Painted Hands Glossary
Alhamdulillah: Literally, “praise to God.”
Assalamu Alaikum: Traditional Muslim greeting, meaning “peace be upon you.”
Biryani: A spiced rice-based Indian dish made with meat or vegetables.
Dosa: A fermented crepe made from lentil and rice powder and often stuffed with potatoes.
Dupatta: A long scarf accompanying South Asian women’s outfits, often worn over the shoulders.
Eid: A Muslim holiday.
Fatwa: A legal judgment based on Islamic law.
Gharara: A formal Pakistani outfit, popular at weddings, consisting of a thigh-length tunic and long, wide pants that flare out at the knees.
Halal: Literally, something which is permitted by Islamic law, often referring to meat that has been slaughtered in the prescribed manner, similar to “kosher.”
Hijab: The traditional headscarf worn by some Muslim women.
Insha’Allah: Literally, “God willing,” used by Muslims and Arab Christians when speaking of future activities.
Jaan: A term of endearment.
Kafir: A non-believer in Islam.
Khuda Hafiz: Literally, “May God be your protector,” used by South Asian and Persian Muslims in parting.
Kohl: A form of eye makeup common in South Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.
Korma: A type of curry.
Kufi: A brimless cap often worn by Muslim men.
Kurta: A collarless shirt.
Kya aap Pakistani hain: The question,“Are you Pakistani?”
Lassi: A yogurt-based drink.
Lengha: A long skirt.
Masha’Allah: Literally, “God has willed it.” Often said by Muslims upon hearing good news.
Mullah: A person who studies or teaches Islamic theology and law.
Palak paneer: An Indian dish made of spinach and cheese.
Pappadum: A thin, crisp lentil flour-based Indian treat.
Paratha: A type of Indian bread.
Phupi: Aunt, specifically one’s father’s sister.
Rasmalai: An Indian dessert consisting of balls of cheese in a cream sauce.
Salaam: Literally, “peace.” A shortened version of Assalamu Alaikum.
Salwar Kameez: A traditional South Asian outfit consisting of a knee-length shirt and blousy pants.
Shahada: The Islamic testament of faith in which a believer declares her faith in God and Muhammad’s prophethood.
Surah al-Falaq: A chapter of the Qur’an.
Tikka: A pendent worn on the forehead.
Vindaloo: An Indian curry dish.
Zardosi: A form of embroidery.