Chapter One: Universal Invitation to Islam
Chapter Two: The spread of Islam
Chapter Three: The Farewell Pilgrimage and the Demise of the Prophet
Although the faith of Islam appeared in the Arabian Peninsula among the Arab nation and the Holy Prophet was an Arab, Islam was not a local faith that is restricted to the Arab nation. To prove, the Holy Qur'an addressed neither Quraysh nor the Arab nation; rather, it addresses all people. In some verses that order Muslims to perform certain tasks and responsibilities, the Holy Qur'an addresses them as believers. From the very beginning of his mission throughout his invitation to Islam in Mecca, the Holy Prophet declared that his mission was a universal issue. Besides, the Holy Qur'an is dealing with universal issues on many occasions, such as the following:
Say: O people! Surly I am the Apostle of Allah to you all. (7:158)
And We have not sent you but to all the men as a bearer of good news. (34:28)
And it is naught but a reminder to the nations. (68:52)
It is nothing but a reminder and a plain Qur'an that it may warn him who is alive. (36:69-70)
He it is Who sent His Apostle with guidance and the religion of truth, that he might cause it to prevail over all religions. (9:33)
And We have not sent you but as a mercy to the worlds. (21:107)
All these holy verses were revealed in Mecca; a fact demonstrating that the general invitation to Islam took place from the very initial stages. However, despite these authentic reasons, some European scholars, such as Goldziher, have claimed that Muhammad’s widespread faith only took place later on and that his very initial instructions did not go farther than the needs of the ignorant Arabs of his time.1 This claim is too worthless to require evidence.
If the Holy Prophet did not take any step for the spread of Islam outside the Arabian Peninsula during his stay in Mecca and several years after his Hegira, this was due to the enmity and aggression leveled at him by Meccan unbelievers, the Jews and other enemies. However, after the convention of Hudaybiyah Truce that brought about a temporary relief from the aggressions of Quraysh and a relative calm over Mecca, the Holy Prophet wrote several letters to the kings and governors of different countries inviting them to his Faith. In one day only, he wrote six letters to al-Najashi, the king of Abyssinia, Caesar of Rome; Khosrow Parviz of Iran, al-Muqawqas of Egypt, Harith ibn Abi-Shimr al-Ghassani of Damascus, and Hawdhah Ibn ‘Ali of Yamamah, as well as many other kings and governors.2
These letters were written in Dhu’l-Hijjah of the sixth year of Hegira or Muharram of the seventh. Of course, this was just the beginning of the universal invitation to Islam. Moreover, from that day on and up to his last day of life, the Holy Prophet continued writing letters to the different countries of the world.3 The content of all these letters was identical and all of them were written in a simple, explicit and decisive style. However, reactions of the world leaders were not identical.
Khaybar consisted of several castles. Its people were engaged in agriculture and animal husbandry. Due to its good agricultural capacities, it was referred to as the wheat store of Hijaz.4 Its people also enjoyed good economic prosperity. The great goods and ammunitions which fell in the hands of Muslims after the collapse of the castles witness to this issue. The very structure of the castles was strong and enduring and the number of their troops was in thousands.5 For this reason, they considered themselves strong enough to stop the attacks of Muslims.6
The Jews of Khaybar made use of any chance available to try to destroy the newly built Islamic government as their city was turned into a permanent center for conspiracies against Islam. Having been defeated in Medina, the chiefs of Banu’l-Nadhir joined Khaybar to cooperate with them against Islam.
In the sixth year of Hegira, Sallam ibn Abi’l-Huqayq, one of Banu’l-Nadhir's chiefs who had obtained the leadership of the Jews of Khaybar through cooperation with the tribe of Ghatafan and other infidel tribes, gathered a great troop to fight against Muslims. After he was killed by Muslims due to plotting conspiracies against them, people of Khaybar appointed Usayr ibn Zarim as their leader.7 This man, too, engaged himself in aggression and provocation of tribes against Muslims.8
To eradicate the previous signs of enmity, the Holy Prophet dispatched a group under the supervision of ‘Abdullah ibn Rawahah to the newly appointed leader to secure his consent for peace. The new leader, together with ‘Abdullah and a group of Jews, was on his way to Medina to talk to the Holy Prophet. However, on the way, he changed his mind and tried to kill ‘Abdullah. Due to this confrontation, he and his company all were killed.9 In this way, the Holy Prophet’s peaceful plans became null and void.
