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Murshid (Arabic: مرشد) is Arabic for "guide" or "teacher". Particularly in Sufism it refers to a Sufi teacher. The term is used by other branches of Islam as well, e.g. by the Alevis, Bektashis,  and Nizaris, the main school of Ismā‘īlī Shiites. The path of Sufism starts when a student takes an oath of allegiance (bai'ath) with a teacher. After this oath, the student is called a murid.
The murshid's role is to guide and instruct the disciple on the Sufi path, by general lessons (called suhbas) and individual guidance.
A murshid usually has authorisation to be a teacher for one (or more) "tariqas" (paths). A tariqa may have more than one murshid at a time. A murshid is accorded that status by his murshid (shaikh) by way of khilafath: the process in which the shaikh identifies one of his disciples as his successor, the khalifa. A murshid can have more than one khalifa.
Other words that refer to a murshid include pir and sarkar.