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Posted By Topic: When does a man become a Shaykh???

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09-01-2004 @ 2:52 PM    Notify Admin about this post
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At what age can a man be considered a "Shaykh"?  Not a Shaykh in terms of Ilm, but rather due to his age.  I know that the term "Shaykh" has been misused in many cases, such as referring to the likes of Hamzah Useless as "Shaykh Hamzah Yusef" who is both young and Jahil.

I heard that we are considered Shabaab until the age of 50.  What is the criterea for calling a man, who is among the awaam, a Shaykh?

The people of Jamaa'ah Tableegh, in my area, seem to think that any man with a turban who stands up and gives a so-called bayaan is a Shaykh. They often give no consideration of the persons age or level of knowledge.  

Ibraheem al-Bukharee

This message was edited by ibrahim.bukhari on 1-9-04 @ 4:42 PM

10-01-2004 @ 2:31 AM    Notify Admin about this post
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Wa 'alaykumus-salaamu wa rahmatullaahi wa barakaatuh:


   [1] "Shaykh" refers to the one who has become clearly old and begins to grey.

   [2] It has been said that a shaykh is from 50 years and on.

   [3] Others said a shaykh is from 51 to the end of his life.  

   [4] Others said from 50 to 80.

   [5] The 'Arabs also refer to a married man as "our shaykh", even if he is a youth.

   [6] A "shaykh" is also a kind of tree that grows in ar-Riyaadh and al-Quryaan.

An old woman may also be called a "shaykhah".  A young or little shaykh is called a "shuyaykh", and not a "shuwaykh" according to al-Jawharee [in as-Sahaah].  However, al-Fayrooza'abaadee [in al-Muheet] refuted him (refutations even in books of the 'Arabic language!) and said that "shuwaykh is actually used (rarely), but al-Jawharee didn't know about it!"

The first meaning is supported by a hadeeth in al-Bukhaaree:

'Aasim ibn Khaalid narrated to us that Hareez ibn 'Uthmaan asked 'Abdullaah ibn Busr, the Companion of the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam): Inform me about the Prophet (sallallaahu 'alayhe wa sallam), was he a shaykh?  He said: He had some grey hairs on his chin (below his lower lip).

Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (#3546)

The fifth meaning, the married man, is supported by the Verse of the Qur'aan:

"The shaykh and the shaykhah if they make zinaa (adultery) then stone them both, absolutely."

This verse used to be in Soorah al-Ahzaab.  The verse's recitation was abrogated (thus it is not in the mushaf anymore), however its ruling remains in effect, meaning the married zaanee and zaaniyah are to be stoned to death, and the unmarried zaanee and zaaniyah are to be lashed.

Refer to Ibn Maajah (#2553), al-Albaanee called it saheeh.

Plurals for "shaykh" are:


And the scholars of the language differed over the existence of the follwing two plurals:


[from Lisaan al-'Arab, Mu'jam Tahtheeb al-Lughah, as-Sahaah, al-Muheet]

This is in the 'Arabic language.  However, when the 'ulamaa' refer to ash-Shaykhaan, the two shaykhs, they are not referring to any two old men, they are referring to al-Bukhaaree and Muslim, so this shows us the need to distinguish between the linguistic meaning and the meaning that the scholars use in reference to people.

From their use of the word:  A person's "shaykh" is the one who he takes his hadeeth from.  Based on this, you find the 'ulamaa' listing a narrator's shuyookh and talaameeth, meaning his shaykhs, those he took from, and his students, those who took from him.  This refers to a person's status compared to another and is not a title, nor does it refer to age at all.

What we need is someone to make tahqeeq of the usage of the word "shaykh" as a laqab (title) to someone's name like "ash-Shaykh Fulaan"...

(Attention: Aboo Hindee...!)

Moosaa Richardson


This message was edited by Moosaa on 1-10-04 @ 2:38 AM

10-01-2004 @ 2:56 AM    Notify Admin about this post
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salaam alaykum

Yaa Ahkee Moosaa, may Allaah reward you for this beneficial post !!!  

Ibraheem al-Bukharee

This message was edited by ibrahim.bukhari on 10-5-04 @ 3:13 AM

10-01-2004 @ 5:18 AM    Notify Admin about this post
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Salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah;

I agree, it is a very good Post & may Allah Ta'Ala reward you.

Abu Na'imah Shamsuddin

05-10-2004 @ 3:07 AM    Notify Admin about this post
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RASIED for the Benefit insha'Allaah!

Ibraheem Bukharee (Son of Clarence Thomas)

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