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Bayah designates the oath of allegiance to a leader. In Islamic terminologies, it is sworn by believers to the Prophet Muhammad or his successors. By extension, it means the obedience of subjects to their master.

Significant in Arab Culture[edit | edit source]

In the old Arab culture, a tribe or a community was controlled for its entire way of life by its leader. The position of the leader of the tribe, therefore, was crucial. As soon as one leader died, another one had to be put in his place to stay there in his lifetime.

Whatever the methods used to choose the leader, once he was singled out, every member of the tribe or community would give his word of honor that he would do what the leader wanted. Normally, this promise to serve the new leader wholly and faithfully would be made in public. Each member would shake hands with the leader. This was called "BAYAH" (oath of allegiance).

Bayah to Imams[edit | edit source]

In surah Mo’minoon v.71 it is declared that Haqq (Fourteen Infallibles) cannot pay allegiance to any person in any condition because they are the Absolute Masters of the Universe; without them, Universe will perish.

When Yazid demanded allegiance from Imam Hussain, in the court of Waleed, Imam did not say "I cannot pay allegiance," but Imam said: I am Ahle Bait-un-Nabuwwat, Ma’dinur Risalat, Angels visit our houses, Allah started this Universe for us and will finish with us; Yazid gambles and drinks alcohol and does evils openly; how a person like me can pay allegiance to a person like him; we wait for the dawn and you as well, then it will be clear who is worthy for Khilafat and asking for allegiance.”

It is very clear Imam cannot pay allegiance to any person.

Sources[edit | edit source]