Bay’at is a mutual pledge relating to the striving, arranging, executing and adhering to the laws of A’maal-e Zaahiri and A’maal-e Baatini. This pledge is called Bay’at-e-Tareeqat which has been in vogue by authoritative transmission from generation to generation from the earliest time of Islam.

Rasulullah Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam had enacted bay’at of the Sahaabah not only on Jihad, but on Islam and the adherence of the Ahkaam (Laws in general) as well on practical deeds (A’maal). This is established by numerous Ahaadith. The following hadith is one such Hadith:

"Auf Ibne Maalik Ash-ja-ee (Radhiyallahu Anhu) said: We were with Nabi Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam, seven, eight or -nine (of us), when he said:

'Will you not make bay’at (pledge) to the Rasul of Allah?'

We stretched our hands and enquired: On what shall we make bay’at to you, O Rasul of Allah? He said.

'That you make the Ibaadat of Allah,- that you associate nothing with Him,- that you perform the five Salaat; that you hear and obey."

(Muslim, Abu Daawood, Nisaai)

On this occasion the bay’at which Rasulullah Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam took from the Sahaabah was neither Bay’at -e- Imaani (Pledge of Imaan) nor Bay’at -e- Jihaadi (Pledge to wage Jihad). This Hadith is categoric proof for the validity of the system of bay’at in vogue by the Mashaa’ikh of Tasawwuf. Like there are four Maz’habs (Schools of Thought) in Fiqh, viz. Hanafi, Shaafi'ee, Maaliki and Hambali, so too are there four schools of thought in Tasawwuf, viz., Chishtiyya, Qaaderiyyah, Naqshbandiyyah and Suharwardiyyah. Like the Hanafi Way is dominant in this area (India and Pakistan), the Chistiyyah Way too is dominant here. Our akaabir (authorities in Tasawwuf) enter into (bay’at) 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 Mu’eenuddin Chishti Ajmairee (Rahmatullah Alayh); founder of the Qaaderiyyah Order is Hadhrat Shaikh Abdul Qaadir Jilaani (Rahmatullah Alayh); founder of the Naqshbandiyyah Order is Hadhrat Shaikh Bahauddin Naqshbandi (Rahmatullah Alayh); and the founder of the Suharwardiyyah Silsilah is Hadhrat Shaikh Shahaab’uddin Suharwardiyyah (Rahmatullah Alayh).




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