Glossary: Islamic clergy

The religious leaders of Shia (q.v.) Islam, which group includes numerous mullahs (q.v.), who in general possess only rudimentary religious education; mujtahids, a relatively small body of religious scholars, the majority of whom are accorded the title of hojjatoleslam; and a small number of the most learned and pious of the mujtahids, who are given the title of ayatollah.

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