The Event of Ghadīr (Arabic: واقعة الغدير), according to Shi'a beliefs, is among the most important events in the history of Islam, in which on his return from Hajjat al-Wida', the Prophet (s) introduced Imam Ali (a) as his vicegerent and people's guardian after himself at a place called Ghadir Khum, where everyone including greatest companions pledged their allegiance with Imam Ali (a).
This introduction was according to divine command in al-Tabligh Verse which was revealed a little earlier than Dhu l-Hijja 18, 10/March 19, 632 commanding the Prophet (s) to communicate to people whatever has been revealed to him and if he does not, it is as if he has not fulfilled his mission. Subsequently, al-Ikmal Verse was revealed saying: "Today I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam as your religion."
The Infallibles (a) have referred to al-Ghadir Sermon and many poets -from the time of Imam Ali (a) onward- have composed poems about this event. Among the most prominent works about the Event of Ghadir and al-Ghadir Sermon is al-Ghadir fi l-kitab wa l-sunna wa l-adab by al-'Allama al-Amini. The Prophet (s) and other infallibles (a) have called this day "Eid" (Holy Day) and Muslims, especially the Shi'a, celebrate it. (See Eid al-Ghadir)
The Prophet (s) moved from Medina to Mecca on Dhu l-Qa'da 24 or 25, 10/February 632 accompanied by thousands of people (some even mentioned this number more up to 120 thousand people). This hajj of the Prophet (s) was also called Hajjat al-Wida' (farewell Hajj), Hajjat al-Islam, and Hajjat al-Balagh. In that month, Imam Ali (a) was in Yemen for preaching Islam and when he was informed about the Prophet's (s) hajj, he (a) also moved towards Mecca together with some people and joined the Prophet (s) before rituals began. When rituals of hajj finished, the Prophet (s) left Mecca for Medina together with other Muslims.
Muslims arrived at Ghadir Khum on Thursday Dhu l-Hijja 18, 10/March 19, 632, but before the people of Syria, Egypt and Iraq leave for their own countries, Jabra'il (Gabriel) revealed al-Tabligh Verse to the Prophet (s) when God ordered the Prophet (s) to introduce Ali (a) as his vicegerent and guardian to people.
After revelation of the verse, the Prophet (s) ordered the caravan to stop and ordered those who have passed Ghadir Khum return and wait until those who had not yet arrived there join them.
After performing noon prayer, the Prophet (s) made a speech which became famous as Ghadir Sermon. In that speech, the Prophet (s) said, "Praise belongs only to God and we ask Him for help and we believe in Him and take refuge to Him from the evil of our selves and ugliness of our actions… God, the Merciful and All-Knower informed me that I will be called (to Him) soon and I will submit to (His call)… I will come to the pond of Kawthar before you do and you come to me beside it; so beware about how you treat Thiqlayn (two great things); al-Thiql al-Akbar, the greater one is the Book of God and the other is my household."
Then, the Prophet (s) raised 'Ali's (a) hand so that people could see him and then said, "O people! Am I not more deserved to your guardianship than you yourselves?" and people answered, "yes, O Prophet (s)!" Then, the Prophet (s) said, "God is my guardian and I am the guardian of the believers and I am more deserved for your guardianship than you for yourselves. Therefore, anyone whose guardian is me, then 'Ali (a) is his guardian." The Prophet (s) repeated this sentence three times and said, "O God! Befriend and be the guardian of whom befriends 'Ali (a) and considers me his guardian and be the enemy of those who is his enemy. Help anyone who helps him and leave anyone who abandons him." Then, he (s) addressed people and said, "Those who are here ought to deliver this message to those who are absent."
People had not scattered yet, when Gabriel came to the Prophet (s) once more and revealed the third verse of Qur'an 5 to the Prophet (s) which is known as the al-Ikmal Verse. A part of the verse reads, "Today, I have perfected your religion for you, and I have completed My blessing upon you, and I have approved Islam as your religion." (Qur'an 5:3)
Then, people congratulated Imam Ali (a) including Abu Bakr and 'Umar who repeatedly said, "Happy for you O son of Abu Talib (a)! You are my Wali (guardian) and the Wali of every believing man and woman."
The Prophet (s) ordered that a tent was erected for Ali (a) and ordered people to go to him group by group and salute him as the Commander of the Faithful (a); and all people, even the wives of the Prophet (s) and other women followed this order."
There is disagreement regarding the number of audience in the event of Ghadir Khum. They have been mentioned 10 thousand, 12 thousand, 17 thousand or 70 thousand people.
Regarding the capacity of the area in Ghadir Khum, the population of Medina in 10/632 and also the number of people who went to hajj in farewell Hajj, the least number reported which is 10 thousand people is more credible.
The narration of Ghadir has been mentioned in both Shi'a and Sunni sources and some parts of the Prophet's (s) speech are more frequently quoted such as "anyone whose guardian is me, then Ali (a) is his guardian." The Sahaba and many of the Followers have reported the event.
Narrators of the hadith of Ghadir are many including:
Ahl al-Bayt (a), i.e. Imam Ali (a), Lady Fatima (a), Imam al-Hasan (a) and Imam al-Husayn (a) Then a number of 110 Companions of the Prophet (s) can be seen including, 'Umar b. al-Khattab, 'Uthman b. 'Affan, Aisha bt. Abi Bakr, Salman al-Farsi, Abu Dhar al-Ghifari, Zubayr b. 'Awam, Jabir b. 'Abd Allah al-Ansari, 'Abbas b. 'Abd al-Muttalib, Abu Hurayra, etc. who were all present in Ghadir Khum and narrated the event directly.
