- the leader of prayer in a Muslim mosque
- any of various kinds of Muslim leader or ruler: often used as a title
Origin of imamArabic im?m, a guide, leader ; from amma, to walk before, precede
- a. In law and theology, the caliph who is successor to Muhammad as the lawful temporal leader of the Islamic community.b. The male prayer leader in a mosque.c. The Muslim worshiper who leads the recitation of prayer when two or more worshipers are present.
- In Twelver Shia belief, any of 12 descendants of Muhammad regarded as divinely appointed spiritual and temporal leaders.
- A ruler claiming descent from Muhammad and exercising authority in an Islamic state.
- a. Any of the founders of the four schools of law and theology.b. An authoritative scholar who founds a school of law or theology.
- Used as a title for an imam.
Origin of imamArabic ’imam, leader, imam, from ’amma, to go before, lead; see ℵmm in Semitic roots.
From Arabic إمام (’imām).