Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE

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Imām (technical term)
(799 words)

The etymological meaning of imām (pl. aʾimma) is someone who leads a group, such as the chief of a caravan, or something that guides, such as a roadway (as in Q 15:79) or a book or register (Q 17:71). It is used occasionally to denote bad examples to be eschewed (Q 9:12). In Islam, the word has retained these meanings. Besides the Qurʾānic examples already given, it is commonly used as an epithet for the founders of law schools, leading theologians, and other religious authorities, as well as for othe…

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Aerts, Stijn, “Imām (technical term)”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, THREE, Edited by: Kate Fleet, Gudrun Krämer, Denis Matringe, John Nawas, Everett Rowson. Consulted online on 30 June 2022 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_ei3_COM_32432>
First published online: 2020
First print edition: 9789004413467, 2020, 2020-4



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