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Sayyid (pronounced [ˈsæjjɪd], or [ˈsæjjed], Arabic: سيد; meaning Mister) (plural Sadah Arabic: سادة, Sādah) is an honorific title, it denotes males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husain ibn Ali, sons of the prophet's daughter Fatima Zahra and his son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Daughters of sayyids are given the titles Sayyida, Alawiyah, or Sharifa. Children of a Sayyida mother but a non-Sayyid father cannot be attributed the title of Sayyid, however they may claim the title Mirza for males or Mirziya for females, or they will claim the title Amir or Mir for males.
In the Arab world, it is the equivalent of the English word "liege-lord" or "master" when referring to a descendant of Muhammad, as in Sayyid John Smith.  This is the reason the word sidi (from the contracted form sayyidī, 'my liege') is used in the Arabic.
In the early period, the Arabs used the term Sayyid and Sharif to denote descendants from both Hassan and Husayn. However in the modern era, the term 'Sharif' has been used to denote descendants from Hassan and the term 'Sayyid' has been used to denote descendants from Husayn.
- 1 Indication of descent
- 2 In the Arab world
- 3 In South Asia
- 4 In South East Asia
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
Indication of descent
The Sayyids are by definition a branch of the tribe of Banu Hashim, a clan from the tribe of Quraish that traces its lineage to Adnan and thence to the Prophet Ismael the son of the Prophet Ibrahim. Sayyids often include the following titles in their names to indicate the figure from whom they trace their descent.
|Ancestor||Arabic style||Arabic Last Name||Persian Last Name||Urdu Last Name|
|Hasan ibn Ali||al-Hashimi or al-Hassani الحسني او الهاشمي||al-Hashimi or al-Hassani الحسني او الهاشمي||Hashemi, Hassani, or Tabatabai حسنى||Hassani or Hasani حسنی or Hashemi or Hashmi هاشمي|
|Idris I||al-Idrisi الإدريسي||al-Idrisi الإدريسي||name is mostly found in the Maghreb||same as before|
|Husayn ibn Ali||al-Hussaini الحُسيني||al-Hussaini1 الحُسيني||Husseini حسینى||Hussaini or Husaini حسینی|
|Ali ibn Husayn||al-Abidi العابدي||al-Abidi العابدي||Abedi عابدى||Abidi or Abdi عابدی|
|Zayd ibn Ali||az-Zaidi الزيدي||al-Zaidi الزيدي||Zaidi زیدی||Zaidi زیدی|
|Muhammad al-Baqir||al-Baqiri الباقري||al-Baqiri الباقري||Baqeri باقرى||Baqri باقری|
|Jafar as-Sadiq||al-Ja'fari الجعفري||al-Ja'fari الجعفري||Jafari[disambiguation needed] جعفرى||Jafri, Jafry or Jaffery جعفری|
|Musa al-Kadhim||al-Mousawi الموسوي او الكاظمي||al-Mousawi or al-Kadhimi الموسوي او الكاظمي||Moosavi or Kazemi موسوى / کاظمى||Kazmi کاظمی|
|Ali ar-Rida||ar-Radawi الرضوي||al-Ridawi or al-Radawi الرضوي||Razavi or Rezavi رضوى||Rizvi or Rizavi رضوی|
|Muhammad at-Taqi||at-Taqawi التقوي||al-Taqawi التقوي||Taqawi تقوى||Taqvi تقوی|
|Ali al-Hadi||an-Naqawi التقوي||al-Naqawi التقوي||Naqawi نقوى||Naqvi نقوی|
NOTE: (For non-Arabic speakers) When transliterating Arabic words into English there are two approaches.
- 1. The user may transliterate the word letter for letter, e.g. "الزيدي" becomes "a-l-z-ai-d-i".
- 2. The user may transcribe the pronunciation of the word, e.g. "الزيدي" becomes "a-zz-ai-d-i". This is because in Arabic grammar, some consonants (n, r, s, sh, t and z) cancel the l (ل) from the word "the" al (ال) (see Sun and moon letters). When the user sees the prefixes an, ar, as, ash, at, az, etc... this means the word is the transcription of the pronunciation.
