THE MODE OF BAY’T

The bay’t is enacted by the Shaikh taking into his right hand the right hand of the mureed (disciple). If the group contracting the bay’t is large, the Shaikh uses a length of cloth onto which each member of the group holds with his right hand. Ladies who contract the bay’t do so from behind a screen. A mahram of the lady should also be present at the bay’t ceremony. Hadhrat Aishah (radhiyallahu anha) said:

“Rasulullah (Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam) never touched the palm of a woman, but he would make the (pledge-bay’t) upon her. Upon having made the bay’t he would say. ‘Go! Verify, I have already made bay’t with you.’ ” (Bukhari, Muslim, Abu-Dawood)

It is for this reason that in entering ladies into the bay’t, the Masha-ikh do so verbally or by means of a cloth which is spread from the Shaikh to the lady behind the screen. This is the method of bay’t when in the presence of the Shaikh. Those who are not able to present themselves personally to the Shaikh could contract the bay’t by means of a letter or through the agency of a responsible and trustworthy person. This form of bay’t is called bay’t-e-Uthmani. Rasulullah (Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam) on the occasion of bay’t-e-Ridhwan made the bay’t of Hadhrat Uthmaan in his (Uthmaan Radi Allahu anhu’s) absence. On this occasion, Rasulullah (Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam) placed his right hand on his left hand and announced that he has made bay’t of Uthmaan (Radi Allahu anhu). (The bay’t in absence of the mureed is therefore termed bay’t-e-Uthmaani,)

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Bay’t (Mutual Pledge)

Bay’t is a mutual pledge relating to the striving, arranging, executing and adhering to the laws of A’male Zahiri and A’male Batini. This pledge is called Bay’t-e-Tareeqat which has been in vogue by authoritative transmission from generation to generation from the earliest time of Islam.

Rasulullah (Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam) had enacted bay’t of the Sahaabah not only on Jihad, but on Islam and the adherence of the Ahkam (Laws in general) as well on practical deeds (A’mal). This is established by numerous Ahadith. The following hadith is one such Hadith:

“Auf Ibn Maalik Ash-ja-ee (radhiyallahu anhu) said: We were with Nabi (Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam), seven, eight or nine (of us), when he (Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam) said:

‘Will you not make bay’t (pledge) to the Rasul (Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam) of Allah (Azzawajal) ?’

We stretched our hands and enquired: On what shall we make bay’t to you, O Rasul (Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam) of Allah (Azzawajal)? He said:

‘That you make the Ibaadat of Allah (Azzawajal); that you associate nothing with Him; that you perform the five Salaat; that you hear and obey.” (Muslim, Abu Dawood, Nisai)

On this occasion the bay’t which Rasulullah (Salla Allahu ta’ala’alayhi wa sallam) took from the Sahaabah was neither Bay’t Imaani (Pledge of Imaan) nor Bay’t Jihaadi (Pledge to wage Jihad). This Hadith is categoric proof for the validity of the system of bay’t in vogue by the Masha-ikh of Tasawwuf. Like there are four Math-habs (Schools of Thought) in Fiqh, viz. Hanafi, Shafi, Maaliki and Hambali, so too are there four schools of thought in Tasawwuf, viz., Chishtiyya, Qaderiyyah, Naqshabandiyyah and Suharwardiyyah. Like the Hanafi Way is dominant in this area (India and Pakistan), the Chistiyyah Way too is dominant here. Our akabir (authorities in Tasawwuf) enter into (bay’t) in all the four Schools of Thought (Silsilah) so that respect for the four Silsilah is maintained although Chishtiyyat is dominant .

The founder of the Chishtiyyah Silsilah is Hadhrat Khwajah Mueenuddin Chishti Ajmeri (rahmatullah alayh); founder of the Qaderiyyah Order is Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Qadir Jilani (rahmatullah alayh); founder of the Naqshabandiyyah Order is Hadhrat Shaikh Bahauddin Naqshabuddin (rahmatullah alayh); and the founder of the Suharwardiyyah Silsilah is Hadhrat Shaikh Shahabuddin Suharwardiyyah (rahmatullah alayh).

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