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No 'Religious' Hierarchy

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No 'Religious' Hierarchy

Post by Ithar Ghada Faied on Wed Mar 31, 2010 7:53 pm


In Islam, there is no hierarchy of religious leadership such as the people of some other religions may have come to expect. There are no priests, bishops, monks, Popes, ...etc. Muslims define a scholar of Islam as an 'Imam' (not to be confused with the "Imams" of Iran who claim to have boundless supernatural powers and divine attributes). In any given neighborhood, the Imam is the person that a Muslim seeks for religious rulings.

For example, if a Muslim dies and his sons want to distribute his inheritance, they go to the Imam and he presents them with the verses of the Qur'an and the Sunnah which describe the required procedure. This man will also usually give religious lectures to teach the Qur'an and the Sunnah.

The Muslim Imams and scholars have no special divine powers. They cannot forgive sins. They do not receive divine "inspirations." They cannot issue passes to heaven. They do not have knowledge of the unseen. The can not change the law. They are just regular Muslims who have distinguished themselves with their study and their knowledge.
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