Is taking a shaykh on the spiritual path an innovation?

Answered according to Hanafi Fiqh by

Answered by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

I am new to Islam and I have a query on this topic. So far in all the literature written by Hanafi scholars I have read concerning someone taking Bayah to a Sheikh as far as I know it is permissible. But one of my friends has recently told me that it isn’t allowed and that people only took Bayah to the prophet (swt). I’m a bit confused so could you help me with my query?

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Walaikum assalam,

The pledge (bay`ah) to a shaykh of tasawwuf is not a ‘pledge of allegiance’ like the one which one gives a ruler.

Rather, it is a commitment one makes to follow this god-fearing scholar’s guidance, taken from the teachings and message of the Qur’an and Sunna, in order to draw closer to Allah Most High and to become of the people who obey Allah, out of love, consciousness, and thankfulness, and whose belief is a living reality in their hearts, not merely a list of accepted facts in their minds. It is to become a true follower of the Prophet (Allah bless him & give him peace), by living his example in one’s actions, habits, inclinations, states, and way of being.

There are a number of articles at Sidi Mas’ud Khan’s excellent site,,  about sound, Shariah-based Sufism. As for any so-called Sufi who calls to a spiritual way without regard for the Shariah, this is a Shaytan who must be avoided, for they are calling one to the displeasure of Allah.

And Allah alone gives success.

Faraz Rabbani


This answer was indexed from, which used to have a repository of Islamic Q&A answered by various scholars. The website is no longer in existence. It has now been transformed into a learning portal with paid Islamic course offering under the brand of Kiflayn.

Find more answers indexed from:
Read more answers with similar topics:
Related QA

Pin It on Pinterest