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One who guides (Persian pir, “old man” or “respected elder”). Sufi master responsible for guiding and directing novices and disciples toward mystical knowledge of God through specified “way” or “path.” Often bases decisions on interpretation of dreams and visions. Bestows practices, liturgy, formulas, and symbols of order on novices in the same manner in which he received them, preserving continuity of the order in the name of the original master. The murshid's name is listed in the silsilah (roster) of the order to verify that the transmittance is genuine and to trace the order back to the founder.

Subjects: Islam.

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