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Wednesday, December 17, 2014
For a person who simply leads the prayers in a mosque, the Imam is a controversial figure in Islam, an honorary post that the left the Muslims divided into Shia and Sunni camps. Elected or inherited — it does not bestow any special powers. In Islam, all mosques have an Imam. All Muslims are equal before God. It also goes without saying that all Imams are equal irrespective whether they represent a — big or small mosque.
Imam – is an Arabic word means “leader”or head of the Muslim community. It is an honorary post given to specially trained Muslims capable of leading prayers in the mosques.
The world Imam has been used several times in Quran to refer to leaders and Abraham. But not many people that the office of the imam was one of the things that led to the Shia-Sunni divide in the Muslim community.
The story dates back to just after the death of Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. After Muhammad’s death, it was difficult to decide who should succeed him as the leader of the one hundred thousand strong Muslim community. A group within the Muslims preferred Abu Bakr, a Companion of the Prophet, as the Caliph (politico-social leader) while another group was supporting the Prophet’s son-in-law Ali as the Caliph and sole interpreter. Finally, Abu Bakr was appointed First Caliph.