Religion Past and Present

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Imām
(83 words)

[German Version]

The Arabic word imām, “leader, master,” is used in Islam as a general term for someone with religious authority on a wide range of levels, from the prayer leader in a mosque to the supreme leader of all Muslims. In the latter sense it is used primarily by the Shi'ites (Šīʿa/Shiʾites), for whose teaching the recognition of twelve imāms as the legitimate successors of the Prophet Muḥammad is constitutive.

Bibliography

W. Madelung, “Imāma,” EI 2 III, 1971, 1163–1169.

Cite this page
Halm, Heinz, “Imām”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 20 July 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_10305>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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