Saiyid an appellation generally applied to denote the direct descendants of the Prophet Muhammad (Sm). 'Saiyid' is an Arabic word meaning lord or owner. In this sense it signifies a genealogical group holding prime position in the society. The saiyids occupy a position of preeminence in the Muslim society and are always held in special reverence and consideration by the general people especially the Muslims.

No reference to the appellation is found in the early history of Islam. Under the Muslim rule in India and in Bengal, the term 'saiyid' got currency to denote the descendants of the Prophet (Sm). Mention of the term to denote an influential section of the people in Bengal is found in the proclamation of Delhi sultan Firuz Shah Tughlaq issued on the eve of his first expedition to Bengal (1353 AD). The group of the people first addressed to in the proclamation consists of the sa'dat or saiyids, ulama, mashaiykh and other people of like status. The Saiyid dynasty claiming their descent from the holy Prophet ruled in Delhi between 1414 and 1447 AD.

In Bangladesh, a number of families introduce them as saiyid or syed thereby perpetuating their social status and virtually claiming their descent from the holy Prophet (Sm). [Muazzam Hussain Khan]