Imam


Imam

An imam ( _ar. إمام plural ائمة A'immah , _fa. امام) is an Islamic leader, often the leader of a mosque and/or community. Similarly to spiritual leaders, the imam is the man - an imam is always a man since female imams never have been recognized in Islam - who leads the prayer during Islamic gatherings. More often the community turn to the mosque imam, if they have an Islamic question. In smaller communities an imam could be the community leader based on the community setting.

hi'a imams

In the Shi'a context, "Imam" has a meaning more central to belief, referring to leaders of the community. Twelver and Ismaili Shi'a believe that these Imams are chosen by God to be perfect examples for the faithful and to lead all humanity in all aspects of life. They also believe that all the Imams chosen are free from committing any sin and have a status directly parallel to those of a prophet, infallibility which is called "ismah". These leaders must be followed since they are appointed by God.

Twelver

Here follows a list of the Twelvers Imams:

Fatimah, also Fatimah al-Zahraa, daughter of Muhammed (615632), is also considered infallible but not an Imam. Many Shi'a believe that the last Imam will one day return.

See Imamah (Shi'a Ismaili doctrine) for Ismaili list of Imams

unni imams

The term is also used for a recognized religious leader or teacher in Islam, often for the founding scholars of the four Sunni madhhabs, or schools of religious jurisprudence "(fiqh)". It may also refer to the imams of the sciences related to Hadith or to the heads of the Prophet's descendants in their times. In other words, Imam Ali is a phrase used by both Shi'a and Sunni Muslims, though with different connotations [ [http://islamicweb.com/history/caliphs_imams.htm The Rightly-Guided Caliphs & The Four Imams] ] .

The Sunni sect does not have imams in the same sense as the Shi'a sect. The imam in the Sunni sect of Islam is the leader of prayers; the sermon is most often given by the Sheikh.

However, there are some people whom Sunnis call "Imams" who are not prayer leaders. They are not Imams in the Shi'a sense of the word, but they are those who started the four Sunni Madhabs.List:

Zaidi imams as rulers of Yemen

In the Zaidi Shiite sect, Imams were temporal as well as spiritual leaders who held power in Yemen for more than a thousand years. In 897, a Zaidi ruler, Yahya al-Hadi ila'l Haqq, founded a line of such Imams, a theocratic form of government which survived until the second half of the 20th century. (See details under Zaidi, History of Yemen.)

ee also

*Shia Imam
*Women as imams

Foot notes

References

*cite encyclopedia | encyclopedia = Encyclopaedia Britannica Online | publisher = Encyclopaedia Britannica, Inc.
*cite encyclopedia | encyclopedia=Encyclopædia Iranica | publisher=Center for Iranian Studies, Columbia University| id= ISBN 1568590504
*cite encyclopedia | encyclopedia = Encyclopaedia of Islam and the Muslim world; vol.1 | last = Martin | first = Richard C. | publisher = MacMillan | id = ISBN 0028656040
*cite encyclopedia | encyclopedia = Encyclopedia of the Modern Middle East and North Africa | last = | first = | year = 2004 | publisher = Gale Group | id = ISBN 9780028657691
*cite book|last = Corbin|first = Henry|authorlink = Henry Corbin|coauthors = |title = History of Islamic Philosophy, Translated by Liadain Sherrard, Philip Sherrard|publisher = London; Kegan Paul International in association with Islamic Publications for The Institute of Ismaili Studies |year = 1993 (original French 1964)|id = ISBN 0710304161
*cite book | last=Momen | first=Moojan | authorlink= | title= TAn Introduction to Shi`i Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelve| publisher=Yale University Press | year=1985 | id=ISBN 0300035314
*cite book | last=Sachedina | first=Abdulaziz Abdulhussein | authorlink=Abdulaziz Sachedina | title= The Just Ruler (al-sultān Al-ʻādil) in Shīʻite Islam: The Comprehensive Authority of the Jurist in Imamite Jurisprudence| publisher=Oxford University Press US | year=1988 | id=ISBN 0195119150
*cite book | last=Tabatabae | first=Sayyid Mohammad Hosayn | coauthors=Seyyed Hossein Nasr (translator) | authorlink=Allameh Tabatabaei | title= Shi'ite Islam
publisher=SUNY press| year=1979 | id=ISBN 0-87395-272-3

External links

* [http://alislam.org/library/messiah.html Imam Mahdi & Messiah]
* [http://al-islam.org/twelve/7.htm A brief introduction of Twelve Imams]
* [http://www.balagh.net/english/shia/shia/10.htm#00011 A Brief History Of The Lives Of The Twelve Imams] a chapter of Shi'a Islam (book) by Allameh Tabatabaei
* [http://www.geocities.com/ahlulbayt14/12imams.html The Twelve Imams] Taken From "A Shi'ite Anthology" By Allameh Tabatabaei
* [http://www.ummah.net/khoei/imam.htm#12 A Short History of the Lives of The Twelve Imams]
* [http://al-islam.org/imamate/ Detailed description of the Shiite belief]
* [http://philtar.ucsm.ac.uk/encyclopedia/islam/shia/index.html Graphical illustration of the Shia sects]
* [http://ibnalhyderabadee.wordpress.com/2006/10/31/imaams-of-the-sunnah-vanguards-of-islamic-aqeedah-contents/ List of Sunni Imams]
* [http://www.the-imam.com The Imam Movie]


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