:"For the "Lost" character, please see Sayid Jarrah" Sayyid ( _ar. سيد) (plural Saadah) is an honorific title that is given to males accepted as descendants of the Islamic prophet Muhammad through his grandsons, Hasan ibn Ali and Husayn ibn Ali, who were the sons of his daughter Fatima Zahra and son-in-law Ali ibn Abi Talib.

Daughters of male sayyids are given the titles Sayyida, Alawiyah, Syarifah or Sharifah. Children of a Sayyida mother but a non-Sayyid father cannot be attributed the title of Sayyid, however they may claim maternal descent and are called Mirza. Both Shiites and Sunnis that claim descent from Muhammad, do so through at least one of the Shiite Imams.

In Islamic mysticism or Sufism, only a sayyid can initiate a Sufi order or tariqah.

Other Uses

The word literally means "master" ; the closest English equivalent would be "sir" or "lord". In the Arab world itself, the word is still used as a substitute for "Mister", as in "Sayyid John Smith". The same concept is expressed by the word "sidi" (from the Arabic word 'sayyidi') in the Moroccan dialect of Arabic. Some Muslims also use the term "sayyid" for the descendants of Abu Talib, uncle of Muhammad), by his other sons: Jafar, Abbas, Aqeel and Talib.

Alevis use seyyid (Turkish) as an honorific before the names of their saints.

Dawoodi Bohras use the title "syyedina" for their "Da'i al-Mutlaq" (spiritual leader of the Bohra community) although they are not the descendants of Fatima.

El Cid , the name given to a famous Spanish knight of the 11th century C.E., is derived from Al-Sayyid ("as-sayyid"), meaning lord.



NOTE: (For non-Arabic speakers) When transliterating Arabic words into English there are two approaches.
*1. The user may transliterate the word letter for letter, e.g. "الزيدي" becomes "a-l-z-ai-d-i".

*2. The user transliterate the pronunciation of the word, e.g. "الزيدي" becomes "a-zz-ai-d-i". This is because in Arabic grammar, some consonants ("n, r, s, sh, t" and "z") cancel the "l" (ل) from the word "the" "al" (ال) . When the user sees the prefixes "an", "ar", "as", "ash", "at", "az", etc... this means the word is the transliteration of the pronunciation.

*An "i", "wi" (Arabic), or "vi" (Persian) ending could perhaps be translated by the English suffixes "ite" or "ian". The suffix transforms a personal name, or a place name, into the name of a group of people connected by lineage or place of birth. Hence "Ahmad al-Hashimi" could be translated as "Ahmad of the lineage of Hassan" and "Ahmad al-Harrani" as "Ahmad from the city of Harran". For further explanation, see Arabic names.

1Also, El-Husseini, Al-Husseini, Husseini, and Hussaini.

2Those who use the term "sayyid" for all descendants of Ali ibn Abi Talib regard Allawis or Alavis as sayyids. However Allawis are not descendants of Muhammad, as they are descended from the children of Ali and the women he married after the death of Fatima Zahra, such as Umm al Baneen/Fatima bint Hizam. Those who limit the term "sayyid" to descendants of Muhammad through Fatima Zahra, will not consider Allawis/Alavis to be sayyids.

3This transliteration is usually reserved for Alawi sect.

False Claims

False claimant to Sayyid status are called mutasayyid or müteseyyid [ See Sayyids and Sharīfs in the Ottoman State: On the Borders of the True and the False]

Ibn Battutah on the usage of 'Sayyid' in India

Ibn Battutah had the following to say on the usage of "sayyid" in India: cquote | Then one of the officers said to me in Arabic, "What do you say, "ya sayyidi"?" (The people of that country never address an Arab except by the title of "sayyid," and it is by this title that the Sultan himself addresses, out of respect for the Arabs.)Ibn Battutah, "The Travels of Ibn Battutah," ed. Tim Mackintosh-Smith (London: Picador, 2002), p. 189.]

