Ghadir Tradition: The Expressive Evidence for Guardianship
Ghadir Tradition: The Expressive Evidence for Guardianship
You may have heard the name of Ghadir. It is a territory between Mecca and Medina, near Johfeh, which is 200 km far from Mecca. It is a cross road, where the pilgrims of different parts separate from each other: a road towards Medina, northward a road towards Iraq, eastward a road towards Egypt, westward a road towards Yemen, southward Today, it is an abandoned area, but once it was the witness of one the greatest events in the Islamic history, that is, the day of appointment of Ali (a.s.) as the successor of Prophet (s.a.w.a.) (on eighteenth of Zelhejjah, 10th A.H.).Although for political purposes, the caliphs have tried to erase the memory of this great historical event, and now too, some of the fanatic individuals try to disappear or make it fade for some reasons, nevertheless, the dimensions of this event is too extensive in history, tradition and Arab literature, to be erased, covered or forgotten. In the present booklet, you will find the documents and references in this respect, so that you will be amazed, and may ask yourself that how such a lot of proofs and evidences could be covered or neglected?!We hope these logical analyses and evidences derived from the Sunnite references to be the means of approaching the lines of world Moslems, and the facts which were previously left unattended to be taken into precise consideration, especially by the young generation. Islamic Sciences and Researches Group – Qom
Ghadir Tradition The expressive evidence for guardianship Ghadir tradition is one of the conclusive evidences for the immediate guardianship and caliphate of Ali (a.s.) after the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), and the researchers render a special importance to it. Unfortunately, those who prejudice with regard to his guardianship, once accept validity of the tradition, and express doubt for its implication, and once question about its authenticity. For clarification of different aspects of this tradition, it is necessary to talk about both groups with authentic and valid evidences:
Background of Ghadir
The “Farewell pilgrimage” ceremony was completed in the last month of the 10th A.H. The Moslems learned pilgrimage activities from the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), and then, Prophet (s.a.w.a.) decided to leave Mecca to Medina. He instructed for departure. When the caravan reached an area called “Rabegh”(1), which is three miles far from Johfeh (2), Gabriel, the inspiration angel, revealed in a point called “Ghadir Khom”, and addressed the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) with the following verse:يا ايها الرسول بلغ ما انزل اليك من ربك و ان لم تفعل فما بلغت رسالته و الله يعصمك من الناس (3) O Messenger, deliver that which has been sent down to thee from thy Lord; for if thou dost not, thou wilt not have delivered His Message. God will protect three from men. The tone of verse indicates that God has assigned Prophet (s.a.w.a.) a critical mission, which equals with his prophetic mission, and caused despair of the Islam enemies. Is any critical mission more important than appointment of Ali (a.s.) to the rank of caliphate, guardianship and succession in front of more than hundred thousand people?!Therefore, he ordered to stop. Those who were ahead of caravan, stopped, and those who were at the back of caravan, joined them. At noon, it was very hot, and a group of people put a part of their mantle on their head and a part under their foot. A shading was made for the Prophet through casting a veil on the tree. He sat on the high point, formed by the camel saddle, and he delivered a sermon with a loud voice, the extract of which follows:
Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) sermon in Ghadir Khom Praise belongs to God. We seek help from Him, and believe in Him, and trust in Him. We turn to Him for our evil and unrighteous deeds. The Lord, save whom there is no guide. Whoever is guided by Him, there will be no deviator for him. I testify that there is no God, save Him, and Mohammad is his servant and prophet. O people! Soon, I will die, and leave you. I am responsible and you too! Then he added: What do you think about me!? (Have I fulfilled my responsibility against you?)The crowd all said: We testify that you have accomplished your prophetic mission, and endeavored. God may grant you good rewards. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: Do you testify that the Lord of world is one, and Mohammad is His servant and prophet, and there is no doubt about paradise, hell, the everlasting life in the other world? All replied: Yes, that is right. We testify! He added: O people, I leave among you two precious things. I shall see how you treat with my two heritage?!One stood up and asked loudly: What are these two precious things?!Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: One is divine book, one side of which is in the powerful hand of God, and the other is with you. And the next is my Household. God has informed me that these two will never separate! Beware, O People, do not surpass Quran and my Household. Do not fail to follow both of them. Otherwise, you will perish! Then, he took Ali’s hand (a.s.), and raised it too high that the armpit of both of them was seen by the people, and introduced him to the people. He asked: Who is more authorized and rightful to the believers than themselves? All replied: God and His messenger are more aware. The Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: God is my master and I am the master of believers, and I am more authorized and rightful than themselves! Beware, O People! من كنت مولاه فهذا علي مولاهWhoever I am his master and authority, this Ali will be his master and authority. (4)
اللهم وال من والاه و عاد من عاداه و احب من احبه و ابغض من ابغضه و انصر من نصره و اخذل من خذله و ادر الحق معه حيث دار.
