13 May 2003, 13:20

Muslim clergy

The term "Muslim clergy" is relative for there are no institutions of church and guide regulation in Islam as they are in christianity, and therefore there is no institution of clergy at all. The Muslim clergy is usually understood as a people assosiation which is specially engaged in religious cult observance (these are imams, mulls, muedsins), in Islamic legal proceedings (kadees), in development of theological problems (ulems, mudzhtakheeds), in treatment of questions of the Muslim law (fakikhs). In their number: muftis - supreme ecclesiastics at moslems-sunnits, and ajatolls - supreme religious authorities at the moslems-shijits who make conclusions on religious and legal questions (fetves). Teachers of religious educational institutions are not always related with the Muslim clergy. In modern Russia the Muslim clergy consists of muftis, imams, mulls, muedsins. Muftis are at the head of spiritual management of moslems, imams supervise over activity of Muslim religious communities and are engaged in religious cult observance, mulls and muedsins are also connected with cult observance.

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