Salman al-Murshid

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Salman al-Murshid (1907 – 16 December 1946, ‎سلمان المرشد) was a Syrian religious figure.


Early beginnings[edit]

Salman al-Murshid was born in the village of Jawbat Burghal, in the Province of Lattakia.

Salman al-Murshid united three clans (Mahalibah, Darawesah and Amamerah) into one clan (Bani Ghassan). His movement deified al-Murshid and, following his death, his sons Mujib and Saji.[1] In 1937 he became a member of Parliament and in 1943 he was elected again as a member of the central Syrian Parliament.

The Syrian government executed him for treason and civil charges (blasphemy) on 16 December 1946 in Marjeh Square in Damascus.

Unionist Movement[edit]

al-Murshid was himself a proponent and leader in the Alawite mountains.

France divided Syria into several federal states in 1920 and assigned the Province of Lattakia, which include the Sea coast of Syria and adjacent mountains, as Alawite State. Later in 1939, the French were forced to do a referendum allowing people in the province to decide whether to join the mother land Syria or stay independent. They wanted to keep an independent Alawite State that they can control and use in their traditional competition and struggle with Britain, and thus the French supported the Separatist movement. al-Murshid's popularity made it possible for the unionist movement to win the referendum/election.

al-Murshid also played a key role in forming the first Syrian army after independence.


The followers of al-Murshid later became known as Al-Murshidyah[citation needed] (المرشديه) named after his second son Mujib Al-Murshid, who was killed by Abd Elhak Shihada[citation needed] (by direct order from Adeep Alshishakli) on 27 November 1952. Murshidians were persecuted by the Syrian authorities until the President Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970. Since then, AL-Murshidyah was practiced relatively freely like any other religion. After the 1984 confrontation between Hafez al-Assad and his younger brother Rifaat al-Assad, the Al-Murshid family was allowed to return to the Lattakia region. Murshidyya soldiers in Rifaat's Defense Companies (Saraaya al-Difa'a) had sided with the President in the confrontation.