Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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(1,176 words)

A term (pl. aʾimma) used in the Qurʾān to mean the following: symbol, leader, model, ideal example, revelation, guide, archetype, and foremost. It appears in the Qurʾān seven times in the singular and five times in the plural form. The term imām has been interpreted and applied in various ways in Islamic history up to contemporary times and has been significant in shaping the politico-religious dimension of the Muslim Weltanschauung.

The Qurʾān's symbolic reference to the appointment of Abraham (q.v.) as an imām (leader) of humanity in q 2:124 counsels that religious submission to the bel…

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Yusuf, Imtiyaz, “Imām”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 31 May 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00215>

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