ALH'AMDU LILLAAHILLAD'EE JA-A'LA KAMAALA DEENIHI WA TAMAAMA NIA'-MATIHI BIWALAAYATI AMEERIL MOOMINEENA ALIYYIBNA ABEE T'AALIB
[Praise be to Allah, who had perfected His religion and completed His favour with the establishment of Ali ibn Abi Talib's authority, peace be on him.]
The 18th of Zil-Hajj marks the auspicious occassion of Eid-e-Ghadeer. This is the day of nomination of Imam Ali(a.s.) as the successor to the Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) and commander of the faithfuls and the first Imam. This is also the day when the famous Ayat "Al-yaoma akmalto lakum dinakum wa atmamto alaikum naimatee" [Today we completed the DEEN for you and finalized the NAIMAT for you] announcing the completion of the DEEN and the finalization of the NAIMAT (blessings) was sent.
This is a highly virtuous day about which Imam Ali Riza(a.s.) has said that on the day of judgement four days will be presented before Allah(swt) with such glamour as that of a bride - Day of Friday, Eid-ul-Fitr, Eid-ul-Azha and Eid-e-Ghadeer - and the day of Eid-e-Ghadeer will be the most most distinct and will be like a moon among stars.
This is the day of acceptance of prayers, the day of sending SALAWAT on the Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) and his Ahl-e-Bait(a.s.), the day of praying with utmost attention and commitment, the day of staying away from sins, the day of greeting and embracing other momineen with joy. The roza of this day is highly virtuous and of great significance. Giving sadqa on this day is higly recommended and counts 1000 times the amount given as sadqa.
Historical perspective of Eid-e-Ghadeer
“O Messenger! Make known that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord, for if thou do it not, thou will not have conveyed His message. Allah will protect thee from mankind. Lo! Allah guideth not the disbelieving folk."
The Gathering of all the pilgrims
The Messenger of Allah, The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) suddenly stopped and froze on hearing the above 'Ayah' from The Archangel Jibraeel(as).
The holy Prophet looked at his cousin Ali(a.s.) intently, who was riding next to him. He then quickly ordered the halt of the caravan in astonishment of all his companions and followers. To stop in such a place under the hot blazing midday sun, at such a desolate and arid place in the desert called Ghadeer Khumm.
The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) listened patiently and confronted their complaints and pestering for halting them in such an un welcomed place. But The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) would only calmly say, with a smile, that he was commanded by Allah(swt) to address the multitude of travelers, here and now, and it is not for him to question Allah(swt) for His choice of the time or place!
And what was he commanded to tell them by Allah(swt) they questioned impatiently. He would only say, that he was commanded to convey to them all, of what he had been revealed to him now. Before the masses begin dispersing in all directions in the desert to their individual homes and destination.
The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) then quickly commanded one of his trusted faithful and close companion Hazrat Bilaal(r.a.) to immediately cry out the Azaan so that the thousands of Muslim travellers could be gathered before him.
Make Shift Pulpit
The Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf), then quickly ordered the clearing of the desert's dry prickly plants from the hot sandy ground, for the masses to stand before him. Then he ordered for some camel saddles to be piled up, so as to make shift a pulpit, upon a small elevated sandy mound, for the people to see him.
Then The Messenger of God(sawaw) awaited patiently sweating under the hot burning sun for the straddlers of people that were still behind and those that had gone further ahead to gather together, before him.
As soon as the multitude were gather before him, the holy Apostle(sawaw) stood on up upon the make shift pulpit of camel saddles piled up on the small sandy mound before them, so that he was high enough to be seen by all the congregation before him. The massed crowd before him quickly quietened down, the sound of their questioning murmur soon died down, as soon as they saw their Prophet(sawaw) standing high before them.
He then gestured to Imam Ali ibn-e-Abi Talib(a.s.) and invited him to join him and stand on his right on the make shift Mimbar of piled camel saddles upon the small sandy mound. Each one of the masses of people was standing on his thin woollen cloak on the ground to protect their feet from the burning hot sands around them, which was baked by the blazing hot noon sun. They waited and watched in wonderment at the two before them, and again started to murmur to each other. Each providing their own explanation of what was to come.
The Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf) gestured with his hand and the murmur ceased and all the masses listened attentively as The Messenger of God(pbuh&hf) slowly began his address.
He started first by praising and to Glorify Allah Almighty(swt), The Creator of all the worlds and of the Heavens.
He then proceeded to give them the sad news to their dismay of all the congregation, of his own nearing death saying, I have been summoned, and it is the moment for me to answer, for the time has come for me, to depart from you. However I do leave behind me, amongst you, two weighty and precious things. And, if you cleave to them, you will surely never go astray! The Holy Book of God and, my Offspring the Ahl-ul-Bait.
For they will never be separated from each other until they have led you to me, at the sacred shores of Heaven .
The masses of people who had gathered before him, now wept openly in sorrow at news of his nearing death. But who would lead and guide them? Who would take his place? What would become of them? What would become of Islam without him? They worriedly murmured to each other in puzzlement and panic?
The declaration of his Successor
When they all had quickened down. The Prophet(pbuh&hf) then called out at the top of his voice.
"Am I not more appropriate to rule over you than yourselves?"
The people replied in earnest,
"By God. Yes you are!"
The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) then continued by taking hold of both of Imam Ali(a.s.)'s arms and raised them high above his shoulders, so much so that Ali(a.s.)'s sleeves slipped down his arms and rested on his shoulders, exposing Ali's(as) naked white armpits.
