Ghadir Khum (Part 1 of 3)

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The Farewell Pilgrimage


Ten years after the migration, the Messenger of Allah ordered to his close

followers to call all the people in different places to join him in his

last pilgrimage. On this pilgrimage he taught them how to perform the

pilgrimage in a correct and unified form.

This was first time that the Muslims with this magnitude gathered in one

place in the presence of their leader, the Messenger of Allah. On his way

to Mecca, more than seventy thousand people followed Prophet (PBUH&HF).

On the fourth day of Dhul-Hajjah more than one hundred thousand Muslims

had entered Mecca.


Revelation of Verse 5:67


On the 18th of Dhul-Hajjah, after completing his last pilgrimage (Hajjatul-

Widaa), Prophet was leaving Mecca toward Medina, where he and the crowd of

people reached to a place called Ghadir Khum (which is close to today's

Juhfah). It was a place where people from different provinces should say

Good bye to each other and take different routes for their home. In this

place, the following verse was revealed:

"O Apostle! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord; and

if you don't do it, you have not delivered His message (at all); and

Allah will protect you from the people ..." (Quran 5:67).

Some of Sunni references confirming that the revelation of the above verse

of Quran was right before the speech of Prophet in Ghadir Khum:

(1) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, under commentary of verse 5:67,

v12, pp 49-50, narrated on the authorities of Ibn Abbas, al-Bara Ibn

Azib, and Muhammad Ibn Ali.

(2) Asbab al-Nuzool, by al-Wahidi, p50, narrated on the authorities of

Atiyyah and Abu Sa'id al Khudri.

(3) Nuzul al-Quran, by al-Hafiz Abu Nu'aym narrated on the authorities

Abu Sa'id Khudri and Abu Rafi.

(4) al-Fusool al Muhimmah, by Ibn Sabbagh al-Maliki al-Makki, p24

(5) Durr al-Manthur, by al-Hafiz al-Suyuti, under commentary of verse 5:67

(6) Fathul Qadir, by al-Shawkani, under commentary of verse 5:67

(7) Fathul Bayan, by Hasan Khan, under commentary of verse 5:67

(8) Shaykh Muhi al-Din al-Nawawi, under commentary of verse 5:67

(9) al-Sirah al-Halabiyah, by Noor al-Din al-Halabi, v3, p301

(10) Umdatul Qari fi Sharh Sahih al-Bukhari, by al-Ayni

(11) Tafsir al-Nisaboori, v6, p194

(12) and many more such as Ibn Mardawayh, etc...

The last sentence in the above verse indicates that the Prophet (PBUH&HF)

was mindful of the reaction of his people in delivering that message but

Allah informs him not to worry, for He will protect His Messenger from



The Speech


Upon receiving the verse, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) stopped on that place (the

pond of Khum) which was extremely hot. Then he sent for all people who have

been ahead in the way, to come back and waited until all pilgrims who fell

behind, arrived and gathered. He ordered Salman (RA) to use rocks and camel

toolings to make a pulpit (minbar) so he could make his announcement. It

was around noon time in the first of the Fall, and due to the extreme heat

in that valley, people were wrapping their robes around their feet and

legs, and were sitting around the pulpit, on the hot rocks.

On this day the Messenger of Allah spent approximately five ours in this

place; three hours of which he was on the pulpit. He recited nearly one

hundred verses from The Glorious Quran, and for seventy three times

reminded and warned people of their deeds and future. Then he gave them a

long speech. The following is a part of his speech which has been widely

narrated by the Sunni traditionists:

The Messenger of Allah declared: "It seems the time approached when I

shall be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call. I am

leaving for you two precious things and if you adhere both of them,

you will never go astray after me. They are the Book of Allah and my

progeny, that is my Ahlul-Bayt. The two shall never separate from each

other until they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise)."

Then the Messenger of Allah continued: "Do I not have more right over

the believers than what they have over themselves?" People cried and

answered: "Yes, O' Messenger of God." Then Prophet (PBUH) held up the

hand of Ali and said: "Whoever I am his leader (Mawla), Ali is his


leader (Mawla). O' God, love those who love him, and be hostile to


those who are hostile to him."

