Etymology
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imam (n.)
1610s, from Arabic, literally "leader; one who precedes," from amma "to go before, precede." As a high religious title used differently by Sunni and Shiite, but also used of the leader of daily prayers in the mosque and generally for a Muslim prince or religious leader. Related: Imamate.
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Ismailite (n.)
also Ismaelite, 1570s, in reference to a Shi'ite Muslim sect, from Arabic Isma'iliy, the name of the sect that after 765 C.E. followed the Imamship through descendants of Ismail (Arabic for Ishmael), deceased eldest son of Jafar, the sixth Imam, rather than his surviving younger son.
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