WikiIslam:Writing Style Guide

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WikiIslam's aim is to be the internet's most definitive, scholarly and neutral source for information of the religion of Islam. As such this page expands on the site's policies and guidelines concerning style, tone and content of its articles by providing a visual guide for editors. Its goal is both to provide practical guides to the editor on questions such as orthography as well as to facilitate the creation of articles which are neutral and encyclopedic in nature.

Standardized spellings

There are many acceptable phonetic spellings for different words that are translated or transliterated into English. However, WikiIslam editors should standardize spelling to use throughout the wiki. The following is a list of required spelling standardizations. Note: You should not standardize spelling in quotations, leave the quoted text as originally written. This table is subject to change to accommodate new words.

Table of Standardized Spellings
WikiIslam Standard Proper Noun Meaning
Allah Yes God of the Quran
Quran Yes Central religious text (Holy book) of Islam
Hadith No Notable collections of words, actions, approvals and disapprovals of Muhammad during his life
Muhammad Yes Prophet of Islam
Abu Bakr Yes First caliph and best friend of Muhammad
Umar (ibn al-Khattab) Yes Second caliph and senior companion of Muhammad
Uthman (ibn Affan) Yes Third caliph, second cousin, and son-in-law of the Muhammad
Ali (ibn-Abi Talib) Yes Fourth caliph and Muhammad’s son-in-law
Tafsir No Exegesis – scholarly commentary on the Quran and hadith
Mufassir No Author of a Tafsir
Sunni Yes One of the two main branches of Islam
Shia Yes One of the two main branches of Islam
Aisha (bint Abu Bakr) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives, daughter of Abu Bakr
Khadijah (bint Khuwaylid) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Sawda (bint Zam’a) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Hafsa (bint Umar) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Zaynab (bint Khuzayma) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Hind (bint Abi Umayya) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Rayhana (bint Zayd) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Zaynab (bint Jahsh) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Juwayriyya (bint al-Harith) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Safiyya (bint Huyeiy) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Ramla (bint Abi Sufyan) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Maria al-Qibtiyya Yes One of Muhammad’s sex slaves / concubines
Maymuna (bint al-Harith) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Juwayriyya (bint al-Harith) Yes One of Muhammad’s wives
Fatimah Yes Muhammad’s youngest daughter, wife of Ali ibn-Abi Talib
Ahmadiyya Yes Islamic revival sect founded in Punjab
al-Bukhari Yes Islamic scholar who authored what is considered to be the most authentic hadith collection
al-Tabari Yes Islamic foremost Mufassir
al-Jalalayn Yes Classical tafsir of the Quran composed by Jalal ad-Din al-Mahalli
al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah Yes Biography of Muhammad
Jannah No Heaven
Jahannam No Hell
Huri No Heavenly virgins
Istishhad No Martyrdom
Shahid No Muslim martyr
Mecca Yes Holy city of Islam
Hajj No Greater holy pilgrimage in Islam
Umrah No Lesser holy pilgrimage in Islam
Ka'bah Yes Building at the center of Masjid al-Haram in Mecca. Direction of Muslim prayers and destination of pilgrimage
Khitan No Circumcision
Najs No Ritually unclean or impure physically or spiritually
Fiqh No Islamic jurisprudence
Sahih No The denotation of a hadith is “authentic”
Hasan No The denotation of a hadith as “good”
Da’if No The denotation of a hadith as “weak”
Mutawatir No Hadith with multiple narrators
Ahaad No Non-Mutawatir hadith, usually narrated by one narrator
Shari'ah No Islamic canonical law based on Islamic scriptures
Hanafi Yes One of four religious Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence
Maliki Yes One of four religious Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence
Shafi’i Yes One of four religious Sunni Islamic schools of jurisprudence
Ja’fari Yes The religious Shia Islamic school of jurisprudence
Fatwa No Non-binding but authoritative legal ruling issued by qualified jurist
Sheikh No Honorific title for knowledgeable Islamic clergyman.
Imam No Someone who leads prayer
Mufti No Someone who can give jurisprudence judgements on religious matters
Ayatollah No Honorific title of Shia religious leader
Halal No Permissible in Islam
Haram No Impermissible in Islam
Makruh No Religiously disliked
Kafir No Infidel
Shirk No Idolatry or polytheism
Mushrik No Someone who commits shirk
Mulhid No Apostate, heretic, or atheist
Murtad No Denier (of Islam)
Aqidah No Creed
Zakat No Obligatory charity based on % wealth
Da'wah No Islamic proselytizing


WikiIslam is an objective and neutral, encyclopedic source of information about Islam. As such the tone of its writing and the use of its sources directly impact its mission. Writers for WikiIslam should collect and present the relevant information from the cited sources. The articles should not include conclusions, as WikiIslam should be the beginning of research on a given subject, not the final word on it. When divergent views exist within expert opinion, both sides should be included so far as possible and the conclusion should encourage the reader to draw their own conclusions/investigate further. It should go without saying, however to be explicit extremely generalizing, hateful, or otherwise insulting statements against any group of people (including against Muslims) are specifically not allowed and continued use of such language may result in a permanent ban.


