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"Ostad" redirects here. For other uses, see Ostad (disambiguation).

Ustād (Persian: استاد; /ostɑːd/, master or teacher; feminine Ustada) is an honorific title for a man used in the Middle East, South Asia and Southeast Asia. The Persian word has become widespread in use in languages spoken by large Muslim populations, such as Urdu, Punjabi, Pashto, Turkish and Kurdish. It is abbreviated as Ust., Ut. or Ud.


The title precedes the name and was historically usually used for well-regarded teachers and artists, most often musicians, and is applied and used via informal social agreement.

Aside from the honorific, the word is generally used by its literal meaning to refer to any teacher, master or expert in Urdu. In the Arabic-speaking world, it refers to a university professor.

The title is also used for qualified Islamic scholars in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Singapore. It is a direct equivalent of terms such as Shaykh in the Arab world, and Mawlānā in the Indian Subcontinent. In the Maldives, the title is used by people who possess a bachelor's degree or above in the field of law.

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