A contemporary historian states that in addition to these conspiracies, Muslims anticipated that the Jews of Khaybar who had already incurred the hostility of Muslims might be used by the Iranian or Roman empires to prepare for an attack against Islam as a compensation for the defeat and failure of Banu-Qaynuqa’, Banu’l-Nadhir, and Banu-Quray¨ah.10
After the convention of the Hudaybiyah Truce through which the Holy Prophet was at ease regarding the dangers from the south, he, together with fourteen Muslim warriors, headed to the north to disarm the Jews of Khaybar. That was in the beginning of the seventh year of Hegira. He chose such a direction for his involvement as to cut the relations of Ghatafan, the powerful ally of Khaybar, with the people of Khaybar depriving them of any cooperation with each other.11 Using the tactic of surprise, all the castles and strongholds of Khaybar fell to Muslims and the Jewish chiefs presumed predicament with dawn.
The encounter was unequal; warriors of Khaybar were in their stronghold, they had the doors firmly closed and through their guards on the towers and high walls hindered any Muslim approach. In one attack, fifty Muslim warriors were wounded.12
Besides, the warriors of Khaybar had sufficient supplies, but Muslims felt short of supplies as the war continued. Finally, with great hardships on the part of Muslims, the castes fell one after another. However, the last castle, called Qamus, which was supervised by the famous Jewish hero named Marhab, continued to defend itself and Muslim warriors were unable to capture.
One day, the Holy Prophet gave the banner to Abu-Bakr and the next day to ‘Umar with some troops to attack the castle, but they both failed.13 Seeing this, the Holy Prophet declared:
“Tomorrow, I will hand this banner to one who, with God's support, will capture this castle; one who is loved by God and His Apostle and God and His Apostle love; he is not a quitter.”
That night, every Muslim desired that he would be given the banner. When dawn came, the Holy Prophet asked, “Where is ‘Ali?” They replied, “He is suffering a severe eye-ache and he is now at rest.” The Holy Prophet summoned ‘Ali and cured his eyes. Submitting the banner to ‘Ali, the Holy Prophet ordered him,
“Move towards them; as soon as you arrive at their castle, invite them to Islam and remind them of their rights. I swear to God that to conduct one person to the truth is better for you than having red-haired camels.”14
Imam ‘Ali headed for the mission; he could kill Marhab through a heroic encounter in which Imam ‘Ali showed a unique bravery. He then could conquer that castle.
Attacking the castles of Khaybar, which were centers of conspiracy against Islam, shows a number of important matters some of which are as follows:
(1) This shows that the Holy Prophet enjoyed an effective management when he chose the quite suitable person to this mission.
(2) He used effective military tactics, such as the principle of surprise and the gathering of information.
(3) Imam ‘Ali showed such a unique bravery that none else had.
Imam ‘Ali's self-sacrifice and bravery in this war was so great that the Holy Prophet appreciated it and praised him for his vigor and stamina, declaring his precedence before all other Muslims.
