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Further Evidence of the Significance of the Tradition of al-Ghadir

The First Evidence:

The Prophet Muhammad (s) asked the people before appointing Imam Ali as guardian by saying, "Am I not worthier of your selves than you are?" Then he said: "Of whomsoever I had been guardian, Ali here is to be his guardian."

The Prophet, in getting them to confess that he (s) is worthier of themselves than they are, before he said, 'Of whomsoever I had been guardian, Ali here is to be his guardian,' clarifies one of two things: either (1) to confirm the matter and that they confessed to. In this case the following would therefore become a fact which would be that Mawla, then, means worthier and nothing else. Thus the Prophet's saying would mean, "am I not worthier of your selves than you are? Whoever's self I had been worthier than, Ali here is to be worthier of his self than he is." Or (2) forcing them not to deny what he (s) wanted after this by appointing Ali a commander and a ruler over them. Therefore, Mawla, here, means authority and leadership and nothing else. In both cases, the hadith means that Imam Ali (a) had the right to dispose of their affairs and that they had to obey him and not to prevent him from this.

Moreover, Many Sunni and Shiite scholars have quoted the Prophet's saying, 'Of whomsoever I had been guardian, Ali here is to be his guardian,' after his saying, 'Am I not worthier of your selves than you are?' with slight differences in wording. Here are the names of some of such scholars:

1. Abu Hatim

2. Abu Musa

3. Abu Na'im

4. Abu Ya'la

5. Abul-Faraj

6. Ad-Darqutni

7. Ahmad bin Hanbal

8. Al-Aasimi

9. Al-Anbari

10. Al-Ayji

11. Al-Badkhashi

12. Al-Bayhaqi

13. Al-Bayzaawi

14. Al-Hakim

15. Al-Halabi

16. Al-Hamawini

17. Al-Hasakani

18. Al-Haythami

19. Al-Jazari

20. Al-Kanji

21. Al-Khal'i

22. Al-Khatib

23. Al-Khawarizmi

24. Al-Maqrizi

25. Al-Maybadi

26. Al-Mulla

27. Al-Qati'i

28. Al-Wassabi

29. An-Nisaa'i

30. Ash-Sharif

31. Ash-Shaybani

32. Ash-Shaykhani

33. As-Saharniwari

34. As-Sajistani

35. As-Sam'ani

36. As-Samhudi

37. As-Suyuti

38. Asilud-Din

39. Ath-Tha'labi

40. Ath-Thahabi

41. At-Tabarani

42. At-Tabari

43. At-Taftazani

44. At-Tahawi

45. At-Tirmidhi

46. Az-Zarandi

47. Gazz Aughli

48. Ibn Asaakir

49. Ibn Batta

50. Ibn Hajar

51. Ibn Hajar al-Makki

52. Ibn Kathir

53. Ibn Maja

54. Ibn Uqda

55. Ibnul-Athir

56. Ibnul-Maghazili

57. Ibnus-Sabbagh

58. Ibnus-Samaan

59. Kamalud-Din

60. Muhibud-Din

61. Shihabud-Din

62. Waliyyud-Din

63. Zia'ud-Din

The Second Evidence:

The second evidence is the Prophet's supplication to Allah for Imam Ali (a) by saying, "O Allah, be a supporter of whoever supports him and an enemy of whoever opposes him, and help whoever helps him and betray whoever betrays him." This is mentioned at the end of the hadith in many forms. It shows that the matter that the Prophet (s) had conveyed concerning Ali (a) needed help and support and that Imam Ali would have enemies and betrayers. In addition, it shows that Imam Ali (a) was infallible for he did not set about doing anything unless it was for the sake of Allah's pleasure.

The Third Evidence:

Various narratives show that the Qur'anic verse (This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favour on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion. 5:3) had been revealed for this occasion. That which is a cause for perfecting the religion and completing the Divine favor upon the Muslims must be among the principles of the religion. A principle by which the order of life and religion would be completed and through which the efforts of the Muslims would be accepted. Some narrations of the hadith mentioned in some books confirm this point. They attest that the Prophet (s), after telling this hadith continued by saying, "Allah is the greatest for the perfection of this religion and the completion of the favor, and for His contentment with my mission and the guardianship of Ali bin Abu Talib." In other narratives, the following form is recorded: "…and the perfection of Allah's religion by Ali's guardianship after me."

