Direct translation: Leader.

In Sunni Islam, Imāms are the leaders of the Muslim community who lead prayers, provide guidance and help run communities.

In the Shi’ah faith, the Imāms are the infallible, divinely appointed leaders of the Ummah after Prophet Muhammad (ṣ) through his progeny. They are meant to be perfect examples and leaders in all aspects of life, free from committing any sin. There are 12 Imams in the Shi’ah faith, and we are currently living in the time of the 12th Imam’s occultation.