Imam

An imam is generally a man designated by a mosque to guide the believers in the prayer. The imam is generally entitled to preach on Fridays. In Islamic history, the imam was a spiritual and temporal guide: his responsibilities included directing the prayer as well as the armies in the holy war. The Shiites give the title of imam to the descendants of Ali (the Prophet’s son-in-law and cousin), whom they regard as the sole legitimate candidates for leadership.