Ali (a.s.); The Master
- :I.H Najafi
The event of 18th Zilhaj 10 A. H. was neither a matter of secrecy, nor an underground gathering -nor a hidden endeavour. As such no room is left for any sort of doubt, suspicion, uncertainty or ambiguity.
This mammoth congregation attended by thousands was held by the mandate of God, under the supervision of the Prophet of Islam, in a vast desert, in the full light of the day. The main proceedings of this feast are preserved in the offi- cial documents of Islam (Qur'an and Hadith).
Similarly statements, the accounts of the eye- witnesses and feelings of prominent literary figu- res and intellectuals who attended this important session of Islamic History has been recorded in the books of history and biography.
How strange it is that in spite of all these undeniable facts some persons have tried to present their own biased sen- timents in regard to the event of Ghadeer.
In the writings of such prejudiced writers the word ' Mawla' has been the centre of discussion and com- ments. They consider that the word 'Mawla' does not mean 'master, leader, head, superior' but it has been used in the sense of 'friend, helper and cousin'. Had this been a minor objection we would have definitely overlooked it.
But the word 'Ma- wla' is the most important word uttered on the day of Ghadeer.
Every reasonable person would have to admit that the Holy Qur'an does not present enigmas and the Apostle of God never indulged in quib bles and puns.
This mode of conversation is against the very spirit of sincere guidance and purity of thought and speech. The word 'Mawla' in the Ara- bic language has twenty-seven meanings.
The Pro- phet while using this word in his Prophetic dis- course had clarified its reference and its context so clearly that everyone among those who heard his sermon proclaimed, "Ali, is 'Mawla' in the same sense in which the Prophet is master".
Moreover, the Holy Prophet later on explained the true sense of this word at length. Ali bin Hameed on page 38 of his book 'Shamsul Akhbar' writes, "When it was enquired from the Apostle of God about the Ha- dith 'Whose master am I' he said, "As God is My Master, so I am the master of the faithful and in the same sense Ali also is their master".
Among the companion of the Prophet, Abu Bakr, Omar, Abdullah bin Ja'afar, Abdullah bin Abbas, Salmdn Fdrsi, Jdbir bin Abdullah Al-Ansari, Abu Saeed Khudri, Zaid bin Arqam, Abu Ayyub Ansari,
Qais bin Sa'ad bin Ubada, Hassdn bin Tha- bit and Ammar bin Yasir have also considered the meaning of the word 'Mawla' to be the master who holds the greatest right of disposal.
Among the religious heads and scholars Moha- mmad bin Saib Kalbi (deceased 146 A.H.), Yahya bin Ziad Kufi (deceased 207 A.H.), Abu Obaida Basri (deceased 210 A. H.), Abul Hasan Akfash Na- hwi (deceased 215 A.H.),
Abu Zaid bin Aus Basri (deceased 125 A.H.), Ibne Qutaiba Deenwari (de- ceased 276 A.H.), Abul Abbas Salab Shaibani (de- ceased 291 A.H.),
Abu Bakr Anbari (deceased 328 A.H.), Abul Hasan Rummani (deceased 384 A.H.), Abul Hasan Wahidi (deceased 468 A.H.), Sa'ad- Uddin Taftazani (deceased 791 A.H.), Shahab- Uddin Khafaji (deceased 1069 A.H.),
Hamzawi Maliki (deceased 1303 A.H.). Abu Is'haq Salabi (deceased 427 A.H.), Husain Bin Mas'ud (decea- sed 510 A.H.), Jarullah Zamakhshari (deceased 538 A.H.), Abu Baqa Ukbari (deceased 616 A.H.), Qazi Nasiruddin Baizawi (deceased 692 A.H.), Alla- Uddin Khazin Baghdadi (deceased 741 A.H.), Mo- hammad bin Ismail Bukhari (deceased 215 A.H.),
Ibne Hajar Haithami (deceased 974 A.H.), Moha- mmad bin Jarir Tabari (deceased 310 A.H.), Hafiz- Uddin Nasafi (deceased 701 A.H.), Abu Sa'ud Ha- nafi (deceased 972 A.H.), Sharif Jurjani (deceased the reflections of the event of Ghadeer have con ti- nued to shed their rays throughout the wide expa- nse of the entire human civilization.
Ask the commentators of the Qur'an, contact the compilers of Hadith, interrogate the historians, inquire from the biographers, discuss with the inte lligentsia, consult the scholars and then ponder on the importance of the event of Ghadeer.
Every heart has been moved by the event of Ghadeer and every soul has been stirred by it. This event has established its authority among various religious and social groups and almost every school of thought has acknowledged its authenticity.
