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catbert836 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-13-06 02:40 PM
Original message
Question about Islamic "clergy"
Edited on Thu Apr-13-06 02:41 PM by catbert836
When I read something about Islam, I tend to come across some terms used for the "clergy" (yes, I know Islam doesn't have any, but I couldn't think of a better word) that I have no clue as to their meaning. What I'm talking about is Imam, Mufti, Ayatollah, and Caliph.

Can anyone enlighten me? Thank you in advance.
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Orrin_73 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-13-06 03:39 PM
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1. Anyone can become an imam
To do a religious duty you dont need an imam, only if it is been done by a group of men then an imam will lead the service. Ayatollah is title used by the shiites. Caliph is the equivalent of the catholic pope, the caliphat was abolished in 1924. The caliph had no religious duties, it was done by the sheikh-ul-islam. Mufti is a title given to a imam of a territory. Mufti's are mostly men who have more knowledge then the average imam.
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ayeshahaqqiqa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Apr-15-06 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Thank you, brother, for this information
In the Sufi tradition, we don't have all of these titles, and I wasn't sure what they meant. Thank you for the information.

One thing I will add; in the Sufi tradition I belong to, Kalif is a title for a stage of initiation; they are honored at that stage, but are not the same as a Murshid (teacher). In the Sufi tradition, what matters is your relationship with your teacher. Teachers can have many names, but they all have one thing in common; they are a bit further along the spiritual path and are there to help you on your way.
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Orrin_73 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-19-06 11:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
3. In Islam there is no hierarchical clergy
but the shiites have. The shiites differ from us sunnis.
Within the sufi orders you sometimes have hierarchies, but it is in no way in conflict with the law against hierarchical clergy.
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