How does one know which Sheikh to take Bai’ah with?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
The purpose of Bai’ah is to reform oneself. If one is ill, she would go to a doctor she is comfortable with to get treatment. The patient must believe in the doctor and have confidence in her. She must be able to freely relate to the doctor. It is such an open and flexible relationship between the doctor and the patient that the patient is eventually cured. In the field of spiritual reformation, one needs to identify a spiritual guide that one is comfortable with. A person one can relate to and get cure for ones spiritual weaknesses.
There are many spiritual guides, follow their websites and advises. If one is inclined to anyone, then first maintain an Islaahi relationship through emails etc. If one feels comfortable with that person and believes that she is progressing in spirituality, then take a step further and take Bai’ah. The most important issue is you as an individual must benefit and be comfortable. Others benefitting and comfortable should not be the criteria. It may be used as a yardstick.
And Allah Ta’ala Knows Best,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai