Shaikhs in South Asia

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Sheikh, also rendered as Sheik, Shaykh, Shaikh, Shekh, Cheikh, Šeih, Šejh, Şeyh and other variants (Arabic: شيخ‎, shaykh; pl. شيوخshuyūkh), is a word or honorific term in the Arabic language that literally means "elder." It is commonly used to designate an elder of a tribe, a revered wise man, or an Islamic scholar. Although the title generally refers to a male, a very small number of female sheikhs have also existed in history.[1]

Foreign Muslim origin[edit]

In South Asia, the term Shaikh may refer to immigrants from Middle East origins but they are a community that exist mostly in Pakistan, and also in the regions of Punjab, and Jammu and Kashmir. Most of the Shaikhs are of native origin.

Native Muslim origin[edit]

Many upper and lower Hindus that converted to Islam in South Asia adopted the title of Shaikh. For example; the Pandits of Kashmir and Kayasthas in Uttar Pradesh Bihar adopted the Shaikh title after their conversion to Islam. Millions of Dalits also accepted the Shaikh title in India.


The subdivisions of the Shaikh include:

Prominent people[edit]

See also[edit]