By Alia Selby
An overview of Ba’ait, the history and religious importance
Today’s focus is on something that is very dear to all of our hearts and which Ahmadis look forward to year after year. Ba’ait, or pledge, is something we do each year at Jalsa, renewing our pledge to our beloved Caliph (Khalifa) Khalifatul Masih V; Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad. When we take Ba’ait at the hand of our Khalifa, we are in fact doing it with the Promised Messiah (May Allah grant him peace) for whom the Khalifa is representing. This doesn’t stop here because the Promised Messiah (May Allah grant him peace) represented the Holy Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) who in turn was a messenger of Allah. Therefore, when we do ba’ait and pledge allegiance, we are actually pledging this allegiance through the Khalifa to God.
The Holy Qur’an in chapter 3, verse 82 states:
“And do you remember the time Allah took a covenant from the people through the Prophets, saying:
‘Whatever I give you of the Book and the Wisdom and then there comes to you a Messenger, fulfilling that which is with you, you shall believe in him and help him and He said, ‘Do you agree, and do you accept the responsibility which I lay upon you in this matter? They said,’ We agree’, He said,’ then bear witness and I am with you among the witnesses’”
This verse clearly shows an example of Ba’ait and highlights the importance of it, as you are establishing a covenant with God through his messenger.
The international ba’ait is held annually at Jalsa Salana UK for all who wish to renew their allegiance and for those who are newly converted looking to establish their allegiance. It takes place at the hands of our Khalifa, uniting people throughout the entire Jalsa Gah and manifesting strong spiritual vibes through to the corners of the earth through the blessing that is MTA. This blessed act of divine unity only adds to the heavenly spirituality that flows through the “Gardens of the Mahdi”. Its emotional impact can be felt through the entire land with devout followers crying from their souls as they ask their Lord for forgiveness and pledge to become stronger and more devote followers of Islam. Before the words of the pledge have even left their lips, the fact that they are united and so close to their Khalifa is more than enough for the tears to start flowing. As they repeat the words uttered by huzoor and as these words are translated into the different languages representing several nations of the world, there is an overwhelming sense of unity and community that could not possibly be found anywhere else. I have witnessed guests who observed the Ba’ait become emotional just from witnessing this remarkable event.
Aside from the spiritual, mental and emotional significance that Ba’ait has, it also has historical significance as it dates back to the time of the Holy Prophet (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). Indeed, Ubadah Bin Samit (May Allah be pleased with him) relates that The Holy Prophet (May peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) took the Ba’ait upon the condition:
“That you will not associate with Allah, nor will you steal, not will commit adultery, nor will you kill your children, nor will you slander, nor will you disobey me in anything good that I ask you to do. So anyone of you who will prove true to this pledge of ba’ait, his reward is with Almighty Allah. Whoever falls short of fulfilling this pledge and suffers a loss in this world, his loss will become expiation for him. And he who falls short of fulfilling this pledge of Ba’ait, and Almighty Allah covers his faults; his affair is with Almighty Allah; if He wills, He may punish him, and if He wills, He may forgive him.”
International Ba’ait is indeed such an event that touches the hearts of thousands. It resonates this feeling of brother/sisterhood that cannot be felt elsewhere. To further illustrate this in the next post I will share my own experience of international ba’ait as well as sharing other perspectives from other members of Lajna also.