Ustad

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"Ostad" redirects here. For other uses, see Ostad (disambiguation).

Ustād (Persian: استاد; /ostɑːd/, master or teacher) is an honorific title for a man used in the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia. The Persian word has become widespread in use in languages spoken by large Muslim populations, such as Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Turkish and Kurdish.

The title precedes the name and was historically usually used for well-regarded teachers and artists, most often musicians. It is applied and used via informal social agreement. It is abbreviated as ust, ut. or ud. Aside from the honorific, the word is generally used by its literal meaning to refer to any teacher, master or expert in Urdu. In the Arab speaking world it refers to a university professor. The title is also used by Islamic scholars in Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines, and is a direct equivalent of terms such as Shaykh (Arab world) and Maulana (Indian subcontinent). Additionally, the term is used in some Martial Arts of South Asian origin to denote the rank of instructor. In Maldives, the title is used by people who possess a bachelor's degree or above in the field of Law. Its feminine form is 'Ustada'.

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