Incorrect  Cross.png Corrected Checkmark.gif Notes
Dr. Omar Abdul Rehman’s article is clearly the most detailed, and we will use it as the basis for our rebuttal as it includes all the QEP nonsense of Drs' Keith Moore and Maurice Bucaille. Dr. Omar Abdul Rehman’s includes the QEP claims of Drs' Keith Moore and Maurice Bucaille. The harsh and unprofessional tone of the sentence has been replaced and made more concise
Because of this double standard, countries such as France, Belgium, Italy, and the Netherlands have banned people concealing their identity in public completely. Omit - "Because of this double standard, countries such as..." Editor should not conclude the state of affairs, leave this to the reader
This is another of the absurd pseudo-scientific claims of the champion of Qur'anic Pseudo-Science, Maurice Bucaille. Omit Sarcasm, humor or insults should be avoided

Editors should not draw conclusions no matter how "obvious" they seem

Aisha even started a war against her old enemy Ali, causing ten thousand Muslims to kill each other in one day. Aisha began a war against Ali that resulted in ten thousand fatalities in one day. Avoid writing in an emotional, dramatic style. State the facts and nothing else
He isn't specific on the time frame, offering up a number of years but not definitely stating that it is exact. He doesn't mention any names or where the events took place, and doesn't... He is not specific on the time frame, offering a number of years but nothing definitive. He does not mention any names or where the events took place, and does not... Do not use contracted forms (e.g. "doesn't", "isn't") when you should use "is not", "does not" etc.
So how, we must ask, is the early universe anything like "smoke"? Scientific Journal X addresses the early universe as... The use of first or second person in writing ("we" and addressing the reader) should be avoided. Either reword or remove these sections.

Overall, the tone should be encyclopedic and neutral. The facts should be presented "as is" with only as much commentary is needed to elucidate any given point or give relevant background information, and the tone of the writing should be that of an encyclopedia entry describing a fact about the world we live in, not a polemic trying to convince the reader of a given point or conversational banter with a familiar second party. Articles must adhere to the encyclopedia format and should address the topic at hand directly and neutrally; articles engaged in a particular argument (whether stated explicitly or left implicit) and attempting to persuade a reader (as opposed to neutrally assessing the argument on its merits) the reader of one side will not be permitted. Speaking directly to the reader should be avoided if at all possible, and the use of the 1st person "we" should likewise be avoided if at all possible. Although the wiki covers some controversial topics the goal of its language should be to keep anyone reading as long as possible without causing any offense. This does NOT mean that the content of the article should "pull punches" or avoid controversial topics that might hurt the feelings of Muslims or any other group of people, however the word choice should not be such that a reasonable person from any given group might immediately stop reading due to the diction or word choice alone.


Any and all analyses should not be labeled as an analysis and there should be no sections dedicated to or labeled as analysis—the whole article should be a comprehensive summary and analysis of scripture and scholarly sources. Thus, analysis will present itself throughout the article.

Acceptable analysis

Acceptable analysis includes that analysis which brings together scholarly stances and/or direct scriptural references on a position and makes objective observations. The idea is to summarize the sources and allow the reader to determine how they support or conflict with one another. All positions mentioned should stay relevant to the subject of the article. Original research, that is to say conclusions reached by the writer/editor of the article and not subject peer review in an academic manner, is not allowed and should not be part of the analysis if there is no relevant scholarly source to be cited in support of it. Even if a fact or analysis conclusion is so elementary as to not require a citation, every fact or analysis conclusion must be able to be cited in an acceptable source.

Unacceptable analysis

Unacceptable analysis Includes any analysis that contains the editor’s own judgement, conclusions, impressions, evaluations, or ethics. It is also unacceptable for editors to judge intentions or character of any author, source, or person—real or fictional.

While editing, do not to delete good analyses that are poorly written. Instead try to clean any biases and opinions from the old editor and leave any of the objective valuable or citable material.

Be sure to investigate counter arguments and check key translated words in the original Arabic or other language before adding a point.


