Each week when i read the Islamic Events & Notices list (which is an excellent resource by the way) i'm bemused to see that that there is a new Sidi on the block. Sidi, for those that don't know the term, is the same as Sayyid, but pronounced Sidi in places like North West Africa. The first time i came across it was when i listened to Abdullah Hakim Quick's excellent series entitled "The complete advice in sincerity" which was an explanation of a small work by Sidi Ahmed Zarruq. The impression i got was that a Sidi was someone of great renown, a person of scholarship, and wisdom.
So where did all these Sidis pop out from all of a sudden? I recognised the name of one of the brothers whose name was suffixed with Sidi and trust me, he doesn't have any formal training/education in Islam. I know that people love our scholars and teachers, but too many seem to be promoted to the level of Shaikh, Imam, Sidi too quickly. And that i think cheapens the title. If everyone is a Sidi, then the real Sidis won't be given the distinction that they deserve and won't stand ahead of the crowd where they ought to.