Definition of ulema in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈʊləmə/
Pronunciation: /ˈuːlɪmə/
Pronunciation: /ˌuːləˈmɑː/
(also ulama)


[treated as singular or plural]
1A body of Muslim scholars who are recognized as having specialist knowledge of Islamic sacred law and theology.
Example sentences
  • He was the most tolerant of all the potential candidates and because of this he also went afoul with the ulema (Muslim scholars trained in Islamic law).
  • The ones who did try were ostracized by the rigid body of ulema, the Muslim scholars whose business it was to interpret the law in accordance to the Koran and Hadith.
  • Madrasa Jameatul Hidaya is a symbol of liberation from that dogmatic precept that the traditional ulema have always thrived on to present a lopsided view of the Islamic heritage.
1.1A member of an ulema.
Example sentences
  • Similarly, copying a past Congress practice, the BJP is wooing maulanas and ulemas of all sorts on the one hand, and Muslim intellectuals on the other.
  • Yet, his was a fringe point of view, an exception, among all the ulemas in Qom and Najaf alike.
  • Apart from these current issues, Muslim ulemas could in any case consult the passing dicta of Williams on Christian-Muslim relations and the Islamic conception of God, which are eclectic-cum-ecumenical only up to a point.


From Arabic ‘ulamā', plural of ‘ālim 'learned', from ‘alima 'know'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ulema

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