Abd Allah ibn Abi Qilaba the discoverer of the legendary city of Iram
Abu Murra literally, 'the father of bitterness,' meaning the devil
alif the first letter of the Arabic alphabet. It takes the shape of a slender, vertical line.
banj frequently used as a generic name referring to a narcotic or knockout drug, but sometimes the word specifically refers to henbane.
ghul a cannibalistic monster. A ghula is a female ghul.
al-Khidr "The Green Man," features in the Quran as a mysterious guide to Moses as well as appearing in many legends and stories. In some tales, this immortal servant of God is the guardian of the Spring of Life, which gives eternal life to those who drink from it.
Magian A Zoroastrian, a fire worshipper. In the Nights, the Magians invariably feature as sinister figures.
maisir a pre-Islamic game of chance involving arrows and in which the stakes were designated parts of slaughtered camels.
Malik an angel who is the guardian of hell.
Qaf Mount Qaf was a legendary mountain located at the end of the world, or in some versions one that encircles the earth.
rak'a in the Muslim prayer ritual, the bowing of the body followed by two prostrations
Ridwan the angel who is the guardian of the gates of Paradise
Shaddad ibn 'Ad legendary king of the tribe of 'Ad who attempted to build the city of Iram as a rival to Paradise and was punished by God for his presumption.
tagbut a term designating pagan idols or idolatry. By extension, the word was used to refer to soothsayers, sorcerers, and infidels.
'Udhri love this refers to the Banu 'Udhra. Several famous 'Udhri poets were supposed to have died from unconsummated love.
Selected from the Glossary to
The Arabian Nights
trans. by Malcolm C. Lyons