Turkish molla & Persian & Urdu mulla, from Arabic mawlā
First Known Use: 1613
Muslim title applied to a scholar or religious leader, especially in the Middle East and the Indian subcontinent. It means lord and has also been used in North Africa as an honorific attached to the name of a king, sultan, or member of the nobility. The title is now given to a variety of religious leaders, including teachers in religious schools, scholars of canon law, leaders of prayer in the mosques (imams), and reciters of the Qur'an (qurra'). The word can also refer to the entire class that upholds the traditional interpretation of Islam.