Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān

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(1,725 words)

A learned person who has engaged in advanced study and acquired knowledge, generally in a particular field. The term ʿālim, most commonly used to designate “scholar” in Islamic societies, appears in the Qurʾān only as a description of God, in the sense of “knowing.” The plural ʿālimūn is applied sometimes to God (cf. q 21:51, 81) and sometimes to human beings (cf. q 12:44; 29:43; 30:22), while the plural form ʿulamāʾ, which appears twice in the Qurʾān (cf. q 26:197; 35:28), refers only to human beings. The Qurʾān also denotes knowledgeable or learned human beings by a numb…

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Marlow, Louise, “Scholar”, in: Encyclopaedia of the Qurʾān, General Editor: Jane Dammen McAuliffe, Georgetown University, Washington DC. Consulted online on 29 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1875-3922_q3_EQSIM_00374>

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