imam

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Related to Imams: Sunni imams

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 ?
transparent mechanism for provision of monthly stipend to Pesh Imam as per the provincial cabinet decision throughout the province.
Q: You mentioned in one of your articles that spiritual relationship with the Imams is at the heart of the Shiite faith, and that's why pilgrimage to the shrines of the Imams is so important to the Shiite Muslims.
Moreover lots of quotation by prophet and imam in Shiite and sonnet sources which said till other world we have 12 king after prophet for example below quotations: imam sajad (p) by his father of their insisters prophet said: we have 12 imams after me the first one is Ali (p) and the lost one is Mehdi and another quotation by Amir Al momenin then Jesus dies and Mehdi (p) remains and live (some of jurators, 177).
A total of 42 imams were dismissed last year, on the grounds that they had undertaken unauthorised travel outside Bahrain and that the JWD was overstaffed.
In the wake of the turbulence of the 2011 uprising, some imams began to use mosques as a platform to promote particular ideologies and to mobilize people to take action.
CARTHAGE, (TAP)- The meeting Caretaker President Moncef Marzouki had on Monday with a delegation of Imams and Sheikhs focused on "the need, according to the latter, for the new Constitution to refer to the Islamic Sharia and the importance of criminalising any assault to sanctity," a Presidency press release indicated.
We have noted that several imams and preachers have yet to comply with the rules to record their sermons," a source at the Ministry of Justice, Endowments and Islamic Affairs has said.
All imams in Turkey are civil servants hired and paid by the Diyanet, the General Directorate of Religious Affairs, a state institution which manages the country's 80,000 mosques.
Summary: About 150 imams have protested outside the royal palace in Jordan's capital Amman in an attempt to express their discontent with the government.
MARDAN -- Local police has arrested six Paish Imams of different mosques belonging to Afghanistan in the limits of Laundkhwar police station in tehsil Takhtbai, police sources said Tuesday.
Imams are given prepared sermons to read during weekly Friday prayers and are not permitted to deviate from the text.
Imam Moussa al-Kadhim, (Seventh of Safar, 128 AH- Twenty-fifth of Rajab, 183 AH) (Approximately: October 28, 746 AD-September 1, 799 AD), the seventh of the Twelve Shiite Imams.