(pl. Sada- Asyad) Arabic term for ‘lord’ or ‘master’. It is a pre-Islamic term and refers to a person who possesses dignity or enjoys an exalted position among his people. Amongst Muslims, the term came to indicate descendants of the Prophet Muhammad, especially those who descend from his grandson, Imam Husayn ibn ‘Ali. It is also used as a title for Sufi masters, notable theologians and ‘ulama’.