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Ayatollah

Subject: Religion

Sign of God. Honorific title in Twelver Shii Islam. Popularly assigned to outstanding legal scholars. General use of the title appeared in the late Qajar period in Iran. It is not used ...

ayatollah

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World Encyclopedia

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2004
Subject:
Encyclopedias
Length:
25 words

... ( Arabic , reflection of God ) Honorific title bestowed upon a Muslim leader who has attained significant distinction and, often, political influence. See also Khomeini,...

Ayatollah

Ayatollah   Reference library

The Concise Oxford Dictionary of World Religions

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Religion
Length:
96 words

... (Arab., ‘sign of God’). Title of high-ranking Shiʿite Muslim authorities, especially in Iran. It is a recent (20th cent.) title for exceptional jurists ( mujtāhid ), whose authority rests on that of the infallible Imām —though in 1979 , the Ayatollah Khomeini ( see KHUMAYNI ) adopted the title of Imām for himself. An Ayatollah's decisions ( fatwā ) have authority only for those who examine and agree with them—in theory; in practice, Ayatollahs gain personal followings, among whom their decisions are accepted as binding. The extension of these...

Ayatollah

Ayatollah   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Islam

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Religion
Length:
121 words

...hierarchical status. The leading Iranian ayatollah is known as ayatollah al-uzma, reflecting the temporal and spiritual power initially held by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini . See also Marja al-Taqlid ; Mujtahid ; Shii...

ayatollah

ayatollah   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Contemporary World History (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
History, Contemporary History (post 1945)
Length:
60 words

...ayatollah A religious leader among the Imamis, the major tradition of the Muslim Shi'ites . As exemplified by Khomeini , the holding of this title became almost a prerequisite for leading the theocratic state established in the 1979 Iranian Revolution. (Khomeini's successor to the political leadership, Rafsanjani , was not an ayatollah himself, but had been a pupil of...

Ayatollah

Ayatollah   Quick reference

Barbara Allen Roberson

A Concise Oxford Dictionary of Politics and International Relations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018
Subject:
Social sciences, Politics
Length:
427 words

...the most pre‐eminent of the mujtahid s. As the number of marja i taqlid grew, the designation ‘Ayatollah’ began to be used in the twentieth century to refer to the outstanding marja . Thus, a hierarchy came to exist among the Shi’i ulama unlike the Sunni ulama . Those that become pre‐eminent among the mujtahid s evidenced by the number of followers that they can attract emerge as Ayatollahs. Among the Ayatollahs a few will become known as Grand Ayatollahs ( Ayat Allah al‐uzma ). It is from these that the one that is able to attract an exceptional...

Ayatollah

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The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Religion, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
1,376 words
Illustration(s):
1

...the title “ayatollah” became ubiquitous. Losing its initial prestige, it even came to be applied, against their own usage, to Sunnī religious dignitaries. The leading ayatollah of his time came to be designated by the elative āyatullāh al-ʿuẓmā (grand ayatollah—that is, the supreme mujtahid or marjaʿ al-taqlīd ), the first bearer of the title being Borujerdi. A kind of restricted college of ayatollahs, in Qom, decided on his nomination. A further debasement of even this higher title occurred with the application of the title imām to Ayatollah Ruhollah...

Ayatollah

Ayatollah   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase & Fable (19 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013

... (Persian, from Arabic āyatullāh , ‘manifestation of God’) A high-ranking Shi’ite religious leader, especially in Iran, typically wielding extensive political influence. The term came to prominence in the West following the accession to power in 1979 of the Ayatollah Khomeini ( 1900–89 ), who was effectively the ruler of Iran. See also shi’a...

