Bai’at literally means “to promise” and derives from the root word meaning “to sell”. In English the term Bai’at is often translated as “Oath of Allegiance” or “Pledge”.
Taking Bai’at is Sunnah as our Holy Prophet Hazrat Syedina Rasool Allah ( sal-lal-lahu alaihi wa sallam ) took Bai’at from the Sahaba on many occasions. In one narration our Holy Prophet Hazrat Syedina Rasool Allah ( sal-lal-lahu alaihi wa sallam ) said:
‘Will you not make baiâ€™at to the Rasul of Allah?’ We stretched our hands and enquired: On what shall we make Baiâ€™at to you, O Rasul of Allah? He (sal-lal-lahu alai hi wa sallam) said. ‘That you make the Ibaadat of Allah,- that you associate nothing with Him,- that you perform the five Salaat; that you hear and obey.”
(Muslim, Abu Daawood, Nisaai)
In the Qur’an, Allah Subhana Wa Taala says about Bai’at:
“Verily, those who Swear Allegiance unto thee, O Beloved Muhammad (sal-lal-lahu alaihi wa sallam ), in truth Swear Allegiance to Allah: The Hand of Allah is over their hands: then any one who violates his oath, does so to the harm of his own soul, and any one who fulfils what he has covenanted with Allah,- Allah will soon grant him a great Reward.”
Qur’an (Surah 48: Verse 10)
After the demise of the Holy Prophet Hazrat Syedina Rasool Allah ( sal-lal-lahu alaihi wa sallam ) this Sunnah was assumed and practised by many elite Sahabah, on the authority of our Holy Prophet (sal-lal-lahu alai hi wa sallam). These eminent Sahabah included Hadhrat Abu-bakr Siddiq (razi allahu anhu ) & Hadhrat Ali (karam allahu wajhu) and before they departed they also nominated their successful students to carry on this Sunnah. Thus this tradition has been passed down from one generation to the next through an authentic chain of Friends of Allah Subhana Wa Taala ..This chain is known as a Silsilah and these vary according to the Sufi Order.
To enter a Sufi order one must do Bai’at to a Kamil Sheikh.
There are two types of Bai’ah that one can perform:
Bai’ah al Barakah: This is where one initiates oneself into a spiritual order merely for the blessings of being part of the spiritual order of which has a direct link with the Holy Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) without a break in sequence. This Bai’ah is beneficial and brings one in the bank of those who have a link with the beloved ones of Allah.
Bai’ah al Iradah / Bai’ah al Salikeen: This is where one “sells” one’s self and surrenders completely to to the Friend of Allah Subhana Wa Taala . Similar to how the corpse is left in the hands of the ghassal’ (washer). This Bai’ah leads one to receive both deen and dunya Spiritual Faiz. It is this very type of Bai’ah that was undertaken by the Sahaba upon the hands of the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) and is also injuctioned in the Quran as it leads one to Allah Subhana Wa Taala :
“O you who believe, fear Allah and seek a means of approach unto him, and strive in His path so that you may attain success”
Qur’an (Surah 4: Verse 38)
1.Those who swear allegiance to you,swears allegiance to ALLAH.The hand of ALLAH is over their hands so whosoever breaks his oath,he breaks it to own loss and whosoever fufils the covenant which he made with ALLAH then ALLAH shall soon give him great reward.
(sura fath verse 10)
2.Surely ALLAH was pleased with the believer when they were swearing allegiance to you under the tree,and ALLAH knew what were in their hearts so he sent down on them tranquility and rewarded them with a near victory.
(sura fath verse 18)
3.O Prophet!When believing women come to you for taking oath of allegiance at your hands,that they will not associate anything with ALLAH,and they will not commit theft,and will not commit adultery and nor kill their children and nor will bring a calumny forging it between their hands and feet,and will not disobey you in anything good.then accept their allegiance and beg ALLAH to forgive them.Undoubtely ALLAH is all forgiving,merciful.
(surah mumtahinah verse 12). As per this its cleared that Women also takes a Bai’at.