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Some of the Sunni references:

(1) Sahih Tirmidhi, v2, p298, v5, p63

(2) Sunan Ibn Maja, v1, pp 12,43

(3) Khasa'is, by al-Nisa'i, pp 4,21

(4) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p129, v3, pp 109-110,116,371

(5) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, pp 84,118,119,152,330, v4, pp 281,368,370,

372,378, v5, pp 35,347,358,361,366,419 (from 40 chains of narrators)

(6) Fada'il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Hanbal, v2, pp 563,572

(7) Majma' al-Zawa'id, by al-Haythami, v9, p103 (from several transmitters)

(8) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, v12, pp 49-50

(9) Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthur, by al-Hafiz Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, v3, p19

(10) Tarikh al-Khulafa, by al-Suyuti, pp 169,173

(11) al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah, by Ibn Kathir, v3, p213, v5, p208

(12) Usdul Ghabah, by Ibn Athir, v4, p114

(13) Mushkil al-Athar, by al-Tahawi, v2, pp 307-308

(14) Habib al-Siyar, by Mir Khand, v1, part 3, p144

(15) Sawaiq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, p26

(16) al-Isabah, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v2, p509; v1, part1, p319,

v2, part1, p57, v3, part1, p29, v4, part 1, pp 14,16,143

(17) Tabarani, who narrated from companions such as Ibn Umar, Malik Ibn

al-Hawirath, Habashi Ibn Junadah, Jari, Sa'd Ibn Abi Waqqas,

Anas Ibn Malik, Ibn Abbas, Amarah,Buraydah,...

(18) Tarikh, by al-Khatib Baghdadi, v8, p290

(19) Hilyatul Awliya', by al-Hafiz Abu Nu'aym, v4, p23, v5, pp26-27

(20) al-Istiab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, Chapter of word "ayn" (Ali), v2, p462

(21) Kanzul Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v6, pp 154,397

(22) al-Mirqat, v5, p568

(23) al-Riyad al-Nadirah, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, v2, p172

(24) Dhaka'ir al-Uqba, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, p68

(25) Faydh al-Qadir, by al-Manawi, v6, p217

(26) Yanabi' al-Mawaddah, by al-Qudoozi al-Hanafi, p297

... And hundreds more. Please see part 3 for more classified references

(traditionists, historians, and commentators).

The above was just a part of speech of the Prophet (PBUH&HF). For a more

detailed speech of the Prophet, please see the end of this part.


Revelation of Verse 5:3


Immediately after the Prophet (PBUH&HF) finished his speech, the following

verse of Holy Quran was revealed:

"Today I have perfected your religion and completed my bounty upon

you, and I was satisfied that Islam be your religion." (Quran 5:3)

Some of Sunni references which mentioned the revelation of the above

verse of Quran in Ghadir Khum after the speech of the Prophet:

(1) al-Durr al-Manthur, by al-Hafiz Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, v3, p19

(2) Tarikh, by Khatib al-Baghdadi, v8, pp 290,596 from Abu Hurayra

(3) Manaqaib, by Ibn Maghazali, p19

(4) History of Damascus, Ibn Asakir, v2, p75

(5) al-Itqan, by al-Suyuti, v1, p13

(6) Manaqib, by Khawarazmi al-Hanfi, p80

(7) al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah, by Ibn Kathir, v3, p213

(8) Yanabi' al-Mawaddah, by al-Qudoozi al-Hanafi, p115

(9) Nuzul al-Quran, by al-Hafiz Abu Nu'aym narrated on the authority

Abu Sa'id Khudri.

... and more.

The above verse clearly indicates that Islam without clearing up matter of

leadership after Prophet was not complete, and completion of religion was

due to announcement of Prophet's immediate successor.


Oath of Allegiance


After his speech, the Messenger of Allah asked every body to give the oath

of allegiance to Ali (AS) and congratulate him. Among those who gave him

the oath were Umar, Abu Bakr, and Uthman. It is narrated that Umar and

Abu Bakr said:

"Well done Ibn Abi Talib! Today you became the leader (Mawla) of all

believing men and women."