The Fourth Evidence:

Many narratives show that the Qur'anic verse (O Apostle! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people. 5:67,) was revealed for this occasion (Ghadir Khum), too. The verse showed the importance of this matter and it compared leaving this matter (informing of Ali's guardianship) with leaving the Islamic mission as a whole. It also showed that it was a principle of religion, but it was not about Divine Unity, prophecy or resurrection that the Prophet (s) had informed of at the beginning of his mission. Nothing remained except the imamate of Ali (a), which the Prophet was hesitant to convey because he was afraid of the people. Therefore, Allah says, Allah will protect you from the people. (5:67)

The Fifth Evidence:

Many narratives have been mentioned in the reference books of hadith concerning the Qur'anic verse, "This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favour on you," (5:3). They have explained that it had been revealed after the event of al-Ghadir in which the Prophet (s) informed that Ali would be the guardian of Muslims. Likewise, the verse showed that the perfection of the religion and the completion of the Divine favor of Islam were achieved through the conveyance of Ali's guardianship and imamate.

The Sixth Evidence:

The Prophet (s) said in some narrations of this tradition, "Allah had sent me with a mission, which my heart was unable to bear and I thought that the people would not believe me. Then Allah threatened me with Divine torment if I did not convey it."

The Seventh Evidence:

This hadith has confirmed in many ways, that the Prophet (s) uttered this honorable saying after he had gotten the people to confess the Oneness of Allah and the Prophecy of Muhammad (s). This fact shows that this matter was very important for Islam and was considered as one of the fundamentals of faith.

The Eighth Evidence:

Before he had conveyed this important matter, the Prophet (s) had said: "I am about to be called (to die) and I am to respond."

This shows that the Prophet (s) was afraid of leaving something very important which he had to reveal before his death. It was nothing but Ali's guardianship.

The Ninth Evidence:

The Prophet (s) said after conveying the news of Ali's guardianship: "Let him who is present inform him who is absent."

This shows that he was very concerned that this matter reached all the Muslims.

The Tenth Evidence:

The Prophet (s) said after the conveying the news of Ali's guardianship: "O Allah, You are a witness that I have informed and advised."

This shows that he informed of a great and important matter which he had made the Muslims for and had acquitted himself of this great duty.

The Eleventh Evidence:

There is the factual evidence that is clear and copious confirming the purpose of this tradition. For example, when the Prophet (s) stopped in the desert in the heat of the midday sun. The narrators of Hadith and historians mention that it was so hot that some people had to put cloths over their heads, some had covered their heads with their saddlebags, some sat in the shade of their camels and others sat in the shade of the rocks. Then the Prophet (s) asked his Companions to erect a high platform of camel saddles and stones in order to see over all Muslims who were about seventy, eighty or one hundred thousand as some historians have said.
The Prophet (s) ordered the Muslims who had gone ahead to return and those who had been behind to halt.

Then he (s) took Ali with him up the platform, held his hand, and raised it until the white of the Prophet's armpit appeared to the lookers.

The Twelfth Evidence:

People paid homage to Imam Ali (a); shook hands with him, and congratulated both him and the Prophet. It was mentioned that Umar bin al-Khattab was the first to congratulate him. The hadith of Umar's congratulation of Imam Ali has come down to us in more than sixty different forms. Abu Sa'id an-Neisaburi (died in 407 A.H.) mentioned in his book Sharaful-Mustafa about the event of Ghadir according to a tradition narrated by Ahmad bin Hanbal from al-Bara' bin Aazib and another one narrated by Abu Sa'id al-Khudri, that the Prophet (s) said: "Congratulate me! Congratulate me! For Allah has favored me with Prophecy and favored my family with Imamate." Then Umar bin al-Khattab met Imam Ali and said: "May you be blest, you have become my guardian and the guardian of every believer; men and women."

At-Tabari mentioned in his book al-Wilayah a tradition narrated by Zayd bin Arqam that the Prophet Muhammad (s) had said, "Say that we have given a vow from ourselves and a word from our tongues and a homage with our hands which we pass on to our offspring and to our families. We will never change that…"

The author of Rawzatus-Safa mentioned in vol. 1 p. 173, that Prophet Muhammad (s) sat in a tent and let Imam Ali sit in another. He ordered people to congratulate Imam Ali in his tent. When the men had finished congratulating Imam Ali, the Prophet (s) ordered his wives to go and congratulate Imam Ali.

Al-Ghazali said in his book Sirrul-Aalameen, in the Fourth Essay: ((The fact was crystal clear and the public had unanimously agreed on with the content of the Prophet's speech when he said on that Day in Ghadir Khum: "Of whomsover I had been guardian, Ali here is to be his guardian."

Umar then said: "Excellent, O Abul-Hasan (Imam Ali's surname)! You have become my guardian as well as that of every believer; man and woman."