Ghadeer is that living truth which emerged from the horizon of history shedding its light, like the sun and the stars on every age and region. Anyone researching on Ghadeer would surely come to know that five verses of the Holy Qur'an describing this august event have been revealed vis., verse 68 of Chapter 'The Food' (Chap. 5), verse number 3 of the same chapter and three verses of chapter, 'The Ways of Ascent'.
Regarding the revelation of the first verse a summary of the research of thirty famous com- mentators is that when the caravan of the Apostle of God, while on his way from Mecca to Medina, stopped at the place of 'Khum' the archangel Gab- riel descended with the proclamation of God Almi- ghty, "O Apostle! deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord" .
Sixteen eminent scholars presenting their researches regarding the second verse write that when the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.w.) had proclaimed the succession of Ali bin Abi Talib as the Commander of the Faithful the angel assigned with the task of conveying the words of God descended with the Holy verse, 'To- day have I perfected for you your religion'.
The reason why three verses of the chapter 'The Ways of Ascent' (Chap. 70) came down is said to be that 36 Hadith bin Noaman Al-Fahri or Nazr bin Harith Al-Abdari denying the leadership of Ali had said, "If God has bestowed this exaltation on Ali and the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.w.) is correct in respect of the declaration of the leadership of Ali then I may be cursed with God's punishment".
That very moment he received chastisement and God Almighty through three-fold verses viz., 'One demanding, demanded the chastisement which must befall' preordained the universal and eternal proclamation of this great event.
The literary inve- stigations of thirty most prominent commentators of the Qur'an' and Hadith have confirmed this event.
In the same way when we look towards the origins, sources and authorities of Ghadeer we feel that the enthusiasm and spirit which the scholars, commentators and historians have shown in this connection has been exemplary. Perhaps no other event of Islamic History has been related or wri- tten with such zeal and zest. For brevity's sake only a brief statistics is presented here:-
* In the list of the narrators of the event of Ghadeer we find 110 names of the compa- nions of the Prophet Mohammad (s.a.w.w.) 1
* Among the narrators we come across the names of 84 "Tabe'in". Tabe'in (followers) were those respected persons who had not seen the Prophet, but who followed him im- mediately in time and had remained in the company of the Prophet's companions.
* If you hurriedly go through the period from the first century Hijri to the fourteenth cen- tury Hijri you will find that there are about four hundred scholars of Hadith, commen- tary, history and critism who have discussed the details of Ghadeer in their world-famed writings. About one of them, Hafiz Abul
Ya'ala Al-Attar Al-Hamdani who belonged to the fifth century Hijri. It is said that he used to relate the tradition of Ghadeer under the authority of quotations from 250 narrators. - (Al-Qawlul Fasl, Vol.I, page 545).
* During the early history of Islam the event of Ghadeer has been quoted many times, but on it has been recorded on 22 definite occasions for reference.
* About 32 full-fledged books have so far been written on the subject of Ghadeer; e.g., the famous historian and commentator Muham- mad bin Jarir Tabari has collected the tradi- tions of Ghadeer in two volumes (Tarikh Ibne Katheer, Vo1.V); and some other historians have written books on this subject in at least 29 volumes (Yanabi-ul-Mawaddah, page 36).
In every age, Ghadeer has stirred the imagina- tion of so many poets and writers. From the very inception of this event upto this day in all ages the masters of art and poetry have written in praise of Ghadeer. This event is an ever-living topic for the literary gatherings of the Orient.
A celebrated Lebanese Christian literature of our age, Polas Sald- ma has versified his feelings under the name of 'AI-Ghadeer'. This master-piece comprises 3,151 couplets and it has been published by Al-Nasr Press, Beirut.
Allama Amini in a number of vol- umes of his celebrated book 'Al-Ghadeer' has dealt with the poems and literary works relating to this event and it is considered to be a scholarly work.
I mpressed by the extra-ordinary fame and importance of the event of Ghadeer no less a scho- lar that the famous Allama Zia-Uddin Muqbibi (deceased 1108 A.H.) had to decide that 'if the tradition of Ghadeer is not considered to be well- known then no aspect of the religion of Islam can be traced and proved'. 2
Abu Reihdn Al-Biruni, Sa'alebi, Ibne Talh'a Shafeyi, Ibne Khallekan and Mas'udi have regarded the day of Ghadeer among the big days of rejoi cings of the Islamic world.
For reference books, Al-A'sarul Baqiya, page 334; Thamaratul Quluob, page 511; Matalibus-Su'ul, page 53; Al-Wafiyat, Vol.II, page 223; and Al-Tanbeeh wal Ishraf, page 221, can be consulted.