Muslims also remembered this praise on many occasions. For instance, when he came to power, Mu’awiyah ordered everybody to curse Imam ‘Ali openly. Sa’d ibn Abi-Waqqaz abstain from carrying out this order. When Mu’awiyah asked for the reason, Sa’d answered,
“I will never curse him, because I remember that the Holy Prophet mentioned three of his virtues, which I wished I could have only one of them. (1) In one of the wars [i.e. Tabuk], the Holy Prophet appointed him as his successor in Medina. ‘Ali asked, ‘Do you leave me with women and children in town?’ The Prophet answered, ‘Do you not like to be my successor in the same way as (Prophet) Aaron was the successor of (Prophet) Moses, except that there will be no prophet after me?’ (2) In the war of Khaybar, the Prophet declared, ‘I will submit the banner to a person who loves God and His Apostle and God and His Apostle love him.’ On that day, every one of us wished to gain such a prestige. The Prophet then ordered his men to summon ‘Ali. ‘Ali came, while he was suffering from a bad eye-ache. The Prophet rubbed his eyes with his own saliva. Suddenly, ‘Ali's pain drove off and he received the banner from the Holy Prophet. God caused the castle to be conquered through ‘Ali. (3) When it was arranged for the Holy Prophet to enter into Mubahalah [mutual cursing] with the Christian priests of Najran, this verse was revealed to him: ‘Say: Let us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women. (3:61)’ The prophet thus called ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn and declared, ‘O God, these are my Household.’”15
Referring to that epoch-making war, Imam ‘Ali says,
“We were faced with a mountain of men and military ammunitions; their castles were invincible and their number was huge. Their heroes left the castles each day, asking for warriors. Any one of us who arrived at the battlefield was killed. When the fire of war was blazing and the enemy was asking for warriors to duel with; and when our troops were suffering from fright and fear; and they were looking at one another in a timid way, I was asked to go on the scene. The Prophet asked me to rise and attack the castle. I went forward and confronted their hero, killing him on the spot; I did the same thing with others. I made many of them retreat. Then, like a lion chasing the prey, I followed them until they took shelter inside the castle. Then they closed down the gates. I tore off the gate and entered the castle alone… I had nobody to help except for God…”16
The people of Khaybar surrendered after the fall of the last castle and the war terminated. The casualties of the troops of Khaybar reportedly were forty-three17 and the number of the martyrs was twenty-eight.18
Upon their surrender, the Jews of Khaybar asked the Holy Prophet to permit them to stay on their lands for cultivation. He agreed on condition that they should yield half of their yearly produce to the Islamic government19 and that they should leave when the Holy Prophet wished so.20 This treaty was in effect until the reign of ‘Umar when they took part in some conspiracies against Muslims. For this reason, ‘Umar banished them to Damascus.21
After the fall of Khaybar, the Jews of Fadak surrendered with no resistance and entered into a treaty with the Holy Prophet like the one with Khaybar. Since Fadak was captured with no fight, half of its revenue went to the Holy Prophet.22
After the Hudaybiyah Truce, the Holy Prophet started his universal mission and invited the heads of governments of the world to his faith. Among the countries of those days, the Roman Empire and the Iranian Empire enjoyed high standards of living. Having acquired some information regarding the Prophet’s mission, Caesar of Rome had the will to accept Islam; but when he revealed his intentions, he was resisted by the Christians and the Roman army; therefore, he had to withdraw his decision.23 This shows that the commanders of the Roman army had a hostile attitude towards Islam. We could find the root of the Mu’tah war with this view.
In order to spread his faith outside the Arabian Peninsula, the Holy Prophet dispatched Harith Ibn ‘Umayr al-Azdi to carry a letter to the King of Buzra (Damascus).24 That was in Jumada al-¬la, the eighth year of Hegira.
Shurahbil ibn ‘Amr al-Ghassani, the governor of Damascus appointed by the Roman emperor,25 arrested the Holy Prophet’s courier and, having known the nature of his mission, killed him at the village of Mu’tah. This event saddened the Holy Prophet greatly.26
Although the murder of one person could not be considered good reason to start war, the murder of the Holy Prophet’s representative, which was against ethical codes, was in fact a sort of military threat on the part of the governor of Damascus vis-à-vis the peaceful invitation to the Holy Prophet’s faith. He therefore decided to send a troop over there. This movement could be interpreted as a sign of military power.