Sunni references:

(1) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v4, p281

(2) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, v12, pp 49-50

(3) Mishkat al-Masabih, by al-Khatib al-Tabrizi, p557

(4) Habib al-Siyar, by Mir Khand, v1, part3, p144

(5) Kitabul Wilayah, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari

(6) al-Musannaf, by Ibn Abi Shaybah

(7) al-Musnad, by Abu Ya'ala

(8) Hadith al-Wilayah, by Ahmad Ibn `Uqdah

(9) Tarikh, by Khatib al-Baghdadi, v8, pp 290,596 from Abu Hurayra

... and more.


The Number of People in Ghadir Khum


It was Allah's will that an increased popularity is associated with this

tradition via the tongs of narrators and over the times. So that there is a

standing proof for the guiding Imam (peace be upon him). Allah ordered His

Prophet (PBUH&HF) to notify people at a time of crowded populous so that

all become the narrators of the tradition, while they exceeded a hundred


Narrated by Zaid Ibn Arqam: Abu al-Tufail said: "I heard it from

the Messenger of Allah, and there was no one (there) unless he

saw him with his eyes and heard him with his ears."

Sunni reference:

(1) al-Khasa'is, by al-Nisa'i, p21;

(2) al-Dhahabi said it is sahih (authentic), as said in:

(3) History of Ibn Kathir, v5, p208

It is also narrated that:

"The Messenger of Allah called at the height of his voice."

Sunni reference: Manaqib al-Khawarizmi, by al-Khawarizmi, p94

"There were with the Messenger (PBUH) from the companions, Arabs,

residents around Mecca and Medina one hundred and twenty thousand

(120,000) and they are those who were present in the Farewell

Pilgrimage and heard this speech."

Sunni reference: Manaqib, by Ibn al-Jawzi


Revelation of Verse 70:1-3


Some Sunni commentators further claim that the first three verse of the

chapter of al-Ma'arij (70:1-3) was revealed when a dispute arose after

Prophet reached Medina. It is recorded that:

On the day of Ghadir the Messenger of Allah summoned the people toward

Ali and said: "Ali is the MAWLA of whom I am MAWLA." The news spread

quickly all over urban and rural areas. When Harith Ibn Nu'man al-

Fahri (or Nadhr Ibn Harith according to another tradition) came to

know of it, he rode his camel and came to Medina and went to the

Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) and said to him: "You commanded us to

testify that there is no deity but Allah and that you are the

Messenger of Allah. We obeyed you. You ordered us to perform the

prayers five times a day and we obeyed. You ordered us to observe

fasts during the month of Ramadhan and we obeyed. Then you commanded

us to offer pilgrimage to Mecca and we obeyed. But you are not

satisfied with all this and you raised your cousin by your hand and

imposed him upon us as our master by saying `Ali is the MAWLA of whom

I am MAWLA.' Is this imposition from Allah or from You?" The Prophet

(PBUH&HF) said : "By Allah who is the only deity! This is from Allah,

the Mighty and the Glorious."

On hearing this Harith turned back and proceeded towards his she-camel

saying: "O Allah! If what Muhammad said is correct then fling on us a

stone from the sky and subject us to severe pain and torture."

He had not reached his she-camel when Allah, who is above all defects

flung at him a stone which struck him on his head, penetrated his body

and passed out through his lower body and left him dead. It was on

this occasion that Allah, the exalted, caused to descend the following


"A questioner questioned about the punishment to fall. For the

disbelievers there is nothing to avert it, from Allah the Lord of

the Ascent." (70:1-3)

Sunni references:

(1) Tafsir al-Tha'labi, by Is'haq al-Tha'labi, commentary of verse 70:1-3

from two chain of narrators.

(2) Noor al-Absar, by Shablanji, p4

(3) al-Fusool al-Muhimmah, by Ibn Sabbagh al-Maliki al-Makki, p25

(4) al-Sirah al-Halabiyah, by Noor al-Din al-Halabi, v2, p214

(5) Arjah al-Matalib

(6) Nazhat al-Mujalis from al-Qurtubi


The events that Imam Ali (AS) reminded the Tradition


Imam Ali (AS), in person, reminded others who witnessed the event of Ghadir

and the tradition of the Messenger of Allah; these are some of the events:

- On the day of Shura (Election Day for Uthman)

- During the days of Uthman's rule

- The Day of Rahbah (year 35) where 24 companions stood up and swore that

they attended and heard the tradition of the Prophet (PBUH) first hand,

twelve of whom were the warriors of Badr.

