Mozarab Christian: Christians living under Islamic rule and the name given to churches and other religious edifices built by them.
mu'adhdhin (=muezzin) (Arabic)
Muslim: The person who calls the faithful to prayer from the mosque. (See also masjid and minaret.)
Muslim: Person who issues the five daily calls to prayer (see also adhan).
mu'amala (=mu'amalah, =muamala; pl. mu'amalat, =muamalat; Arabic)
Muslim: Human relationships.
Muslim: Day to day dealings as distinguished from prayers and worship.
Muslim: Islamic laws governing social relations (that is, civil, criminal, family).
Mu'awiyah Muslim (661-680): Umayyad caliph.
A shaman, usually female.
mudaraba (Arabic: profit-sharing in economic transactions)
Mudéjar Muslim/Christian: Muslims working for Christians.
mudir (Arabic: "director", "administrator")
mudra Hindu/Buddhist: A symbolic hand posture or gesture often employed during religious prayer and meditation.
Muslim: (see mu'adhdhin)
mufassirin Muslim: Interpreters of the Qu'ran.
Muslim: A specialist in Islamic law competent to deliver a fatwa.
Muslim: A person trained in the shari'a who gives a non-binding legal opinion in response to questions submitted to him.
Muslim: Transmitters of hadith; traditionalists.
muhajirin (=muhajirun; Arabic)
Muslim: Emigrants who moved from Mecca to Medina; that is, Muhammad's earliest supporters.
Muhammad (=Prophet Muhammad, =Muhammad the Messenger, =Muhammad ibn Abdullah)
The last and greatest prophet, through whom God revealed Islam in its complete form.
Muslim: The founder of Islam lived on the Arabian peninsula c. 570-632 CE. He received the Qur'an from Allah via the angel Gabriel. In Islam, he is considered the last prophet, hence his title Seal of the Prophets. (NOTE: use this spelling, rather than the older version, Mohammad; never call Muslims “Muhammadans” or “Mohammedans”, because they do not consider themselves followers of the Prophet and consider the implication blasphemy.)
O Prophet, We have sent thee as a witness, and good tidings to bear and warning, calling unto God by His leave, and as a light-giving lamp. Give good tidings to the believers that there awaits them with God great bounty. (Sura 33: 44-5)
Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab
Muslim (d. 1787): Founder of the Wahhabi movement.
Muhammad al-Muntazar [incomplete]
Muslim (Shi'ite: Twelvers) (d. ca 878): Last of the 12 legitimate imans, who is expected to return by the Twelvers.
Muhammadiyah Muslim (Indonesian): A 20th Century Islamic reform movement emphasizing purity of faith and practices and service to other Muslims, especially through education.
Muharram (Arabic: "the sacred month")
Common usage (Muslim): First month of the Islamic lunar calendar.
Muslim (Shi'ite): The tenth day of Muharram is the anniversary of the battle of Karbala.
Muslim: One who brings about taqlid.
Muslim (African): The "renewer" sent by god to prepare the way for the mahdi.
mujahid (pl. mujahidin, =mujahadeen; Arabic: "fighter for religion")
Muslim: One who fights under the banner of Islam to achieve religious goals.
mujtahid (Arabic: “one who strives”; pl. mujtahidun)
Muslim: One who exercises ijtihad to ascertain a rule of shari'a.
Muslim (Shi’ite): An authority who makes original decisions of religious law.
Muslim: A clergy who has learned jurisprudence and exercises interpretic judgment.
Muslim: A designated theologian
Sikh: A crown-shaped hat traditionally worn by gurus in formal portraits.
Mulaththamun (=al-Mulaththamun; Arabic)
Muslim (African): Those who wear the litham.
mullah (=mulla, =mollah)
Muslim: A lesser member of the religious establishment.
namaz (Urdu, Persian)(=salat)
Muslim (Shi'ite): Ritual prayers.
Nandi Hindu: A bull, Shiva's traditional conveyance and a symbol of fecundity.
naqib Muslim: Chief or leader.
Nar ayan Hindu: Vishnu represented as the creator of life. A lotus from Narayan's navel issued Brahma.
Narsingh Hindu: Vishnu's incarnation as a lion.
nasab (Arabic: "nobility of descent")
nasi Muslim: The 10 days added to the Muslim lunar calendar to make it the same length as the solar calendar.
Nation of Islam (NOI)
Nation of Islam: A form of Islam indigenous to the United States; founded c. 1930 by Wallace Fard and led by Elijah Muhammad until his death in 1975. In the following decade, the majority followed Elijah's son, Wallace D. Mohammed into the Sunni path of traditional Islam while a minority, keeping the original name of the faith, remain with Louis Farrakhan.
