Imamah is often translated into English into the word “Imamate,” however the more correct literal translation would be ‘’Leadership.’’
It derives its name from the Arabic term “Amam” meaning ‘’to be in front of.’’
Imamah is one of the 5 Usul al-Din of Shi'a Islam and refers to the station of the 12 Infallible Leaders who were designated by God to preserve the religion after the death of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w).
These Imams are protected by God from committing any sins whether minor or major.
Through these divinely appointed leaders, God safeguarded the religion as they protect the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet from undergoing any alteration at the hands of fallible men.