Makhzan ul-Masaa'il - Q&A
Section 7 - Bay’at-Misaaq (Oath of allegiance)


Q 1: What is the real meaning of the word Bay’at-Misaaq?

A 1: Bay’at-Misaaq means oath of allegiance, swearword, pledge, promise etc. The word ‘oath’ is used to signify a solemn promise, usually invoking a divine witness, regarding your future acts or behaviour. Promise is a verbal commitment by one person to another agreeing to do (or not to do) something in future. The real meaning of the word Misaaq, according to our Faatemi Isma’ili Taiyebi faith, which we specifically use is much more deeper and abstruse than what the ‘dictionaries’ could explain. Misaaq is giving an oath to the Da’i uz-Zamaan (tus) to have Imaan and faith in the unseen things (e.g. Jannat, Jahannam, Mizaan, Qayaamat etc.) and act according to the principles of the Shari’at. Da’i uz-Zamaan (tus) is the Naa’ib (representative) of Imaam uz-Zamaan (as). Rank and status of the one who takes the Misaaq is always higher than the one whose Misaaq is taken.


Q 2: How is the Misaaq described in the Qur’an?

A 2: Misaaq is an Arabic word derived from the root ‘wasaqa-yaseqo’. ‘Seqat’ means trustworthy. Misaaq is given to the one who is trustworthy and reliable. As described in the Qur’an, Allaah Ta’aala took the Misaaq of His Angels, His Ambiyaa (as) and in turn every Nabi (as) has taken the Misaaq of their communities. The word Misaaq occurs in about 16 different verses of the Qur’an – 63/2, 83/2, 84/2, 93/2, 81/3, 187/3, 7/5, 12/5, 14/5, 70/5, 20/13, 7/33, 8/57, 27/2, 154/4 and 25/13.


Q 3: What is the history of Misaaq?

A 3: Misaaq exists right from the eternity and the beginning of the creation. Misaaq is the supreme command of Allaah Ta’aala to which His Angels prostrated and the same was mandated upon all the Prophets to take the Misaaq of the people. Misaaq is the foundation of the religion of Islaam and its Shari’at. Misaaq is a chain of obedience and faithfulness which starts from Allaah Ta’aala and ends in the hands of the Mumineen who have accepted and kept faith in this divine succession of Ambiyaa (as), Awsiyaa (as), A’immat-e-Taahereen (as) and Du’aat –e-Akrameen (aq). The hand of the one who takes the Misaaq is above the hand of the one whose Misaaq is taken – as Allaah Ta’aala says in the Qur’an – “Yadullahe fauqa aydeehim” which means, ‘There is Allaah’s hand on their hands.’ Allaah’s hand, here, means the Hujjatullaah on this earth who is a Nabi, Wasi, Imaam or Da’i.


Q 4: What is the significance of Misaaq in our community? Why have the other communities omitted this divine command of Allaah and the Misaaq does not exist in them?

A 4: Allaah Ta’aala glorified Rasoolullaah (saws) with Nubuwwat and sent revelations to him through Jibra’eel (as) and thus the Qur’an was revealed on him. Rasoolullaah (saws), as per the command of Allaah, conveyed and explained the divine messages in the form of verses of the Qur’an to the people. Qur’an and Rasoolullaah (saws), thus, got closely associated like a ‘pair’ in such a way that one would not exist without the other. Allaah Ta’aala says in the Qur’an, “wa min kulle shay’in khalaqnaa zaujayn”, which means, ‘we have made into pairs from everything.’ During his period of Nubuwwat and before his demise, Rasoolullaah (saws) associated the Qur’an with Ahl ul-Bayt (as) and his progeny as a ‘pair’, on the occasion of Ghadeer-e-Khumm. This was because, a ‘pair’ should remain after his Nubuwwat because Rasoolullaah (saws) was decreed as “Aakher un-Nabiyeen” (the Last of the Prophets) by Allaah. Had this divine ‘pair’ been confined only till the death of Rasoolullaah (saws) then it would have been an injustice by Allaah that He associated Rasoolullaah (saws) and the Qur’an for the short span of only 23 years and that too exclusively for the people of Hijaaz (Arabs) and not for the people after him who would have followed the religion of Islaam? Never indeed is any word of the Qur’an being meant for a specific time or era. Words and verses of the Qur’an are the Language of Allaah and their meaning and interpretation would be equally applicable at all times to all the people till the Day of Qayaamat. The physical dimensions of the Time and Space would never render the Divine words of Qur’an void or confine it into any time-frame.

