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Adi Granth First Book.  The first scriptures were compiled by Guru Arjan Dev (the 5th Sikh Guru).  The 10th Sikh Guru (Guru Gobind Singh) conferred Guruship to it thus becoming Guru Granth Sahib.
Advent Means Coming. The period including four Sundays before Christmas.  This is the time that Christians prepare for Christmas celebrations of the birth of Jesus.
Afterlife The explanation of what happens to people when they die.  The basic premise is that each individual has a soul, which lives beyond the body.  In some beliefs, the soul moves on to another place (heaven);  while for others there is a belief that the soul enters into another body.
Agnostic A person who thinks that it is impossible to know for certain that any God exists because there is no proof.
Ahimsa Not killing or hurting any living creature.  This is one of the important ideas of Buddhism, Hinduism and Jainism.
Akaal Takht Throne of the Immortal.  Built by Guru Hargobind (6th Sikh Guru) as a seat of temporal authority for the Sikhs.
Akhand Paath Continuous, uninterrupted reading of the Guru Granth Sahib.
‘Akka The Bahá’i community remember this prison city near Haifa (Israel) where the Bah’u’lláh was imprisoned from 1868 to 1877.
Allah The Islamic name for God.
Amen It is true or So be it.  Muslims, Jews, and Christians say "Amen" or "Ameen" at the end of prayers. 
Amrit Nectar.  A special mixture of sugar and water used at Sikh ceremonies.
Amrit Sanskar Sikh initiation ceremony.
Angel Heavenly being.  Chritianity, Islam, and Judaism believe that these beings carry messages between God and the people on earth.  Gabriel is one Angel that is named in the Scriptures of all three religions.
Apostle A Christian who is sent out to spread the message of Jesus.  The first Apostles were Jesus’s disciples.
Aqiqah A Muslim ceremony that is held when a Baby is seven days old.  Prayers are made for the Baby’s future.  The Baby is named and has its head shaved.  The hair is weighed, then the family calculate the cost of the same weight of silver;  then give that value to the poor. 
Arabic The language in which the Qur’an (the Muslim holy book) is written.  The Qur’an came from Allah and was conveyed to the Prophet Mohammad in this language.  Muslims believe that the words should never be changed - regardless of the country of origin of a practicing Muslim, recital of verses and prayers are said in Arabic.
Arc Referred to as The Arc by the Bahá’i community.  It is the collection of administrative buildings at the Bahá’i World Centre on Mt. Carmel, Israel.  The buildings on the Arc include the Seat of the Universal House of Justice, the International Teaching Centre, the International Archives, and the Centre for the Study of the Sacred Texts.
Ardas A Sikh prayer said after Sikh services, remembering God, the teachings of Sikh Gurus, those who have died for Sikhism and asks Gods blessing for all humanity.
Arti A part of Hindu worship.  Five arti lamps are waved in circular movements in front of an image of a God or Goddess.  The worshipers hold their hands over the lamps and touch their faces to feel the warmth of the God or Goddess’s blessing.
Ascension Going up.  The Ascension of Jesus is celebrated by Christians forty days after Easter.  It is said in the Christian Scriptures that Jesus remained on earth for forty days after he had risen from the dead.  Then he was lifted up into heaven to be with God.
Ash Wednesday The first day of Lent, a period in the Christian year.  Some churches "ash" the congregation on their forehead (using a paste of ashes to make a cross).
AshRama A stage in life.  There are four Hindu stages (AshRama).  The first stage is the "student" stage, where Hindus learn about Hinduism.  In the second stage, the "householder" stage they work for a living, get married and have children.  In the third stage they have retirement.  The fourth stage is to become a wandering holy man (most Hindus do not follow this stage).
Atheist Someone who does not believe that God exists.
Aum A sound in Hindu chanting at the beginning and end of prayers and hymns. The written form of "Aum" is an important Hindu symbol.
Avalokiteshvara A Bodhisattva.  As a sign of being ready to help anyone, Avalokiteshvara is often shown with a thousand arms, each with an eye and holding an object.
Avatar The body or shape a God or Goddess takes to visit the earth in Hindism.
Ayatollah It literally means "a sign of Allah".  A Shi’a Muslim leader who has studied Islamic theology and law to a high degree is known by this title.

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