- An i, wi (Arabic), or vi (Persian) ending could perhaps be translated by the English suffixes ite or ian. The suffix transforms a personal name, or a place name, into the name of a group of people connected by lineage or place of birth. Hence Ahmad al-Hassani could be translated as Ahmad, the descendant of Hassan and Ahmad al-Manami as Ahmad from the city of Manami. For further explanation, see Arabic names.
1Also, El-Husseini, Al-Husseini, Husseini, and Hussaini.
2Those who use the term Sayyid for all descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib regard Allawis or Alavis as Sayyids. However Allawis are not descendants of Muhammad, as they are descended from the children of Ali and the women he married after the death of Fatima Zahra, such as Umm al Baneen/Fatima bint Hizam. Those who limit the term Sayyid to descendants of Muhammad through Fatima Zahra, will not consider Allawis/Alavis to be Sayyids.
3This transliteration is usually reserved for the Alawi sect.
In the Arab world
Sayyids in Yemen
In Yemen the sayyids are more generally known as sadah, and also referred to as Hashemites. In terms of religious practice they are Shia, Sunni and Sufi. Sayyid families in Yemen include the Rassids, the Qasimids, the Mutawakkilites, the Hamideddins, Al-Zaidi, the Ba'Alawi sadah and Al-Saqqaf in Hadramauwt, Al-Wazir of Sana'a and others.
Sayyids in Qatar and United Arab Emirates
The Sayyid families in Qatar and UAE are Hadharem (Arabic: الحضارم) or Hadhrami (Arabic: حضرمي) from Yemen. Some of the families are the Al-Saqqaf/AlSaggaf, Al-Jielani (Jeelani), Al-Hashmi, Abu-Futtaim, Baharoon, Bin Shahbal, Balhabak, Al-Junaidi, Bawazir, Al-Aidroos, Al-Amoudi and others. These families belong to a common tribe of Banū Hāshim (Arabic: بني هاشم), a clan from the tribe of Quraish that traces its lineage to Adnan. It derives its name from Hashim, the great-grandfather of Muḥammad - (محمد), and along with the Banu Abd Shams, Banu Al-Muttalib, and Banu Nawfal clans comprises the Banu Abd al-Manaf section of the Quraysh. The members of the Banu Hashim clan tribes are also known as Ahl al-Bayt (Arabic: أهل البيت). Members of this clan are referred to by the Anglicised version of their name as Hashemites, Hashmi, Hussaini or Hasani. Descendants of Banu Hashim usually carry the titles Sayyid/Sayyida, Syed, Habeeb, AlHabeeb or Sharif/Shareefa, an honorific title popularly used for the descendants of the Prophet Muhammad's family, especially from his second grandson Husayn.
Sayyids in Iraq
Some of the Sayyid families in Iraq are the Al-Hashimi, Al-Yasiri, Al-Zaidi, Al-A'araji, Al-Hassani, Al-Hussaini, Tabatabaei, Al-Alawi, Al-Ghawalib (Al-Ghalibi), Al-Musawi[disambiguation needed], Shubbar, Al-Awadi (not to be confused with the Al-Awadhi Huwala family), Al-Gilani, Al-Sabzewari, Al-Hayali, Al-Obaidi (In Mosul only), Al-Atrakchi and others.
Sayyids in Libya
In South Asia
Millions of people in South Asia claim Hashemite descent. In 1901 the total number of Sayyids in British India was 1,339,734. Recent estimates show that in South Asia there are more than fifteen million Sayyids; seven million in India, six to seven million in Pakistan, little over one million in Bangladesh and around seventy thousand in Nepal.
Sayyid migrated many centuries ago from different parts of the Arab world, Iran, Central Asia and Turkestan, during the invasion of Mongols and other periods of turmoil during the periods of Mahmud Ghaznavi, Delhi Sultanate and Mughals and until the late 19th century. Sayyids migrated to Sindh in North and settled there very early, other early migrant Sayyids moved deep South to the region of Deccan plateau in the time of the Bahmani Sultanate and later Qutb Shahi kings of Golconda, Nizam Shahi of Ahmadnagar and other kingdoms of Bijapur, Bidar and Berar. Several visited India as merchants or escaped from Abbasid, Umayyad and Ottoman empires. Their name figures in Indian history at the breakup of the Mughal empire, when the Sayyid Brothers created and dethroned Emperors at their will (1714–1720). The first Mohammedans appointed to the Council of India and the first appointed to the Privy Council were both Sayyids.