Thus there was acceptance, approval and the appointment of his leadership. But later on this right was defeated by the passion for being in charge, for bearing the title of the caliphate, for the waving of ensigns and the snorting of horses in the wars and for conquering countries. All of this made them drink the cup of vanity and go back to the first discord. They threw the right behind their backs and sold it for a little price, and what a bad thing they had bought!))

The Thirteenth Evidence:

The incident of al-Harith bin an-Nu'Man al-Fihri is another piece of evidence. It has been mentioned by many historians, one of which was ath-Tha'labi in his Tafsir.

The Prophet (s) in Ghadir Khum, called for people to gather, then he took Ali's hand, and said: "Of whomsoever I had been guardian, Ali here is to be his guardian."

The news spread everywhere and reached al-Harith bin an-Nu'man al-Fihri. He came on his camel until he reached a place called al-Abtah. He rode off and hobbled his camel. He came to the Prophet (s) with some of Companions and said: "O Muhammad, you had ordered us, from Allah, to witness that there is no god but Allah and that you are His Messenger and we accepted. And you had ordered us to pray five times a day and we accepted. And you had ordered us to go to Mecca to perform the Hajj and we accepted. All of that did not please you until you raised your cousin's hand to prefer him among us and you said, of whomsoever I had been guardian Ali here is to be his guardian! Is this from you or from Allah?" The Prophet (s) said: "I swear by Allah other than Whom there is no other god, that this is from none other but Allah."

Al-Harith went towards his camel saying: "O Allah, if what Muhammad said was true then let the heavens shower us with stones or bring us painful torment." Before he could reach his camel, Allah hurled a stone at him that descended upon the crown of his head and exited out from the other side and killed him.

It was mentioned in many traditions that the Qur'anic verses: One demanding demanded the chastisement, which must befall the unbelievers… (70:1-3), had been revealed for this occasion.

The Fourteenth Evidence:

Hasan bin Thabit asked permission from the Prophet (s) to describe the event in poetry. His poems have been repeatedly narrated and mentioned in both Sunni and Shiite books. Hasan wrote:
Their Apostle called upon them on the Day of Ghadir Khum,

What a caller he was, the best.

He said, "Who is your guardian and who is your Apostle?"

They said, and no one refrained

"Your Allah is our Guardian and you are our Apostle,

You will not find anyone of us disobedient."

Then he said "O Ali, rise.

I have chosen you to be Imam and a guide after me.

Of him whose guardian was I, this is to be his guardian.

Be, for him, followers truthful."

Then he prayed "O Allah, help whoever helps him,

And be an enemy for Ali's enemy."

Ibnu-al Jawzi and Abu Abdullah al-Kanji ash-Shafi'ee said that the Prophet (s) said after hearing that poem, "O Hasan, you are still aided by Holy Spirit whenever you strive for us with your tongue."
Qays bin Ubada al-Ansari said the following poem in the presence of Imam Ali during the battle of Siffin,

I said, when the enemy had oppressed us,

'It is enough for us to rely on Allah, our Guardian,

And Ali, our Imam and our standard bearer,'

As it had been revealed in the Holy Qur'an.

When the Prophet said, Of whomsoever I had been guardian,

This is to be his guardian, great and honorable.

The Fifteenth Evidence:

Imam Ali came to the courtyard of Kufa Mosque while the people were gathered there and asked about this tradition in order to refute his dissenters in the matter of caliphate. He said: "I ask anyone to bear witness before Allah if he had heard the Prophet say, on that day in Ghadir Khum,"Of whomsoever I had been guardian, Ali here is to be his guardian." Some people then stood up and testified.

Accounts of Imam Ali's urgent appeal spread so widely that it reached a degree of wide transmission. Al-Hamawini said in his book Fara'id as-Samtein, "Zayd bin Arqam, al-Bara' bin Aazib, Salman and Abu Dharr stood up and said, 'We testify that we remember that the Prophet Muhammad (s) was on the pulpit when he said: "O people, Allah ordered me to appoint your Imam who is in charge of your affairs after me to be my inheritor and successor. He is to be obeyed by all believers according to Allah's order as in the Qur'an. Allah made obedience to him as same as obedience to me and He ordered you to take him as guardian… etc.

The Sixteenth Evidence:

Some books on hadith have expressed the occurrence of this event as a nomination. The Prophet Muhammad (s) had nominated Imam Ali as guardian. It is clear that such a nomination was not just to show love for some physical object.

Adapted from the book: "Spurious Arguments about the Shia" by: "Abu Talib at-Tabrizi"

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