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(Arab. “leader”). Muslim term for person or thing serving as model, leader, pattern, guide. The Koran* (II 118) applies it to Abraham. Muhammad* is an “imam”; by constitutional law a caliph* is “supreme imam.” The first 4 caliphs are “imams” of Sunnites.* Shi'ites* regard their imams as divinely appointed, illumined, and preserved from sin. The term also designates a leader in prayer or a religious functionary and is applied as honorary title to outstanding theologians. See also World Community of Al-Islam, The.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

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Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
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Content Reproduced with Permission

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