The Sayyid population in India is distributed. The total population of Sayyids in India is 7,017,000, the largest populations being those of Uttar Pradesh (1,493,000), Maharashtra (1,108,000), Karnataka (766,000), Andhra Pradesh (727,000), Rajasthan (497,000), Bihar (419,000), West Bengal (372,000), Madhya Pradesh (307,000), Gujarat (245,000), and Tamil Nadu/Kerala (286,000). Sayyids are also found in the North-Eastern state of Assam, where locally they are also referred to as Dawans.
Sayyids in North India
The earliest migration of Saiyeds from Iran to North India took place in 1032 AD when Saiyed Salaar Dawood Ghazi (General and brother-in-law of Sultan Mahmood Ghaznavi) and his son Saiyed Salaar Masud Ghazi esatablised their military headquarter at Satrikh (16 km from Zaidpur) in district Barabanki, U.P. They are considered to be first Muslim settlers in north India. In 1033 AD Saiyed Salaar Masud Ghazi martyred in the historic battle of Gonda, his famous Mazaar is at Bahraich. Saiyed Salaar Masud Ghazi had no son and daughter. In 462 Hijri/1070 AD Saiyed Abdullah ‘Zar-baqsh’ migrated from the city of Qom in medieval Persia to the place which is now known as Zaidpur in district Barabanki, U.P. He was a Rizvi/Taqvi Saiyed and 14th in descent from Mohammad Nabi(SA). Saiyed Abdullah ‘Zar-baqsh’ married Bibi Yadgaar Bano the daughter of Saiyed Salaar Dawood Ghazi of Satrikh. Saiyed Abdullah Zar-Baksh established the town Zaidpur and named the place after his only son Saiyed Zaid (born 462 Hijri/1070 AD).
Sayyids from Iran initially chose four places to settle in North India. These were Hallaur, Baraha, Mohan and Bilgram. Sa'daat of Barha, Bilgram and Amroha are few of the wellknown groups of Sayyids around the world.
The ancestor of Bārha Sayyids, Syed Abu'l Farah left his original home in Wasit, Iraq, with his twelve sons at the end of tirteenth century (or in the biginning of fourteenth century) and migrated to India, where he obtained four villages in Sirhind, By the sixteenth century Abu'l Farah's descendants had taken over Bārha villages in Muzzafarnagar.
Sayyids of Mohan descend from one of the descendants of the Imam Raza, Sayyid Mahmood Neshapuri who migrated to India from Iran and settled in Mohan. One of the branch of Moosavi and Nishapuri Sayyids from Mohan settled at Bijnor, near Lucknow.
Sayyids of Bilgram are Hussaini Sayyids, they first migrated from Wasit, Iraq in the thirteenth century. Their ancestor, Syed Mohammad Sughra, a Zaidi Sayyid of Iraq arrived in India during the rule of Sultan Iltutmish. In 1217-18 the family conquered and settled in Bilgram.
The sayyids of Kichaucha Sharif trace their ancestry to the illustrious saint Ashraf Jahangir Semnani who came from Iran and settled at Kichaucha Sharif, Dist. AmbedkarNagar, Uttar Pradesh, India. The Jafari Sayyid families in the Raebareli disrict mainly trace their descent from Sayyid Ahmed Raebarelwi ,who was an officer in the Sharqi Dynasty. In addition, many of the early Sufi saints that came to North India belonged to Sayyid families. Most of these Sayyid families came from Central Asia and Iran, but some also originate from Yemen, Oman, Iraq and Bahrain. Perhaps the most famous Sufi was Syed Salar Masud, from whom many of the Sayyid families of Awadh claim their descent. Sayyids of Salon ( Raebareli), Jarwal(Bahraich), Kintoor (Barabanki) and Zaidpur (Barabanki) were wellknown Taluqadars (feudal lords) of Awadh province.
