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Murshid (Arabic: مرشد‎) is Arabic for "guide" or "teacher". Particularly in Sufism it refers to Spiritual Guide. The term is used by other branches of Islam especially by Sufi Orders such as Qadiris, Chistis, Sarwari Qadiris, Soharwardis, etc. as well, e.g. by the Alevis, Bektashis, [1] and Nizaris, the main school of Ismā‘īlī Shiites.[2] The path of Sufism starts when a student-murid takes an oath of allegiance or Bay'ah (bai'ath) with a spiritual guide-Murshid.

The Murshid's role is to spiritually guide and verbally instruct the disciple on the Sufi path. Some of the general lessons are (called suhbas).

A murshid usually has authorisation to be a teacher for one (or more) "tariqas" (paths).

A silsila or 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.

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  2. ^ Daftary, Farhad (2007), The Ismāʻı̄lı̄s: their history and doctrines (2 ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 431, ISBN 0521616360