Prayer in Cairo 1865
An imam leading prayers in Cairo, Egypt, in 1865.Painting by Jean-Léon Gérôme

An imam (Arabic: إمام; Persian: امام) is an Islamic leader, often the leader of a mosque and/or community. Similarly to spiritual leaders, the imam is the person who leads the prayer during Islamic gatherings. More often the community turn to the mosque imam, if they have an Islamic question. In smaller communities an imam could be the community leader based on the community setting.

Shia Islam uses the term differently. Shiites give the title to only the one true leader of all the faithful.

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Imam Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.