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A general title of respect.

The term shaykh (also sheikh), can be applied to an elderly man, a tribal chief, a ruler of a shaykhdom along the Persian Gulf, a village chief, a religious scholar, a senator, or a Sufi master. The early caliphs were known as shaykhs. Shaykh al-Islam was the title given to the chief mufti (jurist) of the Ottoman Empire, who had direct access to the sultan and served as the highest-ranking legal administrator.

see also shaykh al-islam.

marilyn higbee

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Shaykh (Arab.). Old man, chief, or elder; a title of respect in Islam, especially for religious leaders, usually transliterated shaikh.