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, sheik in Muslim countries
a. the head of an Arab tribe, village, etc.
b. a high priest or religious leader, esp a Sufi master
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



among Arab nomads the head or leader of a clan, tribe, or tribal alliance. In Islamic countries the term also acquired the general meaning of a venerable man; it is most often applied to leaders of Muslim sects and dervish orders (equivalent terms are “pir” and ’”murshid”), prominent theologians, and Muslim jurists. On the southern Arabian Peninsula and in the area of the Persian Gulf, several small states are ruled by sheikhs.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
5-Ministre de l'Economie et de l'Industrie : Cheikh El Kebir Moulaye Taher
Se considAaAaAeA@rant artiste professi c'est-AaAaAeA -dire un vrai cheikh (connaisseur et maAaAaAeA@tre), il constitu duo artistique ambulant avec son ami, le tambourinaire et comAaAaAeA@die feu Ali N'hmimech, pendant de longues annAaAaAeA@es.
Cheikh "I actually saw him play in the cup final against PSG and straight away you could see his combative, physical qualities that would suit our football.
Cheikh Ahmed said the Yemeni people have suffered "an unspeakable tragedy," calling the civilian casualties "an affront to humanity."
Ould Cheikh Ahmed moves to his new post from his previous position as the Secretary-General's Special Representative and Head of the UN Mission for Ebola Emergency Response (UNMEER) and prior to that he worked as Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General and Deputy Head of the UN Support Mission in Libya (UNSMIL), UN Resident Coordinator, Humanitarian Coordinator and UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Representative.
Il a ajoute que l'ancien ministre des Affaires religieuses, Nourredine El Khademi a prepare, durant le mois de Ramadhan dernier, un programme de cours dans la mosquee de la Zeitouna avec la presence des cheikhs Mohamed Hassen et Rached Zahrani, mais ce programme a ete refuse par les Cheikhs de la Zeitouna, ce qui a les a amenes a transferer tous les preches a la mosquee Okba Ibnou Nafaa (Kairouan).
Le ministre des Affaires etrangeres , Ali Ahmed Karti , a remis le message au cheikh Tamim jeudi a Doha .
Les combats ont eclate dimanche apres une attaque contre un barrage de l'armee par des partisans de cheikh Ahmad al-Assir, un cheikh radical sunnite hostile au Hezbollah chiite qui combat aux cotes du regime en Syrie.
Professor Henderson appropriates Cheikh Anta Diop to the Afrocentrist's project without telling us how Diop is an Afrocentrist.