Muhaqqiq Al-Kulaini (dece- ased 329 A.H.) in his valuable writing 'Usul-e-Kafi' narrates from Sahl bin Ziad that it was enquired from Hazrat Imam Ja'afar Sadiq (a.s.) whether there is any other day of rejoicing in the Islamic world besides the days of rejoicings of Friday, Eid Al-Azha and Eid Al-Fitr. The great Imam said, "Yes, the most revered -one".
The questioner as- ked, "Which celebration is it?" The reply was, "When the Apostle of God appointed the Comma- nder of the Faithful as his successor and procla- imed 'whose master I am Ali also is his master' ". When asked about the date the Imam replied, "Eighteenth of the month of Zilhaj".
When fur- ther asked as to what the Muslims should do on this auspicious day the Imam said, "Keep fast on this day, busy yourselves in prayers, devote your- selves to the service of God. It is also essential to remember and narrate the virtue of Prophet Moha- mmad (s.a.w.w.) and his Descendants because the Prophet had asked Ali to observe the day of Gha- deer as a day of rejoicings.
The conduct of all the Prophets had been to declare the day of appoint- ment of their successors to be the day of rejoi- cings".
1- It is necessary to mention that this Hadith (tradition) is ' Mutawatir' (i.e. narrated by so many people that no doubt can be entertained about its authenticity);
and the late Allama Amini in a number of volumes of his celebrated book 'Al-Ghadeer' (of which eleven volumes have been published so far) has given with full refe- rences the names of 110 famous companions of the Holy Prophet; who have narrated this Hadith.
Just to give an example, I am enumerating the names given un- der letter 'Alif'. (The years of deaths are given in brac- kets):-
1) Abu Laila Ansari (37 A.H.); 2) Abu Zainab bin Awf Ansari; 3) Abu Fudhala Ansari (38 A.H.); 4) Abu Qu- dama Ansari; 5) Abu Umra bin Amr bin Muhassan An- sari; 6) Abul-Haitham bin At-Taihan (37 A.H.); 7) Abu Rafey Qibti, the slave of the Holy Prophet; 8) Abu Dhu- waib Khuwailad (or Khalid) bin Khalid Al-Hadhli;
9) Usama bin Zaid bin Haritha (54 A.H.); 10 Ubay bin Ka'ab Ansari (30 or 32 A.H.); 11) As'as bin Zurara Ansari; 12) Asma bint Umais; 13) Ummu Salma, wife of the Holy Prophet; 14) Ummu Hani bint Abi Talib;
1 5) Abu Hamza Anas bin Malik Ansari; 16) Abu Bakr bin Abi Qahafa; and, of course, Abu Huraira.
2- If a Hadith is 'Mutawatir', there is no need to look at individual 'Asnad' (documents) at all. Still to show the hollowness of this charge, I would like to give here opi- nions of some of the famous traditionalist.
a) Hafidh Abu Isa Tirmidhi has said in his 'Sahih' (one "This isof Sihah Sitta) that a Hasan and Sand, (correct) Hadith".
b) Hafidh Abu Ja'afar Tahawi has said in 'Mushkil-ul-Athar:
"So, this Hadith is Sahih (correct) according to 'Asnad' and no one has said anything against its narrators" c) Abu Abdillah Hakim Neshapuri has narrated this Hadith from several chains in 'Mustadrak' and has said that this Hadith is Sahih (correct).
dl Abu Muhammad.Ahmad bin Muhammad Asimi has said in 'Zainul Fata' "This Hadith is accepted by Ummah and it is confir- ming to the Usool".
Likewise, the following traditionalists (among hundreds of others) have said that this Hadith is Sahih (correct):-
1) Abu Abdillah Mahamili Baghdadi in his 'Amali'; 2) Hafidh ibn Abdil Bar Qartabi in 7sti ab'; 3) Ibn-ul- Maghazili Shafi'i in 'Manaqib'; , 4) Ghazali in 'Sirrul- Alamin'; 5) Abul-Faraj ibn Jauzi in his 'Manaqib'; 6) Sibt ibn Jauzi in ' Tadhkira'; 7) Ibn Abil Hadid Mu'- tazili in his 'Sharh-e-Nahjul-Baldgha'; 8) Abu Abdillah Ganji Shafi'i in 'Kifaya'; 9) Alauddin Semnani in 'Al- Urwatul-Wuthqa; 10) Ibn Hajar Asqalani in 'Tahzibut- Tahzib'; 11) Ibn Katheer Demashqi in his 'Tarikh'; 12) Jalaluddin Suyuti; 13) Qastalani in 'Mawahib'; 1 4)Ibn Hajar Makki in 'Sawa'iq'; 15) Abdul-Haq Dehlawi in 'Sharhul-Mishkat' and many others.
Adapted from the book: "Ghadeer Khum Where The Religion Was Brought To Perfection" by: "I.H Najafi"
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