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Can i call a Christian ‘my master’?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Askimam.org

I want to ask about the permissibility of calling a Christian ‘Sidi’ (my master). In my country it’s very common to say Sidi (the Indo/Pak equivalent is probably Bhai Sahab or Hazrat). We say this to all old people. It’s taken from Sayiddi. I work with a Christian man, and sometimes by habit, I say to him Sidi.

What is the ruling of this/is it haram?

Also, I read on the following website (http://hidayaresearch.com/the-supplement-to-word-or-act-of-kufr/) in number 30 of things which cause disbelief to respect a disbeliever/kiss the hand of a priest causes disbelief, so would calling a Christian “Sidi” cause disbelief – I don’t mean respecting his religion, just respect out of his old age, and it’s really just a habit.


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh. 

If it is a normal practice (urf) in your area to address an elderly person by the term sidi, then addressing to Christian person by sidi will not constitute kufr[1].

Abu Ali ad-Dagestani

Moscow, Russia

Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai

[1] قال في عمدة القاري: و يستفاد من قوله إلى عظيم الروم ملاطفة المكتوب إليه و تعظيمه … فإن إذا كان الأمر كذلك فلم لم يقل إلى هرقل فقط؟قلت ليكون فيه نوع من الملاطفة فقال عظيم الروم أي الذي تعظمه الروم و قد أمر الله بتليين القول لمن يدعي إلى الإسلام ج 1 ص 137

This answer was collected from Askimam.org, which is operated under the supervision of Mufti Ebrahim Desai from South Africa.

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