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Women Giving Allegiance (Bay'ah) To A Shaykh


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Can a woman give bay’a (allegiance) in the spiritual way with a male Shaykh/scholar? How? What are the limits? How does the communication take place between the Shaykh and the female murid? My inclination is that communication should be through me. Please could you provide details in the various aspects?


In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful,

It is perfectly permissible for women to take the oath of allegiance (bay’a) with a shaykh, for this has been explicitly proven in the Qur’an.

Allah Most High says:

“O Prophet! When believing women come to you to take the oath of allegiance to you, 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 forgoing falsehood and that they will not disobey you in any just matter-then take their allegiance, and pray to Allah for their forgiveness, for Allah is oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Surah al-Mumtahinah, v. 12)

However, the following points need to be taken into consideration:

1) The Bay’a must not be carried out with holding the hands of the Shaykh, for that is decisively unlawful (haram). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) also took the oath of allegiance from women (as mentioned in the above verse), but it was done verbally, and not by holding the hands.

Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) says with regards to the women giving their Bay’a to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace): “Whosoever (from among the women) agreed to comply with the conditions stipulated in the allegiance, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) would say to her: “Verily I have taken your allegiance” (qad baya’tuki). It was only said verbally, and by Allah, the Messenger of Allah’s hand never touched the hand of any woman whilst taking the oath of allegiance.” (Sahih al-Bukhari, no. 2564)

Sayyida A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) also narrates: “A women extended her hand from behind a curtain to hand a piece of paper to the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace). The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) pulled his hands back and said: “I am unaware if this is a man’s hand or a women’s hand.” A’isha said that it was a women’s hand. (Sunan Abu Dawud)

There are many other narrations of the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him peace) indicating that he never held the hands of any women, despite his status as a Prophet. The Bay’a was taken either without holding the hand or with a cloth tied around it. He explicitly informed the women when they extended their hands to him that he did not shake hands with women. (See Muhammad Ibn Sa’d, The Women in Madina, Chapter One: The manner in which the Messenger of Allah received women’s allegiance)

2) The Shaykh with whom one is giving her allegiance must be a genuine Shaykh, in that he must have reached a level of piety and Taqwa, and he himself was trained by a similar Shaykh. This aspect is more important to consider when a woman is giving her allegiance, for at times, not giving this due consideration can bring about horrendous consequences.

3) As far as the interaction with the Shaykh is concerned, this is permissible, for it will be considered to be formal and due to need. A female may seek advice from her Shaykh by speaking to him, wring a letter or any other way provided the rules of Hijab are fully observed. Non observance of the laws of Hijab or being casual is impermissible even with one’s shaykh, for Shaytan is ever ready to launch his attack on the weakest instinct of the human race which is the sexual instinct.

If the husband feels that his wife’s communication with her Shaykh should be through him or at least with his knowledge and permission, then this is his right, and the wife should adhere to his wish. At times, this may be more advisable, especially if the Shaykh is relatively young.

In conclusion, a female may give her Bay’a to a shaykh provided the shaykh is a genuine shaykh, and the rules and regulations of Hijab are fully observed.

And Allah Knows Best

[Mufti] Muhammad ibn Adam
Darul Iftaa
Leicester , UK

http://www.daruliftaa.com/question.asp? ... q-05185785

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  • 3 months later...

Does A Woman Need To Meet With A Shaykh To Give Bayah And What If Her Husband Is Reluctant About Tasawwuf?



I am a lady wanting to give Bayah, but do not have a lot of information on the subject.  I would like to know mainly if I need my husband’s permission and do I need to meet with the Shaykh, if he lives far away?  My husband is agreeing to give bayah too, but isn’t as inclined towards it as I am.   I would be very grateful for any advice you can offer.



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

As-salāmu `alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


Sister in Islam,


We commend your enthusiasm and zeal to tread the path of Sulook and Tasawwuf. May Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) grant all of us his Ma’rifat (gnosis) and Mahabbah (divine love). Aameen.


There are two things:


1. Islaahe Nafs


2. Bay’at


Islaahe Nafs is Fardh (obligatory) whereas, Bay’at is Sunnah.


Obedience to the husband is Fardh and Bay’at is Sunnah. Therefore, you will have to obtain the permission of your husband before taking Bay’at to a Shaykh.


You do not need to meet with the Shaykh in order to take Bay’at with him. The Shaykh can simply write a letter stating that he has accepted your request for Bay’at. The proof for that is the famous incident of “Bay’ah al- Ridhwan”; Nabi (Sallallahu Alayhi Wa Sallam) took the Bay’at on behalf of Hadhrat Uthman (Radhiyalllahu Anhu) in his absence.


Before taking Bay’at with any Shaykh, it is necessary that certain inherent qualities and attributes be found in the Shaykh.

Hadhrat Shah Muhaddith Dehlawi (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) has mentioned the following qualities that have to be found in a Sheikh e Kamil:


1. He should possess the necessary knowledge of Deen, which he should have acquired by formal pursuit of such knowledge or from remaining in the company of firmly grounded scholars.


2. He should be upright and pious, refraining from major sins and from continuously perpetrating minor sins.


3. He has no desire for this World. He engages in acts of obedience, Adhkaar and other devotional practices.


4. He must have derived spiritual benefit by remaining in the company of his Shaykh for an adequate period of time. Such “companionship” can come either through physically being in the Shaykh’s company or through correspondence.


5. He is habitual in enjoining good and forbidding evil (Amr Bil Ma’roof Wa Nahy anil Munkar).#


In addition, one should develop Munasabah (congeniality) with the Shaykh in order for one to derive maximum benefit from the Shaykh.