Also, the event has been reported by 83 of the Followers including, Asbagh b. Nubata and 'Umar b. 'Abd al-Aziz, the Umayyad caliph.
Then, it also can be seen reported by 360 Sunni scholars of 2nd to 4th/8th to 10th century including, the leader of Shafi'ites, Hanbalites, Ahmad b. Shu'ayb al-Nasa'i, Ibn al-Maghazili, Ahmad b. 'Abd Allah and Ahmad b. 'Abd Rabbih.
Also, many Shi'a hadith scholars have narrated the hadith of Ghadir including al-Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Sharif al-Murtada, etc.
Many scholars consider hadith of Ghadir as Hasan and some considers it Sahih. Also, all Shi'a hadith scholars and some great Sunni scholars consider this hadith as Mutawatir [frequently narrated].
Shi'a and Sunni exegetes believe that some verses in the Qur'an are about the event of Ghadir and have been revealed to the Prophet (s) in Hajjat al-Wida'.
Imam Ali (a) said, "O Muslims, Muhajir and the Ansar! Did not you hear that the Prophet (s) said this and that on the Day of Ghadir Khum?" Everyone said, "yes!"
Lady Fatima (a) said, "It is as if you do not know what the Prophet (s) said on the day of Ghadit Khum! I swear to God, the Prophet (s) appointed and upheld the position of Wilaya and Imamate for Ali (a) to avoid your greed to take it."
Imam al-Hasan (a) said, "Muslims saw the Prophet (s) and heard him when he (s) took my father's hand on the Day of Ghadir, when he (s) addressed them, 'anyone whose guardian is me, then Ali (a) is his guardian.'"
Imam al-Husayn (a) said, "The Prophet (s) raised Ali (a) through all good manners and when strengthened Ali's (a) soul, appointed him for Imamate and on the Day of Ghadir said, 'anyone whose guardian is me, then Ali (a) is his guardian.'"
Imam al-Rida (a) said, "Day of Ghadir is more famous among the dwellers of skies than the people of the earth… if people knew the value of this day, the angels would undoubtedly shake hands with them 10 times a day."
|1st century||2nd century||3rd century||4th century||5th century||6th century||7th century||8th century||9th century||10th century||11th century|
|Imam Ali (a)||Abu l-Mustahal Kumayt||Abu Tamam al-Ta'i||Ibn Tabataba'i Isfahani||al-Sharif al-Radi||Abu l-Hasan Fanjkurdi||Abu l-Hasan al-Mansur Bi Allah||Ibn Dawud al-Hilli||Ibn al-'Arandus al-Hilli||Ibrahim b. al-Kaf'ami||Ibn Abi Shafayn al-Bahrani|
|Hassan b. Thabit||al-Sayyid al-Himyari||Di'bil al-Khuza'i||Ibn Alawiyya Isfahani||al-Sayyid al-Murtada||Akhtab al-Khwarazmi||Majd al-Din b. Jamil||Jamal al-Din al-Kha'i||Ibn Daghir al-Hilli||'Izz al-Din al-'Amili||Zayn al-Din Hamidi|
|Qays al-Ansari||Abdi al-Kufi||Abu Isma'il Alawi||Mufajja'||Mahyar al-Daylami||Qadi b. Qadus||Abu l-Hasan al-Jazzaz||Sariji Awali||Hafiz Barsi al-Hilli||al-Shaykh Husayn al-Karaki|
|'Amr b. 'As||Wamiq al-Nasrani||Abu Qasim Sinowbari||Abu 'Ali Basir||Abu al-Gharat Malik Salih||Qadi Nizam al-Din||Safi al-Din al-Halli||Diya' al-Din al-Hadi||al-Shaykh al-Baha'i|
|Muhammad Himyari||Ibn Rumi||Abu Firas al-Hamdani||Abu al-'Ali Mu'arri||Qutb al-Din al-Rawandi||Shams al-Din Mahfuz b. Washshah||al-Shaybani al-Shafi'i||al-Hasan Al Abi 'Abd al-Karim||al-Hurr al-'Amili|
|Hamani Afwa||Abu Najib Tahir||Ibn Jubar Misri||Abu al-Ma'ali al-Qadi Jalis||Baha' al-Din al-Irbili||Shams al-Din al-Maliki||Husayn b. Shihab al-Karaki|
Muslims, especially Shi'a have always regarded the Day of Ghadir as one of the greatest Eids and this day is known to them as Eid al-Ghadir.
It has been esteemed so much that making allegiance with Musta'li b. Mustansar (an Egyptian ruler) was held on the Eid Ghadir Khum 487/1094. Also, it is narrated by Sunni scholars that anyone who fasts 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah, (which is the day of Eid Ghadir Khum) God will reward him equal to the reward of 6 months of fasting. The eve of Ghadir Khum is also celebrated among Muslims.
The Prophet (s) said, "Day of Ghadir Khum is the greatest Eid of my people and that is the day when God perfected religion, and completed His blessing upon my people, and approved Islam as their religion."
Also, Imam al-Sadiq (a) said, "Day of Ghadir Khum is a great Eid of God. God has not chosen a prophet unless He has regarded that day an Eid and has glorified it; and the name of this day is the "Day of Promise" in the skies and the "Day of Covenant" and Public Attendance on the earth."