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PIR. A word of Persian origin meaning "old man," the term pir (Ar., pir) has been taken up into Sufi discourse as a common title commonly for a Sufi teacher, particularly in South Asia and neighboring areas. The pir is the revered elder who initiates disciples (murids) into a Sufi order. In popular practice, however, the term pir encompasses a complex and controversial array of social practices, relationships, and institutions that, though having their historical roots in Sufism, are regarded by ...more

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