Sayyids in Gujarat
In Gujarat, most of the Sayyid families are descended from individuals invited by the Muslim rulers of Gujarat, as advisor and administrators, and granted jagirs. During the period of Sultan Mahamud Beghada (1458 -1511 ) the Sayyid of Gothada, Thasra & Pali a Zaidi Sayyid -Saadat-e-Bara In Thasra Sayyid Mustufa (R.A) ( 500 Bigha Jagiri Sanad), In Gothada Near Savli -Sayyid Alaad ( Allauddin -R.A ) -500 Bigha Jagiri Sanad & Pali Sayyid Nateeb (R.A)500 Bigha Jagiri Sanad, Sultan Mahamud Beghada provided land to three Sayyid brothers and grant to settle there after victory of Pavagadh fort In 1484 The young Sultan, after laying siege for 20 months, conquered the fort on 21 November 1484. He then transferred his capital to Champaner which he completely rebuilt at the foothills of the Pavagadh fort, calling it Muhammadabad. & Mughal rule in Gujarat (1570–1750), they held the majority of the civil and ecclesiastical posts. For example the Sayyids of Thasra, Kheda district were invited as administrators and judges by Emperor Aurangzeb and provided land grants to settle there. They also provided an important element in the Mughal army, and many are still found in the old Muslim garrison towns such as Ahmedabad. In addition, many of the early Sufi saints that came to Gujarat belonged to Sayyid families. Most of these Sayyid families came from Central Asia and Iran, but many of those found in the coastal towns of Khambhat and Surat originate from Yemen, Oman, Basra and Bahrain.
In Gujarat, the Sayyid have ten sub-divisions, the main ones being the Shirazi, Mattari, Bukhari, Naqvi, Tirmizi, Zaidi, Rifai, Bhaktari, Qadiris, Chishti, mahdavi, Kitoi, Mashadi, Idrusi, and Bahraini. Of these, the Bukhari Sayyids are perhaps the most well known. Their forebear, Syed Burhanuddin Qutb-Alam was the patron saint of Sultan Muzaffar Shah, the first Muslim Sultan of Gujarat. Even more well known was his son Shah Alam, who flourished during the reigns of Qutibudin Shah and Mahmud Begada. It played an important in the medieval and early modern history of Gujarat, and now divided into several branches. Other prominent Sayyids include the Mahdavi family. They are now found mainly in Palanpur and Dabhoi, and claim descent form Syed Muhammad Jaunpuri, the founder of the sect and his son in law Syed Khundmir. They are the hereditary pirs of the Tai community. And finally, the family of the Nizari Ismaili pirs is perhaps the most influential of the Gujarat Sayyid. They are distributed all over Gujarat, and descend from Imam Shah, a famous medieval Ismaili missionary. The Dais (heads) of the Mustali Ismaili, known in Gujarat as the Bohra, are also Sayyids.
Other communities include the Bahrain Sayyid, whose ancestors arrived from Bahrain during the rule of Sultan Mahmud Begada, the Matari Syeds who arrived from the village of Mattar in Sindh during the period of Mughal rule. The ancestors of the Khodari Syeds were invited by the Nawabs of Junagadh, while those of the Bukhari Sayyids arrived from Central Asia at the invitation of Sultan Ahmed Shah. The community now speak both Gujarati and Urdu, and are concentrated in Kutch, Gandhinagar, Baroda, and Bhavnagar, with two thirds of the Sayyid found in Village Gothada, Near Savli Baroda The Sayyid of Gothada are Zaidi Sayyid - Saadat-e-Bara and other are Bukhari & Qadiri Sayyid also settle there .
Sayyids in Kerala
Kerala has its two thousand year old association with Arabia. In Malayalam Thangal is an honorific Muslim title almost equivalent to the Arabic term Sayyid which is given to males believed as descendants of Prophet Muhammad. The present day Thangals are supposed to be descended from Sayyid families, who migrated from the historic city of Tarim, in Hadramawt Province, Yemen, during the 17th century in order to propagate Islam on the Malabar Coast. Sayyids selected coastal areas to settle. The royal family of Arakkal in Kerala had Thangal origins.
There are numerous number of Sayyids (descendants of Muhammad) in Pakistan. Some of these Sayyids first migrated to Bukhara and then to the South Asia. Others reportedly settled in Sindh to protect their lives against the atrocities of the Omayya and Abbasi caliphs of Arabia. The Sayyid people of Pakistan are figured as the most prominent and well-established people of the country, with a number of them having become popular and well-known religious icons, political leaders and professionals.
Sayyids in Punjab
The Sayyids of Punjab belong to Hasani (descendant of Imam Hasan), Husaini (descendant of Imam Husain), Alavi (descendants from other sons of Imam Ali) and Zaidi (descendant of Zaid Shaheed, grandson of Imam Husain) groups of sa'dat and also Rizvi, decendents of Imam Ali Raza Ibn Musa and Naqvi( Imam al Hadi). 
