It was the duty of the ten Masheikhs to rule over the Tleilaxu empire, and plot their conquest over rival cultures and organizations, including the Landsraad, the Spacing Guild, and most notably the Bene Gesserit.
The Masheikhs also viewed themselves as divine messengers and representatives of God.
Most likely from the Arabic word: Mashaikh (Arabic مشايخ ) refers to the educated class of Muslim legal scholars engaged in the several fields of Islamic studies. They are best known as the arbiters of shari‘a(or spelled shariat in Heretics of Dune) in the law. While the Mashaikh are well versed in legal jurisprudence being Islamic lawyers, some of them also go on to specialize in other fields, such as philosophy, dialectical theology or Quranic hermeneutics or explanation. The fields studied, and the importance given them, will vary from tradition to tradition, or even from seminary to seminary. In a broader sense, the term Mashaikh is used to describe the body of Muslim clergy who have completed several years of training and study of Islamic sciences, such as a mufti, qadi, faqih, or muhaddith. Some Muslims include under this term the village mullahs, imams, and maulvis—who have attained only the lowest rungs on the ladder of Islamic scholarship; other Muslims would say that clerics must meet higher standards to be considered ulema.
The title of Masheikh seldom passed from one Tleilaxu Master to another, partly due to the longevity of Tleilaxu Masters, and partly because of a perceived need to maintain continuity in the Tleilaxu's long-term plans.