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Sheikh
Sheikh
(pronounced /ʃeɪk/ SHAYK or /ʃiːk/ SHEEK; Arabic: شيخ‎ šayḫ [ʃæjx], mostly pronounced [ʃeːx/ʃejx], plural شيوخ šuyūḫ [ʃuju:x])—also transliterated Sheik, Shykh, Shaik, Shayk, Shaykh, Cheikh, Shekh, and Shaikh—is an honorific title in the Arabic
Arabic
language. It commonly designates the ruler of a tribe, who inherited the title from his father. "Sheikh" is given to a royal male at birth, whereas the related title "Sheikha" is given to a royal female at birth.

Contents

1 Etymology and meaning 2 Sufi term 3 Regional usage

3.1 Arabian Peninsula 3.2 Lebanon 3.3 Maghreb 3.4 Horn of Africa 3.5 West Africa 3.6 South Asia 3.7 Southeast Asia

4 For women 5 See also 6 Notes 7 External links

Etymology and meaning[edit]

Kurdish sheikhs, 1895

The word in Arabic
Arabic
stems from a triliteral root connected with age and aging: ش-ي-خ, shīn-yā'-khā'. The term literally means a man of vast power, and nobility, and it is used strictly for the royal families of the Middle East. The title carries the meaning leader, elder, or noble, especially in the Arabian Peninsula
Arabian Peninsula
within the Tribes of Arabia, where shaikh became a traditional title of a Bedouin
Bedouin
tribal leader in recent centuries. Due to the cultural impact of Arab civilization, and especially through the spread of Islam, the word has gained currency as a religious term or general honorific in many other parts of the world as well, notably in Muslim cultures in Africa
Africa
and Asia.[citation needed] Sufi term[edit] In Islamic Sufism, the word Shaikh is used to represent a wali who initiates a particular tariqa which leads to Muhammad, although many saints have this title added before their names out of respect from their followers. One prominent example is Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani, who initiated the Qadiriyya
Qadiriyya
order which relies strongly upon adherence to the fundamentals of Islam.[1] Regional usage[edit] Arabian Peninsula[edit]

Sheikh
Sheikh
Juma Al Maktoum
Al Maktoum
(left) and Sheikh
Sheikh
Saeed bin Maktoum Al Maktoum (right) of the Maktoum family

In the Arabian Peninsula, the title is used for royalty, such as kings, princes, and princesses. For example, it was the term used in the West to refer to the leaders of Kuwait's ruling Al-Sabah dynasty, and in UAE Al-Nahyan dynasty. The same applies to all the Gulf countries. The term is used by almost every male and female (Sheikha) member of all the Gulf royal houses. Lebanon[edit] In Mount Lebanon, the title had the same princely and royal connotation as in the Arabian peninsula until the Ottoman invasion in 1516 since it represented an indigenous autonomous "sui iuris" ruler or tribal chief.[2] An example of an ancient families that holds the title of "sui iuris" sheikh is the Al-Chemor family ruling since 1211 CE in Koura and Zgharta
Zgharta
until 1747 CE,[3][4][5] Abu Harmoush family which ruled the Chouf
Chouf
region until the Battle of Ain Dara
Battle of Ain Dara
in 1711 CE and El-Cheikh Moussa family in Beirut. After the Ottoman rule and the implementation of the Iltizam system, the title gained a noble instead of royal connotation since it was bestowed by a higher authority, in this case the Ottoman appointed Emir
Emir
who was nothing more than a mültezim or tax collector for the empire.[6] Some very influential Maronite
Maronite
families -who had the title bestowed upon them in chronological order- are El Hachem of Akoura (descendants of The Hashemite
Hashemite
Family, since 1523), El-Khazen (since 1545), Hubaysh of Kisrawan, and Douaihy
Douaihy
of Zgharta. Other families who are nowadays addressed or known as "Sheikhs" were not traditionally rulers of provinces, but instead they were high-ranking officials at the service of the Emir
Emir
at that time. Maghreb[edit] In the Maghreb, during the Almohad
Almohad
dynasty, the caliph was also counseled by a body of shaykhs. They represented all the different tribes under their rules, including Arabs, (Bedouins), Andalusians and Berbers
Berbers
and were also responsible for mobilizing their kinsmen in the event of war.[7] Horn of Africa[edit] Main articles: Somali aristocratic and court titles
Somali aristocratic and court titles
and Ethiopian aristocratic and court titles

Somali Sheikh
Sheikh
Muhammad
Muhammad
Dahir Roble reading a Muslim sermon.

In the Muslim parts of the Horn of Africa, Sheikh
Sheikh
is often used as a noble title. In Somali society, it is reserved as an honorific for senior Muslim leaders and clerics (wadaad), and is often abbreviated to "Sh".[8] Famous local Sheikhs include Abdirahman bin Isma'il al-Jabarti, an early Muslim leader in northern Somalia; Abadir Umar Ar-Rida, the patron saint of Harar; Abd al-Rahman al-Jabarti, Sheikh of the riwaq in Cairo
Cairo
who recorded the Napoleonic invasion of Egypt; Abd Al-Rahman bin Ahmad al-Zayla'i, scholar who played a crucial role in the spread of the Qadiriyyah
Qadiriyyah
movement in Somalia
Somalia
and East Africa; Shaykh Sufi, 19th century scholar, poet, reformist and astrologist; Abdallah al-Qutbi, polemicist, theologian and philosopher best known for his five-part Al-Majmu'at al-mubaraka ("The Blessed Collection"); and Muhammad
Muhammad
Al-Sumaalee, teacher in the Masjid al- Haram in Mecca
Mecca
who influenced many of the prominent Islamic scholars of today.[9] West Africa[edit]

Senegalese Sheikh
Sheikh
Tidiane Gaye giving an Islamic lecture in Louga.

