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Meaning of the term Sheik

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DavidC View Drop Down
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    Posted: 18 December 2017 at 7:20am
I understand all Sufis are muslim but not all muslims are sufi.

Does the honorific 'Sheik' denote that the person is Sufi, or is that title simply preferred by Sufis? Can someone please compare and contrast the terms sheik, imam, ayatollah and other similar honorifics?
Christian; Wesleyan M.Div.
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Malicks View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Malicks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 December 2017 at 10:52am
Hello

Interesting what you are asking because people need to know about the differences.

At first all sufis can be called muslim on one hand only if they seek for the same thing that is the purification of heart. Otherwise there are others who are on the other hand outwardly christian or even someone else because sufism did not start with the Prophet Muhhamad (SAWS)but from Adam who is told to be the first Prophet ever. We can discuss a Little deeper about it if you are willing.

Forthemore, an imam is only the person who leads (in prayers)but the Sheikh is the one who gives you a spiritual education that has nothing to do with what the teachers (of books for instance Quran)do.. like Learning you how to pray, how fast.. I mean the five pillers etc. But he focuses in your soul, heart, mind perfection...

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote asep garut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19 January 2018 at 1:58am
Originally posted by DavidC DavidC wrote:

I understand all Sufis are muslim but not all muslims are sufi.

Does the honorific 'Sheik' denote that the person is Sufi, or is that title simply preferred by Sufis? Can someone please compare and contrast the terms sheik, imam, ayatollah and other similar honorifics?

DavidC,

The meaning of these names in each country could be different, and as far as my knowledge is as follows:

Linguistically, literally, the meaning of the Sheikh is a leader, elder, chief or an expert on Islam.

In particular, in Islam the title like this is also used to refer to Muslim scholars in various fields, such as the faqih, mufti, and muhaddith. In the Sufi order, the Sheikh is a title of honor for someone who has obtained the permission of the tarekat leader to teach, guide and elevate the disciples of the tarekat.

In my country, Sheikhs are usually used by Arab preachers or great scholars of Islam, and the title of Sheikh usually refers to a scholar with high Islamic knowledge.

In the Middle East, the term sheikh refers to an advanced person. However, it currently develops become a degree for leaders, nobles or elders. The same thing happens in the Persian Gulf tradition, this term refers to leaders, whether high officials, managers, local companies leaders.

Somewhat different in Africa, this title is usually used for Islamic rulers in the royal family, as well as Muslim nobles in tribes in Africa.

By definition, the title of the sheikh is similar to that of a scholar or ustadz. Teachers in Arab or Egyptian used to call themselves with the sheikh, for example: Rector of Al-Azhar University who got the title of Sheikh Al Azhar.
How to get the title of the Sheikh?

In the Middle East and Arabia, sheikhs are titles that refer to academics, so that lecturers or professors whose level of Islamic scholarship is high there, usually get a sheikh's predicate.

In my country, the title of the sheikh does not refer to academics such as professors etc., but rather to a great scholar who has a high religious knowledge of Islam.

Imam:  

In Arabic, Imam (إمام) is a leader position in Islam. In Sunni, the word of imam is synonimous with Khalīfah. In various circumstances the word of imam can also mean shalah’s leader and  also for the title of famous Islamic religious scholars.

Ayatollah:

Ayatollah (Arabic: آية الله; Persian Language: آيتالله) is the highest title given to Shiite scholars. Ayatollah means "Proof of Allah" and those who have the title are experts in the study of Islam, such as Shari'ah (Islamic law), philosophy, ethics and others, and usually teach in school knowledge of Islam (hauzah) or "pesantren" in my country. Hopefully it will be useful for you.

Asep Garut

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DavidC View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DavidC Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 January 2018 at 9:52pm
Thank you, friends. Very useful and interesting, but you must work harder if you want to be as confusing as us Christians
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asep garut View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote asep garut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 22 January 2018 at 2:00am
Originally posted by DavidC DavidC wrote:

Thank you, friends. Very useful and interesting, but you must work harder if you want to be as confusing as us Christians

You're welcome DavidC, it just so happens that I am not a moslem who prioritizes such titles, but Allah's Grace and Affection I really need from Allah, therefore, I have to keep my faith and piety in a good and right way.
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