Hujjat al-Islam

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Hujjat al-Islam (from Arabic: حجة الإسلامḥujjatu l-Islām) (also Hojatoleslam) is an honorific title meaning "authority on Islam" or "proof of Islam".

In Sunni tradition, the title is exclusively used for Imam Al-Ghazali, due to his unprecedented role in integrating Sufism (the school that deals with esoteric meanings) with Shariah (school that deals with the jurisprudence).

In Twelver Shī‘ah the title has been given to numerous clerics, somewhat depreciating the status of the title amongst the Shia.[1] It was originally applied only to leading mujtahids, but from about the start of the 19th century came to be used by all clerics following the creation of the title Ayatollah for top Twelver mujtahids.

The title Hujjatu l-Islām wa l-Muslimīn ("Authority on Islam and Muslims) is given to middle-ranking clerics.


Hawza students start their studies learning fiqh, kalam, hadith, tafsir, philosophy and Arabic literature. After mastering these levels they are given the Hojatoleslam title, and can start becoming mujtahid by studying advanced textbooks known as satḥ, and research courses known as kharij.

List of notable Hojatoleslams[edit]

See also[edit]