Nation of Islam: African-American religious movement, now led by the Rev. Louis Farrakhan, founded in 1930 and emphasizing self-help and moral discipline. Theology viewed as unorthodox by many traditional Muslims.
Christian / Nativity of Mary, the Mother of God: Celebration of Mary's birth.
Christian / Nativity of St. John the Baptist: Celebration of the role of John in baptizing Jesus. Continues a pre Christian Midsummer's Day celebration. Special interest for Hispanic tradition.
Nautonnier Priory of Sion: Title given to Grand Master.
natsu matsuri (Japanese)
Shinto: The summer festival.
Nav Ruz (=Naw Ruz; Farsi)
Zoroastrian: New Year's observance.
Baha'i: Observance of the vernal equinox symbolizing spiritual growth and renewal.
Hindu (holiday): Festival of the divine mother honoring Durga, wife of Shiva, and seeking her blessings. Also observed as a celebration recalling the days of Lord Krishna.
Shinto: A senior priest of a shrine, ranking after guji and gonguji.
Christian: The English name for a movement in German-language theology initiated by Karl Barth's book,The Epistle to the Romans; also called "crisis theology" and "dialectical theology".
New Age: Its practitioners revive and adapt ancient Pagan practices and beliefs of pre-Christian Europe to contemporary life. Core beliefs include: respect for all life, observation of the seasons and cycles of life through ritual, believe in the divine as manifesting in many gods (both male and female), and the practice of magic (often spelled magick to differentiate it from stage illusions) to help with the day-to-day trials of life. (see also Wicca)
Archaic: Philosophical system founded in the 3rd century based on Plato's ideas and common in the Middle East up to the Arab conquests.
Common usage (esp. 18th C): Belief that global floods are responsible for changes in topography. (See also Plutonism.)
Christian (heretical): The teachings of Nestorius, a 5th century bishop of Constantinople, that the eternal Logos of God and the man Jesus were united merely by conjunction.
New Church Day
Christian (Swedenborgian/Church of the New Jerusalem): The annual commemoration of the 1770 vision document, "The True Christian Religion", by Emanuel Swedenborg.
New Era Dianetics for OTs (=NOTs)
Scientologist: A series of auditing actions, delivered as part of the OT levels, developed by L. Ron Hubbard during his research into New Era Dianetics in the late 1970s.
New Year for the Trees (= Tu B’Shevat)
See Tu B’Shevat.
Newson, Henry (=Henry “Big Daddy” Newson)
New Age: Founder of the Ten Oaks religious sect in Whittier, Calif., about 1947. See also Love Cults.
English scientist (b. 1642, Lincolnshire): Formulated mass and distance laws of gravity in 1684 and the three laws of motion in 1687. Member, Royal Academy of Science. Friend of Boyle, Robert and John Locke.
Priory of Sion: Grand Master.
"Nature and Nature's laws lay hid in night:
God said, "Let Newton be!" and all was light." -- Alexander Pope
Traditional (African): A creator god, source of all life and power, no longer directly involved with human affairs; normally approached through intermediaries.
African ethnic society centered in the Congo whose traditional monotheistic worship centers on Akongo.
Christian: Location of a church council in 325 CE where the Nicene Creed was formulated.
Christian: Having to do with the council of Nicaea or the doctrine of the Trinity which it formulated.
Nichiren (Japanese: "sun lotus")
Buddhist (Mahayana): A sociopolitical Japanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism.
Nichiren Daishonin Memorial
Buddhist: The memory of Nichiren Daishonin and the Dai-Gohonzon, the true object of worship, for all humanity.
Nichiren Shoshu Soka Gakkai (Japanese)
(see Soka Gakkai)
See: Flamel, Nicolas.
nihang (see akali)
Muslim: The act of giving a woman in marriage; the contractual relationship defining marriage.
Nineteen Day Fast
[incomplete; see Ramadan]
Baha'i: The Fast to be observed by adult Baha'is in good health from sunrise to sundown.
Ninth Day of Ridvan
Baha'i: The celebration of the arrival of Baha'u'llah at a sacred garden.
Ninth of Av (Hebrew)
Jewish: The day of the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE.
Jewish: The day of the destruction of the Second Temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE
Buddhist: An observance of the death of the Buddha.
Jewish: Month in the Hebrew calendar in which Passover occurs.
nitem (or, nit-nem) (Punjabi: "daily rule")
Sikh: The daily religious observance.
