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.

Sub-divisions[edit]

The subdivisions of the Shaikh include:

Prominent people[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]