Mary The mother of Jesus Christ, known as Maryam to Muslims. Cousin of Elizabeth. Chapter 19 of the Qur’an (which is named for her) depicts Mary as a chaste woman whose miraculous virgin conception resulted in the birth of Jesus. Her relatives accused her of being unchaste, but she was vindicated when the infant Jesus spoke in her defence. Mary’s mother had dedicated her to God’s service before she was born, and she was assigned to the care of the priest Zakariyya, Elizabeth’s husband. Angels announced to Mary her role as chosen by God and commanded her to continue to pray, emphasising her role as a servant of God.
Maryam The Muslim name for Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. She is held in high regard in Islam; her eponymous chapter in the Qur’an is the only one named after a woman.
masah The ritual cleaning of the head or feet with a small amount of water before salah (prayer), running the wet hands over the head or feet.
mashee-ah Free will or choice.
mashhad The site of a martyr’s grave.
mashoor Famous, noted, well known.
Mashriq The name given to the Arabic speaking eastern Mediterranean region, roughly covering modern-day Iraq, Kuwait, Israel, Syria and Jordan. Its literal meaning is the ‘place of the sunrise’; from a Mediterranean perspective it is exactly that.
masjid The Arabic word for mosque, the Muslim place of worship. It is therefore part of the name of many mosques, even in foreign languages, for example Masjid Al-Aqsa.
Masjid al-Haram The world’s largest mosque, situated in Mecca, in modern-day Saudi Arabia. The mosque is built around a huge open space, in the centre of which is the Ka’baa, and is generally considered the holiest place in Islam, and the point to which all Muslims face when in prayer. During the Hajj, Muslims from all over the world flock to the mosque to walk around the Ka’baa, and if possible touch it. Its name literally means ‘The Sacred Mosque’.
Masjid al-Nabawi, Al, Masjid al Nabi, Al A mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia, believed by Muslims to be the final resting place of the Prophet Muhammad. It is the second holiest place in Islam after the Ka’baa and one of the largest mosques in the world. Architecturally, the mosque is famous for its Green Dome, which is placed overhead Muhammad’s tomb.