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The Tradition of Ghadir and Its Continuity (Part 1)

From the book: Imamate and Khilafat

Another argument of the Shi’ah is the tradition of Ghadir. Khwaja Nasiruddin says that the Tradition of Ghadir is mutawatir. Mutawatir is a technical term. A tradition may either be mutawatir (continuous) or khabar wahid (isolated). An isolated tradition does not mean that it has been reported only by one person. It is a tradition which has not been reported in a convincing way. It is immaterial whether it has been reported by one person or by ten. For example, somebody says that he has heard such and such report from the radio. You think that he is right, but you still want to see what others say. If the report is confirmed by someone else, you are a little more convinced. When you see that many others say the same thing, you become sure that there is no chance that all of them may be telling a lie. The number of the reporters of a continuous tradition must be so large that there should be no possibility of their conspiring.
In the above example it is possible that ten persons conspire to say that they have heard the particular report from the radio. Even 200 persons may combine. But there are cases in which there is no such possibility. For example, you go to South Africa and find a person saying that the radio has broadcast such and such report. Then you go to East Africa and again find some persons reporting the same thing. Then you go to West Africa and the same story is repeated. In this case you cannot say that all these persons have conspired to tell a lie. This is called tawatur or continuity.
The Shi’ah claim that the tradition (hadith) of Ghadir has been reported by so many people that any conspiracy is out of question. For example in the case of the tradition of Ghadir we cannot say that 40 companions of the Holy Prophet had conspired to tell a lie, especially when we see that many of them were hostile to Imam Ali, or at least were not friendly with him.
Had these reporters been of the type of Salman, Abuzar and Miqdad, who dearly loved and followed Imam Ali, it would have been possible to suspect that because of their excessive attachment to Imam Ali they combined to invent a story. The people like Qushchi allege that this tradition is an isolated report, but the Shi’ah say emphatically that it is continuous. According to this tradition, the
Holy Prophet addressing the audience, said: "Do I not have more authority over you than you yourselves have?" All said: "Yes, you have." Then he said: "This Ali is the master of him, whose master I am". The Holy Prophet wanted to affirm that Ali was as superior to others as he himself was.
There is another tradition, which is also continuous according to Khwaja Nasiruddin, but Mulla Ali Qushchi says that it is isolated, although even he does not deny its substance. Regarding this tradition also scholars like Mir Hamid Hussein, the author of the 'Abaqat and Allama Amini, the author of al-Ghadir have paid much attention. Mir Hamid Hussein has devoted one full book to it. This tradition is known as the tradition of Manzilat.

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