Incorrect  Cross.png Corrected Checkmark.gif Notes
The Quran relates that God has woken the sleepers as a way to test who could calculate the length of their stay the best. The Quran relates that Allah has woken the sleepers as a way to test who could calculate the length of their stay the best. When referring to Islam's deity, always use his proper name (i.e. Allah) rather than the generic English term "God" (or the Arabic equivalent "Illah").
Hiding your identity in public this way is completely legal in many western countries, whilst other face coverings such as balaclavas, masks, and motorcycle helmets will quickly get the wearer arrested if worn in a public place. Hiding your identity in public this way is legal in many countries [...] Focus on the topic at hand and not bringing in comparative analysis
The Gregorian calendar did not exist in Muhammad’s day, so reporting dates in Gregorian style is an anachronism. The Europeans used the Julian calendar, which was then only two or three days variant from the Gregorian. However, it will be convenient to compare Muhammad’s calendar with the one currently used by the majority of readers. The Gregorian calendar did not exist in Muhammad’s day. However, it will be convenient to compare Muhammad’s calendar with the Gregorian calendar, which is internationally the most widely accepted and used civil calendar. Material should be tailored to accommodate, as best as possible, a universal audience.
If this is the sort of thing Islamists are ready to propagate openly with the approval and endorsement of authorities, Universities and so many sponsors, then what other lies do they feed to children at Muslim schools, and to young adults at mosques? Why are so many of the non-Muslim governments and individuals who continue to perpetuate these myths via websites and forums so eager to appease Muslims and show that their culture produced superior inventions by taking rightful credits from other civilizations such as ancient China, ancient Rome, and pre-Islamic Egypt? (avoid) Opinionated rants are to be avoided. This is not an anti-jihad site or blog for airing ones frustrations concerning perceived wrongs in society.
Shahid (شَهيد , plural: شُهَداء šuhadā) is an Islamic term for a martyr. As with adultery and justice, the term martyr in Islam differs from the secular and Biblical definitions of the word. Shahid (شَهيد , plural: شُهَداء šuhadā) is an Islamic term for a martyr. Its usage in Islamic literature and rhetoric differs from its use in the West and the Christian milieu. Commentary on other religious traditions should be avoided. In this case it is an unnecessary distinction. Unless the article is comparing religious parallels as the main subject.
The fact that the earth is not flat has been known for thousands of years. The Rigveda of Hindus (1700 BC or older), The Ancient Greeks Pythagoras (570 - 495 BC), Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) and Hipparchus (190 - 120 BC) all knew this. The Indian astronomer and mathematician, Aryabhata (476 - 550 AD) knew this. The spherical nature of the Earth has been understood for thousands of years. Pythagoras (570 - 495 BC), Aristotle (384 - 322 BC) and Hipparchus (190 - 120 BC) as well as Indian astronomer and mathematician, Aryabhata (476 - 550 AD) evince knowledge of the shape of the earth in their writings. Positive and definitive claims about what other religious texts (Bible, Rigveda, etc.) say should be avoided if at all possible because such texts are open to interpretation and our aim is to remain neutral towards them. The examples given are sufficient and already cover India, so mentioning the Rigveda is unnecessary. The tone should be encyclopedic.
Further, this apologist has ignored... This argument ignores... WikiIslam is not an "interfaith" or "dialogue" site, so unless it is someone very notable for work outside of the Internet, responses should not be made to specific, usually obscure, web-based apologists. Instead responses should be made to the general arguments raised, if those arguments merit a response at all.
==Verses Claiming that Quran is Detailed== ==Quranic Claim==

The Qur'an claims it is a book explained in detail: (citations)

Section headings do not form a part of the main text. They only indicate the general topic of that particular section, and should not contain information not found within its main text. So when choosing titles for headings and subheading, editors should avoid questions or long sentences.
Time would show that Aisha was confident, spirited, strong-willed and highly intelligent – she had indeed “some of the qualities of Khadijah”. (avoid) This sentence draws conclusions from text that can be debated. There are no hadiths that mention explicitly that Aisha was 'intelligent', 'strong willed' and so on. Report facts and not opinions and deductions.
he must have been a good stepfather to Hala and Hind, for they remained unswervingly loyal to him. (avoid) This sentence is drawing conclusions that are not present in the original text. Stepchildren remaining loyal could equally suggest that Muhammad was a strict and uncaring disciplinarian. But since neither conclusion is supported by facts, commenting on them should be avoided.
Juwayriya was sweet-natured, charming and as alluringly beautiful as a fairy; men became infatuated with her at first sight. Juwayriya was described in some hadiths as "jinnya" which some dictionaries translate to "angelic". An editor's own conclusions or exaggerations are being replaced with facts.