The objective in Tasawwuf is Islaahe Nafs (spiritual reformation), one should see how best this objective is achieved.


We advise you to search for a Sheikh e Kamil with whom you have Munasabah (congeniality) and with whom you feel that your Islaah (spiritual reformation) will be made.


In the meantime, we advise you to practice on the following daily practices:


1. Perform the five Fardh (obligatory) Salaahs with Jamaat (congregation).


2. Read some portion of the Qur’an daily.


3. Be sensitive to the rights of others at all times.


4. Read the following Tasbeehaat daily:


4.1) Durood Shareef (100 times daily)


4.2) Istighfaar (100times daily)


4.3) Third Kalimah (100 times daily)


When reciting the above Tasbeehaat, try as much as possible to focus the mind on the greatness and grandeur of Allah (Ta’ala) and if you can’t do that or find that difficult, then focus the mind on the waves of the ocean, a particular mountain, e.t.c so as to focus your mind on the Qudrat (power) of Allah (Ta’ala).


5. Abstain from sin as far as possible. I f you do commit as sin, immediately make Tawba (repentance) to Allah (Ta’ala) for committing such a sin. Remember that one of the most significant ways of refraining from sin is by determination and resolute courage.


We advise you to submit a report of your spiritual condition/state after every ten days so that we may advise you accordingly.


With regards to your husband’s reluctance in taking Bay’at, we advise you to do the following:


1. Explain to your husband the importance of Tasawwuf, having a Sheikh, e.t.c. You may find the relevant content on Dar al- Mahmood.


2. Employ wisdom and diplomacy when dealing with your husband regarding such matters.


3. It may be a good idea to print out the relevant content on Tasawwuf and keep it in your house within close distance of your husband. He might read it and change his mindset.


4. Explain to your husband the revolution takes place in the heart of a sincere individual who enters this part of Tasawwuf and Sulook. You may find the story of Hadhrat Fudhail (Rahmatullahi Alayhi) on Dar al- Mahmood.


5. Your husband might be scared to open up his faults and shortcomings to another person, explain to him that the Shaykh never discloses the faults of his Mureedeen to others. Explain to him that by doing so, it is for his own benefit. When a wounded person is being examined by a doctor, he willingly  exposes his wound to the doctor so that he can examine the wound, treat the wound and then prescribe treatment accordingly. If he doesn’t examine the wound, how is he going to treat the wound?


6. Wake up for Tahajjud in the early part of the morning and implore Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) in Du’aa to soften the heart your husband. Du’aa is the most powerful weapon of a Believer.


And Allah knows best.


Mufti Ebrahim Desai

Dar al- Mahmood

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  • 3 years later...

My Wife has taken Bayah from a shaikh. She is very crazy to learn Tasawwuf.



My question is related to Bayah of a woman in Islam. My Wife has taken Bayah from a shaikh. She is very crazy to learn Tasawwuf. She says that to learn tasawwuf, I can meet my shaikh any time either in day or night and I shouldn’t have any obligation on it. She also says that if I will resist she can demand DIVORSE even. I know the Shaikh and I have also taken Bayah from him. I have discussed this issue with Shaikh and he says that if she wants to see me alone, I should not resist and he will allow my wife to do so according to shariah. I am very disturb and don’t know what to do. I am scared that if I say some hard words, our shaikh might angry on it. 



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

As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.


The essence of Tasawwuf is Ihsaan, which means Allah consciousness. A person becomes ever conscious of the laws of Allah in every aspect of life. One can never achieve any heights in Tasawwuf while violating the laws of Allah. It is therefore important that the spiritual guide (Shaikh) himself strongly adheres to Shariah. If he violates the laws of Shariah, he cannot be an ideal role model for his followers. His guidance will lack spiritual light (ruhaniyyah).


According to Shariah, a woman cannot be alone with a ghair-mahram male. Rasulullah Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said,


عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ لاَ يَخْلُوَنَّ رَجُلٌ بِامْرَأَةٍ إِلاَّ مَعَ ذِي مَحْرَمٍ… ‏”‏‏


Ibn `Abbas Radhiallahu anhu narrates: The Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said, “No man should stay with a woman in seclusion except in the presence of a Mahram

[sahih al-Bukhari 5233. Book 67, Hadith 166]


The Shaikh is a ghair-mahram. Your wife cannot be alone with him.


According to the above quoted Hadith, such a union is contaminated with the evils of Shaitan. How can one attain spiritual effulgence through such a meeting? In this era of moral degeneration, one should exercise extreme precaution. A mere curtain separating a ghair-mahram man and woman sitting alone too is not free from fitnah.


If a woman wishes to receive spiritual guidance and general advice, in this age of technology, that is very easy. She could email her spiritual guide rather than seeing him alone.


We have come across many incidents where Shaitan misled a ‘Shaikh’ with his female Mureeds.


Furthermore, according to Shariah, the right of the husband precedes the right of the Shaikh. It is incorrect for the Shaikh to override the right of the husband and advise him against his will to let his wife see him.


The wifes attitude of wanting divorce if she cannot see the Shaikh requires reformation. Her Shaikh should advise her that Allah said,


…و قرن في بيوتكن ولا تبرجن تبرج الجاهلية الأولى…

And stay in your houses, and do not display yourselves like that of the times of ignorance…

[surah al-Ahzab:33]


Her Shaikh should advise her to obey her husband and in obeying the laws of the Shariah, she will get close to Allah. If the Shaikh facilitates her un-Islamic demands, then he is also guilty of violating the laws of Allah. He cannot be a means of leading people close to Allah. He is actually distancing his followers from Allah.


And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best


Bilal Issak

Student Darul Iftaa

Leicester, England, UK


Checked and Approved by,

Mufti Ebrahim Desai.

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