Christians all over the world head towards Churches to offer prayers and Muslims go to Masjid for the same cause. We know the difference between Church and Masjid very well. The Church is managed by someone called Priest and the responsibility of organizing Masjid is with Imam. Today we shall talk about the differences between Priest of Church and Imam of Masjid.[irp]
Appointment: A priest is appointed by the Bishop to represent him to the local community. A local community can be any area e.g. town or small city. There can be many churches in any particular area, one priest is appointed to each church along with some support staff based upon requirements.
In the same way, Imam of the Masjid is appointed by the government in Saudi Arabia and by the local community in some other parts of the world.
Remuneration: The priests and all the support staff are paid a remuneration along with some other basic facilities. Most of the times, they have been provided with accommodation adjacent to the church to live and spend their life. As priests don’t have a family, they live alone in their quarters.
The Imam of the Masjid is paid a fixed remuneration by the government of Saudi Arabia. In case he has been appointed by the local community, they build a mutual fund of donations to run the affairs of the Masjid and pay the salary. They are also provided with a house to live along with their family. Do you have any idea of the salary of Imam of Haram?
Responsibilities: A priest hears confessions every week, gives marriage counseling, gives spiritual direction, visits the sick in hospitals, teaches Christianity to children and adults, baptizes, witnesses marriages, performs funerals and burials.
The responsibility of an Imam is also the same. He leads prayers 5 times a day, conducts marriage agreements, teaches students Quran, performs funeral prayers along with some other responsibilities.
Making the Church a Meeting Place: Christians in the community visit Church on Saturday evening or Sunday morning. It is the responsibility of the Priest to make all arrangements for this religious gathering with the help of their subordinates.
Similarly, Muslims pray in congregation 5 times a day. There is a huge gathering of Muslims on Friday prayers in the Masjid. A bigger gathering head towards Masjid on the day of Eid. It is the duty of Imam to make all arrangements for the smooth performance of these religious acts.