Ayatollah

Ayatollah   Reference library

Roja Fazaeli

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Islam and Women

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Religion, Social sciences, Sociology
Length:
765 words

...including Ayatollah al-Ozma Khoei, are opposed to the idea of a woman being a marjaʿ . However, Ayatollah al-Ozma Yosuf Saneʾi, as well as Zohreh Ṣefātī herself, both hold the opinion that women as well as men can become marjaʿ al-taqlīds . Amin not only received the al-ijāzahs of ijtihād and ravāyat from her contemporaries, including Ayatollah Mohammad Kazem Hosseini Shirazi ( 1873–1947 ) and the Ayatollah al-Ozma Abdolkarim Haʾeri Yazdi ( 1859–1937 ), but she also bestowed ijtihād and ravāyat to her peers, including Ayatollah Sayyid Shahab...

Sistānī, Ayatollah al-

Sistānī, Ayatollah al-   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Islamic World

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2009
Subject:
Religion, Social sciences, Regional and Area Studies
Length:
646 words
Illustration(s):
1

...major scholar, and he thus became the preeminent Shīʿī scholar and a grand ayatollah with a significant worldwide following. Ayatollah al-Sistānī. A man kisses an electoral poster featuring Shīʿī cleric Ayatollah al-Sistānī, Najaf, Iraq, 2005. Photograph by Alaa Al-Marjani / AP Images After the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 , Ayatollah Sistānī emerged as a powerful spiritual and political force in post–Saddam Hussein Iraq. Through the issuing of religious edicts, Sistānī became the single most important voice shaping the contours of Iraqi...

Khomeini, Ayatollah Ruhollah

Khomeini, Ayatollah Ruhollah (1900–1989)   Quick reference

Who's Who in the Twentieth Century

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
History
Length:
453 words

...Ayatollah Ruhollah ( Ruhollah Hendi ; 1900–1989 ) Iranian religious leader, who, after sixteen years in exile, returned to Iran to lead the Islamic Revolution following the deposition of the shah ( see Pahlavi, Mohammed Reza ). He was seen by his supporters in Iran as a saviour and liberator; in the West he was more often regarded as a savage and fanatical theologian who had dragged his country back into the Middle Ages. Born in Khomein, the son of a religious leader (ayatollah), Khomeini was educated at Islamic schools in Khomein and Qom. He...

Khomeini, Ruholla, Ayatollah

Khomeini, Ruholla, Ayatollah (25 Sept. 1902)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Contemporary World History (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
History, Contemporary History (post 1945)
Length:
536 words

...) to ask for the terrorist's pardon. During the 1950s, Khomeini rose to the rank of Ayatollah . He had a large and devoted following, including Rafsanjani , Khamenei , Montazeri, and Motahari, which formed the Islamic revolutionary movement under his leadership. Khomeini launched their campaign against the Shah's regime in 1962 by assailing its new anti-Islamic electoral legislation. By now convinced that no compromise with the Shah was possible, Grand Ayatollah Khomeini publicly denounced him, attacked his ‘White Revolution’ for conflicting with...

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (1900–89)   Reference library

Oxford Dictionary of Political Quotations (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Quotation
Current Version:
2012
Subject:
Quotations
Length:
107 words

...Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini 1900 – 89 Iranian Shiite Muslim leader , who returned to Iran from exile in 1979 to lead an Islamic revolution which overthrew the Shah The regime occupying Jerusalem must vanish from the page of time. quoted annually on Jerusalem Day in Iran, instituted by Khomeini in 1979; see ahmadinejad regime occupying Jerusalem regime occupying Jerusalem vanish from the page of time If laws are needed, Islam has established them all. There is no need…after establishing a government, to sit down and draw up...

Bihbihani, Ayatollah Muhammad Musavi

Bihbihani, Ayatollah Muhammad Musavi (1963)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Islam

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Religion
Length:
60 words

...Bihbihani, Ayatollah Muhammad Musavi (d. 1963 ) Leading Iranian Shii cleric of the Pahlavi period. Son of one of the principal ulama leaders of the Constitutional Revolution ( 1905–11 ). Studied under Mirza Hasan Ashtiyani . Opposed government attempts at deveiling and enfranchisement of women, as well as land redistribution. Allegedly facilitated a coup against the popular prime minister Mohammed Mosaddeq in 1953...

