Is it wrong to say Sayidi or Sayidina? Some people say this is only to be used for Allah Most High.

ⓘ Supported by Al Medina 313.



Islamic Text

بِسْمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحْمَنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In the Name of Allah Most Merciful Most Kind

Short Answer

It is not wrong to say Sayidi or Sayidina? Rather the Prophet ﷺ and the Sahabah used this for people. In the Holy Quran Allah Most High referred to Sayidina Yahya (peace be upon him) as Sayid.

The Holy Quran
فَنَادَتْهُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَهُوَ قَائِمٌ يُصَلِّي فِي الْمِحْرَابِ أَنَّ اللَّهَ يُبَشِّرُكَ بِيَحْيَى مُصَدِّقًا بِكَلِمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ وَسَيِّدًا وَحَصُورًا وَنَبِيًّا مِنَ الصَّالِحِينَ

So the angels called out to him while he was stood praying in the Mihrab. ‘Indeed, Allah gives you glad tidings of Yahya. He will confirm the Word from Allah, will be a Sayid, chaste, and a Prophet among the righteous. (Surah Ali Imran, 39).

The blessed verse of the Holy Quran above, we find that Allah Most High called Sayidina Yahyah (peace be upon him) Sayid. Therefore, it is permitted for us to say Sayidi or Sayidina with regards to a person. And the claim that the term Sayid is only allowed for Allah (Most High) and not for people is not upheld.

The word Sayid has many meanings. But it was most often used for a leader or a master. However, it is not restricted to that usage. It is often used as a title or a term of respect. This is widespread in many Arab cultures today and has been for a long time.

The Mubarak Sunnah
عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الخُدْرِيِّ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُ، قَالَ: لَمَّا نَزَلَتْ بَنُو قُرَيْظَةَ عَلَى حُكْمِ سَعْدٍ هُوَ ابْنُ مُعَاذٍ، بَعَثَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ وَكَانَ قَرِيبًا مِنْهُ، فَجَاءَ عَلَى حِمَارٍ، فَلَمَّا دَنَا قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: قُومُوا إِلَى سَيِّدِكُمْ

Abu Saeed al-Khudri narrated that when Bani Quraydhah agreed to accept the verdict of Sa`d bin Mu`adh, the Prophet ﷺ sent for him. He was close and came riding a donkey. And when he approached, the Prophet ﷺ said: Stand to your Sayid. (Sahih al-Bukhari, 3043).

In the Hadith above, we find the blessed Prophet ﷺ, referring to Sayidina Sa’d bin Mu’adh as Sayid. This is another clear proof that it is permitted to say Sayidi or Sayidina in reference to a person. Meaning the word Sayid is not restricted to Allah Most High.

The following Hadith provides another example of the beloved Prophet ﷺ calling a person Sayid. In this case it is Sa’d bin Ubadah. In fact there are many examples found in Hadith narrations. So it is surprising that people hold the view that it is not permitted. This is one of the dangers of speaking about the Deen without sufficient research.

فَقَالَ رَسُولُ اللهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: اسْمَعُوا إِلَى مَا يَقُولُ سَيِّدُكُمْ

The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said: Listen to what your Sayid is saying. (Sahih Muslim, 1498 – 14).

The Sahabah
جَابِرُ بْنُ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ رَضِيَ اللَّهُ عَنْهُمَا، قَالَ: كَانَ عُمَرُ يَقُولُ: أَبُو بَكْرٍ سَيِّدُنَا، وَأَعْتَقَ سَيِّدَنَا يَعْنِي بِلاَلًا

(Sayidina) Jabir bin Abdillah (May Allah Most High Be pleased with them) narrated that (Sayidina) Umar used to say: Abu Bakr is our Sayid. And he emancipated our chief. Meaning Bilal. (Sahih al-Bukhari, 3754).

In this narration Sayidina Umar refers to Sayidina Abu Bakr and Sayidina Bilal as ‘our Sayid.’ This demonstrates that the Sahabah understood that the term Sayidi is permitted for people. It is not restricted to Allah (Most High). Therefore, it is permitted for a Muslim to say Sayidi or Sayidina in reference to another person.

السَّيِّدُ الْأَوَّلُ حَقِيقَةً وَالثَّانِي قَالَهُ تَوَاضُعًا عَلَى سَبِيل الْمجَاز. (فتح الباري شرح صحيح البخاري)

The first Sayid is literal. As for the second, he said it out of humility. It was metaphorical. (Imam Ahmad bin Ali bin Hajr al-Asqalani, Fath al-Bari).

In the Nass above. Imam Ibn Hajr al-Asqalani explains that Sayid can be used literally and metaphorically. When used literally, it refers to a leader. As for metaphorically, it is a term of respect.


It is undoubtedly permitted to say Sayidi or Sayidina in reference to a person. It is usually done out of respect. There are numerous proofs to uphold this permissibility. They are found in Quran, Hadith and the actions of the Sahabah. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that Sayid can only be used for Allah (Most High).

And Allah Most High Knows Best.

Answered by Shaykh Noorud-deen Rashid (10.04.24)