Sikh: The recitation at appointed times of verses from the gutka, a book comprised of passages from Sikh scripture.
nirvana (Sanskrit: "blowing out"; =nibbana, =nehan)
The cessation of human individuality and desires.
Hindu: Absorption into Brahman
Buddhist: The extinction of self; the goal of meditation.
Buddhist (Zen): An aspect of the world expressed as oneness, stillness, and exhaustion of desires.
nomological (from Greek)
Hellenistic: A mode of causation employed by God that makes use of immutable laws.
Christian: Fifth part of the daily prayer time schedule.
Common usage (Christian, esp. Roman Catholic): =Early afternoon.
Common usage (Christian, esp. Roman Catholic): 3 p.m.
Shinto: Words addressed by a priest to a deity or deities in an ancient style of Japanese.
Norman, Dr. Ernest and Ruth New Age: Founders of the Unarious Society religious sect in El Cajon, Calif., in 1954.
Norooz (Farsi, "The New Day")
Zoroastrian: New Year's celebration.
Aristotelian: Those with the most wisdom are the ideal combination of episteme and nous.
novena Christian (Roman Catholic): Any period of nine consecutive days during which special devotions are carried out.
novice Common usage: One who is new at a task.
Christian: One serving a noviceship.
noviceship Christian: Time spent in a novitiate; the second step in becoming a member of a religious organization. See formation.
novitiate Christian: A program in which a layperson participates in the life of a religious organization without taking the final vows of affiliation.
Novum Organum (Latin: "new logic")
Common usage: Title of a book by Francis Bacon published in 1620.
Novus Ordo Seclorum (Latin: "new secular order")
American Civil Religion: Words which appear beneath the pyramid on the reverse of the $1 bill.
Nriteshwar Hindu: God of dance.
Nuncio Christian (Roman Catholic): A diplomat-bishop serving as ambassador of the Holy See at the Vatican to the government of a secular state.
nur al-muhammadi (Arabic: "light of Muhammad")
Muslim (Shi'ite: Sufi): A Sufi term associated with hadrat.
Nyame Akan (West Africa): The name of the Supreme Being.
OTO See Ordo Templi Orientis.
Objectives (=Objective Processing)
Scientologist: An auditing action which helps a person to look or place his attention outward from himself.
Oblate Sisters of the Sacred Heart Christian (Roman Catholic): Order of nuns.
O-bon (=obon; Japanese)
Buddist/secular Japanese: A summer festival of Buddhist origin at which the spirits of departed ancestors are welcomed to feasting and dancing.
Ochosi Santeria: One of the four Gods (the others are Eleggua, Oggun, and Oshu).
occultation, major [incomplete]
Muslim (Shi'ite): 329-? AH (940-? CE).
occultation, minor [incomplete]
Muslim (Shi'ite): 260-329 AH (873-940 CE).
Odin (or, Wodin)
New Age/Pagan: The leader of the Scandinavian Aesir is usually depicted as a riding warrior with a spear, attended by raven, eagle and wolf. His eight-legged horse, Sleipnir, carried him through the sky. The Valkyries did his bidding, conducting dead warriors to his hall, Valhalla.
office The monks of monasteries and the canons of cathedrals attended and sang a series of services called "Offices", which took place throughout the day. The word "Office" means ‘function’ or duty, and most of the clergy devoted the majority of their time to the performance of this ‘duty’, especially in monastic communities. The monastic structure for the Hours was as follows:
Matins: 2 or 3 a.m.
Prime: 6 a.m.
Terce: 9 a.m.
None: 3 p.m.
Santeria: One of the four Gods (the others are Ellegua, Ochosi, and Oshu).
Oh-harai-taisai Shinto (ritual): Grand Purification Ceremony. Observed twice yearly to obtain purification from offenses committed during each half of the year.
Olorun Traditional (African): Creator, sustainer and final judge of all things; removed, transcendent but not immanent. The central focus of worship for the Yoruba.
om Hindu: Specific sound made as part of meditation.
Om! -- this syllable is this whole world.
Its further explanation is:
The past, the present, the future -- everything is just the word Om.
And whatever else that transcends threefold time -- that, too, is just the word Om.
Jewish: The 49-day period between Passover and Shavuot.
Shinto/Buddhist: A visit to a Shinto shrine or a Buddhist temple, including an act of reverence or prayer.
ontological Concerning being, existence.
ontological proof An argument for the existence of God based on the concept of God, which is sufficient by itself to show that such a thing as God could not not exist.
ontology (from the Greek ontos: "being")
The subdiscipline of philosophy concerned with the nature of being or reality.