From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Murshid (Arabic: مرشد‎) is Arabic for "guide" or "teacher", derived from the root r-sh-d, with the basic meaning of having integrity, being sensible, mature.[1] Particularly in Sufism it refers to a Spiritual Guide.[2] The term is frequently used in Sufi Orders such as the Qadiriya, Chishtiya, Shadhiliya, Suhrawardiya, and others including the Alevis, Bektashis,[3] and Nizaris, the main school of Ismā‘īlī Shiites.[4]

The path of Sufism starts when a student-murid takes an oath of allegiance or Bay'ah (bai'ath) with a spiritual guide-Murshid. In speaking of this initiatory pact of allegiance, the Qur’ ̄an (48:10) says: Verily they who pledge unto thee their allegiance pledge it unto none but God. The Hand of God is above their hands.[5]

The Murshid's role is to spiritually guide and verbally instruct the disciple on the Sufi path, but "only one who has himself reached the End of the path is a spiritual guide in the full sense of the Arabic term murshid".[6] Some of the general lessons are called suhbas.[citation needed]

A murshid usually has authorisation to be a teacher for one or more "tariqas" (paths).[citation needed] A silsila or tariqa may have more than one murshid at a time. A murshid is accorded that status by his murshid (shaykh) by way of khilafah: the process in which the shaykh identifies one of his disciples as his successor, the khalifa. A murshid can have more than one khalifa.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. ^ See Hans Wehr's Arabic Dictionary, 4th ed., s.v. rašada.
  2. ^ Cf. A.R. Siddiqui, Quranic Key Words A Reference Guide, p. 199.
  3. ^
  4. ^ Daftary, Farhad (2007), The Ismāʻı̄lı̄s: their history and doctrines (2 ed.), Cambridge University Press, p. 431, ISBN 0521616360 
  5. ^ Cf. Martin Lings, What is Sufism, Islamic Texts Society, Cambridge, p. 125.
  6. ^ Lings, op. cit., p. 125.