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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
A number of Sheikhs, Ministers, military and police officers, members of diplomatic missions, senior state officials and a large gathering of citizens also attended the banquet.
Sheikh Muhammad was accompanied by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed Al-Maktoum, crown prince of Dubai, Sheikh Sultan bin Mohammed Al-Qasimi, crown prince of Sharjah, Sheikh Saud bin Saqar Al-Qasimi, crown prince of Ras Al Khaimah, Sheikh Rashid bin Saud Al-Mualla, crown prince of Umm Al Quwain, Sheikh Mohammed bin Hamad Al-Sharqi, crown prince of Fujairah, Sheikh Ammar bin Humaid Al-Naeemi, crown prince of Ajman and Sheikh Saif bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, UAE deputy prime minister and interior minister.
His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received Speaker of the National Assembly Marzouq Al-Ghanim
His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani and His Highness the Father Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani participated in Ardha (traditional sword dance), which was held at Emiri Diwan grounds to celebrate Qatar National Day.
HH Sheikh Khalifa received UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Dubai Ruler HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Sharjah Dr.
His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim KUWAIT, June 2 (KUNA) -- His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received Sunday at Bayan Palace National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al-Ghanim.
Top: His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani received scores of well-wishers on the occasion of Eid al-Adha at Al Wajbah Palace yesterday.
Doha, Muharram 23, 1438, Oct 24, 2016, SPA -- The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud arrived here tonight, to offer condolences on the death of late Sheikh Khalifa bin Hamad Al Thani, God bestows mercy upon him.
Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai, His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum offered Eid-al-Adha prayer Friday morning at Zabeel Mosque in Dubai.
His Highness the Amir receives Qatar's Amir KUWAIT, May 19 (KUNA) -- Qatar's Amir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani and his accompanying delegation have arrived in Kuwait in a fraternal visit to congratulate His Highness the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah on the holy month of Ramadan.