Modern views on traditional Islamic topics

Islam, as with any storied tradition, has and continues to change with the times. What a Muslim scholar wrote in a book in 10th century Baghdad is not going to perfectly reflect the beliefs and practices of Muslims living on the West Coast of the United States in the current year. The beliefs of both and in fact all other Muslims fall within the scope and purview of WikiIslam, and it is the wiki's job to document both. When it comes to the arguments of modern Islamic du'aah (preachers) and apologists however special care is needed. The wiki shall concern itself with documenting such arguments as reach a critical mass of recognition in the Muslim community at large, and will present them clearly and in an unbiased fashion. Where these arguments contradict obvious readings of the original texts, contradict published and accepted science, or generally err in regards to the facts these errors shall be enumerated and commented upon, but the wiki will not concern itself with making persuasive arguments as to the merits of these apologetic claims, one way or another. Likewise, when a commonly held modern view in the contemporary Muslim community contradicts a plain reading of the text or provable history, these discrepancies too shall be catalogued, but it is once again not the wiki's job to make a persuasive argument for or against such views. For more information on which apologetic claims can be included for discussion on the wiki, please see WikiIslam:Scope and Article Relevance. For more on how the analysis of these modern views should be incorporated into the article, please see WikiIslam:Structure

Lead vs. body


The Lead Text should define and explain only essential information about the subject and its impacts/contributions. The Lead Text text comes before the table of contents and does not have a section title. It is composed of one to five paragraphs and should be written simply and concisely to allow for easy digestion of information. This will also help Google create snippets for their search engine and therefore boosts the article’s visibility.

The lead text is the most important text in the article and should clearly lay out and summarize the information to be presented in the rest of the article.

The lead should also give a reasonable facsimile of the information in the article. As WikiIslam is an encyclopedia this should not be an argument but should be long enough to give the reader an idea of what they will be reading.


The body text should go into greater detail than the Lead text. It is important that all challengeable materials, or any claim that is subject to dispute, are from third party published works. The body should go into further details of interest on the subject and be broken down into sections.

Where a source is open to interpretation or is disputed, editors should not assume a particular meaning. Interpretations can be discussed by reference to scholars. The editor should only seek to summarize and collect sources that accurately reflect the positions and dialogue concerning the article’s subject.  Articles should never end with an evaluation of the editor’s impression, as this constitutes original research. They should, however, summarize the conclusions of the scholarly works and the plain readings of the primary sources cited.


If the transliterated word is not the subject of the article always link the first occurrence of the word to its own article when applicable. If you find a commonly transliterated word does not have its own article suggest or start one.


For titles of transliterated words use the standardized transliteration as the title with the English translation in brackets next to it. Example: Jannah (Heaven) For more info, please see WikiIslam:Titles


If a word has a suitable English translation the first occurrence of the word should use the translation followed by brackets including the transliteration and the word in its original language. Example: dust (turabin تُرَابٍ) all following occurrences can use either the English translation (preferred) or the transliteration if necessary.

If the word does not have a suitable English translation the first occurrence of the word should use the standardized transliteration followed by brackets including the language and the word in its original language. Example: Jizyah (جزية‎) all following occurrences can use the transliterated word.


This page explains polices concerning honorifics

Prophet, Christ or Lord

When discussing the Islamic prophet Muhammad, the first mention in an article and its conclusion should begin with the capitalized qualifier, Prophet, i.e. "The Prophet Muhammad". The same applies to any personal noun such as Jesus or Ganesha, (i.e. Jesus Christ" or "Lord Ganesha). This is because we need to be clear that we are discussing the religious figures named Muhammad, Jesus or Ganesha, and not another individual. Referring to Jesus as "Jesus Christ" does not make one a Christian, nor does referring to Muhammad as "Prophet Muhammad" make one a Muslim.

Sheikh, Imam, Saint or Doctor

Due to similar reasons, at least the first mention in an article should include the individual's religious title. For example, "Imam Bukhari" or "Shaykh Qaradawi". This is no different than referring to a saint or doctor as "Saint Patrick" or "Dr. Phil".

SAW, SWT, He, Him or Her

WikiIslam aims to be an objective platform, therefore additional religious honorifics such as "Muhammad (saw)" or "Allah (swt)" are not permitted in articles, unless quoting from a text which has them. The same applies to using an uppercase "H" in words such as "he", "him" or "her" in reference to deities of any religion. An exception to this rule would be the talk pages where users are free to use whatever form they feel comfortable with.

See also

External links