Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936)

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(439 words)

This word means one who bears the marks of old age, who is over fifty (cf. Lisān, iii. 509). It is applied to aged relatives; the S̲h̲aik̲h̲ is the patriarch of the tribe or family.

In pre-Islāmic antiquity the title Saiyid, the chief of the tribe, was frequently given the epithet S̲h̲aik̲h̲ meaning full maturity in years and therefore of mental powers. The moral influence of the S̲h̲aik̲h̲s over the Beduins was considerable and the term came to mean chiefs having a long career behind them, the glorious veterans.

In the history of the Muslim period, it has frequently the sense of supreme c…

Cite this page
Cour, A., “S̲h̲aik̲h̲”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, First Edition (1913-1936), Edited by M. Th. Houtsma, T.W. Arnold, R. Basset, R. Hartmann. Consulted online on 16 July 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2214-871X_ei1_SIM_5290>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004082656, 1913-1936

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