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Glossary of Terms: S


Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sadaqa

"Alms,” the practice of special charity in Islam; spontaneous or voluntary giving of alms

Safavid

Iranian dynasty (1502-1736) which established Shiite Islam as the state religion; this was a major factor in the emergence of a unified national consciousness among various ethnicities

Salaam

"Peace"; salam alaikum (“peace be upon you”) is found in the Quran, and is the common form of greeting in Muslim countries

Salafism

Salafism

Salat

Daily ritual prayer that is the duty of all Muslims as one of the five Pillars of Islam; also spelled Salah

Samaa

Sama'a

Samhain

Samhain

Sampradaya

In Hinduism, a traditional school of religious thought that was transmitted from teacher to teacher.

Sanhedrin

official Jewish council in Palestine during Roman rule; served judicial, political, and religious functions

Sankirtan

In ISKCON, a group devotional practice of common worship.

Sawm

“Fasting;” any religious fast in Islam, but particularly the fast of the month of Ramadan

Sayyid

dynasty rulers in India from 1414-1421; identified themselves as sayyids, or direct descendants of the prophet Muhammad

Sect

religious body with certain characteristics, such as extreme emphasis on some teachings rather than on others; sometimes pejorative term for heretical group

Seijin Shiki Adults Day

Seijin Shiki (Adults' Day)

Seth

spirit entity channeled (contacted) by Jane Roberts (1929-1984); taught that we create our own reality by our thoughts and anticipations

Setsubun Sai

Setsubun Sai

Sevener Shiites

Minority subset within the Ismailite sect of Shiites; they reject the majority belief in Twelve Imams, believing that the seventh (imam Muhammad ibn Ismail) was the last

Shahada

Short, two-part statement that sums up the essence of the Muslim faith: "I confess that there is no deity but God, and that Muhammad is the Messenger of God"

Shahid

"One who testifies or witnesses"; Often refers to martyrs whose death bears witness to the faith

Shaitan

In Islamic myth, an unbelieving class of jinn (spirits); also the name of Iblis, the devil; also spelled Shaytan (Arabic)

Shaman

Religious person who performs spiritual services associated with the spiritual realm; also healers and diviners

Shariah

Canonical law of Islam, systematized during the 8th-9th centuries CE; rests on four bases: 1) Quran, 2) sunna (legal custom), 3) ijma (universal agreement), and 4) qiyas (analytical reasoning)

Shavuot

Shavuot

Shaykh

Shaykh

Shaykh

Shaykh

Sheikh

Arabic title of respect dating from pre-Islamic antiquity; given to leaders of religious orders, colleges, tribes, or villages; also spelled shaykh

Shekinah

"presence" (Hebrew), Jewish theological term referring to the divine presence in the world

Shen

Shen

Shenming

Shenming

Shichigosan

Shichigosan

Shiite

Member of the smaller (10%) of the two major branches of Islam (Sunnism is the larger); in early Islamic history, Shiites supported the power of Ali (Muhammad’s in-in-law) as the fourth caliph

Shirk

“Making a partner;” in Islam, idolatry, polytheism, and the association of God with other deities; the Quran stresses that God does not share his power with any partner

Shmini Atzeret

Shmini Atzeret

Shu

Shu

Shubun sai

Shubun-sai

Shura

Shura

Shushan Purim

Shushan Purim

Sikha

A tuft of hair left unshaven on the top the head, a practice of Hindu priests (Brahmins) and monks.

Silsila

Silsila

Sima Qian

Great Chinese astronomer and historian (2nd Century BCE); helped reform Chinese calendar and wrote the Shiji (a grand history of China)

Simchat Torah

Simchat Torah

Solemnity of Mary Mother of God

Solemnity of Mary, Mother of God

Soteriology

"teaching about salvation," belief in a divine savior (such as Isis, Christ, Buddha, or Rama) who intervenes on behalf of humans to exalt them from an unfortunate condition.

Sri Krishna Jayanti

Sri Krishna Jayanti

St Andrews Day

St. Andrew's Day

St Benedict Day

St. Benedict Day

St Brighid of Kildare

St. Brighid of Kildare

St Georges Day

St. George's Day

St Lucys Day

St. Lucy's Day

St Michael and All Angels

St. Michael and All Angels

St Nicholas Day

St. Nicholas Day

St Patricks Day

St. Patrick's Day

St Pauls Day

St. Paul's Day

St Peter and St Pauls Day

St. Peter and St. Paul's Day

St Stephens Day

St. Stephen's Day

St Valentines Day

St. Valentine's Day

Station of Abraham

Part of pilgrimage route, opposite the door of the Kabah

Sufism

Mystic Islamic belief and practice in which Muslims seek to find divine knowledge and love through direct personal experience of God

Sukkot

Sukkot

Sunna

Lit. “custom”; Body of traditional social and legal custom and practice of the Muslim community; The acted and spoken example given by the Prophet

Sunnite

A follower of the largest branch of Islam (encompassing 85-90% of all Muslims); Sunnites regard their sect as mainstream and traditionalist, as opposed to the minority sect, the Shiites

Surah

A chapter in the Quran; each of the 114 surahs encompass one or more revelations received by Muhammad from God

Surah

A chapter in the Quran; each of the 114 surahs encompass one or more revelations received by Muhammad from God


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