In West Africa, sheikh is a common title for Muslim scholars and leaders. Among Islamic communities in Senegal, Niger
Niger
and Gambia, among other areas, the title is usually spelled as Cheikh. South Asia[edit] Main article: Sheikh
Sheikh
(caste)

Pakistani Sheikh
Sheikh
Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani, a prominent Sunni scholar.

In South Asia
Asia
it is used as an ethnic title generally attributed to Muslim trading families with rarely any Arab lineage. Quresh
Quresh
tribe who migrated to South Asia
Asia
and later adopted meat business are also called sheikh, Qassab
Qassab
or Qureshi . After the advent of Islam
Islam
in South Asia, some high caste (Brahmins, Rajputs and Khatris) tribes also converted to Islam
Islam
and adopted the title. The Muslims
Muslims
of the Middle East
Middle East
and Central Asia
Asia
have historically traveled to South Asia
Asia
as Sufis during the Islamic Sultanates and Mughal Empire
Empire
and settled permanently with Sheikh
Sheikh
status. In Punjab, Pakistan
Punjab, Pakistan
the Hindu
Hindu
Brahmins, Kshatriya, Rathores, Bhattis, Chauhans, and other Rajput
Rajput
elite class converted by different Ismaili
Ismaili
Pirs to Islam. Ismaili
Ismaili
Pirs gave the new converts of Punjab the hereditary title of Shaikh as well as the Muslims
Muslims
who immigrated from Arabia and settled in Punjab adopted this title. Distinguished Sindhi Shaikhs include Imtiaz Shaikh, MPA Shikarpur and Special
Special
Advisor to PM and Former Provincial Minister and Bureaucrat, Sindh; Shaikh Ayaz, Sindhi poet of Pakistan; Najmudddin Shaikh, Former Foreign Secretary, Pakistan; Ghulam Shabir Shaikh, Former IGP Sindh, Pakistan; Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Federal Finance Minister, Pakistan; Muhammad
Muhammad
Ayub Shaikh, Chairman Employees' Old Age Benefits Institution], Pakistan; Maqbool Shaikh, Former Provincial Minister for Food and Health, Sindh; Faraz Shaikh, Chairman Sindh Naujawan Shaikh Ittehad, Sindh; Faryaz Nisar Shaikh, Vice Chairman Sindh Naujawan Shaikh Ittehad, Sindh; Imam
Imam
Bux Shaikh, Former General Secretary Peoples Students Federation Karachi, Former General Secretary Peoples Engineers Forum Sindh, Famous Student Leader of Pakistan. Southeast Asia[edit]

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In Indonesia
Indonesia
and other parts of Southeast Asia, Sheikhs are respected by local Muslims. Higher knowledgeable people in Indonesia
Indonesia
are usually referred to as "Ustad" or "Kyiayi". For women[edit] Historically, female scholars in Islam
Islam
were referred to as shaykhah (Arabic: شيخة‎) (alt. shaykhat). Notable shaykha include the 10th-century Shaykhah Fakhr-un-Nisa Shuhdah[10] and 18th-century scholar Al-Shaykha Fatima al-Fudayliyya.[11] A daughter or wife or mother of a sheikh is also called a shaykhah. Currently, the term shaykhah is commonly used for women of ruling families, in the Arab states of the Persian Gulf
Persian Gulf
with the exception of Oman.[citation needed] See also[edit]

Kashmiri Shaikh Khawaja Shaikh Punjabi Shaikh Qallu Qanungoh Shaikh Quraishi Shaikhs in South Asia Sindhi Shaikh Allamah Al ash-Sheikh
Al ash-Sheikh
– Saudi Arabia's leading religious family

Notes[edit]

^ Abun-Nasr, Jamil M. (2007). Muslim Communities of Grace: The Sufi Brotherhoods in Islamic Religious Life. Columbia University Press. p. 94. ISBN 978-0-231-14330-1. ^ A House of Many Mansions: The History of Lebanon Reconsidered, 2001, Kamal Salibi ^ National News Agency - Ministry of Information Lebanese Republic, 2014 http://nna-leb.gov.lb/ar/show-report/371/ ^ Book Al- Sheikh
Sheikh
Al-Chemor Al-Hakum Al-Akoura Al-Hakum Al-Zawyia, Ignatios Tannous Al-Khoury, Beirut, 1948, pg.123 ^ "Tārīkh al-ṭāʼifah al-Mārūnīyah (Microform, 1890)". [WorldCat.org]. ^ Lebanon's Predicament, 1987, Samir Khalaf ^ Niane, Djibril Tamsir; Africa, Unesco International Scientific Committee for the Drafting of a General History of (1 January 1984). " Africa
Africa
from the Twelfth to the Sixteenth Century". UNESCO. Retrieved 19 February 2017 – via Google Books.  ^ IFLA Committee on Cataloguing, IFLA International Office for UBC., IFLA International Programme for UBC., IFLA UBCIM Programme (1987). International cataloguing: quarterly bulletin of the IFLA Committee on Cataloguing, Volume 11. The Committee. p. 24. CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link) ^ "Scholars Biographies - 15th Century - Shaykh Muhammad
Muhammad
ibn 'Abdullaah as-Sumaalee". Fatwa-Online. Retrieved 26 August 2012.  ^ "Shaykhah Shuhdah, Fakhr-un-Nisa". Haq Islam. Retrieved 9 February 2015.  ^ Siddiqi, Muhammad
Muhammad
Zubayr (1993). "Hadith Literature Its origin, development and special features: Women Scholars of Hadith". The Islamic Texts Society Cambridge: 117–123. Retrieved 23 February 2015. 

External links[edit]

The dictionary definition of sheik a

.