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The verb faqiha denotes in nontechnical contexts a correct understanding of matters that are not readily grasped. The fifth form of the verb, tafaqqaha, occurring in the Qur'an (9.122), refers to the close study and understanding of a specific issue. In the technical legal usage of the eighth century, fagih (pl., fuqaha') signified an expert in fiqh, the specialized knowledge of law. When legal theory (usul al -fiqh) emerged toward the beginning of the tenth century, the term faqih came to refer ...more

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