- The Day of Jamal (the War of Camel, year 36) where he reminded Talha.

- The Day of the Riders where 9 witnesses testified.

About the Battle of Camel, al-Hakim and Ahmad Ibn Hanbal and others

recorded that:

We were in the camp of Ali on the day of Battle of Camel, where Ali

sent for Talha to talk to him (before the beginning of war). Talha

came forward, and Ali told him: I adjure you by Allah! Didn't you hear

the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) when he said: `Whoever I am his

MAWLA, this Ali is his MAWLA. O God, love whoever loves him, and be

hostile to whoever is hostile to him'?" Talha replied: "Yes." Ali

said: "Then why do you want to fight me?"

Sunni reference:

- al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, pp 169,371

- Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, on the authority of Ilyas al-Dhabbi

- Muruj al-Dhahab, by al-Mas'udi, v4, p321

- Majma' al-Zawa'id, by al-Haythami, v9, p107

Ahmad Ibn Hanbal recorded in his Musnad that:

Abu Tufayl narrated that He (Ali) gathered the people in the plain of

Rahbah (on year 35 AH) and adjured in the name of Allah every Muslim

male present there who had heard the proclamation of al-Ghadir from

the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) to stand up and testify what they had

heard from the Messenger on the Day of Ghadir. Thereupon thirty (30)

men stood up and gave evidence that the Prophet grasped Ali's hand and

said to the audience: "He (Ali) has superior authority over those who

believe me to have superiority over their lives. O Allah! Love him who

loves him and hate him who hates him." Abu Tufayl says that it was in

a state of great mental agitation that he left the plain of Rahbah,

for the Muslim masses had not complied with the tradition. He


therefore called on Zaid Ibn Arqam and told him what he heard from

Ali. Zaid told him not to entertain any doubt about it for he himself

had heard the Messenger of Allah uttering those words.

Sunni reference: Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v4, p370


Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abu Laylah said: I witnessed Ali administering an

oath to the people in the plain of Rahbah. Ali said: "I adjure those

of you in the name of Allah who heard the Messenger of Allah on the

day of Ghadir saying `Ali is the Mawla of whom I am Mawla' to stand

up and to testify. He who was not an eyewitness doesn't need to stand

up." Thereupon twelve (12) such companions who had participated in

the Battle of Badr stood up. The occasion is still fresh in my memory.

Sunni references:

- Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, p119, see also v5, p366

- Khasa'is, by al-Nisa'i, pp 21,103, narrated similar to above on the

authority of three others: Umayah Ibn Sa'd, Zaid Ibn yathigh, and

Sa'id Ibn Wahab.

It is also recorded that:

When Ali said to Anas: "Why don't you stand up and testify what you

heard from the Messenger of Allah on the day of Ghadir?" He answered,

"O Amir al-Mumineen! I have grown old and do not remember." Thereupon

Ali said: "May Allah mark you with a white spot (of leprosy; Alphosis)

unconcealable with your turban, if you are intentionally withholding

the truth." And before Anas got up from his place he bore a large

white spot on his face, Thereafter Anas used to say, "I am under the

curse of the righteous servant of Allah."

Sunni references:

(1) al-Ma'arif, by Ibn Qutaybah, p14, in the account of Anas among disabled


(2) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, p199, where he testifies to the above

anecdote, as he says : "All stood up except three persons who came

under the curse of Ali."

(3) Hilyatul Awliya', by Abu Nu'aym, v5, p27


A more detailed speech of Prophet at the Pond of Khum


Messenger of Allah said:

"Praise belongs to Allah. We ask Him for help, and we believe in Him,

and to Him we trust. We seek refuge to Him from the evil of our souls

and the sins of our deeds. Verily there is no guide for the one whom

Allah leaves in stray, and there is non who leads astray the one whom

Allah has guided."

"O People! Know that Gabriel came down to me several times bringing me

an order from the Lord, the Merciful, that I should stop at this place

and inform you. Behold! It is as if the time approached when I shall

be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call."

