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also mul·la  (mŭl′ə, mo͝ol′ə)
n. Islam
1. A religious teacher or leader, especially in Shiite practice.
2. Used as a form of address for such a teacher.

[Urdu mullā, from Persian, from Arabic mawlā, master, friend, from waliya, to become near, be in charge; see wly in Semitic roots.]

mul′lah·ism n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Islam) governance or rule by mullahs
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
Then as now, the eyes of the world are fixed on Iran to see which direction the revolution adopts - whether democratic elements develop further and Iran moves forward or mullahism strengthens its grip and the country moves backwards.
Those who have been wronged under the existing theocracy, and the rise of Mullahism, dont need you ndash a moderate Muslim ally ndash to argue with their experience When a non-Muslim speaks of his or her struggles in an Islamic country, the implied criticism is almost never directed at Islam as a religion, but Islam as a political institution.
During an interview with Wilkinson on the Afghan jihad, mullahism and Osama bin Laden, he suddenly segues to tell the writer that Westerners have puny noses.