Bay’at is from root the meaning “to sell”. The disciple’s pledging himself to a master is the same as selling himself to him, however, the buyer here is God Himself. As He has said: ” God has purchased of the believers…….”.
In practice the agent of this sale is the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and the murshid (spiritual guide) is actually his representative. It is in regard to such a pledge that words ” the hand of God is upon their hands” have come down. Therefore the master is as a registrar and witness for the sale and the real buyer and seller are in fact God and the servant. The servant gives his soul (jaan) and the Lord gives him security (aamaan), the servant sacrifices his status (aan) and the Lord bestows glory (shaan) upon him. The servant gives up the world and the Lord grants him the seven paradises, the servant passes from his own self and the Lord makes him His own.