An inclusive account of Feast of Ghadir
By: Nofal Al-A’raji
Geographical location of Ghadir:
Ghadir literary means small lake or pond (Ref. Al-Munjid). Ghadir is
the name of a place that comes on the way from Makkah to Medina. It is
3 miles further than Johfa towards Medina. There existed a small pond
at this place. Though geographically it exists on the way to Medina
but this place acted as an exit point for all the people going out
from Makkah for all the other places. When the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
halted at this place after his last pilgrimage to make his
all-significant announcement it was extremely hot at that time and it
was close to mid-day. It was a wayside tract of barren land. There was
no shelter present over there at that time. In fact there existed
merely small minor patches of shades provided by a few acacia trees.
Date: The date is 18th Zilhajjah of the year 10 A.H. (10 March 632 CE)
After completing the last pilgrimage the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) along
with the Muslims set out of Makkah. On their way back the Muslims
reached a place called Ghadir-e-khumm. The following verse was
revealed to the Holy Prophet(S.A.W.): " O Apostle! Deliver what has
been sent down to you from your Lord; and if you don't do it, you have
not delivered His message (at all); and Allah will protect you from
the people ..." (Quran 5:67)
Delivery of the sermon:
On receiving the above verse, the Holy Prophet stopped at that very
place called Ghadir-e-khumm. He ordered his companions to call back
those of the Muslims who had gone ahead. He waited for those Muslims
who had remained behind to join them. He ordered Salman (A.R.) to
prepare for a pulpit with the help of rocks and camel toolings. It was
prime noontime and Muslims had tied their heads and legs on account of
the heat. Muslims had started to sit near the temporary pulpit. The
Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) was at this place for about 5 hours. He recited
nearly 100 verses of the Holy Quran most of which were in the praise
of Ali(A.S.). Seventy three times he reminded and admonished the
Muslims about the their deeds and future.
The following is a part of the lengthy speech of the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
which has also been narrated by the sunni authorities repeatedly:
"It seems the time has 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)."
Then the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) in an attempt to remind Muslims of his
own authority over them said: “Do I not have more right over the
believers than what they have over themselves?” Muslims answered
unanimously “Yes, O' Messenger of God". This served as a stepping
stone for the announcement of his heir and vicegerent. The Holy
Prophet (S.A.W.) held out the hand of Ali (A.S.) and said: “For
whomever I am his master (mawla), 'Ali is his master (mawla)." The
Holy Prophet then continued to say: " O' God, love those who love him,
and be hostile to those who are hostile to him."
Revelation of the verse 5:3:
Once the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) completed his speech this verse of the
Holy Quran was revealed to him: "Today I have perfected your religion
and completed my favour upon you, and chosen Islam as your religion."
(5:3). This verse explicitly mentions that only along with this
express announcement of the vicegerancy by the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
can the religion of Islam be considered as complete and perfect.
Without this announcement or because of the disregard of this
announcement the religion of Islam will be merely half truth.
Hassaan Bin Thabit's poetry:
Immediately after completion of the sermon Hassaan Bin Thabit sought
the permission of the Holy Prophet to convey to the audience his
poetry which he had instantaneously composed regarding this event of
Ghadir. The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) told him “Say with the blessings of
Allah ". He then conveyed the following verses of his poetry to the
" 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 master? (mawlakum wa waliyyukum)"
They said, and there was no apparent blindness (clearly):
"Your God, our guide, and you are our master
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
So whomever I was his master (mawla), then this is his master (mawla)
So be to him supporters in truth and followers,"
Oath of allegiance:
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) keeping to his long term merciful nature
towards the Muslims did not get content only on this announcement. He
wanted this announcement to take the shape of appropriate action from
the side of the Muslims. In lieu of this the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.)
ordered the Muslims to meet Ali (A.S.) and give oath of allegiance to
him. Umar Bin Al-Khattab came first to Ali (A.S.), gave oath of
allegiance to Ali (A.S.) and said "Well done Ibn Abi Talib! Today you
became the master (mawla) of all believing men and women." After Umar
was Abu Bakr, Uthman, Talha and then others. The entire process of
giving allegiance to Ali (A.S.) by the then present 120,000 people
took 3 days.
Revelation of the verse 70:1-3:
The news about the above announcement and the subsequent allegiance of
oath given by the Muslims to Ali (A.S.) spread across both the urban
and rural areas. This event was so significant that it touched the
Muslims all across the globe. In this process Harith Ibn Nu'man al-Fahri
(or Nadhr Ibn Harith according to another tradition) came to know
about this. He hurriedly came to Madinah and started disputing with
the Holy Peophet (S.A.W.) on the issue of appointment of Ali (A.S.) as
the vicegerent. He told the Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) "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.A.W.) said: "By Allah who is the only deity! This is
from Allah, the Mighty and the Glorious." On hearing this while going
back to his she camel Harith said "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 even reached his she camel that Allah (S.W.T.)
flung a stone on him which struck him on his head and penetrated his
entire body and he was instantaneously left dead. At this the
following verse was revealed
"A questioner questioned about the punishment to fall. For the
disbelievers there is nothing to avert it, from Allah the Lord of the
Books related to Ghadir:
There are at least 185 sunni books which have mentioned the event
of Ghadir. It is not possible to mention all of them here but we
mention just a few:
1. The well known commentator and historian of the fourth century
hijri, Abu Ja'far Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari (died 310 A.H.), gives
complete details of the hadith of Ghadir in his book Kitabu'l-Wilaya
and has narrated it through seventy-five chains of transmission.
2. Hafiz Abu'l-Abbas Ahmad Bin Sa'id Abdu'r-Rahman Al-Kufi, popularly
known as Ibn Iqda (died 333 A.H.), narrated this holy hadith in his
book Kitabu'l-Wilaya through 125 chains on the authority of 125
companions of the Holy Prophet.
3. Ibn Haddad Hafiz Abu'l-Qasim Haskani (died 492 A.H.), in his
Kitabu'l-Wilaya, has narrated in detail the event of Ghadir along with
the revelation of the verses of the Qur'an.
Similarly some of the many books of shia authors who have shown the
event of Ghadir by providing extensive sunni sources are:
1. Al-Ghadir by Allama Amini - This is apparently the most magnanimous
work on the event of Ghadir. This book is in 11 Volumes.
2. Abaqatul Anwar by Mir Hamid Husein – Lot of material available on
the subject of ghadir using sunni references.
3. Nafahatul Azhaar by syed Ali Milaani - This is basically
explanation of the book Abaqatul Anwar.
4. Ihkaakul Haq by shaheed-e-thalis Qazi Noorullah Shustri - this book
has dealt the subject of Ghadir in many of its parts.
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