Imam

Imam (/ɪˈmɑːm/; Arabic: إمام imām; plural: أئمة aʼimmah) is an Islamic leadership position. For Sunni Muslims, Imam is most commonly used as the title of a worship leader of a mosque. In this context, imams may lead Islamic worship services, serve as community leaders, and provide religious guidance. For Shia Muslims, the Imams are leaders of the Islamic community or ummah after the Prophet.

Mughal Imams in discourse
Prayer in Cairo, painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme, 1865.

The term is only applicable to the members of Ahl al-Bayt, the family of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, considered infallibles by Twelver Shia.[1] The title was also used by the Zaidi Shia Imams of Yemen, who eventually founded the Mutawakkilite Kingdom of Yemen (1918–1970).