Compiled and arranged by: Yusuf da Costa
The word bay’ah, as dealt with in this paper, refers mainly to a pledge one makes to Allah Almighty, usually on the hand of an authorized intensely pious person, with regard to one’s religious commitment to Him, to His Messenger (s.a.w.s.) and His Message. The pledge is, therefore, a deeply religious action involving the orientation of one’s life totally for Him and for His sake. It is as if one is saying: “O my Lord, I have decided to redirect and to dedicate my life and all its activities to Thee.” If this is said in all seriousness, and it is supposed to be like that, and one translates into action one’s commitment, it can only result in major spiritual grants and Divine Satisfaction. The pledge thus represents the first step towards servanthood to which Allah Almighty brings one. Of course, part of the pledge is the realization that everything is achieved through Allah Almighty, and that it is His Hand that directs. The taking of the hand of the intensely pious person is one’s humble submission that Allah authorizes persons on account of their piety to help in the process of religious direction for an individual. Accepting religious authority based on piety is an expression of deep love and respect for those specially blessed by Allah Almighty with such piety. This kind of religious authority based on piety was a process launched by the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.s.), and it has been carried forward by those who have inherited from him (s.a.w.s.) and from other Prophets (a.s.).
[Shaykh Yusuf da Costa, 2008]