What is sheikh?

Sheikh

Sheikh (pronounced /ˈʃiːk/ SHEEK or /ˈʃeɪk/ SHAYK; Arabic: شيخ‎ šayḫ, mostly pronounced, plural شيوخ šuyūḫ)—also spelled Sheik or Shaikh or Shekh, or transliterated as Shaykh—is an honorific in the Arabic language that literally means "elder" and carries the meaning "leader and/or governor". It is commonly used to designate the front man of a tribe who got this title after his father, or an Islamic scholar who got this title after graduating from the basic Islamic school. Sheikha is the female equivalent of the term. A sheikh who is wise is called ḥakīm adjective (wise) حكيم‎, ḥākim noun (governor) حاكم‎, yaḥkum verb (govern) يحكم‎; and can govern. The scholar sheikh here can govern but cannot lead directly because the leader is the imam which is based upon the Qur'an and authentic Sunnah; on the other hand the family sheikh can always lead but cannot govern unless he is wise. Although the title generally refers to a male, a very small number of female sheikhs have also existed.

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Some articles on sheikh:

Sheikh Noor-ud-din Wali
... Sheikh Noor-ud-din, also known as Nund Rishi, was a famous Kashmiri saint who belonged to the Rishi order ... In various circles, is also called Alamdar-e-Kashmir and Sheikh-ul-Alam and is the patron saint of Kashmiris, highly revered by both Muslims and Hindus ...
Sheikh - Surname
... In Bangladesh, India and Pakistan, "Sheikh" is a common surname among Muslims, and generally indicates Arab ancestry ...
Alexandra Sellers - Bibliography: Fiction - Sons of The Desert Series
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