I wanted to know if women are allowed to take Bai’ah( pledge) with men?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Alhamdullillāh, 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 Allāh Ta’ālā 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 Allāh Ta’ālā such as the debasing inner qualities and bad deeds by following the instructions of one’s spiritual mentor. 
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. 
The following are a few points to consider before choosing a spiritual guide:
· The spiritual guide must be a person who adheres to Sharīah. 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 Sharīah such as free talking with women disciples and not observing the laws of Hijāb. 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 Hijāb must be abided by between the mentor and the female disciple. Discarding the laws of Hijāb is the direct disobedience of Allāh and to disobey Allāh 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 (Islāhi 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’āla Knows Best
Mawlana Abdul Azīm bin Abdur Rahman,
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.