Just like the seeker of knowledge is called a student and the provider of knowledge called a teacher likewise, the receiver of spiritual training is called a ‘Murīd’ seeker or devotee [one who has made intent on living a life in total submission to the will of Allāh] and its provider [Master] is called a Pīr; Spiritual Guide or Shaykh. The Pīr is also referred to as a Murshid; one who guides.
In different regions a Pīr is given variant names according to the local language, also in different era’s the Pīr has been referred by various terms. Sometimes by Hādī [Guide], sometimes Rehbar [also Guide], Bāpū and Bābā’s. In all case these Mashā’ikh have always been connected to the Ahl-e-Sunnat wa’l Jamā’at. In other terms the Friends of Allāh [Awliyā’ Allāh] have no link or affiliation with nulled sects. A Pīr or Walī is and has connection with the Sunnī Jamā’at only. A sect or group in which the Messenger of Allāh, the families of the Prophet; Ahl al-Bayt or the Noble Prophetic Companions, [Sahāba-e-Kirām]salla Allāhu ‘alayhi wa ālihī wa ashābihī wa sallam, are denigrated, the ‘Mashā’ikh-e-‘Izām’ do not exist amidst them.