Shaikhs in South Asia
Sheikh, also rendered as Sheik, Shaykh, Shaikh, Shekh, Cheikh, Šeih, Šejh, Şeyh and other variants (Arabic: شيخ, shaykh; pl. شيوخ shuyūkh), 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.
Foreign Muslim origin
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, Uttar Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir. The Shaikh title is used by Arab and other Muslim immigrants who settled in areas of South Asia. Sufi and other migrants from the Middle East and Central Asia also attained the title 'Shaikh'.
The subdivisions of the Shaikh include:
- Shaikh Qidwai, descendants of the Qazi Qidwa, a son of the Sultans of Rum.
- Shaikh Hashmi, members of the Banu Hashim clan of the Banu Quraish tribe. The Islamic prophet, Muhammad belonged to this clan. Usually carry the title Sayyid or Sharif.
- Shaikh Siddiqui, descendants of Hazrat Abu Bakr, the first Khalifa of Islam.
- Shaikh Usmani (Osmani), descendents of Hazrat Usman the third Khalifa of Islam
- Shaikh Quraishi, members of the Banu Quraish tribe. The Islamic prophet, Muhammad, belonged to this tribe.
- Shaikh Farooqi, Honorific reverence to Umar Farooq Bin Al-Khattab. Converts from high caste Hinduism.
- Shaikh Ansari, descendents of the Ansar tribes of Madina Munawwara, many of whom were loyal companions to the Prophet Muhammad
- Sachal Sarmast, Sufi Saint.
- Javed Sheikh, Pakistani Actor.
- Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Indian actor.
- Emraan Hashmi, Indian actor.
- Huma Qureshi, Indian actress.
- Shakeel Siddiqui, Pakistani comedian, stage artist and performer.
- Farooq Sheikh, Indian actor (Bollywood and theatre), television presenter and philanthropist.
- Shaikh Ayaz, Sindhi poet of Pakistan.
- Dr. Shafey Kidwai, a well-known bilingual critic, translator and reviewer, professor of Mass Communication at Aligarh Muslim University.
- Rafi Ahmed Kidwai, a politician, an Indian independence activist and a socialist, sometimes described as an Islamic socialist.
- Akhlaqur Rahman Kidwai, a prominent Indian chemist and politician.
- Dr. Abdul Raheem Kidwai, a professor of English at the Aligarh Muslim University in India and the well-known author of many works on the Qur'an and Islam. 
- People of India by Sir Herbert Risely