One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A descendant of Muhammad through his daughter Fatima, entitled to wear a green turban or veil.
- ‘Patrilineal transmission, which is of Arab origin, exists on Ndzuani, and three sharif lineages live in the islands.’
- ‘The title of sharif, a descendant of Muhammad, is handed down through the male line.’
2A Muslim ruler, magistrate, or religious leader.
- ‘To break the grip of the Ottomans for good, they had declared support for an Arab Kingdom under Hussein, the sharif of Mecca, who in return led an uprising against the Turkish rulers.’
- ‘In return, the spiritual leader of the world's Muslims, Ali ibn Hussein, grand sherif of the holy city of Mecca, was promised Arab independence for all lands east of the Mediterranean.’
From Arabic šarīf ‘noble’, from šarafa ‘be exalted’.
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