Based on these facts, the Holy Prophet dispatched to Mu’tah an army of three thousand troops under the commandership of Ja’far ibn Abi-Talib,27 Zayd ibn Harithah and ‘Abdullah ibn Rawahah respectively.28
The Islamic troops faced the one hundred thousand troops of Rome near the village of Mu’tah. The three Muslim commanders bore the banner in turn and they all were martyred. Then, the Muslim troops elected Khalid ibn Walid as the commander-in-chief. Using special tactics, he frightened the enemy and then issued the command to retreat to Medina.29
Al-Waqidi records that the martyrs of this war were eight30 but Ibn Husham records them as twelve.31 In some contemporary records, it is written that they were seventeen.32 The tombs of these martyrs rest next to the city of Mu’tah;33 each one of the commanders has a magnificent shrine with a dome. Next to the tomb of Ja’far, there is built a handsome mosque.34
One of the articles of the Hudaybiyah Truce was ceasefire between the infidels and Muslims. The Holy Prophet made use of the tranquility and took big strides: he sent different missionaries to all countries of the world and enacted his universal mission; he either disarmed the enemies residing around Medina or convened treaties with them. In the meantime, Khaybar, which was the center of conspiracies, collapsed altogether.
After two years, the Hudaybiyah Truce was broken by Quraysh. According to the fourth paragraph, any tribe was free to join either the Muslims or Quraysh. At that time, Khuza’ah made a treaty with Muslims and Banu-Bakr allied with Quraysh.35
In the eighth year of Hegira, Banu-Bakr attacked Banu-Khuza’ah at nighttime. In this confrontation Quraysh allied with Banu-Bakr, killing a group of the soldiers of Khuza’ah. This was a breach of the Hudaybiyah Truce.36 Following the chief of Khuza’ah’s request for assistance, the Holy Prophet announced a general mobilization37 and decided to attack Mecca. In order for Quraysh not to know the Muslims’ plan and to surprise them in an attack so that Mecca could be captured with no bloodshed, the Holy Prophet concealed his destination38 and ordered his men to watch the Meccan roads39 asking God to keep Quraysh unaware of his plan.40
The Holy Prophet, with an army of ten thousand soldiers, headed for Mecca.41 His tactic was successful. The spies of Quraysh were kept in the dark up to the moment when Muslim troops were stationed at the gates of Mecca.
‘Abbas, the Holy Prophet’s uncle, lived in Mecca up to that year. As he was heading for Medina, the Islamic troops were heading for Mecca. He met the Holy Prophet at al-Juhafah and returned to Mecca with him. At the last night of the stationing of the Muslim troops outside the gates of Mecca, ‘Abbas saw Abu-Sufyan outside the city and took him to meet the Holy Prophet.42 Observing the Islamic troops, Abu-Sufyan became frightened. The Holy Prophet pardoned him and declared, “Anybody who takes sanctuary in the Kaaba, stays at home or takes shelter at Abu-Sufyan’s house is unharmed.”
Prior to the arrival of the Islamic troops in Mecca, Abu-Sufyan informed the people of the Holy Prophet’s amnesty. This plan helped the lack of bloodshed and the surrender of the city; so, Mecca collapsed. Only in one section of the city where some obstinate people continued resisting were some people killed.43
Arriving at Mecca, the Holy Prophet circumambulated the Kaaba while he was riding on a camel and hitting with his cane the idols which had been fastened to the Kaaba with tins, saying,
The truth has come and the falsehood has vanished; surely, falsehood is a vanishing thing. (17:81)
It is well-known for historians and narrators, Imam ‘Ali then climbed upon the Holy Prophet’s shoulder and destroyed the big idols.44 Imam al-Sadiq states that the idol which Imam ‘Ali destroyed was Hubal. On the Holy Prophet’s order, this idol was buried under the Banu-Shaybah Gate, one of the entrances to the Kaaba. Therefore, it is recommended that people enter the Kaaba from this gate.45
Although Quraysh and other infidels did not stop hostile attitudes towards Muslims since the advent of Islam as they plotted all sorts of disagreements, pressure, aggression and wrongdoing; and although the Holy Prophet, being in full command, could have taken revenge, he declared a general amnesty,46 saying, “I am repeating the statement of my brother, (Prophet) Joseph: There shall be no proof against you this day, Allah may forgive you, and He is the most Merciful of the merciful. (The Holy Qur'an 12:92) Go, you are free now.47
Having surrendered with humiliation and expecting a severe revenge by the Holy Prophet, the unbelievers of Quraysh were highly moved by this great pardon of the Holy Prophet. Next to the Kaaba, he addressed people, saying,
“God has consecrated Mecca from the very beginning of creation. This place shall remain holy and sacred until the Resurrection Day. No Muslim is allowed to cause bloodshed on this land nor is he or she allowed to cut a tree from this place. No one is allowed to do a wrong thing to it now or from now on. Let those who are present tell those who are absent…48
Upon the conquest of Mecca, the Holy Prophet convened a contract with Meccan women with the following stipulations:
“Do not associate aught with Allah, do not steal, do not commit fornication, do not kill your children, and do not bring a calumny which you have forged of yourselves and do not disobey the Holy Prophet.49
Some well-known figures, who later gained high positions, accepted Islam during the conquest of Mecca. Among them were Abu-Sufyan and his son Mu’awiyah.