The Prophet(pbuh&hf) went on to proclaimed that Ali(as) as his successor and the legitimate Khalifa of Allah(swt).
Allah is my master and I am your master and whosoever, I am master of, Then this man, Ali is his master as well.
O God! Befriend him, who so ever befriends him. Oppose him, whosoever opposes him.
Support him, who so ever supports him. Desert him, whosoever deserts him.
This meant that through the revelation, Allah(swt) had asked the Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) to declare Imam Ali(a.s.) is the Chosen Successor to Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) by Allah(swt) Himself.
This event and wording has been reported in the following books :
(1) Sahih Tirmizi, Vol.2 Page 298.
(2) Sahih ibn-e-Maja, Chapter: Virtues of the Companions of the Holy Prophet(pbuh&hf), Page 12
(3) Kinz-al-Amaal, Vol.6, Page 397
(4) Riyaz un-Nazra Vol.2, Page 169
(5) Mustadrak as-Sahiyeen, Vol.3, Page 109
(6) Mustadrak as-Sahiyeen, Vol.3, Page 116
(7) Khasais-e-Nisaee, Page 25
(8) Masnad Ahmad ibn-e-Hambal, Vol.4, Page 372
(9) Tafseer-e-Kabeer, Fakhruddin Razi
(10) Hulyat ul-Aulia, Vol.5, Page 26
(11) Sawaiq-e-Moharraka, Page 25
(12) Al-Asaba, Vol1, Al-qism 1, Page 319
After the pledge of allegiance ceremony had been completed, the Prophet(pbuh&hf) looked above to the sky and wept, then he raised a finger declaring in a loud clear voice for all to hear:
As God is my Judge! Bear witness then for me, that today I have surely completed and fulfilled your religion for you, and have successfully conveyed, The Message, that has been bestowed upon me by Allah.....
"Oh Muslims have I not!?"
The Muslims all shouted repeatedly and replied in great earnest,
" Yes You have, Oh, Messenger of God! Yes you have."
The Oath of Allegiance
The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) then immediately prayed two Rakats on the spot, so as to commemorate the historic occasion. And when he had finished his prayers, it was then time for the noon prayers and Hazrat Bilaal(r.a.) once again he cried the Azaan.
After The Prophet(pbuh&hf) finished leading the noon prayers. He then quickly called Imam Ali(a.s.) to follow him into the tent that was pitched earlier under a lone tree.
The Prophet(pbuh&hf) then sat Ali(as) down on one side and he himself sat opposite to him on the other side of the small tent. The Great Apostle of God(pbuh&hf), then ordered all the Muslims and his Companions to each personally make an oath of allegiance to Imam Ali(a.s.) in his very presence.
All the Muslims, did so as he asked and formed a long queue and each gave of them gave his solemn 'Oath of Allegiance' with The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf), standing by Imam Ali(a.s.), and he accepted their congratulations, looking on as a personal witness to their testaments of the solemn occasion.
As for the accompanying womenfolk, a large bowl of water was prepared in front of Imam Ali(a.s.). Then a small makeshift screen was erected in front of him and then Imam Ali(a.s.) passed his right hand under the screen and dipped his hand in the bowl, which lay immediately near the screen. Then the women were led in one by one, and each dipped her right hand in the bowl full of water in front of her and before the screen, and gave her 'Oath of Allegiance' to Imam Ali(a.s.) who sat behind the screen.
Imam Ali(a.s.) is congratulated as the Caliph
As soon as the last Muslim had given his pledge of Allegiance. The Prophet(pbuh&hf) embraced Imam Ali(a.s.) warmly and congratulated him on his appointment as the, Khalifa Rasul Allah, meaning: The Viceregent for the Messenger of God over all the Muslims after his death.
The joyous crowd surrounding them were moved greatly at the sacred sight before them. They then all shouted their approval and wept with sheer happiness. But there were some who harboured envy and ill feelings in their hearts towards Imam Ali(a.s.). While these persons gave their allegiance and openly congratulated Imam Ali(a.s.) and The Prophet on the appointment of Imam Ali(a.s.) as the Successor, these same persons would later deny this wonderful day and usurp the sacred Caliphate for themselves and cause the division of the whole Muslim nation!
But as for today The Holy Prophet Mohammad(pbuh&hf) proudly praises Imam Ali(a.s.) and named him officially as, Ameer-al-Momineen, Meaning / The Commander of the faithfuls
This was the very first time ever, that this term was ever heard of and ever used in addressing any Muslim. Hence this honorable title only belongs to Imam Ali ibn-e-Abi Talib(a.s.) and no one else!
Following The Prophet's(pbuh&hf) example, rest of his Companions followed suit amongst them most notably was, Umar ibn-e-Khattab, who joyfully said to Imam Ali(a.s.) aloud,
"Oh bravo, bravo Ali son of Abu Talib!
You have now become my Master and the Master of every believing Man and Woman!"
Then the poets began composing their poetry commemorating this happy and wonderful occasion of the history of Islam.
The Holy Messenger of God(pbuh&hf) who was accompanied by his son-in-law Imam Ali(a.s.) at his side, then commanded the huge masses of returning Pilgrims to begin their long travel north to their home city of Madina. Others bade their farewell to their Prophet(pbuh&hf) and dispersed in small and large groups each in the direction of their homes.