My last name

Pretty cool.  I was looking up information about the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and found my last name referenced. To that end, I clicked on the link in wiki and found this about my last name and felt pretty proud! 😀

Sharīf (Arabic: شريف‎ /šarīf/) or Chérif is a traditional Arab tribal title given to those who serve as the protector of the tribe and all tribal assets, such as property, wells, and land. In origin, the word is an adjective meaning “noble”, “highborn”. The feminine singular is sharifa(h) (شريفه /šarīfa/). The masculine plural is Ashraf (اشراف /ašrāf/).

Primarily Sunnis in the Arab world reserve the term sharif for descendants of Hasan ibn Ali, while sayyid is used for descendants of Husayn ibn Ali. Both Hasan and Husayn are grandchildren of Prophet Muhammad, through the marriage of his cousin Ali and his daughter Fatima. However ever since the post-Hashemite era began, the term sayyid has been used to denote descendants from both Hasan and Husayn. Arab Shiites use the terms sayyid and habib to denote descendants from both Hasan and Husayn; see also ashraf.

From 1201 until the Hejaz was conquered by Ibn Saud in 1925, this family held the office of the Sharīf of Makkah, often also carrying the title and office of King of Hejaz. Descendants now rule the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the name being taken from the Banu Hashim, the sub-tribe of Banu Quraish, to which Prophet Muhammad belonged.

The word has no etymological connection with the English term sheriff, which comes from the Old English word scīrgerefa, meaning “shire-reeve,” the local reeve (enforcement agent) of the king in the shire (county).

Sharif, however, is the Arabic/Persian word for “honorable”.


One Comment to “My last name”

  1. I knew it meant honorable, but your name sure does have a lot of history/honor behind it. That’s really cool! Of course, it also just kinds of makes the complete lack of meaning behind my last name all the more disappointing to me. 😉 haha

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