Due to the hard living conditions of people, God ascribes a moral superiority to Muslims prior to the conquest of Mecca:
And what reason do you have that you should not spend in Allah’s way? And Allah’s is the inheritance of the heavens and the earth; not alike among you are those who spent before the victory and fought and those who did not: they are more exalted in rank than those who spent and fought afterwards, and Allah has promised good to all; and Allah is aware of what you do.
Mecca was the center of plotting conspiracies against Islam. For this reason, its collapse was the start of a great movement in the history of Islam. This event put an end to idolatry. The different Arab tribes were waiting for the conquest of Mecca and the conversion of Quraysh to Islam. When Mecca collapsed and Quraysh accepted Islam, the representatives of different Arab tribes came to the Holy Prophet accepting Islam.50 Except for two tribes, namely Hawazin and Thaqif, all other tribes accepted Islam.51 Among these tribes that accepted Islam were Qushayr ibn Ka’b52, Bahilah,53 Tha’labiyyah,54 Suda',55 Banu- Asad56, Baliy,57 ‘Udhrah,58 Thumalah59 and Huddan60 all of whom came to meet the Holy Prophet, announcing their acceptance of Islam. After a war between Hawazin and Ta’if that took place after the conquest of Mecca, the representatives of the strong tribe of Thaqif who were equal to Quraysh in military strength came to see the Holy Prophet and put forward some pre-conditions for their conversion to Islam. Although the Holy Prophet rejected their preconditions, they accepted Islam unconditionally.61
After the conquest of Mecca that took place in Ramadhan,62 the Holy Prophet stayed in this city for two weeks63 arranging its affairs. He ordered people to break their idols that they kept at their houses.64 He dispatched some agents to destroy the idol-houses around Mecca.65 During this time, he was informed that Hawazin, supported by the tribes of Thaqif, Nazr, Jusham, and Sa’d ibn Bakr together with a group of Banu-Hilal under the command of Malik ibn ‘Awf al-Nazri were planning to attack Mecca.66 They gathered at a place called Awtas. Having made sure of this information, the Holy Prophet sent a spy to study the situation. It was clear that the army of Hawazin was on its way to Mecca.67
At this time, the Holy Prophet decided to use his usual military tactics in taking the initiatives and depriving the enemy of any chance to attack. For this purpose, he appointed ‘Attab ibn Usayd as the governor of Mecca68 and he left to face the enemy with twelve thousand soldiers, ten thousand of whom were previously with him and two thousand of the newly converted Muslims.69 He put Banu-Sulaym in front of the army.70 On the way, some Muslim troops, due to their great number, became haughty, declaring that they would never be defeated.71 However, the result was the reverse and, as God has mentioned in the Holy Qur'an (9:25), the great number did not produce any result.
