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MULLAH. A Persian construction probably from the Arabic mawla ("master," "leader " "lord") mullah is the title used to identify a religious functionary, a cleric, a learned man, or someone with religious education. The title is very much similar to akhund in the range of meanings it invokes. From the Safavid period (AH 907-1145/1501-1722 CE) onward, the term mullah began to be used for various clerical functionaries. During the Qajar period (11931342/1779-1925) the term was institutionalized a ...more

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