also rendered as Sheik, Shaykh, Shaikh, Cheikh, and other variants (Arabic):شيخ , shaykh; pl.شيوخ shuyūkh, is a word or honorific term in the Arabic language that literally means elder of a tribe, lord, revered old man, or Islamic scholar.
In South Asia, it signifies Arab ancestry. The title is sometimes more informally used to people who have a certain financial or political influence, but especially in relation to royalty and other nobility.
In the Arabian Peninsula, the title is used for men of stature, whether they are managers in high posts, wealthy business owners, or local rulers. In Pakistan the title is used for a caste (community), well reputed and respected, mainly involved in business. Many of the popular personalities in Pakistan have been from Sheikhs.
In South Asia, such as Pakistan, Bangladesh and India, "Shaikh" is a common surname among direct descendants of the royal Mughal Empire, or more generally, it signifies Arab or Persian ancestry. Although there are countless individuals who share the surname, most are considered to have been from royalty; most specifically the royal Mughal Empire.
However, there are real descendants of Mughal kings living in all over Pakistan, as one of the families are living in Lahore, Pakistan. The surname "Sheikh" is also commonly known to be descendants of the royal Mughal Empire and these types of families do have their family tree as written proof.
These family trees are also known as (shajra e nasab), which can be traced back to Zaher Ud Din Babar and some times to Amir Taimor Lang Jogzai. Some descendants are also called "Chughtai" and it can also be used by them.
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