Rasoolullaah (saws) associated Ahl ul-Bayt (as) with the Qur’an before his death because he intended that Qur’an should not remain without its interpreter and exponent. In the presence of 70,000 Hujjaaj, Rasoolullaah (saws) conveyed Allaah’s final message in a strict way that whoever will grasp this pair of Ahl ul-Bayt (as) and Qur’an will indeed never astray from the righteous path of Allaah and will meet me at Hawz-e-kausar and will ultimately make his way in the Jannat. This final decree of Rasoolullaah (saws) is well known among the people of all communities of Islaam and no one can deny them. Maulaana Ali (as) became the Wasi of Rasoolullaah (saws) after him. Maulaana Ali (as) appointed his elder son Imaam Hasan (as) as the first Imaam after his death. Imaam Husain (as) succeeded on the throne of Imaamat after Imaam Hasan (as). Imaamat then continued in the progeny of Imaam Husain (as). Aal-e-Mohammad (Progeny of Rasoolullaah (saws)) is the essence and core of the Qur’an. Qur’an is the book and they are its teachers and interpreters. The true meaning of the Qur’an is lost without the guidance of Aal-e-Mohammad who are Ahl ul-Bayt (as) i.e. A’immat-e-Taahereen (as).

People accepted and gave bay’at  on the orders of Rasoolullaah (saws) at Ghadeer-e-Khumm to Maulaana Ali (as) as his successor, Wali and Wasi after him. After the death of Rasoolullaah (saws), the people turned down their promise given to Rasoolullaah (saws) and betrayed him – not only Rasoolullaah (saws) but Allaah Ta’aala, and did not accept Maulaana Ali (as) as the Wasi of Rasoolullaah (saws). They had indeed left the interpreter and the explainer of the Qur’an. They lost the very essence of the Deen of Allaah. They deviated from the Light of Guidance and Glory of the Ilm (Knowledge) of Allaah which was alive in Maulaana Ali (as) – and fell on the path of ignorance and darkness. Without the Noor of Allaah, they started wandering here and there. Their evil doings and wickedness reached at its zenith in the Saqeefah where they intended to appoint their own religious leader – appointed by the people.

There was eternal and timeless Noor of Allaah shining in the Maulaana Ali (as) and Ahl ul-Bayt (as) in the calmness and tranquillity of Truth and on the other side there was chaos and disarray of the ignorance among the deviated people in the deafening noises of Untruth. There were few people with Maulaana Ali (as) who were his loyal and faithful Shi’a and on the other side there were thousands of headless bodies of the people hopping in the darkness. Maulaana Ali (as) remained confined to his house with his followers because he knew the words of Rasoolullaah (saws) and was contented that whatever was said by the Nabiyullaah (saws) was true in every sense. People selected their religious leaders who they claimed to be as the Khaleefah of Rasoolullaah (saws). True Deen of Allaah was distorted by them according to their gains – Halaal was considered as Haraam and vice versa under their ‘unlawful’ leadership. The spring of the fresh sweet water – of the correct interpretation of the Qur’an continued to flow in the Ahl ul-Bayt (as) and A’imaat-e-Taahereen (as) from father to the son. Maulaana Ali (as) used to take Misaaq of his loyal Shi’a during his time and the same thing was followed by Imaam Hasan (as), Imaam Husain (as) and his aal-e-taiyeb. After the seclusion of the Imaam Taiyeb (as), the practice of taking Misaaq of the Mumineen continued by the Du’aat-e-Akrameen (aq) which is still alive today. Hence it is a proven fact that, The practice of Misaaq is the Command of Allaah Ta’aala and Sunnat of Rasoolullaah (saws) which is followed till date.

