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Mullah are Islamic clergy who have studied the Qur'an and the Hadith and are considered expert on these religous matters.

Mullah are seen to be able to give direction and make judgments based on their religious studies.

'Mullah' derives from Urdu mulla through Persian, originally from Arabic mawla, meaning 'master, friend'. The 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica pointed out that Arabic maula was a term which originally expressed the legal bond connecting a former owner with his manumitted slave, both patron and client being called maula.

Under Islam a mullah is a learned man, a teacher, a doctor of the law of Sharia. In India the term is applied to the man who reads the Qur'an, and also to a Muslim schoolmaster. The Encyclopedia Britannica noted prophetically in 1911

"In countries like Afghanistan the mullahs exert an influence over the populace which sometimes rivals that of the amir himself, and they have been responsible for many disturbances in Kabul."
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