Definitions

Pir_(Sufism)

Pir (Sufism)

Pir (Persian: (پیر) literally "old [person]") is a title for a Sufi master. They are also referred to as a Shaikh, which is Arabic for Old Man. The title is often translated into English as "saint". In Sufism Pir's role is to guide and instruct his disciples on the Sufi path. This is often done by general lessons (called Suhbas) and individual guidance. Other words that refer to a Pir include, Murshid (Arabic: مرشد, meaning "guide" or "teacher"), Sheikh and Sarkar (Persian/Hindi/Urdu word meaning Master, Lord).

The path of Sufism starts when a student takes an oath of allegiance with a teacher called Bai'ath or Bay'ah (Arabic word meaning Transaction). After that, the student is called a Murid (Arabic word meaning committed one).

A Pir usually has authorizations to be a teacher for one (or more) Tariqahs (paths). A Tariqah may have more than one Pir at a time. A Pir is accorded that status by his Shaikh by way of Khilafat or Khilafah (Arabic word meaning succession). Khilafat is the process in which a Shaikh identifies one of his disciples as his successor (khalifah). A Pir can have more than one khalifah.

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