haram shareef, haram sharif The location of the Ka’bah in Mecca.
harem The part of a Muslim household where the females and children live. The word harem can also refer to the women and girls themselves.
Hashim, Haashim The Prophet Muhammad’s great-grandfather whose descendants went on to form the Banu Hashim clan of the Quraish tribe in Mecca, to which Muhammad belonged.
Hawa The first woman and Adam’s wife; Qur’anic name for Eve.
hawalah, hawala A promissory note, bill of exchange, cheque, draft. Under a hawalah, a person who is in debt (person A) passes on the responsibility of payment of his debt to person B who owes money to person A, transferring the responsibility of payment to person B. (‘Person’ could also be a company or other organisation.) It is a mechanism which can be employed, for example, for settling international debts, removing the necessity of transferring cash cross-border.
hawl The length of time that must pass before a person who had been exempt from paying zakat must start paying it after his or her wealth meets or exceeds the minimum limit. In most cases this is a lunar year, or approximately 354 days.
Hazrat, Hadrah, Hadrah, Hazret An honorific title given to high-ranking people, including the Prophet himself, who is sometimes referred to as Hazrat Mumammad.
hedge, hedging A means of reducing exposure to risk by simultaneously assuming a position in an opposing market. A common means of hedging is to enter into a forward contract, for example a farmer agreeing to sell some or all of his crop for a price that is fixed on the day of the contract. Since prices are subject to fluctuation, if the price of his crop rises it might turn out that the farmer would have made much more money had he not sold it at the lower fixed price; meanwhile the buyer gets the crop at a bargain price and could sell it on at the higher price and make a considerable profit. However should the price drop, the farmer has the knowledge that his income is assured as he has a guaranteed payment for it; meanwhile the buyer will have paid over the odds for the crop. This is just one example of hedging, but there are many more complex and ingenious ways of reducing risk exposure, from insurance to derivates.