IMAM is the name given to the priest who leads the prayers of a Malionaetan congregation, and is exactly equivalent to Antistes. In the Koran, chap. ii. v. 118, it is said of Abraham, " Verily, I will set thee as an imam (high priest or model) for men." In Turkey the imam, besides his function as a minister, performs the rites of circumcision, marriage, and burial. He is distinguished only by avoiding gay colours in his dress and wearing a white turban. In Persia the imam is also called a mujtahid ; he has no secular duties. The title has been always borne by the caliphs or successors of Mahomet, the earlier ones having, like the Prophet himself, conducted the services in person, and addressed the people in a kliutbah or homily on the great weekly gathering on Fridays. The title thus came to signify head of the faith, and as such is claimed and used by the present sultans of the Osmanli dynasty in Turkey, the last of the legitimate caliphs, El Mutawakkel, having in 1517 A.D. ceded his prerogatives to Mint I., the first Ottoman sultan, and his heirs. The caliphate (see CALIPH) is also called El imeini«h, the imamate. The Shiah sect hold that the office of imam was specially assigned by Mahomet to All ibn Abi `Mb, his cousin and son-in-law, and passed from him to his legitimate male issue by Fatima Mahomet's daughter. The first imam then was Ali ; the next two were Ali's sons Hasan and Husein (see HASAN); then came Ali Zein el `Abidin, son of Husein. His son Zeid founded the sect called the Zeicliyeh, who recognized hint as imam. This sect split into two subdivisions, one of which declared that the imam ought to be designated by his predecessor, the other that the imamate was elective, but must be confined to the descendants of Fatima. The twelve imams generally received by the Shialis do not, however, include Zeid, but are the following : - (1) Ali ibn Abi Talib ; (2) El Hasan his son; (3) El Husein, Ali's other son ; (4) Ali Zein el `Abidin, son of Husein ; (5) Mohammed el Bakir, son of Zein el Abidin ; (6) Jaafer es Stidik, son of El Bakir ; (7) Musa el Karlhim, son of Jaafer ; (8) Ali er Ridhd, son of Musa ; (9) Mohammed et Takf, son of Er Ridha, ; (10) All el Hadi, son of Et Taki ; (11) Ilasan el Askari, son of El Hadi. Here the chain of succession breaks off, the twelfth imam being Mohammed el Mehdi, surnamed Abu Kash]; who was predicted by the Prophet, and who is yet to come. The title imam is also applied to the founders of the four great orthodox sects of Mahometans.