"O Folk! Don't you witness that there is no deity but Allah, Muhammad

is His servant and His Apostle, Paradise is truth, Hell is truth,

death is truth, resurrection is truth, and that the Hour shall

certainly arrive, and Allah shall raise people from the graves?"

People replied: "Yes, we believe in them."

He continued: "O People! Do you hear my voice (clearly)?" They said:

"Yes". The Prophet said: "Behold! I am leaving among you two precious

and weighty Symbols that if you adhere to both of them, you shall

never go astray after me. Each of these two surpasses the other in its


A person asked: "O Messenger of Allah, what are those two precious


The Prophet replied: "One of them is the Book of Allah and the other

one is my select progeny (Itrat), that is family (Ahlul-Bayt). Beware

of how you behave them when I am gone from amongst you, for Allah, the

Merciful, has informed me that these two (i.e., Quran and Ahlul-Bayt)

shall never separate from each other until they reach me in Heaven at

the Pool (of al-Kawthar). I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my

Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt.

Once more! I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt."

"Behold! I am your predecessor at the Pool (of Paradise) and I shall

be a witness against you. Thus be careful how you treat these two

precious things after me. Do not precede these two for you will

perish, and do not stay away from them for you will perish."

"O People! Don't you know that I have more authority upon you than

yourself?" People cried and said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah." Then

prophet repeated: "O Folk! Do I not have more right over the believers

than what they have over themselves?" People said again "Yes, O

Messenger of Allah." Then Prophet said: "O People! Surely God is my

Master, and I am the master of all believers." Then he grasped the

hand of Ali and raised it and said:

"WHOEVER I AM HIS MASTER, ALI IS HIS MASTER (repeating three times). O

God! Love those who love him. Be hostile to those who are hostile to

him. Help those who help him. Forsake those who forsake him. And keep

the truth with him wherever he turns (i.e., make him the axis of the


"Ali, the son of Abu Talib, is my brother, my executor (Wasi), and my

successor (Caliph), and the leader (Imam) after me. His position to me

is the same as the position of Haroon (Aaron) to Moses, except that

there shall be no prophet after me. He is your master after Allah and

His Messenger."

"O Folk! Verily Allah has appointed him to be your Imam and ruler.

Obedience of him is obligatory for all Immigrants (Muhajirin) and

Helpers (Ansar) and those who follow them in virtue, and on the

dwellers of the cities and the nomads, the Arabs and the non-Arabs,

the freeman and the slave, the young and the old, the great and the

small, the white and the black."

"His commands should be obeyed, and his word is binding and his order

is obligatory on everyone who believes in one God. Cursed is the man

who disobeys him, and blessed is the one who follows him, and he who

believes in him is a true believer. His WILAYAH (belief in his

mastery) has been made obligatory by Allah, the Powerful, the



O Folk! Study the Quran. Reflect on its clear verses and do not

presume the meaning of the ambiguous verses. For, by Allah, nobody can

properly explain them to you its warnings and its meanings except me

and this man (i.e., Ali) whose hand I am lifting up in front of



"O People! This is the last time that I shall stand in this assembly.

Therefore listen to me and obey and submit to the command of Lord.

Verily Allah, He is your Lord and God. After Him, His prophet,

Muhammad who is addressing you, is your master. Then after me, this

Ali is your master and your leader (Imam) according to Allah's

command. Then after him leadership will continue through some selected

individuals in my descendants till the day you meet Allah and His


"Behold! Certainly you shall meet your Lord and He will ask you about

your deeds. Beware! Do not become infidels after me by striking the

necks of one another. Lo! It is incumbent upon those who are present

to inform what I said to those who are absent for perhaps the informed

one might comprehend it (understand it) better than some of the

present audience. Behold! Haven't I conveyed the Message of Allah to

you? Behold! Haven't I conveyed the Message of Allah to you?" People

replied: "Yes." The Prophet said: "O God! Bear witness."


- A'alam al-Wara, pp 132-133

- Tadhkirat al-Khawas al-Ummah, Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi al-Hanafi, pp 28-33

- al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, by Noor al-Din al-Halabi, v3, p273


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