THE MODE OF BAYAT
The bayat is enacted by the Shaikh taking into his right hand the right hand of the mureed (disciple). If the group contracting the bayat is large, the Shaikh used a length of cloth onto which each member of the group holds with his right hand. Ladies who contract the bayat do so from behind a screen. A mahram of the lady should also be present at the bayat ceremony. Hadhrat Aaysha Radhiyallahu Anyha said:
"Rasulullah Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam never touched the palm of a woman, but he would make the (pledge-bayat) upon her. Upon having made the bayat he would say: Go.' Verily, I have already made bayat with you."
(Bukhaari, Muslim, Abu-Daawood)
It is for this reason that in entering ladies into the bayat, the Mashaaikh 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 bayat when in the presence of the Shaikh. Those who are not able to present themselves personally to the Shaikh could contract the bayat by means of a letter or through the agency of a responsible and trustworthy person. This form of bayat is called bayat-e-Uthmani. Rasulullah Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam on the occasion of bayat-e-Ridhwaan made the bayat of Hadhrat Uthman in his (Uthman's) absence. On this occasion, Rasulullah Sallallaahu alayhi wasallam placed his right hand on his left hand and announced that he has made bayat of Uthman. (The bayat in absence of the mureed is therefore termed bayat-e-Uthmani.)
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