What is the difference between both of the terms?

Definition of Sharif is here. Don't use Wikipedia English page for it cause it's talking about something different, if you want to see an English translation then perhaps you can use Google Translate.

Definition of Syed is here

  • 3
    @DVers I wonder why this question may receive DV? Jul 21, 2012 at 14:24
  • Can you please define these terms and what you expect they mean?
    – ashes999
    Jul 21, 2012 at 17:14
  • If you don't think wikipedia english page is good enough, try to define it yourselves here. Google Translate isn't perfect you know..
    – user123
    Aug 4, 2012 at 11:18
  • @Ahmadi I hate down-voters so much. They DV everything. They are spreading hate among us. Aug 21, 2012 at 8:05

1 Answer 1


Syed and Sharif are historical terms that have been used in different ways through different times and by different people. I know of two variations (but I know there are others):

The first one (and probably the most used):

  • Syed: Descendant of Hassan ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib.
  • Sharif: Descendant of Hussain ibn Ali ibn Abi Talib.

The second one:

  • Syed: Descendant of the prophet's grandsons (Hassan and Hussain).
  • Sharif: Descendant of the prophet's greater family (Banu Ali, Banu Abbas, Banu Hashim ... etc).

Related Wikipedia articles that cover some of these definitions:



  • can you please provide some reference? especially about sharif. Jul 21, 2012 at 14:22
  • @Ahmadi - Which definition? Though I'm not sure I can find any satisfactory references for these since, as I said, different people have used these terms in various ways. Wikipedia has a couple of short articles on these honorifics. I'll add them for now. Jul 21, 2012 at 15:47
  • 1
    the last I mean. also I think all of family of prophet are from Bani Hashim. so no need to say Banu Ali, Banu Abbas etc and Bani Hashim is enough. i.e. Hashimi. Jul 21, 2012 at 16:05

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