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Bay'ah (Arabic: بَيْعَة), literally means to sell, in Islamic terminology it is an oath of allegiance to a leader. It is known to have been practiced by the prophet Muhammad. Bay'ah is sometimes taken Under a written pact given on behalf of the subjects by leading members of the tribe with the understanding that as long as the leader abides by certain requirements towards his people, they are to maintain their allegiance to him. Bay'ah is still practiced in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Sudan.[1] In Morocco Bay'ah is one of the foundations of the Monarchy. In many Islamic traditions, the meaning of Bay'ah is to sell ones self to a spiritual master, pir or sheikh in exchange of spiritual knowledge which he gives.

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Bay'ah in islamic history

The tradition of bay'ah can be traced back to the era of Muhammad. From the beginning bay'ah was taken by the prophet as an oath of allegiance. Anybody who wanted to enter the new religion, Islam, did so by reciting the basic statement of the faith expressing his faith in the oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad. In addition to this the prophet formally took bay'ah from the people and tribes. Through this formal act they entered the islamic community and showed their willingness to follow and obey the prophet. The wordings of the oath differ in different traditions but it contains the shahadah and prayers of repentance.

It is reported that at the occasion of annual gatherings outside Mecca, the prophet met people from Yathrib, later to be renamed Medina, who accepted his call towards Islam. At this occasion the prophet took bai'ah from them.

Bay'ah in the Qur'an

Certainly Allah was well pleased with the believers when they swore allegiance to you (Muhammad) under the tree, and He knew what was in their hearts, so He sent down tranquility on them and rewarded them with a near victory.

[Qur'an 48:18]

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Bay'ah of Women

The Quran mentions the text of the bayah of women in the 60th Surah. The oath is given as:

O Prophet! When believing women come to thee to take the oath of fealty to thee, that they will not associate in worship any other thing whatever with Allah, that they will not steal, that they will not commit adultery (or fornication), that they will not kill their children, that they will not utter slander, intentionally forging falsehood, and that they will not disobey thee in any just matter,- then do thou receive their fealty, and pray to Allah for the forgiveness (of their sins): for Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

[Qur'an 60:12]

The method of taking the bay'ah of women was in so far different than men, that the Prophet did not took their hand in his hand. Simply repeating the words after him was considered enough or the prophet put his hand into water and the women who wanted to take baiat put their hand in the same water after him, thereby repeating the words of the oath.

History

The bay'ah of Rizwan, a collective initiation of thousands of Muslims at the hand of Muhammad, is mentioned in the Qur'an. This tradition was continued by the Caliphs.

In subsequent ages, bay'āt were associated with sufi orders; spiritual masters would initiate their followers. This practice still exists in sufi orders around the world.

In Morocco Bay'ah is one of the foundations of the Monarchy. In many Islamic traditions, the meaning of Bay'ah is to sell ones self to a spiritual master, pir or sheikh in exchange of spiritual knowledge which he gives.

See also

it is not fard but it is spiritually highly appreciated.

References

  1. ^ THE IMPASSE IN THE CIVIL WAR, Arab Studies Quarterly, Lesch, Ann M., March 22, 2001

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