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List of Famous Imams

Updated October 13, 2018 70.0k views53 items

List of famous imams, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top imams in the world? This includes the most prominent imams, living and dead, both in America and abroad. You might also be interested in celebrities who converted to Islam and our list of Muslim athletes. This list of notable imams is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic imams were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned imams.

This list has a variety of people in it, from Ruhollah Khomeini to Anwar al-Awlaki. Featuring Saudi imams, Sunni imams, American imams, and more, this list has it all! 

From reputable, prominent, and well known imams to the lesser known imams of today, these are some of the best professionals in the imam field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous imams ever?" and "What are the names of famous imams?" then you're in the right place. 

  • Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini (UK: khom-AY-nee, US: khohm-; Persian: سید روح‌الله موسوی خمینی‎ [ruːholˈlɑːhe xomejˈniː] (listen); 24 September 1902 – 3 June 1989), also known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian politician and cleric. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution, which saw the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of the 2,500 year old Persian monarchy. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he...  more

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  • Sheikh Hassan Ahmed Abdel Rahman Muhammed al-Banna (Arabic: حسن أحمد عبد الرحمن محمد البنا‎; 14 October 1906 – 12 February 1949), known as Hassan al-Banna, was an Egyptian schoolteacher and imam, best known for founding the Muslim Brotherhood, one of the largest and most influential Islamic revivalist organizations.Al-Banna's writings marked a watershed in Islamic intellectual history by presenting a modern ideology based on Islam. Al-Banna considered Islam to be a comprehensive system of life, with the Quran as the only acceptable constitution. He called for Islamization of the state, the economy, and society. He declared that establishing a just society required development of...  more
  • Anwar al-Awlaki (also spelled al-Aulaqi, al-Awlaqi; Arabic: أنور العولقي‎ Anwar al-‘Awlaqī; April 21/22, 1971 – September 30, 2011) was a Yemeni-American imam. U.S. government officials allege that, as well as being a senior recruiter and motivator, he was centrally involved in planning terrorist operations for the Islamist militant group al-Qaeda, but have not released evidence that could support this claim. Al-Awlaki became the first U.S. citizen to be targeted and killed by a U.S. drone strike without the rights of due process being afforded. President Barack Obama ordered the strike. His son, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki (a 16-year-old U.S. citizen), was killed in a U.S. drone strike two...  more
  • Elijah Muhammad (born Elijah Robert Poole; October 7, 1897 – February 25, 1975) was a religious leader, who led the Nation of Islam (NOI) from 1934 until his death in 1975. He was a mentor to Malcolm X, Louis Farrakhan and Muhammad Ali, as well as his own son, Warith Deen Mohammed....  more