In other words, the Druids constituted the learned and the priestly class, and they were in addition the chief expounders and guardians of the law.
The various dynasties of sultans (Buyids, Ghaznevids, Seljuks, and finally the Mongols) never paid heed to the caliphs, and at length abolished them; but the fall of the theocracy only increased the influence of the clergy, the expounders and practical administrators of that legislation of Koran and Sunna which had become part of the life of the Mahommedan world.
The mullahs are referred to in questions concerning religious law, hold religious assemblies, preach in mosques, teach in colleges, and are appointed by the government as judges, head-preachers, &c. Thus the dignitaries, whose character seems to us specially a religious one, are in reality doctors, or expounders and interpreters of the law, and officiating ministers charged with the ordinary accomplishment of certain ceremonies, which every other Mussulman, true believer, has an equal right to fulfil.
It is worthy of note that the new school found its earliest professors and its greatest expounders in a part of India outside the districts to which the personal influence of Gotama and of his immediate followers had been confined.
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