Lit. “one who knows” or “knowledgeable one.” Usually used to refer to a traditionally trained Islamic scholar who studies and/or teaches in a seminary. This term sometimes refers exclusively to a top and influential scholar, other times it refers to any seminarian. In the spiritual sense, however, an alim is one with true knowledge which is possessed by the heart and causes humility before God. In this sense, even a layman can be an alim.

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