Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition

Get access

(10,000 words)

(a.; loanword in p. and t.) (pl, as̲h̲rāf , s̲h̲urafāʾ [in the Mag̲h̲rib, s̲h̲urfāʾ q.v.], s̲h̲araf [seldom]) “noble”, “exalted”, “eminent” [in religious or worldly esteem], derives from the root s̲h̲-r-f which expresses the idea of exaltedness and prominence. Its pre-Islamic as well as its most basic use in Islamic cultures is to denote a free man who can claim a distinguished rank because of his descent from illustrious ancestors (LA, xi, 70-1); that is, a person possessed of nobility (s̲h̲araf, or, less frequently, s̲h̲urfa ; both also used in p.; in t., s̲h̲eref , s̲h̲erāfet ), wheth…

Cite this page
Arendonk, C. van and Graham, W.A., “S̲h̲arīf”, in: Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition, Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Consulted online on 18 October 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1573-3912_islam_COM_1041>
First published online: 2012
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004161214, 1960-2007

▲   Back to top   ▲