Islam:The role and function of an Imam in a Sunni Mosque Essay

1122 Words 5 Pages
The role and function of an Imam in a Sunni Mosque

The word Imam is an Arabic word which means 'Upfront'. As with many ancient words relating with faith the word carries a great deal of meaning and, depending of usage in text as well as speech, can take on numerous different meanings. In Sunni Islam the term Imam is used principally as a title and has minimal importance in theology. The congregational prayer performed in Mosque is lead by the Imam who stands in front of the lines of worship leading them in recital of prayer. The meaning of the word Imam is related to this role. In the standard interpretation being Imam is not a profession nor is it a qualification. The
…show more content…
In practise mosque Imam have come to hold their positions by appointment, receiving payments for their services from the pious endowments on which the maintenance of mosques depends. As appointees, they are supposed to commune with their mosque congregations, arbitrate disputes among them, provide them with religious advice, visit them in their homes, and attend to their general needs. There are very rare groups of both Sunni and Shiite might accept a female imam. Like Christianity, there is some debate as to whether the traditional prohibition against female leaders is based on historical patriarchy and sexism, and not on the spirit of the faith. Though very exceptional, in some places it's possible for a woman to be accepted as an imam, she must have significant study in the Qur?an, be virtuous, and may have to stand behind the men to lead prayer, as is often the custom in mosques. More regularly, a woman may become an imam and prayer leader only for groups of women, or only for her family. This subject of who can become an imam is still under debate since the Qur?an does not explicitly express that a women cannot become an imam. In fact, one of the wives of Muhammad is said to have led the women in prayer. In 2005, Turkey became one of the first countries to welcome women who wished to become an imam. The country is currently educating over 100 women who

Related Documents