The Meaning of Bai’at and the relationship between Murshid and Mureed
The meaning of Bai’at or pledging spiritual allegiance is to totally surrender yourself to a Spiritual Master (Murshid) to guide you to Allah Taala. One who helps you to walk on the path of Shari’ah and Tariqah is known as a Peer-o-Murshid and Sheikh. One who walks on this path and follows this pious person is known as a Mureed (Disciple).
It is of great benefit to become a Mureed and is worthy of much blessing. To become followers of Awliya and to become involved with them is a worthy action to gain reward in both worlds. It is, therefore, necessary for these four qualifying aspects to be necessary in a Peer, for one to perform Bai’at (take oath). These qualitiies are:
- He must be a Sunni with the correct beliefs, otherwise you may actually lose your faith.
- He must have enough knowledge so that he can complete his necessary actions by looking at books, otherwise he will not be able to differentiate between forbidden and acceptable, allowed and not allowed.
- He must not be a Fasiq (wrongdoer, one who does not follow Shariah) as it is necessary to disrespect a Fasiq and it is important to respect a Peer.
- His tree of virtue must be connected to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) otherwise he will not gain virtue from the top.
People, today, consider Bai’at to be some kind of fashion. They are ignorant of the reality of Bai’at. An example is given here to give you an idea of what Bai’at really is. Once a Mureed (Disciple) of the great Sheikh Sayyiduna Yahya Maneri (radi Allahu anhu) was drowning. Sayyiduna Khidr (alaihis salaam) appeared and said to the Mureed, “Give me your hand and I will save you”. The Mureed replied, “This hand has already been given in the hands of Sheikh Yahya Maneri (radi Allahu anhu) and since it belongs to him I cannot give it to anyone else”. Sayyiduna Khidr (alaihis salaam) disappeared and, instantly, Sheikh Yahya Maneri (alaihir rahmah) appeared and saved him. Tajdeed or renewal of Bai’at used to take place in the time of the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam). Once the Holy Prophet (sallal laahu alaihi wasallam) personally took Bai’at thrice from Sayyiduna Salmah bin Akwah (radi Allahu anhu) who was preparing to leave for Jihad. Therefore, one is allowed to renew his Bai’at with his Peer.
BAI’AT AND ITS BENEFITS
- There are two types of Bai’at: