The Sheik's wrestling was centered around his character of a rich wild man from Syria. He locked on normally mundane holds and refuse to break them, leading to submission. He used hidden pencils to cut open his opponent's faces. Often, the tactic backfired and the opponent got the pencil, leading to the extensive scarring on Farhat's forehead. The other illegal move was his fireball that he threw into his opponents faces and they sold as if their face was burnt severely. He didn't speak on camera and had two different managers during his to cut promos on his behalf. His first manager was Abdullah Farouk but when he managed full-time in WWWF, Eddie Creatchman became his manager. He kept in character even around his own family, only breaking character around business partners. The character was very easy to go from territory to territory with and Farhat was often brought in as a special attraction for big shows or by NWA promoters who were fighting opposition promotions.
Sheik retired to his estate and was in the process of writing his autobiography when he died on January 18, 2003 of heart failure at the age of 76. Fortunately, his biographer retained several completed chapters along with extensive recorded oral interviews with both Sheik and his wife.
As a promoter, he was somewhat ahead of his time. He had a production truck travel with him to tape the main events in an era when arena shows were almost never taped. He also paid wrestlers while they were out due to injury which didn't come into common practice until recently. When business was bad however, he got desperate going as far as having his son tell the boys that someone had robbed the ticket office of that nights gate. However, he never groomed a successor so when he stopped drawing crowds, there was no one to fall back on. He was one of professional wrestling's biggest box office attractions and he is seen as a pioneer of "hardcore wrestling" which became a major part of professional wrestling in the 1990s. He also trained other popular wrestlers from Michigan such as Sabu, Rob Van Dam, Raven, and Greg Valentine.