History of Feast of Ghadir
By: Namar Abbas
Event of Ghadir Khumm
The following is a description of the historic event of Ghadir Khumm.
The Farewell Pilgrimage Ten years after the migration ( hijrah ), the
Messenger of Allah [peace and blessings be upon him and his Progeny]
ordered to his close followers to call all the people in different
places to join him in his last pilgrimage. On this pilgrimage he
taught them how to perform the pilgrimage in a correct and unified
This was first time that the Muslims with this magnitude gathered in
one place in the presence of their leader, the Messenger of Allah [s].
On his way to Makkah, more than seventy thousand people followed
Prophet [s]. On the fourth day of Dhu'l-Hijjah more than one hundred
thousand Muslims had entered Makkah.
The date of this incident was the 18th of Dhu'l-Hijjah of the year 10
AH (10 March 632 CE).
After completing his last pilgrimage ( Hajjatul-Wida' ), Prophet [s]
was leaving Makkah toward Madinah, where he and the crowd of people
reached a place called Ghadir Khumm (which is close to today's al-Juhfah).
It was a place where people from different provinces used to greet
each other before taking different routes for their homes.
Revelation of Qur'anic Verse 5:67
In this place, the following verse of the Qur'an was revealed:
"O Apostle! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord; and
if you don't do it, it is as if you have not delivered His message (at
all); and Allah will protect you from the people ..." (Qur'an 5:67)
The last sentence in the above verse indicates that the Prophet [s]
was mindful of the reaction of his people in delivering that message
but Allah informs him not to worry, for He will protect His Messenger
Upon receiving the verse, the Prophet [s] stopped on that place (the
pond of Khumm) which was extremely hot. Then he sent for all people
who have been ahead in the way, to come back and waited until all
pilgrims who fell behind, arrived and gathered. He ordered Salman [r]
to use rocks and camel toolings to make a pulpit so he could make his
announcement. It was around noon time in the first of the Fall, and
due to the extreme heat in that valley, people were wrapping their
robes around their feet and legs, and were sitting around the pulpit,
on the hot rocks.
On this day the Messenger of Allah [s] spent approximately five hours
in this place; three hours of which he was on the pulpit. He recited
nearly one hundred verses from The Glorious Quran, and for seventy
three times reminded and warned people of their deeds and future. Then
he gave them a long speech.
The following is a part of his speech which has been widely narrated
by the Sunni traditionists:
Tradition of the Two Weighty Things (thaqalayn)
The Messenger of Allah [s] declared:
"It seems the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah)
and I shall answer that call. I am leaving for you two precious things
and if you adhere to them both, you will never go astray after me.
They are the Book of Allah and my Progeny, that is my Ahlul Bayt. The
two shall never separate from each other until they come to me by the
Pool (of Paradise)."
[See also: Hadith al-Thaqalayn : A Study of its tawatur ]
Acknowledgement of Authority
Then the Messenger of Allah continued:
"Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over
People cried and answered:
"Yes, O' Messenger of God."
Then the Prophet [s] held up the hand of 'Ali and said:
"For whoever I am his Leader (mawla), 'Ali is his Leader (mawla)."
[In some narrations the word used was wali rather than mawla - with
the same implication]
The Prophet [s] continued:
"O' God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are
hostile to him."
These were the key parts of the speech of the Prophet [s]. There are
also more detailed versions of this sermon which are recorded by many
'Coronation' of Imam 'Ali [a]
Revelation of Qur'anic Verse 5:3
Immediately after the Prophet [s] finished his speech, the following
verse of the Qur'an was revealed:
"Today I have perfected your religion and completed my favour upon
you, and I was satisfied that Islam be your religion." (Qur'an 5:3)
The above verse clearly indicates that Islam without clearing up
matter of leadership after Prophet [s] was not complete, and
completion of religion was due to announcement of the Prophet's
Hassaan b. Thabit's poetry
Immediately after the Prophet's speech, Hassaan b. Thabit, the
Companion and poet of the Messenger of Allah [s], asked for his
permission to compose a few verses of poetry about Imam 'Ali [a] for
the audience. The Prophet [s] said: "Say with the blessings of Allah".
Hassaan stood up and said: "O' people of Quraysh. I follow with my
words what preceded and witnessed by the Messenger of Allah [s]. He
then composed the following verses at the scene:
He calls them, (on) the day of Ghadir, their Prophet
In Khumm so hear (and heed) the Messenger's call,
He said: "Who is your guide and leader? ( mawlakum wa waliyyukum )"
They said, and there was no apparent blindness (clearly):
"Your God, our guide, and you are our leader
And you won't find from among us, in this, any disobedient,"
He said to him: "Stand up O' Ali, for I am
pleased to announce you Imam and guide after me ( min ba'di imam (an)
wa hadiy (an) ),
So whomever I was his leader ( mawla ), then this is his leader (
So be to him supporters in truth and followers,"
There he prayed: "Allah! Be a friend and guide to his follower
And be, to the one who is Ali's enemy, an enemy"
Oath of Allegiance
After his speech, the Messenger of Allah [s] asked everybody to give
the oath of allegiance to 'Ali [a] and congratulate him. Among those
who did so was 'Umar b. al-Khattab, who said:
"Well done Ibn Abi Talib! Today you became the Leader ( mawla ) of all
believing men and women."
Number of People in Ghadir Khumm
Allah ordered His Prophet [s] to inform the people of this designation
at a time of crowded populous so that all could become the narrators
of the tradition, while they exceeded a hundred thousand.
Narrated by Zayd b. Arqam: Abu al-Tufayl said: "I heard it from the
Messenger of Allah [s], and there was no one (there) except that he
saw him with his eyes and heard him with his ears."
Revelation of Qur'anic Verse 70:1-3
Some Sunni commentators further report that the first three verses of
the chapter of al-Ma'arij (70:1-3) were revealed when a dispute arose
after the Prophet [s] reached Madinah. It is recorded that:
On the day of Ghadir the Messenger of Allah summoned the people toward
'Ali and said: "Ali is the mawla of whom I am mawla ." The news spread
quickly all over urban and rural areas. When Harith Ibn Nu'man al-Fahri
(or Nadhr Ibn Harith according to another tradition) came to know of
it, he rode his camel and came to Madinah and went to the Messenger of
Allah [s] and said to him: "You commanded us to testify that there is
no deity but Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah. We obeyed
you. You ordered us to perform the prayers five times a day and we
obeyed. You ordered us to observe fasts during the month of Ramadhan
and we obeyed. Then you commanded us to offer pilgrimage to Makkah and
we obeyed. But you are not satisfied with all this and you raised your
cousin by your hand and imposed him upon us as our master by saying
`Ali is the mawla of whom I am mawla .' Is this imposition from Allah
or from you?"
The Prophet [s] said : "By Allah who is the only deity! This is from
Allah, the Mighty and the Glorious."
On hearing this Harith turned back and proceeded towards his she-camel
saying: "O Allah! If what Muhammad said is correct then fling on us a
stone from the sky and subject us to severe pain and torture." He had
not reached his she-camel when Allah, who is above all defects, flung
at him a stone which struck him on his head, penetrated his body and
passed out through his lower body and left him dead. It was on this
occasion that Allah, the exalted, caused to descend the following
"A questioner questioned about the punishment to fall. For the
disbelievers there is nothing to avert it, from Allah the Lord of the
(Presented by the Ahlul Bayt Digital Islamic Library Project team)
better than wealth because it protects you while you have to
guard wealth. it decreases if you keep on spending it but the
more you make use of knowledge ,the more it increases . what you
get through wealth disappears as soon as wealth disappears but
what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you."MORE