teaching

Islamic education

Islamic Empire

Islamic ethics

Islamic fundamentalism

Islamic law

Islamic religious education

Islamic sects

Islamic shrines

Islamic sociology

Muslims – Dietary laws

Muslims – Intellectual life

Muslims – Non-Muslim countries

Muslims in population

Muslim children

Muslim converts

Muslim converts from Christianity

Muslim converts from Judaism

Muslim criminals

Muslim diaspora

Muslim martyrs

Muslim philosophers

Muslim saints

Scholars, Muslim

Theologians, Muslim

There are many variant spellings for most of these terms. A simple google search can give you many of these variants.

Adhan                  The call to prayer

Al Hijra                 Muslim New Years’s Day; commemorates the migration of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 CE

Allah                     God; the Supreme Being

Allahu Akbar        God is great – often said as a greeting

Amina                   Muhammad’s  mother

Angel                    Messenger from God

Ayatollah              “Sign of God” – religious leader in Shi’a Islam

Bismallah              An invocation used by Muslims before beginning any task or journey

Burka                    A shawl worn by women at prayer which covers the head and arms

Chador                  Black veil sometimes worn by Muslim women

Dervish                  A member of the Sufi religious order

Dhikr                      The recitation of the names of God

Eid/Id                      A festival – pronounced “Eed”

Eid-ul-Adha           The major festival when pilgrims make their sacrifices tin the valley of Mina during Hajj (special pilgrimage to Mecca)

Eid-ul-Fitr               The feast of the breaking of the fast. This marks the end of the time of fasting called Ramadan

Eid Mubarak           A greeting. Arabic for “Happy Festival”

Eidi                         Presents given at Muslim festivals

Hadith                    Collection of stories about Muhammad’s  words and actions

Hajj                        Special journey or pilgrimage to Mecca, the most holy place of Islam (one of the Five Pillars of Islam)

Hajji                       Name given to a man who has performed the Hajj (journey to Mecca)

Hajin                      Name given to a woman who has performed Hajj

Halal                      Meat which is permitted because it has been ritually slaughtered in the name of God and the blood drained from it.

Haram                  Sacred – sanctuary; usually refers to the area around Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem, the three holy places of Islam. Also used to denote anything which is prohibited.

Hijra                      The prophet Muhammad’s departure from Mecca to go to Medina

Ibadah                    Worship

Ihram                    Two sheets of white unsewn cloth worn by men on the Hajj

Imam                    The prayer leader

Iman                     Faith, belief

Islam                     Submission to God

Ka’aba                   Literally “the cube” – found in the central shrine at Mecca

Khitan                   Circumcision

Khutba                  The sermon delivered in the mosque during prayer time on Fridays

Kiswa                    The black cloth covering the Ka’aba at Mecca

Koran                    the Holy Book (sometimes referred to as The Qu’ran)

Mecca                   (sometimes Makkah) The city which is the centre of Islam – the most holy of the three holy places

Medina                The city of the prophet (also Madinah)

Mihrab                 A recess in the mosque wall which denotes the direction of prayer, ie facing towards Mecca

Minaret                Tall tower at the mosque from where the call to prayer is sent out to bring the faithful to prayer

Misbahah             Prayer beads

Mosque               Holy building for prayer and education

Mount Hira          The mountain outside Mecca where Muhammad  received the first revelation of the Qu’ran from Allah

Muezzin              The person who calls the muslims to prayer

Muhammad        The Holy Prophet (often written with pbuh after his name which refers to praise be unto him)

Muslim               A follower of Islam – literally “one who surrenders to God”

Night of Power  The night during the month of Ramadan when Allah began to reveal the Qu’ran to Muhammad  

Pbuh                 “Praise be unto him” – said every time the name of Muhammad is mentioned

Pillars of Faith   The five essential religious duties for Muslims

Qibla                     Marks the direction of prayer

Qu’ran                  The sacred book of Islam – revealed word from Allah

Ramadan             The ninth month of the muslim calendar which marks a time of fasting from dawn to dusk

Ruku                    Bowing during prayer

Salat/Salah          Ritual Prayer, observed five times a day (one of the Five Pillars of Islam)

Saum/Sawm        A Fast (one of the Five Pillars of Islam)

Sharia                  Islamic Law

Shi’a                    An important branch of Islam

Shi’i/Shi’ite           A member of Shi’a Islam

Sufi                      An Islamic mystic

Sunni                   An important branch of Islam

Sura                     A chapter of the Qu’ran

Tawhid                 The oneness of God

Topi                      Small cap worn by men at prayer

Umma                  The community of Muslims

Wudu/Wuzu          Ritual washing before prayer

Zakat/Zakah          The giving of alms to charity (one of the Five Pillars of Islam)

Reference Books