“Bai’at” means “to be sold”. When one becomes Mureed of a Murshid, he sells his heart, life and wealth to his Murshid. After this sale he no longer has a say in these matters nor can he do as he pleases.
A’la Hazrat, Imam Ahmed Raza Khan (radi Allahu anhu) writes that it is mentioned in “Suba Sanabil” that a person was sentenced to death by an Emperor. As the executioner unsheathed a sword to behead the person, the person faced the grave of his Murshid. The executioner said, ” At times like this you should face the Qiblah.” The person answered: “Do your duty, I have faced the Qiblah. It is true that the Kaaba is the Qibla of the body, and the Qibla of the heart and soul is the Murshid.” This is real Iraadah (to become a disciple). If one persists with one’s Sheikh with this kind of sincere devotion then benefits will definitely be received.
If the Sheikh is lacking, the Sheikh’s Sheikh may not be inadequate. Otherwise, Ghausul A’zam (radi Allahu anhu), who is the source of spiritual grace and fountain of lights, will provide you with grace as long as the Silsilah (spiritual chain) is authentic. (Malfoozaat A’la Hazrat, pg.189)
A’la Hazrat (radi Allahu anhu) has mentioned that people regard Bai’at as a custom and do not really comprehend it’s meaning. A good example of Baiat is that of a certain Mureed of Sheikh Yahya Munayri (radi Allahu anhu). This Mureed was about to drown when Khizr (alaihis salaam) appeared to him and said, ” Give me your hand so that I can rescue you”. The Mureed replied, “I have already given this hand to Sheikh Yahya Munayri. Now I will not give it to anyone else”. Khizr (alaihis salaam) disappeared and Sheikh Yahya Munayri (radi Allahu anhu) appeared and rescued him from drowning. (Malfoozat A’la Hazrat, pg.164)