A survey of American imams
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This study, the foundation of which is a quantitative survey of American imams, investigated the principal duties, qualifications, and challenges of imams in America from the viewpoint of the imams themselves, from a traditional Islamic religious perspective, and from the angle of the researcher’s observations of American mosques. Educational and social duties are found to be of greatest importance to the imams. Traditional education of imams overseas does not provide sufficient training for working in American mosques because imams need training in fields such as contextual Islamic jurisprudence and American culture. A comprehensive educational program in America for training imams to work in the USA is suggested. In order to alleviate imams' financial, administrative and professional problems such as low-salaries, interference in their work, and power struggles within the community, the study suggests inaugurating an American Islamic endowment system that would enable imams to function more independently.