Covenant or compact, as in agreement or swearing of allegiance. Describes various relationships between early Muslims and other groups with whom they were allied. Also used by Sufis as part of the initiation ceremony into a Sufi order. In orders where a shaykh is intended to be the intercessor between God and the order initiate, ahd is sworn to give allegiance to that shaykh alone. Actions accompanying ahd typically consist of swearing of obedience, handclasp with the shaykh patterned after Muhammad's practice, and investiture of the initiate with the habit of the order. Upon declaration of ahd, the initiate is instructed in his responsibilities.