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The last Prophet’s pilgrimage to Mecca

Hajj is a collective ritual that is fulfilled by the Muslims with the intent of achieving unity and accord among them.

This Islamic congress is effective on strengthening the relations among the Muslims to solve the difficulties by cooperation and helping each other to better their political economical relations. But, regretfully, nowadays the Muslims do not get the benefit of what the Holy Lawgiver willed for them. It is because of the negligence of some leaders of the Islamic countries.

At any rate, according to the Prophet's command, all the tribes of Arabia were informed that if they wished to take part in hajj with the Prophet they should gathered in Medina.

It was a didactic journey, neither military nor politico-economic. The Prophet gave his noteworthy lecture to the people when he arrived at Arafat (a sacred place in Mecca).

I think it is necessary to show the readers some passages of it because it indicates the rights and the duties of people towards each other. It is still new after fourteen centuries.

The Prophet said: “O people, listen to me; you will never see me here again. Be careful not to trample upon other's rights. You have to regard the lives and the properties of people. You have not to pursue anybody for spite and vengeance. Killing and marauding, which occurred frequently before the advent of Islam must be forgotten forever. It is important for you to know that usury is an ill-gotten profit in Islam and the wealth which has been obtained by this way should be paid back to their owners. Surely the usurer will be punished hard on the Day of Resurrection.”

Then he added: “You have to note that husbands have a prerogative upon their wives that should be considered by women and husbands ought to treat their wives kindly. Wives are a deposit from God near husbands. You have to administer justice among them and be true to your promise in regard to your wives.

You, men, have also the rights on your wives. They are not to receive any one in their houses without your permission. They must not commit any offence in the absence of their husbands. You, the husbands, have to provide for your wives safety and welfare if they turned back from the wrong way. You are hereby notified that all the queer habits and opinions of the pagan age are cancelled and I do warn you of their falseness.”

Finally the rite of hajj came to an end and the Muslims learnt its formalities, in general and particular, at the presence of the Prophet. They determined on going back towards Medina.

The story of Ghadir Khumm

The Prophet, on his way back, got at a place named Ghadir Khumm where the Arab tribes separated from each other to start off towards their dwellings.

At this time a verse was revealed to the Prophet saying: (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; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people) 5:67.

The verse purported that the Prophet (s) had been charged with a great duty previously but he was afraid of people's mischief to reveal it.

The Prophet ordered that those, who had gotten ahead, to come back and those, who were late to hurry to the place.

When all the pilgrims gathered, the Prophet went up a pulpit, which was made of camels' saddles. After praising God he said: “Am I not closer to you than you to yourselves?” These saying indicated to the Holy Qur’anic verse: (The Prophet is closer to the Believers than their own selves) 33:6. The present people said: “Yes, you are.”

Afterward the Prophet grasped Ali (s) by the arm and said: “Whomsoever I am his guardian, here is Ali to be his guardian.”

Then he prayed to God and said: “O Allah, be a supporter of whoever supports him (Ali) and an enemy of whoever opposes him”. He added: “I and Ali have come into being from the same origin but the others have come from different origins.”

Imam Ali (s) was hereby introduced as the Prophet's successor and all those present people, who were more than one hundred thousand, congratulated him and shook hands with him especially Umar ibn al-Khattab, rejoiced more than the others. He said to Ali: “'Well-done, well-done! You became my guardian and the guardian of every believing man and believing woman.”

More than three hundred and fifty great Sunni scholars 14 mentioned this tradition. Some of them researched this subject in independent books.

Some scholars thought that this verse was revealed when the hajj was all over in Mecca but some others 15 thought that it was revealed in Ghadir Khumm to show the willingness of God in appointing Imam Ali (s) as the leader of the believers after the Prophet.

According to the Shia opinion, the imamate (caliphate after the Prophet) is a divine rank and as the prophets were chosen among the best and wisest people, the imam also should be chosen in the same way among the innocent and pious men.

The caliph must be able to clarify the vague problems and could answer the scientific questions of religion, which were brought forth for discussion, without falling into error, because the caliphate was indeed an integral part of the prophethood.

Therefore God knew better which one was well-qualified to the task.

The said tradition and the following short story are convincing evidences for the Shia to prove the immediate succession of Imam Ali (s) after the Prophet's death.

One day a beggar came into the mosque of Medina and asked for alms. He repeated his request several times but no one granted him anything. ibn Muhammad al-Koofi (ibn Oqda) in his al-Wilaya, ibn Haddad al-Hasakani in his al-Wilaya and many others.

Imam Ali (s) stretched his finger out while he was kneeling in offering prayer so that the beggar would take Imam Ali’s ring off his finger.

Just then a verse was revealed: (Only Allah is your lord and His apostle and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor-rate while they bow) 16 5:55.

Now by taking into consideration this Qur’anic verse and the Prophet's clear and decisive words in Ghadir Khumm, we knew that Imam Ali (s) was the rightful heir and legal successor of the Prophet (s).

Of course there are many other crucial evidences in this regard through the Holy Qur’an and the other reliable sources but this matter cannot be contained by this book and it needs an independent book by itself.

Notes:

14. Al-Fakhr ar-Razi in his book Mafateeh al-Ghayb, ath-Tha'labi in his Kashful Bayan, Jalaluddeen as-Sayooti in his ad-Durr al-Manthoor, Abu Na'eem al-Isfahani in his Hilyatul Awliya', Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, ibnul Maghazili in his Manaqib, at-Tabari in his al-Wilaya, Ahmad When those formalities of allegiance were finished, a verse was revealed: (This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion) 5:3.

15. Abul qassim al-Hasakani in his book Shawahid at-Tanzeel, sibt ibn aj-Jawzi in his Khawass al-Umma and Abu Sa'eed as-Sajistani in his al-Wilaya.

16. Al-Fakhr ar-Razi in his Tafseer, vol.3 p.p.431, Abu Ishaq ath-Tha'labi in his Kashful Bayan, az-Zamakhshari in his Kashshaf, vol.1 p.p.422, at-Tabari in his Tafseer vol.6 p.p.186, ibn Abu Shayba al-Koofi in his Tafseer, an-Nassa'ie in his Sahih, Muhammad ibn Yousuf al-Ganji ash-Shafi'ei in his Kifayatut Talib, ibn as-Sabbagh al-Maliki in his al-Fussool al-Muhimma p.p.123 and many others.

Adopted from the book : "Imam Ali (a.s.); Sunshine of Civilized Islam" by : "Muhammad Huseyn Tahmasebi"

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