Who is an ‘Aalim?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by Mahmoodiyah



1.  Please tell me about “Aalim”?

2.  What qualifications or level of education does he have?

3.  Does an Aalim need to specialize in all branches of Islamic studies or he can do specialization in one particular branch?



1.          Generally, recognition of an ‘Aalim is gauged from the type of institution attended and category of knowledge acquired.  He is one who has attended a reliable institution and received sound knowledge of Qur’an, Hadith, Fiqh and Arabic from qualified tutors.

2.          His qualification is of a divine nature, since he has equipped himself with a divine code of education and knows the apparent intricacies thereof.

3.          Reflecting on the above definition, an ‘Aalim is one who has furnished himself with knowledge of every area of the Islamic field.  If however, he aspires to specialise in specific fields or one particular field, he can do so after completion of the ‘Aalim course.

And Allah Ta’ala knows best

Nezaam bin Yahya Ali

Attested to as correct by:

Mufti Muhammad Ashraf

Darul Iftaa

Jameah Mahmoodiyah


26 April 2004

05 Rabee’ul Awwal 1425

This answer was collected in 2012 from the website of Jameah Mahmoodiyah, South Africa. The original website no longer exists.

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