O God, be friend with whoever is friend with Ali, and be enemy with whoever is an enemy of Ali. Help whoever helps him, and leave whoever leaves him, make him the criteria of right! (5)
If you study the above sermon (6) carefully, there are quick evidences for Imamate of Ali (a.s.) in every phrase of it. (We will explain it soon).
The eternity of Ghadir event
The Wise God has willed the Ghadir historical event to remain in all ages and centuries, as a live history, attracting the hearts and minds, and the Islamic writers to discuss it in the commentary, history, tradition and theology books, and the religious orators to deliver lectures about it, and call it one of the undeniable virtues of Imam Ali (a.s.).Not only the orators and lecturers, but also the poets too have been suggested by this event, and have lighted their literary talent through thinking and reflection on it, as well as increasing their loyalty to the owner of guardianship. They have left the best poems in different forms and various languages. (The Late Allameh Amini has mentioned an important part of Ghadir poems in every century of the Islamic history, while describing the attributes of the poets in the eleven volumes of Al-Ghadir book narrated from popular Islamic resources).In other words, no other historical event in the world, has been noted so much by different classes, including traditionist, commentator, theologian, philosopher, orator, poet, historian and biographer. One of the reasons for eternity of this tradition, is revelation of two Quranic verses (7) in respect to this event, and since Quran is eternal and everlasting, this historical event too will be never forgotten. It is noteworthy that referring to the history clarifies that eighteenth of Zelhejjah has been known among Moslems as the Eid Ghadir, so that Ebne Khalkan says about Mostalli Ebne Mostansar: The people paid homage to him on eighteenth of Zelhejjah, Eid Ghadir, 487 A.H. (8), and he writes about Mostansar Bellah Abidi: He passed away twelve nights before the end of Zelhejjah, 487 A.H. It is the same night of eighteenth of Zelhejjah, the night of Eid Ghadir. (9)It is interesting that Aboureyhan Birouni, in Assarol Baqieh, has called Eid Ghadir one of the feasts, which all Moslems celebrated it. (10)Not only Ebne Khalkan and Aboureyhan Birouni have called it an Eid, but also Thalebi, one of the other famous Sunnite scholars has called Ghadir one of the popular nights among the Islamic nation. (11)This Islamic Eid dates back to the time of Prophet (s.a.w.a.), because on that day, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) instructed the immigrants and helpers, and rather his wives, to go to Ali (a.s.) and congratulate to him for guardianship and Imamate. Zeid Ebne Arqam says: Aboubakr, Omar, Osman, Talhe and Zobair from among the immigrants were the first who paid homage to Ali (a.s.), but the congratulation and paying homage ceremonies was continued till sunset. (12)
110 people of tradition narrators for showing importance of this historical event, it is enough to say that one hundred ten of the Prophet’s (s.a.w.a.) companions have narrated it. (13)Of course, this does not mean that only these from among the host have narrated the event. Rather, we mean that in the books of Sunnite scholars, the names of one hundred ten people are mentioned. In the second Islamic century, called the age of followers, eighty nine of them have narrated this tradition. The narrators of Ghadir tradition, in the next centuries too are among the Sunnite scholars and leaders. Three hundred sixty of them have collected this tradition in their books, and a large group have affirmed its validity and authenticity. A group of them have not contended with narration of the tradition, and have also written separate books with regards to its documents and contents. It is strange that the great Islamic historian, Tabari, has composed a book, الولاية في طرق حديث الغدير, and has narrated the tradition based on seventy five chains of transmission from the Prophet! Ebne Oqdeh Koufi has narrated it from one hundred five people in the, ولايت, essay. Aboubakr Mohammad Ebne Omar Baghdadi, known as Jamani, has narrated it through twenty five chains of transmission.
Sunnite Celebrated People Ahmad Ebne Hanbal Sheybani Ebne Hajar Asqalani Jazari Shafei Abou Saeid SajestaniAmir Mohammad Yamani Nessaei Abolalae Hamedani and Abolerfan Habanhave narrated the tradition through numerous chains of transmission. (14)Shiite scholars too have composed valuable books regarding this historical event, and have referred to the Sunnite important references, the most comprehensive of which is the historical book, الغدير, composed by the late Ayatullah Amini. (This book has been the main reference in composition of this article). However, after appointment of Ali (a.s.) as his successor, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: O People, just now the inspiration angel revealed to me and brought this verse: اليوم اكملت لكم دينكم و اتممت عليكم نعمتي و رضيت لكم الاسلام ديناَToday I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam for your religion. (15)Then the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said “Allahu Akbar” and added: I thank God for perfecting His religion, and completing His Blessing, and approving my mission and guardianship and succession of Ali after me. Then, Prophet (s.a.w.a.) came down, and said Ali (a.s.): Sit under a tent so that the prominent Islamic chiefs and headmen pay homage and congratulate to you. First of all, Omar and Aboubakr congratulated to Ali (a.s.) and called him their master!