Women taking Bay’ah


Are women are allowed to take Bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) ?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

As-sal?mu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatull?hi wa-barak?tuh.

Surah Al-Mumtahinah ~ 60:12  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….

Alhamdullill?h, it is very encouraging to see many women are showing their zeal to spiritually rectify themselves. When an individual takes Bay’ah with a pious person, he/she intends to repent to All?h Ta’?l? from past sins and makes a firm intention to refrain from future sins with the help and support of the spiritual guide.

Another purpose of Bay’ah is to remove the obstacles that hinder an individual from the recognition and pleasure of All?h Ta’?l? such as the debasing inner qualities and bad deeds by following the instructions of one’s spiritual mentor. [1] Spiritual reformation is crucially important for women just as it is for men.  Therefore, in principle it is permissible for women to take Bay’ah with a man if certain conditions are fulfilled. [2]

The following are a few points to consider before choosing a spiritual guide:

• The spiritual guide must be a person who adheres to Shar?ah.He follows the Sunnat and refrains from Bid’at (innovations).  Many sincere seekers of reformation complain about the lack of trust in the spiritual guide as the person they trusted has betrayed them by breaking the laws of Shar?ah such as free talking with women disciples and not observing the laws of Hij?b. Unfortunately, nowadays there are such people who deceive innocent individuals into believing that they are capable of guiding others spiritually but in reality they are misguided themselves.

• The laws of Hij?b must be abided by between the mentor and the female disciple. Discarding the laws of Hij?b is the direct disobedience of All?h and to disobey All?h contradicts the very inception of the institution of Bay’ah.

• There must be compatibility between the spiritual guide and the disciple.One type of medication may be suitable for one patient and may not be suitable for another.  Both are medications.  However the focus is on what works.  If one type of medication is more advertised and more popular, it does not mean it will be suitable for all.  There are many people who are qualified spiritual guides.  Some are popular and others are not.  In medication one searches for the most suitable medication for one’s self.  If the popular medication is not affective, one does not leave it there.  He will search until he finds the most suitable medicine.

• The spiritual guide must have spent adequate time in the company of a spiritual guide (Sheikh) and must have earned the trust of his Sheikh.

It is advisable that one creates a spiritual relationship (Isl?hi Ta’lluq) with the mentor one finds suitable before actually taking Bay’ah.  If one finds him to be compatible, then he/she can proceed with the Bay’ah.

And Allah Ta’?la Knows Best

Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Darul Mahmood | darulmahmood.net


[1]  ????? ???????, ? 4, ? 402-403: ??? ??????? ??????

[2]  ????? ??????, ? 2, ? 245-246)