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What Is the Role of the Imam in Islam?

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An Imam is selected at the community level. Members of the community choose someone who is considered knowledgeable and wise.

The Imam should know and understand the Quran , and be able to recite it correctly and beautifully. The Imam is a respected member of the community.

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In some communities, an Imam may be specifically recruited and hired and may have undergone some special training. In other smaller cities, Imams are often chosen from among the existing members of the Muslim community.

There is no universal governing body to supervise Imams; this is done at the community level. The primary responsibility of an Imam is to lead Islamic worship services. In fact, the word "imam" itself means "to stand in front of" in Arabic, referring to the placement of the Imam in front of the worshipers during prayer. The Imam recites the verses and words of prayer, either aloud or silently depending on the prayer, and the people follow his movements.

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During the service, he stands facing away from the worshipers, toward the direction of Mecca. For each of the five daily prayers , the Imam is present at the mosque to lead the prayers. On Friday, the imam also usually delivers the khutba sermon. How do government discourses and media representations impact upon dynamics of leadership and authority in British Muslim communities? This conference has been organised in conjunction with a special issue of the international journal Religions jointly edited by Professor Sophie Gilliat-Ray and Dr Riyaz Timol.

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Delegates may be invited to submit a paper for publication, subject to normal peer-review procedures, after the event. The deadline for final paper submissions is 25 April This conference explores issues of leadership within British Muslim communities. Leadership takes many forms.

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It includes liturgical and ritual leadership from imams who may be paid, unpaid, or low-paid and educational leadership from academics or those serving in madrassahs, seminaries and other kinds of private establishments. It encompasses both women and men and is exercised in increasingly diverse ways, such as virtual forums online or Islamic television channels. Political leadership has emerged via a number of British Muslims taking up positions within local and national governance, some of whom have acquired senior government positions such as the current Mayor of London Rt Hon Sadiq Khan or Baroness Sayeeda Warsi.