Bay’ah has an important and significant meaning in the religious thought and consciousness of Muslims. Literally meaning “agreement” or “contract”, Bay’ah is an oath of allegiance. Historically, the Bay’ah was performed by the very first Muslim community to Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him and his family), pledging their allegiance and loyalty to him.
In the Shi’a tradition, Bay’ah refers to the allegiance given by a murid to the murshid or Imam of the Time, who is from the Ahl-al Bayt, or the family of the Prophet, and is his rightful successor. It is through this act and ceremony that one is formally initiated into the Tariqah and enters into a privileged and permanent spiritual relationship with the Imam of the Time.
As per Article D of the Preamble of the Constitution of the Shia Imami Ismaili Muslims:
“The authority of the Imam in the Ismaili Tariqah is testified by Bay’ah by the murid to the Imam which is the act of acceptance by the murid of the permanent spiritual bond between the Imam and the murid. This allegiance unites all Ismaili Muslims worldwide in their loyalty, devotion and obedience to the Imam within the Islamic concept of universal brotherhood. It is distinct from the allegiance of the individual murid to his land of abode.”
For more information related to the Bay’ah Ceremony and for details regarding interim guidelines during COVID-19, please contact your respective regional team below.