imam

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imam

(ĭmäm`) [Arab.,=leader], in Islam, a recognized leader or a religious teacher. Among the SunniSunni
[Arab. Sunna,=tradition], from ahl al-sunnah wa-l-jamaa [Arab.,=the people of the custom of the Prophet and community], the largest division of Islam. Sunni Islam is the heir to the early central Islamic state, in its ackowledgement of the legitimacy of the order of
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 the term refers to the leader in the Friday prayer at the mosque; any pious Muslim may function as imam. The term has also been used as a synonym for caliph (see caliphatecaliphate
, the rulership of Islam; caliph , the spiritual head and temporal ruler of the Islamic state. In principle, Islam is theocratic: when Muhammad died, a caliph [Arab.,=successor] was chosen to rule in his place.
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), the vicegerent of God. The 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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, with their numerous denominations throughout history, have developed specific meanings for the term. Zaydi Shiites recognize as Imam any pious descendant of AliAli
(Ali ibn Abu Talib), 598?–661, 4th caliph (656–61). The debate over his right to the caliphate caused a major split in Islam into Sunni and Shiite branches, and he is regarded by the Shiites as the first Imam, or leader: Shiite derives from the phrase
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 and FatimaFatima
, 616?–633?, daughter of Muhammad by his first wife, Khadija. Fatima was the wife of Ali, the mother of Hasan and Husein, and reputedly the ancestress of the Fatimids. She is revered by all branches of the Islamic faith and is the subject of many mysteries and legends.
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 who earns his recognition as a leader through struggle. Twelve-Imam Shiite dogma restricts the Imams to Ali, his sons HasanHasan
, c.625–c.669; son of Ali and Fatima (daughter of Muhammad the Prophet). When Ali was killed in 661, Hasan became caliph, but he was not strong enough to withstand the threat of arms of the Umayyads and under pressure abdicated in favor of Muawiya.
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 and HuseinHusein
or Husayn
, c.626–680, Muslim leader, second son of Ali and Fatima (daughter of Muhammad). With the assassination of his father in 661 and the acquiescence of his brother Hasan, the caliphate passed out of the Alid family, although many continued to
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, and nine direct linear descendants of Husein. Twelve-Imam Shiite doctrine presents the Imams as infallible intermediaries between the human and the divine. The continuous presence of the Imams being a prerequisite for human salvation, al-Mahdi, the last Imam, is considered in occultation (hidden from humanity) since 874 only to return near the end of creation as a messiahlike figure. For Ismaili Shiites, the succession of the Imams breaks off from the Twelve-Imams line with Ismail, the son of Jafar al-Sadiq (see IsmailisIsmailis
, Muslim Shiite sect that holds Ismail, the son of Jafar as-Sadiq, as its imam. On the death of the sixth imam of the Shiites, Jafar as-Sadiq (d. 765), the majority of Shiites accepted Musa al-Kazim, the younger son of Jafar, as seventh imam.
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). At present the Nizari subgroup of the Ismailis is the only group whose members claim a living and visible Imam in the person of Prince Karim al-Hussayni, Aga Khan IV (see Aga KhanAga Khan
, the title of the religious leader and imam of the Ismaili Nizari sect of Islam, originally bestowed by the Persian shah Fath Ali on Hasan Ali Shah, 1800–1881, the 46th Ismaili imam, in 1818.
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). The use of the title imam by the Iranian revolutionary leader Ruhollah Khomeini and by the Lebanese Shiite leader Musa al-Sadr signaled a new development in Twelve-Imam Shiite doctrine, since neither could not claim to be the Hidden Imam returned, reflecting the desire to transcend the passive waiting for the reappearance of the Mahdi and promote the reincorporation of political activism into Shiite religious life.

imam

, imaum Islam
1. a leader of congregational prayer in a mosque
2. a caliph, as leader of a Muslim community
3. an honorific title applied to eminent doctors of Islam, such as the founders of the orthodox schools
4. any of a succession of either seven or twelve religious leaders of the Shiites, regarded by their followers as divinely inspired
References in periodicals archive ?
The Imaam concluded his talk by spreading the message of peace and misconception of Islam's connection with terror.
Star performance The classily bred Imaam is starting to fulfil his potential Dave's dilemma Professional punter Dave Nevison arrived by train after losing the keys to his pounds 250 Mondeo on a night out.
Rather than lay Equipe De Nuit, punters might be better backing Imaam.
Imaam Ibn Al-Qayyim said: "The parent must keep his child away from laziness, extra comfort and being spoilt, and should raise him upon the opposite of these.
The salts were required after Imaam, backed in to 2-5 from 8-15, was turned over in his maiden heat not long after 4-5 jolly Nawamees failed to deliver in the claimer.
Qur'an; 24: 36-38] Imaam Ibn Katheer, may Allah have mercy upon him, said: "The word 'men' gives an indication that they have high ambitions, noble goals, and strong wills, with which they are able to maintain themselves in the houses of Allah; and they favour the pleasure of Allah over their own.
Jane Chapple-Hyam saddled her first juvenile winner of the season when Patrician's Glory belied his odds of 25-1 by mugging evens favourite Imaam close home in the second division of the colt's maiden
Imaam Bekandi, may Allah have mercy on him, used to say proudly about his clever student: "This boy is unique of his kind.
Division two of the maiden was won in similarly impressive style by the Jane Chapple-Hyam-trained Patricians Glory, but whereas Whispering Angel could be called the winner a long way out, John Egan's mount got the hang of things late on to beat the well-backed Imaam deep inside the final furlong.
Finally, we would like to conclude with a Hadith (narration) from the Messenger of Allah that was collected by Imaam Maalik in his book called Muwatta.
A runner-up on the Rowley Mile on his debut, the highly regarded son of Cozzene held on by three lengths from Imaam.
In one of the two narrations reported from Imaam Ahmad bin Hanbal, may Allah have mercy upon him, he forbade proxy in supererogatory Haj for those who are capable of performing it in person.