Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Islamic Political ThoughtAn Introduction$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Gerhard Bowering

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164823

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164823.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM PRINCETON SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.princeton.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Princeton University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PRSO for personal use.date: 29 June 2022



(p.252) ‘Ulama’
Islamic Political Thought

Muhammad Qasim Zaman

Princeton University Press

This chapter discusses the origin and development of the term ‘ulama.’ The Arabic term ‘ulamā’ refers to Muslim scholars specializing in the Islamic religious sciences. A number of other terms are often used to characterize the particular focus of a scholar's work, among them muṭaddith (concerned with the study of the hadith reports attributed to the Prophet Muhammad), mufassir (an exegete of the Qur'an), and faqīh and mufti (a scholar of Islamic law and a jurisconsult, respectively). The term “‘ulama’” is often understood to encompass these somewhat narrower categories. The boundaries between “religious” and “secular” learning were less clearly delineated in premodern Islam than they have been in the modern world. Those recognized as ‘ulama’ sometimes made significant contributions to fields of knowledge lying well beyond the aforementioned areas.

Keywords:   ulama, Muslim scholars, Islam, Islamic political thought, religious science

Princeton Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.