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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, [1] and Nizaris, the main school of Ismā‘īlī Shiites.[2] 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.

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