This is a simplified breakdown of a pseudo-arabic system for ranking nobility.
Sheikh - A tribal leader.
Emir/Amir - Essentially a commander, this rank is usually translated as "prince," however, in function the position is more along the lines of clan head.
Sultan - This title applies to rulers who are not Caliphs, but rule territories known as sultanates in their own right.
Malik - Title for the ruling monarch of a kingdom, equivalent to the European rank of King. The female version is Malika.
Caliph - While essentially a religious title, the position corresponds to that of emperor, with caliphs ruling over caliphates composed of subordinate sultans and emirs.
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? Responses (6)-6
It is hard to measure this one. My normal, will a google search give me this same information or more, was hard to judge as many of the sites came up in Arabic. This may be spot on or it may be seriously lacking. I don't know. I will need to so some more research or find some better sources.
It does however, provide some food for thought.
Codex entry here, not a submission.
The thing is, these are only very general titles, and you can't "freeze" them to one meaning. I suppose these are good if you're doing a very basic take-off of Arabic culture, but these titles have had many different meanings and placements throughout times and cultures, often simultaneously.
Per the first comment, googling turns up more detail and there is nothing added as well.