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Shaikh

Shaikh (also rendered as Sheik, Shaykh or Sheikh) is a word in the Arabic language meaning an elder or a revered old man. It has come to be used to mean a leader or noble, especially in the Arabian Peninsula, where Shaikh became a traditional title of a tribal leader.

For example, it was the term used to refer to the leaders of Kuwait's royal al-Sabah dynasty until June 19, 1961, when Kuwait joined the Arab League, and the title Emir was adopted. It is also used in sufi orders as an honorific for an elder sufi who has been authorized by the order to teach, initiate dervishes and otherwise lead a sufi circle or dergah.

The title is sometimes often more informally used to address learned men as a courtesy.



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