On the other hand the so called ‘elected’ religious leaders of the common people of Islaam (ahl uz-zaahir) did take the Misaaq of their followers even when they were not entitled by Rasoolullaah (saws) to do so. Maulaana Ali (as) was also asked for Bay’at by these illegitimate wrongdoers without any success as it is the divine dogmas that the Saheb of Bay’at takes it from his believers but never gives it to anyone except Allaah Ta’aala through whom he is assigned the responsibility of taking Bay’at.  At times they even forcibly compelled the people to give them the Misaaq. The same practice of forcibly convincing the people to give Misaaq continued till the third Khaleefah – after whose demise they didn’t ‘find’ any legible leader. Hence they regard Maulaana Ali (as) as the fourth Khaleefah out of ‘compulsion’. There was no one after Maulaana Ali (as) who could become their religious leader. They were left in lurch as to whom would they give Misaaq and to elect as a Khaleefah? Mo’aaviyah was not at all legible to lead them because he was a gambler and alcoholic. Even though, he too forced some people to give Misaaq. Gradually the belief of “one” religious leader of the community vanished as the people started electing their own leaders at different places. The practice of giving Misaaq to “one Leader” thus got wiped off among them. The concept of religious leadership or Imaam got degraded among these people to such an extent that whoever seemed to be having knowledge of Shari’at and the Qur’an was considered as Aalim or Imaam of a particular Masjid by their ignorant people. They now issue ‘fatwas’ or ‘dictat’ for the people for their ‘guidance’ which is different from one Masjid to the other one.

Our Isma’ili Taiyebi Faatemi community is the true Da’wat of Allaah for us which has begun from Maulaana Aadam (as) till the present Da’i uz-Zamaan (tus). This is the divine succession of the Allaah Ta’aala about which He says in the Qur’an as “Hablullaahil Mateen”. There is one leader for us at every time and every period which is appointed not by the people but from one successor to the other through the Nass or spiritual appointment.


Q 5: What is the explanation of the invalidation of Misaaq and its renewal?

A 5: Allaah Ta’aala sends His curse upon him who breaks Misaaq or invalidates it. One will have to pay the price of his soul who voids the Misaaq and the one who is loyal to it will get the reward of it by Allaah. One who takes the Misaaq better knows that the person who has given Misaaq to him has broken it in what way and how often. Very often in our daily practice we do an agreement in various matters, which is revised at regular basis on the completion of a specific period. No further progress or transaction takes place if the agreement is voided at any given time. If such an agreement exists in the worldly matters then it is obvious for your soul to be in agreement with the Hujjatullaah so that you conform and adhere yourself to the Shari’at and its obligations. If the one who takes the Misaaq tells to the person who has given Misaaq that you have voided your Misaaq because of any legible reason pertaining to the obligations of the Shari’at or our principles and practices then it is mandatory upon him to renew his Misaaq. The reason may be because he has failed to follow certain rules of Shari’at or he has changed his character and morality etc. Saheb-e-Da’wat better knows to which extent the Noor of Misaaq is glowing in the hearts of the mumineen and who needs to renew their Misaaq. We perform Wuzoo for the Namaaz which is a type of Misaaq. We offer Namaaz in the Masjid which also is a Misaaq. We observe fasts in the month of Ramazaan which is nothing less than Misaaq. Renewing one’s Misaaq is a golden opportunity to renew our deeds and actions. Giving Misaaq to Saheb-e-Da’wat infuses the Noor of Imaan (nuqtatun noor) in the heart. Misaaq is the path of Maghferat and Shafaa’at for us and is the very cause of the reward of Jannat.

We repeatedly wear clothes and wash them at regular intervals and also we do take bath everyday to remain clean and tidy. Misaaq, then, is the fabric of our soul and heart. Knowingly or unknowingly we commit sins in our lives and make this divine fabric dirty and untidy. It is mandatory upon us to clean it by renewing the Misaaq.

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