Under the darkness of dawn, the Muslim army headed for Hunayn72 but the warriors of Hawazin who had hidden behind cliffs and in the valleys of Hunayn suddenly charged at the Muslims.73 This sudden attack bewildered the Muslims. First, Banu-Sulaym retreated and fled the scene.74 Following them, others escaped. Only Imam ‘Ali and a few others remained beside the Prophet and fought bravely.75
According to Shaykh al-Mufid, only nine individuals of Banu-Hashim, one of whom was Imam ‘Ali, stood next to the Holy Prophet. ‘Abbas ibn ‘Abd al-Muttalib stood to the Holy Prophet’s right, al-Fadhl ibn ‘Abbas to the left and Imam ‘Ali in front of the Holy Prophet unsheathing his sword and fighting bravely.76
Having noticed the flight of Muslims, the Holy Prophet, who had always been a symbol of patience, endurance, perseverance and bravery, did not show any sign of weakness; he stood steadfastly in the battlefield. Addressing the escapees, he said, “O people! Where are you fleeing? Come back; I am the Prophet of God; I am Muhammad ibn ‘Abdullah.” He then asked ‘Abbas to call at people and remind them of their pledges. With a loud tone, ‘Abbas cried out, “O people of the Tree Pledge; O people of Surah al-Baqarah; to where are you escaping? Remember your allegiance with the Holy Prophet.”77
Due to the Holy Prophet’s perseverance and calling at the escapees to return, Muslims gradually returned, gathered around the Holy Prophet and resisted the enemy. In a short time, the banner-bearer of the enemy was killed by ‘Ali and through Divine assistance, the army of Hawazin was severely damaged. Four thousand captives, twelve thousand camels and a lot of booties were soon in the hands of Muslims. After the war, the Holy Prophet freed the captives on the request of the chiefs of the defeated tribes who embraced. This war caused the Muslims four martyrs.
Referring to the initial failure of Muslims and their victory in the light of Divine assistance, the Holy Qur'an says,
Certainly Allah helped you in many battle fields and on the day of Hunayn, when your great numbers made you vain, but they availed you nothing and the earth became strait to you not withstanding its spaciousness, then you turned back retreating. Then Allah sent down His tranquility upon His Apostle and upon the believers, and sent down hosts which you did not see, and chastised those who disbelieved, and that is the reward of the believers. (9:25-26)
Although the two super powers of those days, i.e. the Roman Empire and Iran were in continuous conflict with each other, they could not tolerate the emergence of a third power; that is Islam. It was natural for the Romans to be unhappy with the Muslims’ victory in Mecca and the Hawazin’s defeat at Hunayn.78 Taking these factors into consideration and with regards to the victory of the Romans in Mu’tah, the expectation of a Roman military movement against Muslims was real. In the ninth year of Hegira, the traders who crossed the route between Medina and Damascus informed the Holy Prophet that Hercules, the Roman Emperor, was preparing an army to attack Medina.79 The Holy Prophet took it seriously.
Because of its military supremacy, the Roman Empire was the most pernicious enemy of Islam.80 According to a report, Hercules had allied with some Arab tribes like Lakhm, Judham, ‘Amilah and Ghassan, his military pioneers had advanced as far as Balqa',81 and the emperor himself resided in Homs.82
This report reached the Holy Prophet at a time when it was extremely hot83 and it was the harvest season. People were lived under harsh conditions and life became unbearable.84 The Holy Prophet called for general mobilization and asked people of Mecca and the nomads for financial assistance.85 Contrary to his previous military expeditions which were kept secret to the last moment, this time the Holy Prophet announced his military target to be Tabuk86 so that the troops could prepare themselves for the hardships of the journey.87
Despite their hard conditions, Muslims gave generously88 and thirty thousand troops,89 together with ten thousand horses90 and twelve thousand camels,91 were ready to move. However, the hypocrites not only refrained from taking part in the battle with no valid reasons92 but also discouraged people to go claiming that it was so hot.93 A verse was revealed to the Holy Prophet reprimanding their situation. (The Holy Qur'an 9:81) Other Muslims unjustifiably did not join the Muslim troops and the Holy Qur'an called them those who left behind and blamed them. (The Holy Qur'an 9:81) Others, too, were deprived of taking part in the battle due to their lack of ammunitions. (The Holy Qur'an 9:87, 93)
On those days, Medina was in a delicate and sensitive state. While Muslim troops were headed for a long mission, the hypocrites, despite their having nominally accepted Islam, disobeyed the Holy Prophet's orders and stayed in Medina. ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy had gathered a great number of proponents around himself.94 In addition to the hypocrites, there was the worry and fear concerning the beaten and defeated enemies of Islam in Mecca, its vicinities and the nomads living around Medina. Thus, it was crucial for a strong man to protect the newly established Islamic state while the Holy Prophet was away. For this purpose, the Holy Prophet appointed Imam ‘Ali as his successor, telling him, “In order to manage the affairs of Medina, either you or I should be present.”95
Regarding this event, Mas’udi writes:
“It is advisable to say that the Prophet appointed Imam ‘Ali as his successor in Medina so that he could control those who opposed participating in the Prophet's military mission.”
