Arabic and Islamic honorific title / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Sheikh (pronounced /ʃeɪk/ SHAYK or /ʃiːk/ SHEEK; Arabic: شيخ shaykh [ʃajx], mostly pronounced [ʃeːx], plural شيوخ shuyūkh [ʃuju:x])—also transliterated sheekh, sheyikh, shaykh, shayk, shekh, shaik and Shaikh, shak—is an honorific title in the Arabic language. It commonly designates a chief of a tribe or a royal family member in Arabian countries, in some countries it is also given to those of great knowledge in religious affairs as a surname by a prestige religious leader from a chain of Sufi scholars. It is also commonly used to refer to a Muslim religious scholar. It is also used as an honorary title by people claiming to be descended from Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali both patrilineal and matrilineal who are grandsons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad. The term is literally translated to "Elder" (is also translated to "Lord/Master" in a monarchical context). The word 'sheikh' is mentioned in the 23rd verse of Surah Al-Qasas in the Quran.