millet A system under the Ottoman Empire whereby religious groups had certain rights of self-governance and law.
mimbar, minbar The pulpit or steps on which the imam of a mosque stands when delivering his Friday sermon.
minaret The tower built into or next to a mosque, where traditionally the muezzin calls the faithful to prayer five times a day. Nowadays it is much more likely that the minaret will house a loudspeaker and the muezzin will perform the adhan from the main hall of the mosque. The sound of the call to prayer is one of the most recognisably Islamic traditions, particularly to visitors to Muslim nations.
minbar (alt. sp. of mimbar) The pulpit in a mosque.
Mi’raj, Mi’raaj, Miraaj The second half of the Night Journey taken by the Prophet Muhammad to the seven heavens, where he meets the earlier prophets. The first part of the journey is called the Isra. The word Mi’raj literally means ladder.
miskeen, miskin The needy, mentioned in the Qur’an as one of the groups eligible to receive collected zakat (Islamic tax).
Misr Arabic Egypt. (i) In early Islam, referred to settlements that were established by Muslim warriors in conquered lands. The term is Semitic in origin; the original meaning is ‘frontier’ or ‘border’. For early Arab geographers, Misr was a frontier outpost. Misr also referred to an administrative territorial unit run by an appointee of the caliph. The first such misrs were Kufa and Basra. (ii) The land of Egypt. In colloquial usage in Egypt today the term refers to Cairo.
mith-qaal, mithqal A weight equivalent to 70 carats or 4.25 grams. One dinar is equivalent to one mith-qaal of gold.
mode of financing In Islamic banking, this means the type of underlying instrument that is being used.
money Money can mean either coins and notes that are tangible and able to be exchanged for goods, or a conceptual entity meaning the amount of wealth a person has (or owes). In modern times, money can be earned, banked and spent without any physical cash ever being part of the transactions. A person’s wages can be paid into his or her bank electronically, and can be spent via standing order or with a debit card in a store.