ayatollah

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ayatollah:

see ShiitesShiites
[Arab., shiat Ali,=the party of Ali], the second largest branch of Islam, Shiites currently account for 10%–15% of all Muslims. Shiite Islam originated as a political movement supporting Ali (cousin and son-in-law of Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam) as the
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ayatollah

one of a class of Iranian Shiite religious leaders
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005