Imam ‘Ali used to take part in all campaigns and battles of the Prophet96 and acted as a standard-bearer.97 The hypocrites, however, spread the rumor that the Holy Prophet let ‘Ali stay in Medina because he no longer loved him! Having heard this rumor, Imam ‘Ali became upset; he took his sword and attended the Holy Prophet's presence at al-Jurf.98 He rephrased the hypocrite’s claim and complained about the whole situation. The Holy Prophet replied:
“They are liars! You are my successor. Return and act as my successor. Are you not happy that your position to me is the same as (Prophet) Aaron’s position to (Prophet) Moses except that there will be no prophet after me?”99
However, Shaykh al-Mufid accounts for this event in the following manner:
“My brother; Go back to your position, because nobody else, except for you or me, can govern Medina. You are my representative—from among my family members—on the citizens of my city and my nation. Are you not satisfied that your position to me is the same as (Prophet) Aaron’s position to (Prophet) Moses except that there will be no prophet after me?”
Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr al-Qurtubi, a Sunni scholar of the fifth century, writes:
The Holy Prophet appointed ‘Ali as his successor during the war of Tabuk; he was elected to be the Holy Prophet’s successor for his family and for the people of the city, telling him, “Your position to me is the same as Aaron’s position to Moses… etc.”
On the words of al-Bukhari and Muslim, the Holy Prophet likened ‘Ali to Prophet Aaron in relation to Prophet Moses.100
This epoch–making statement of the Holy Prophet, which is called hadith al-manzilah (Narration of Position), is a clear proof of Imamate. Although this statement is uttered only on a specific occasion, Imam ‘Ali used to resemble Prophet Aaron in all cases of his associations with the Holy Prophet.101
Despite all these obstacles, the army of Islam left Medina, but as it could be predicted; Muslims encountered a lot of hardships concerning the long distances to be covered, the meager number of horses,102 the extreme heat and scarcity of water. For this reason, this war, in the history of Islam, is called war of hardship103 or the miserable army.104
In any case, the army of Islam arrived at the land of Tabuk. There was no trace of the Roman army. The whole report of the Roman army had been false.105 This rumor had been fabricated to bring forth worry in the Islamic territory.106
The Holy Prophet stayed twenty days in Tabuk107 during which he convened treaties with the governor of Aylah and the people of Jarba' and Adhruh. They were obliged to pay tributes. After a military expedition, the powerful king of Dawmat al-Jandal surrendered and had to pay tribute.108
The war of Tabuk took place in the ninth year of Hegira109 and some aspects of it are reflected in Surah al-Tawbah, which mainly deals with the hardships and weaknesses of some Muslims at the time of mobilization and the sabotages of the hypocrites. The famous issue of masjid dhirar, or a mosque to cause harm and for unbelief, coincided with the war of Tabuk. (The Holy Qur'an, 9:107)
Although no military confrontation happened during this hard and intolerable mission, it had some significant consequences some of which are dealt with here:
(1) During this journey, the Holy Prophet, through convening peace treaties with the tribes and the governors of the borderlines of Hijaz and Damascus, could secure the tranquility of this region and guarantee that they would not cooperate with the Roman emperors.