Khamenei, Ayatollah Sayed Ali

Khamenei, Ayatollah Sayed Ali (1939)   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Contemporary World History (5 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2019
Subject:
History, Contemporary History (post 1945)
Length:
253 words

...Khamenei, Ayatollah Sayed Ali (b. Meshed, Iran , 1939 ?), President of Iran , 1981–9 ; Supreme Leader of Iran, 1989– Born in Meshed, he was a student of Ayatollah Khomeini and became active in the opposition movement against Shah Reza Pahlavi . Following the Iranian revolution, he became member of the revolutionary council and from 1981–7 served as President of the Central Committee of the Islamic Republic Party. President of Iran from 1981 , Khamenei succeeded Khomeini as Iran's Supreme Leader. As such, the conservative Khamenei had boundless...

Kashani, Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Abol-Qasem

Kashani, Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Abol-Qasem (1962)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Islam

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Religion
Length:
120 words

...Kashani, Ayatollah Hajj Sayyid Abol-Qasem (d. 1962 ) Iranian cleric and nationalist. Political leader during the 1950s movement to nationalize the Iranian oil industry. Saw the separation of religion and politics as a colonial plot. Supported technological modernization, adoption of certain aspects of Western institutions, and political reform. Revived the traditional leadership role of ulama as spokespeople for popular discontent, as apparent in clerical opposition to the government after 1963 and in the developments leading to the 1979 revolution....

Shariat Madari, Ayatollah Muhammad Kazim

Shariat Madari, Ayatollah Muhammad Kazim (1986)   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Islam

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2003
Subject:
Religion
Length:
183 words

...Shariat Madari, Ayatollah Muhammad Kazim (d. 1986 ) Iranian legal scholar from Tabriz. Studied in Qom with Abd al-Karim Haeri Yazdi (d. 1937 ), founder of the modern seminary there, and went to Najaf for higher studies in law with Muhammad Husayn Naini (d. 1936 ), Abu al-Hasan Isfahani (d. 1946 ), and Diya al-Din Iraqi (d. 1942 ). Returned to Tabriz to teach until 1949 , and then went back to Qom to teach fiqh. Said to have interceded with the shah in 1963 to spare the life of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini (d. 1989 ). In 1970 the shah sought...

ayatollah

ayatollah noun   Reference library

The Oxford Essential Dictionary of Foreign Terms in English

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2002
Subject:
Language reference
Length:
31 words

... noun (also (as a title) Ayatollah M20 Persian (from Arabic ' āyatullāh miraculous sign of God). A Shiite religious leader in Iran; figurative a dogmatic leader, an influential or powerful...

ayatollah

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New Oxford Rhyming Dictionary (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2013
Subject:
Language reference
Length:
152 words

... • beguiler , compiler, Delilah, filer, Isla, miler, reviler, smiler, styler, tiler, Tyler • idler • stifler , trifler • recycler • Kreisler • profiler • stockpiler • freestyler • Rottweiler • ayatollah , choler, collar, corolla, dollar, dolour ( US dolor), Hezbollah, holler, scholar, squalor, wallah, Waller, white-collar • cobbler , gobbler • Doppler , poplar • ostler • brawler , caller, crawler, drawler, faller, forestaller, hauler, installer, mauler, Paula, stonewaller, trawler • warbler • dawdler • footballer • reed-warbler • ...

Ayatollah

Ayatollah   Reference library

Brewer's Dictionary of Modern Phrase & Fable (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2011

... . A title given to any of a class of Shi'ite religious leaders in Iran, most notably the fiercely anti-Western Ayatollah Ruholla Khomeini ( 1902–89 ), leader of the 1979 Islamic revolution. Since then the ayatollahs have wielded considerable political power. The term is also sometimes pejoratively used for any sinisterly powerful political or morally prescriptive figure. The word derives from the Arabic for ‘miraculous sign of God’. See also Fatwa ; Great Satan ; The Satanic Verses...

ayatollah

ayatollah noun   Quick reference

Oxford Dictionary of English (3 ed.)

Reference type:
English Dictionary
Current Version:
2015
Subject:
English Dictionaries and Thesauri
Length:
39 words

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