atheist One who does not adhere to any religion. The word literally means one without deity, the opposite of an atheist being a theist. Unlike most religions, atheists do not tend to identify with a specific region, language or culture, but are spread throughout all cultures and nations. Atheists can arrive at their position in a number of ways. For example, they might be brought up in religious societies or might actually believe in the religion of their parents before rejecting the given faith, often on grounds of lack of evidence or scientific reason. Other atheists have simply never been exposed to religion by their families or schooling. Under some communist regimes (for example), religions have been banned or discouraged, but this does not mean that each member of their populations was necessarily an atheist. Some might keep their beliefs secret; others might meet fellow adherents and worship in private. Atheists tend to adhere to the principle of secularism in their governments and education establishments, but atheism and secularism are not synonymous; it usually reflects a wish to live in harmony with their neighbours of all religions, but do not wish to see any particular religion dominate. It is for this reason that some religious leaders encourage secularism.
ath-har Authentic, distinct.
ATM Common abbreviation of automated teller machine, cash machine, and so on.
auction A means of buying and selling goods by offering them up for bid, taking bids and then selling the item to the highest bidder. In common understanding an auction takes place in a room with an auctioneer at the front, with potential buyers bidding higher and higher amounts for a good until no bidders are willing to exceed the highest bid, whose bidder wins the auction (see also Dutch auction). Auctions may have a reserve price, which is the minimum bid the seller will take for the goods; this acts as a safeguard against letting the goods go at a loss or insufficient profit. Large, corporate auctions are much more discreet and may take place over many weeks or months, with bids either secret or open. An auction may refer to any mechanism whereby goods or services are sold to the highest bidder.
auction, Dutch (see Dutch auction).
Audhu billah (A?dhu bill?h) “I seek refuge in God”. This is a paraphrase on the beginnings of the two last suras