Bismillahi Rahmaanir Raheem
By Hadhrat Moulana Abdul Hamid Is`haq Saheb
1.) THE NEED FOR A SHEIKH
In this journey to Allah Ta’ala, the Saalik (the one seeking Allah Ta’ala) will not be able to traverse the various stages of Sulook on his own, even though he may have a wealth of knowledge, and may even be an Aalim or even a Sheikh in his own right.
It is extremely important and greatly beneficial to attach oneself to a Kaamil Sheikh; a living Sheikh - someone with whom Mashwarah can be made.
No sincere Saalik can remain independent of the guidance and direction of a spiritual guide and mentor. Without a Sheikh, the blessings of this path are not easily attained.
2.) SIMPLE EXPLANATION OF BAY`AT
Bay'at is from the Mureed's side, and this word comes from the root words araada/yureedu - meaning to intend.
So a person really becomes a Mureed on his/her intention. Once a person has made an intention to become a Mureed, he is already one. The Sheikh accepts officially (with Bay'at), for the Barakah of fulfilling the Sunnah.
3.) COMPATIBILITY AND APPRECIATION
To have compatibility (Munasabat) and agreement with one's Sheikh is a great ni’mat by which ifaadha and istifadha are attained, i.e. to benefit others and to derive benefit.
To appreciate, then to express that appreciation, is also a great ni’mat that will take a Saalik very far and high in this path of Sulook!
To regard the Nasihah (Advice) of the Sheikh to be particularly for oneself, is only to the benefit of the Mureed.
To inform the Sheikh of one's weaknesses, accept and follow through with his advices and prescriptions, will facilitate great success - as mentioned in the Qur`aan Sharief:
"Indeed he succeeds who purifies himself." - Surah Ash-Shams (91 : 9)
4.) WALKING THE PATH
Our good friend, Maulana Abdul Qadir, very nicely encapsulated Ba`yat and Sulook, saying: This path, this road is called Sulook. Sulook is to follow (a path), to set foot (on), to walk.
The one who has become Bay’at – and enters this path – is called a Saalik, the Walker. And if the Walker does not walk; he sits down and does nothing, how will he ever reach his destination?
We have to walk this path. And it is the Sheikh who will guide on this path and assist us in overcoming the tests and encounters of the path.
5.) THE SHEIKH’S SACRIFICE
We learnt from our Sheikh, Hadhrat Moulana Hakeem Muhamamd Akhtar Saheb (Rahmatullah ‘alayh) that a Mureed is he who is sincere, who sacrifices and gives his everything for his Sheikh.
But Hadhrat (RA) said, quoting particularly Haji Imdaadullah (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh), that when a Sheikh discerns the eagerness and keen desire in a Mureed, to learn the love of Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu, and the Sheikh recognizes the capacity in the Mureed to progress, then the Sheikh sacrifices for the Mureed and wants to give his everything for the Mureed!
To try and guide someone to Allah Jalla Jalaaluhu and make the Tarbiyah of someone who is keen and has got the capacity is better than the world and what it contains.