Important Sayyid communities
Important Sayyid communities in South Asia include:
- Sadaate Kichaucha or Ashrafi Saadat
These Sayyids are the descendants of the famous saint Syed Ashraf Jahangir Semnani who himself was a descendant of Iman Husain.
- Sadaat Nasirabad
One of the earliest settlements of Naqvi's is reported from Nasirabad, Raibareli in North India. Naqvi Sadats migrated from SUBZWAR (IRAN) & arrived in Nasirabad around 410 Hijri (around 1027 A.D.) and settled there. After some time adjacent Patakpur (Nasirabad), was also inhabited by Momineens and rechristened as Nasirabad after the name of Syed Naseerudin. Nasirabad is the earliest known Naqvi Sadats of India. Naseerabad is the native land of Khandan e Ijtihad and multitude of very high ranking scholars have come from there. The 1st Mujtahid from India, Ayatullah il Uzma Sayyid Dildar Ali Naqvi Naseerabadi 'Gufraanmaab (ar)' was from here and later his family came to be called "Khandan e Ijtihad" due to the heavy presence of high-ranking scholars. Some famous and known religious scholars from this lineage include Syedul Ulema Ayatullah Syed Ali Naqi Naqvi 'Naqqan', Jannat Ma'ab Ayatullah Syed Mohammad Naqvi, Ayatullah Aqa Hasan Sb, Ayatullah Syed Kalbe Hussain Naqvi, Hujjatul Islam Syed Kalbe Abid Naqvi, Hujjatul Islam Syed Kalbe Jawwad Naqvi, Hujjatul Islam Syed Hasan Zafar Naqvi(based in Karachi), Allama Syed Razi Jafar, Allama Nasir Ijtehadi, Dr Kalbe Sadiq, Hujjatul Islam Syed Ali Mohammad Naqvi.
The Sadaat Amroha or Amrohi Syed are a community of Sayyids, historically settled in the town of Amroha, in Uttar Pradesh, India. Many members of Sadaat Amroha community have migrated to Pakistan after independence have settled in Karachi, Sindh.
Sadat-e-Bara (Urdu: ہسادات بار), sometimes pronounced Sadaat-e-Barha, are a community of Sayyids, originally from a group of twelve villages situated in the Muzaffarnagar district of Uttar Pradesh in India. This community had considerable influence during the latter days of the Mughal Empire. They were also found in Karnal District and Haryana in India. Many members of this community have migrated to Pakistan after independence have settled in Karachi, Khairpur State in Sind and Lahore.
Gardēzī Sadaat (Persian: گردیز سادة) is a Sadaat Muslim family of Sayyid from Gardez (Afghanistan); consequently known as ‘Gardēzī Sadaat’ in South Asia.
Kintoor or Kintur is a village distant 10 miles north-east of Badosarai in Barabanki district famous for battle of Kintoor of 1858 during Indian Mutiny
Hallaur or Hallor (Urdu, Persian and Arabic: هلور, Hindi: हल्लौर, Bhojpuri: हलूर) is a town or a big village in the north Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, situated near the banks of Rapti river. Residents of Hallaur are referred as Hallauri
- Sayyids of Wasa Dargah
Wasa Dargah is a village in east part of Uttar Paradesh,Situated 12 Kilometers from Domariaganj.
Genetic studies of Sayyids of the Sub-continent
A study of "Y chromosomes of self-identified Syeds from the South Asia" by Elise M. S. Belle, Saima Shah, Tudor Parfitt & Mark G. Thomas showed that "self-identified Syeds had no less genetic diversity than those non-Syeds from the same regions, suggesting that there is no biological basis to the belief that self-identified Syeds in this part of the world share a recent common ancestry. However, self-identified men belonging to the ‘Islamic honorific lineages’(Syeds, Hashemites, Quraysh and Ansari) show a greater genetic affinity to Arab populations—despite the geographic distance—than do their neighbouring populations from India and Pakistan.
Sayyid in the Indo Sub-continent in Northern India, 28.7% of the Shia Muslim among whom are the Sayyid population, belong mostly to haplogroup J2 and another 11% belong to J1, who were also Sayyid.
In South East Asia
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