khanqah, khanaqah A meeting house, retreat and place for religious education, mainly used in Sufism. They are often connected to mosques and madrassas.
kharaj bildaman, al- The principle from which it follows that entitlement to revenue follows the assumption of responsibility.
kharraaj A tax on agricultural land.
khat A script.
khateeb, khatib An orator who normally delivers the Friday sermon and Eid prayers.
khawarij A group of renegade Muslims who rejected the mainstream teachings in the early history of the religion. Today the word is used to describe political as well as religious deviants.
khilaal Passing wet fingers through the beard, as done, for example while making wudhu.
khilafat A pan-Islamic political movement launched during the aftermath of World War I by Muslims in India to influence the British government and to protect the Ottoman Empire.
khimar A long, cape-like form of veil that covers the head, ears and shoulders of a Muslim woman but leaves her face open.
khiyar Literally, an option or choice. In business terms, it is the option extended to one or more of the parties in a sales contract to rescind the sale, for example on the discovery of a defect. Jurists have traditionally recognised several different types of khiyar, a list which includes khiyar al-ru’yah, khiyar al-‘ayb, khiyar al-shart and khiyar al-majlis.
khiyar al-shart An option in a sale contract concluded at the time of signing the agreement that gives one of the two parties to the contract a right to cancel the contract within a stipulated time.
khula, al- The separation between a husband and a wife by a pronouncement which includes monetary settlement as opposed to a divorce, which does not include a monetary settlement.
Khulafaa ar-Rashideen, al- The four ‘rightly guided khalifas’, namely Abu Bakr, Umar Ibn as-Khattab, Uthman ibn Affan and Ali ibn Abi Talib who were the four first caliphs after Muhammad’s death and who were his companions in life and therefore received Muhammad’s teaching first-hand rather than through others. Shi’a Muslims dispute the caliphate of the first three, believing Ali to be the rightful first caliph.
khums The Arabic word for one-fifth. A religious tax of one-fifth of one’s income.
khutbah The main formal occasion for public preaching. Such sermons occur regularly, as prescribed by the teachings of all legal schools, at the noon on Friday Prayer. Similar sermons also take place on the two festival days.
kiblah, qiblah The direction Muslims must face when praying to Allah. At present, the kiblah is Mecca, but in the early days of Islam it was the Noble Sanctuary, Temple Mount, in Jerusalem. Mosques have a niche, known as a mihrab, which identifies the direction towards which the congregation must face when praying. Qiblah or Qibla are much more common spellings.