Shaikh Al-Islam

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Shaikh Al-Islam

 

(1) In Islamic countries since the 11th century, a title of respect for ulama, or prominent theologians.

(2) In the Ottoman Empire from the mid-16th century to 1924, the mufti of Istanbul—that is, the head of the Muslim clergy, appointed by the sultan.

(3) In Iran during the reign of the Safavids, one of the chief judges among the ecclesiastical judges appointed by the shah.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.