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]


The Shaikh title is used by the descendants of Arab and other Muslim immigrants who settled in areas of South Asia. Sufi and other migrants from the Middle East and Central Asia too attained the title 'Shaikh'. But in south asia many higher castes hindus who converted to islam adopted this title.

Foreign Muslim origin[edit]

In South Asia, the term Shaikh may signify Arab ancestry, or other Middle-eastern or Central Asian origins.


The subdivisions of the Shaikh include:

Prominent People[edit]

 Hazrat shekih abudl qadir gilani
Hazrat Usman bin Ali hajvari
 Hazrat baba bullay shah
 Hazrat waris shah'

See also[edit]


  1. ^ People of India by Sir Herbert Risely

External links[edit]