—imamship, n./i mahm"/, n. Islam.1. the officiating priest of a mosque.2. the title for a Muslim religious leader or chief.3. one of a succession of seven or twelve religious leaders, believed to be divinely inspired, of the Shi'ites.Also, imaum /i mahm", i mawm"/.[1605-15; < Ar imam leader, guide]
* * *Head of the Muslim community.In Sunnite Islam the imam was identical with the caliph, designating the political successor of Muhammad. The Sunnites held the imam to be a man capable of error but deserving obedience provided he maintained the ordinances of Islam. In Shīite Islam the imam became a figure of absolute religious authority, possessed of unique insights into the Qurʾān and divinely appointed and preserved from sin. With the historical disappearance of the last imam, there arose a belief in the hidden imam, who is identified with the mahdi. The term imam is also given to Muslims who lead prayers in mosques and has been used as an honorary title.
* * *▪ IslamArabic Imām(“leader,” “pattern”), the head of the Muslim community; the title is used in the Qurʾān several times to refer to leaders and to Abraham. The origin and basis of the office of imam was conceived differently by various sections of the Muslim community, this difference providing part of the political and religious basis for the split into Sunnite and Shīʿite Islām. Among Sunnites, imam was synonymous with caliph (khalīfah), designating the successor of Muḥammad, who assumed his administrative and political, but not religious, functions. He was appointed by men and, although liable to error, was to be obeyed even though he personally sinned, provided he maintained the ordinances of Islām.Political disagreement over succession to his office after the death (661) of Alīʿ, the fourth caliph and Muḥammad's son-in-law, propelled the Shīʿite imam along a separate course of development, as partisans of ʿAlī attempted to preserve leadership of the entire Muslim community among the descendants of ʿAlī. In Shīʿite Islām, the imam became a figure of absolute spiritual authority and fundamental importance. ʿAlī and the successive imams, who are believed by Shīʿism to be the sole possessors of secret insights into the Qurʾān given them by Muḥammad, under Neoplatonic influences of the 9th–10th centuries AD became viewed as men illumined by the Primeval Light, God, and as divinely appointed and preserved from sin. They alone, and not the general consensus of the community (ijmāʿ) essential to Sunnite Islām, determined matters of doctrinal importance and interpreted revelation. With the historical disappearance (ghaybah) of the last imam—there has been no consistency in the number legitimized: among the major sects, Sabʿīyah Ismāʿīlīs acknowledge 7 imams and Ithnā ʿAsharī (Twelvers) 12—there arose a belief in the hidden imam, who is identified with the mahdī.Imam has also been used as an honorary title, applied to such figures as the caliph ʿAlī ibn Abī Ṭālib and the theologians Abū Ḥanīfah, ash-Shāfiʿī, Mālik ibn Anas, Aḥmad ibn Ḥanbal, al-Ghazālī, and Muḥammad ʿAbduh. The title imam also is sometimes given to the specially trained Muslims who lead prayers in the mosques.
* * *
Look at other dictionaries:
Imâm — Imam Religion religions abrahamiques : judaïsme · christianisme · islam Cet … Wikipédia en Français
imam — [ imam ] n. m. • 1697; iman 1559; mot ar. « guide » 1 ♦ Hist. Titre donné au successeur de Mahomet et à ceux d Ali. 2 ♦ Mod. Chef de prière dans une mosquée. Celui qui dirige une communauté musulmane. ● imam nom masculin (mot arabe) Ministre ou… … Encyclopédie Universelle
imam — IMÁM, imami, s.m. 1. Preot sau prelat musulman; conducătorul rugăciunii colective într o moschee. 2. Titlu purtat de unii suverani musulmani (care deţin şi conducerea bisericii). [var.: imán s.m.] – Din tc. imam. Trimis de baron, 13.09.2007.… … Dicționar Român
IMAM Ro.37 — IMAM Ro.37 … Deutsch Wikipedia
imam — ìmām m <G imáma> DEFINICIJA 1. a. pov. (rij. neob.) predvodnik karavane b. islamski vjerski službenik, onaj koji predvodi skupne molitve [džamijski imam] c. onaj koji stjecajem okolnosti rukovodi skupnim klanjanjem namaza; ne mora biti… … Hrvatski jezični portal
Imam — der; s, Plur. s u. e <aus gleichbed. arab. imām, eigtl. »Vorsteher«>: 1. a) Vorbeter in der ↑Moschee; b) (ohne Plur.) Titel für verdiente Gelehrte des Islams. 2. religiöses Oberhaupt (Nachkomme Mohammeds) der ↑Schiiten … Das große Fremdwörterbuch
imam — imam; imam·ate; … English syllables
imam — ► NOUN 1) the person who leads prayers in a mosque. 2) (Imam) a title of various Muslim leaders, especially of one succeeding Muhammad as leader of Shiite Islam. DERIVATIVES imamate noun. ORIGIN Arabic, leader … English terms dictionary
imam — [i mäm′] n. [Ar imām, a guide, leader < amma, to walk before, precede] 1. the leader of prayer in a Muslim mosque 2. [often I ] any of various Muslim leaders and rulers: often used as a title … English World dictionary
Imam — I*mam , Iman I*man , Imaum I*maum , n. [Ar. im[=a]m.] 1. Among the Mohammedans, a minister or priest who performs the regular service of the mosque. [1913 Webster] 2. A Mohammedan prince who, as a successor of Mohammed, unites in his person… … The Collaborative International Dictionary of English
Imām — (arab., der Vorsteher), 1) türkischer Priester (vorzugsweise Dogmatiker); die I s, deren Kenntniß sich gewöhnlich nur auf das Koranverständniß erstreckt, versehen den Gottesdienst in den Dschamis (Moscheen), rufen die Moslems von den Minarets… … Pierer's Universal-Lexikon