"Sayyid" was also used as a term of respect by some Indian Muslims. Therefore, someone with the name "sayyid" in the Indian subcontinent is not necessarily of "sayyid" extraction. "Sayyid" families originate from particular villages or towns. If the person called "sayyid" can prove his family originated from an authentic "sayyid" town, that establishes his pedigree. In the modern era, "sayyid" is used only by descendants of the Prophet, and the title is no longer applied to non-"sayyid"s as a mark of respect.

ayyids in Indian Sub-continent

See|History of Arabs in Afghanistan|Sayyid dynasty, [ GILANI Sayyids of Masanian Sharif]

Some Sayyid families in Indian sub-continent claim direct relationship with the Prophet of Islam through his daughter Fâtimah and son-in-law Ali. Their ancestors migrated from different parts of Iran, during the invasion of Halaku and other periods of turmoil. They migrated through Herat (then part of Iran) in Afghanistan to different parts of India. These migrations occurred during the periods of Mahmud Ghaznavi, Delhi Sultanate and Mughals and continued till late into 19th century. Most sufi saints whose lineage could also be traced to Prophet Muhammad also migrated during the early periods of Delhi Sultanate and Mughals. Some of the early migrant Sayyids moved deep to the peninsular part of India, in the region of Deccan plateau in the reign of Bahmani Sultanate/Bahmani kings and later Qutb Shahi kings of Golconda, Nizam Shahi of Ahmadnagar, and other kingdoms of Bijapur, Bidar and Berar.

The history of Sayyids or Syeds in India dates back to more than 1000 years. Several Syeds visited India as merchants along with the general Arab traders. They also ruled over India (Delhi Sultanate) during the period 1414-1451. Except for this brief period of Indian history, Syeds or Sayyids were mostly connected to religious, spiriutal and educational activities.The notable Syeds of India include Sir Syed Ahmad Khan, Akbar Allahabadi, the Shahi Imams of Delhi and Syed Shahbuddin.

ayyids in Punjab

"Sherazi/Shirazi"kazmi/mosviJaffery sadat family in Sargodha descendant of Shah Shams Sherazi who was the descendant of Shitte Imam Jafar as-Sadiq. He was the son of Sher Ali, whose mausoleum is in Delhi. Sher Ali had come to India with the Mughal Emperor Humayun. In fact, Humayun moved to Iran seeking help to regain his empire when he was overthrown by Farid Khan, popularly known as Sher Shah Suri. After a special prayer for his success, Sher Ali and his two sons, Shah Shams and Jalal Shah, were asked to accompany Humayun to Delhi. On their way, they were informed that Sher Shah Suri died. Without any bloodshed in the battleground, Humayun took over and regained the power. He gifted a piece of land to Sher Ali and offered his son, Shah Shams, the marriage proposal of a girl from the Mughal family. Shah Shams accepted the proposal. In later years, the couple was blessed with five sons. Shah Shams and his family left Delhi and crossed the Jhelum River to settle in Rampur (presently known as Shahpur (Punjab) currently in Sargodha District. While his brother Jalal Shah moved to a deserted area in Afghanistan and lived there. Jalalabad, now a city in Afghanistan, was named after him. Shah Badar Diwan It is also narrated that "sayyid"s cannot accept Zakaat (Islamic charity) whereas non-"sayyid"s can. Thus, a "sayyid" must be given the money with the intention of a gift and not as charity.

It is reported that [the Imam] Hasan once took a date from those that were an offering ("sadaqa") and placed it in his mouth. At this the Prophet said: "Kakh!Kakh! Throw it out! Don't you know that we do not eat charity?" [Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith Nos. [ 1420] and [ 2907] ; also in Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 1069, [ though in the on-line version it is 2339.] ]
Twelver Shiites have "khums" (one-fifth), the rules for which differ from Sunni practice. Today, Twelvers divide the total amount of "khums" into two equal parts, disbursed as under: share of the descendants of the Prophet ("sahm al-sadat") and the Imam's share ("sahm al-Imam"), which is given to the "mujtahid" that the payer of "khums" follows, or can be distributed or utilized by his permission. Further details are found in books of jurisprudence.

Sayyid scholars wear green or black turbans, whereas non-"sayyid" scholars (referred to as "shaykh") wear white turbans.

See also

* Harrak
* Tabataba'i
* Saadat-e-Bara
* Idrisid dynasty, a Sayyid dynasty
* History of Arabs in Afghanistan
* Rizvi
* Shaikh Syed Abdul Qadir Jilani
* [ GILANI Sayyads of Masanian Sharif]
* Allo Mahar shrif
* [ Ba`] Ba' | The definitive resource for Islam and the Alawi Ancestry.
* [ The BaAlawi Genealogy]
* Qutub Shahi


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