Religion Past and Present

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(131 words)

[German Version]

is the widespread designation in the Islamic world for a person with (mainly religious) education. The term seems to be derived from the Arabic Maulā (“lord, master” etc.). Especially in the areas of Turkish and Iranian language and culture, and on the Indian subcontinent, the term has taken on very diverse colorings in the course of history. It can still be used as an honorific title for distinguished scholars, Sufi masters or religio-political leaders; but also, to some degree pejoratively, for members of the middle or lower clergy (III). In secularist usage, the …

Cite this page
Ende, Werner, “Mullah”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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