Thaika Shuaib

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His Holiness
Thaika Shuaib
تايكا شعيب
தைக்கா ஷுஐபு
Title Afdalul Ulema, Alim, Al-Siddiqi
Born (1930-07-29) July 29, 1930 (age 86)
British Raj Kilakarai, British India (now Tamil Nadu, India)
Other names Shaikh Nayagam
ஷெய்கு நாயகம்
Nationality Indian
Ethnicity Arab-Tamil
Era 20th Century, Modern era
Region South India, Sri Lanka, UAE, Far East
Occupation Academic, Author and Businessman
Religion Islam
Denomination Sunni (Sufi)
Jurisprudence Shafi’i
Creed Maturidi
Main interest(s) Arabic, Arwi, Tamil, Aqidah, Fiqh, Tafsir, Tasawwuf, History
Notable work(s) Arabic, Arwi and Persian in Sarandib and Tamil Nadu
Sufi order 'Arusi-Qadiri
Disciple of Thaika Ahmad Abdul Qadir al-Siddiqi, Abdul Karim al-Kasnazani
Awards National Award for Outstanding Arabic Scholar

Thaika Shuaib (born July 29, 1930) is a South Indian Islamic scholar, spiritual guide, and author. In May 1994, he became the first Tamil Muslim to receive the National Award for “Outstanding Arabic Scholar”. He was mentioned as one of The 500 Most Influential Muslims in the 2013/14, 2014/15, 2016 and 2017 lists.


Shuaib was born in Kilakarai, South India.[1] He comes from a family of Islamic scholars who have taught the Islamic sciences for centuries. His father, Thaika Ahmad Abdul Qadir (d. 1976) was a scholar and spiritual guide. His grandfather, Shahul Hamid (d. 1921) was a scholar and missionary. His granduncle was the ascetic and poet Abdul Qadir (d. 1913), and his great-grandfather was the renewer Sayyid Muhammad (d. 1316), widely known as "Imam al-‘Arus" or "Mappillai Lebbai Alim".[2] Amongst Shuaib’s predecessors is the founder of the Arusiyyah Seminary, Sadaqatullah al-Qahiri. [3]

He is a descendant of the Caliph Abu Bakr, tracing his lineage through Sadaq Maraikkayar, (a companion of Nagore Shahul Hamid), who was a descendant of Muhammad Khilji.[3]


Shuaib’s father took care of his upbringing at the Arusiyyah Seminary, and he was both his teacher and spiritual master. His father gave him several ijazah, or certificates of authority to teach Islamic law. After completing the traditional curriculum, he sat with the scholars of Al-Baqiyat As-Salihat Seminary and Jamalia Arabic College in South India, and Darul Uloom Deoband and Jamia Millia Islamia in North India.[4]

He read Arabic and Persian at the University of Ceylon (Peradeniya). His research of the Arwi (South India and Sri Lanka) region earned him a M. A. and then a Ph.D. from the Columbia Pacific University.[4]


Shuaib received training from his father in Sufism, until he attained qualification as a murshid and the rank of a spiritual master in the Sufi tradition. He inherited the mantle of the Arusiyya branch of the Qadiriyya tariqa. He further received authorisation from Abdul Karim al-Kasnazani. [5]


Shuaib started teaching Arabic language and Qur'an studies at the Arusiyyah Seminary whilst still at high school. He entered the teaching profession full-time after graduation.[6]

Shuaib is a part of the traditional family business of trading in precious gems and stones.[1]


Shuaib’s primary research focus was history of Islam and Muslims in the Arwi region (modern day South India and Sri Lanka). His findings were the bedrock for his master’s thesis and research doctorate which culminated in the publishing of the 880-page work, “Arabic, Arwi and Persian in Sarandib and Tamil Nadu — A study of the Contributions of Sri Lanka and Tamil Nadu to Arabic, Arwi, Persian and Urdu Languages, Literature and Education”. The book was released by the Presidents of 3 SAARC countries in their respective official residences viz. India, Sri Lanka and Maldives.[7]

The book recorded the history and contributions of Arwi (Tamil-speaking) Muslims to Islamic literature, education, propagation and spirituality through Arabic, Arwi, Persian and Urdu. It shed light on their cultural, political and social activities and achievements in their respective countries and abroad. It also featured a critical commentary of the Mawlid composition of Imam al-‘Arus Sayyid Muhammad b. Ahmad Lebbai entitled, “Minhat al-Sarandīb fī Madh al-Habīb”.[7]


On 7th May 1994, the 9th President of India, Shankar Dayal Sharma, presented Shuaib with the "National Award for Outstanding Arabic Scholar" — a first for a Tamil Muslim Islamic scholar. [8]

In 2013, Shuaib was listed for the first time in The 500 Most Influential Muslims by Georgetown University’s Prince Alwaleed Bin-Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding and the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre of Jordan.[9]

On 27th April 2016, the 7th President of Sri Lanka, Maithripala Sirisena, was the guest of honour at a function in Colombo, Sri Lanka, to felicitate Shuaib for his services rendered to Islam and for promotion of religious harmony. [10]

See also[edit]

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

  • ask4dua - Shaikh Dr Thaika Shuaib's web initiative for mutual prayers.
  • TAQWA (Singapore) - Singapore chapter of the Arusi Qadiri Tariqa, of which Shaikh Dr Thaika Shuaib is the Patron.
  • Arusi Qadiri Sufi Path - Biographies of the Arusi Qadiri spiritual masters.
  • Ratib Jalaliyya - The liturgical work recited in Arusi Qadiri public gatherings.
  • Dinakaran Daily Newspaper (Tamil) - உலகளவில் செல்வாக்குள்ள 500 இஸ்லாமியர்களில் ராமநாதபுரம் மாவட்டத்தை சேர்ந்தவர் தேர்வு
  • Shaikh Dr Thaika Shuaib on Facebook


  1. ^ a b "Shaikh (Dr.) Tayka Shu'ayb". Tariqah al-’Arusiyyah al-Qadiriyyah. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Ark of Guidance - Birth and Family". Thaika Shuaib. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ a b "Ark of Guidance - Lineage and Forefathers". Thaika Shuaib. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b "Ark of Guidance – Education and Learning". Thaika Shuaib. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  5. ^ "Ark of Guidance – Initiation and Pedigree". Thaika Shuaib. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Ark of Guidance – Teaching and Propagation". Thaika Shuaib. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Ark of Guidance – Research and Thesis". Thaika Shuaib. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Ark of Guidance – Awards and Felicitations". Thaika Shuaib. Retrieved November 15, 2013. 
  9. ^ "Sheikh Dr Thaika Shuaib". The Muslim 500. November 2013. Retrieved October 1, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Event to Felicitate Dr Taika Shuaib Alim". Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka). April 2016. Retrieved May 4, 2016.