(2) Through this military expedition, the commanders of the Muslim army became familiar with the hardships of this region; they learnt how to face such hardships. Likewise, they learned the techniques of military expeditions against the super powers of those days. That is why the first location that the Islamic army could conquer after the demise of the Holy Prophet was the land of Damascus.
(3) In this call for general mobilization, true believers could be distinguished from hypocrites and laggard ones. A sort of distinction took place in the Muslim troops.110
(4) The boost in the military prestige of the Muslims brought forth the Arab's inclination to Islam and their representatives' readiness to show obedience.
The conquest of Mecca and the war of Tabuk were pivotal in the spread of Islam in the Arabian Peninsula. The Tabuk expedition was a great maneuver in which the Muslims' military prestige was boosted and everybody could realize that Islam had reached such a status that it could confront the world's super powers. The political and military consequences of this maneuver were so great that, upon the Holy Prophet's return to Medina, the chiefs of many Arab tribes who had refrained from turning to Islam up to that time entered Medina and announced obedience. The number of these chiefs who entered Medina to meet the Holy Prophet was so great that the ninth year of Hegira is termed Sanat al-Wufud (Year of Delegation).111
Upon the conquest of Mecca, the foundation was laid for the propagation of monotheism and the uprooting of idols and other superstitions. Most of the city-dwellers and villagers refrained from idol-worshipping and turned to Islam. However, few ignorant individuals were not ready yet to dispense with their cultures and it was hard on them to accept the creed of the Holy Prophet. On the other hand, although the Holy Prophet had performed ‘Umrah several times, he had not yet had a chance to perform pilgrimage in the true sense of the word and away from the superstitions which were part of that ceremony in older days. Since the conquest of Mecca, two kinds of treaties were held between the Holy Prophet and the unbelievers:
These treaties stipulated that everybody had the right to perform the Hajj and nobody should be deprived of it. In the sacred months, everybody must enjoy security and nobody should be bothered.
After the expedition of Tabuk,112 some verses of the Holy Qur'an were revealed to the Holy Prophet ordering him to stay away from the unbelievers and to follow the instructions revealed to him. These verses say:
This is a declaration of immunity by Allah and His Apostle towards those of the idolaters with whom you made an agreement. So go about in the land for four months and know that you cannot weaken Allah and that Allah will bring disgrace to the unbelievers. And an announcement from Allah and His Apostle to the people on the day of the greater pilgrimage that Allah and His Apostle are free from liability to the idolaters; therefore, if you repent, it will be better for you, and if you turn back, then know that you will not weaken Allah; and announce painful punishment to those who disbelieve. Except those of idolaters with whom you made an agreement, then they have not failed you in anything and have not backed up any one against you, so fulfill their agreement to the end of their term; surely, Allah loves those who are careful of their duty. So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take from captives and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor – rate, leave their way free to them; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (9:1-5)
After the revelation of these verses, the Holy Prophet taught part of the first verses of this surah to Abu-Bakr and instructed him to recite them to the pilgrims on the Feast of Sacrifice (‘Id al-Adhha). As Abu-Bakr headed for Mecca, the Holy Prophet received a revelation instructing that these verses should be recited to people by either the Holy Prophet himself or one belonging to him. Having received this message, the Holy Prophet ordered Imam ‘Ali to head for Mecca and take this mission from Abu- Bakr. Imam ‘Ali took the Holy Prophet's camel, headed for Mecca and gave the message to Abu-Bakr. Having carried out the orders, Abu-Bakr returned to Medina offended; when he presented himself before the Holy Prophet, he said, “You had assumed me capable of doing this mission; but very soon you put me aside. Have you received any order from God regarding this issue?” The Holy Prophet replied, “God has ordered me to carry out this command either in person or by one who belong to me.”
On the tenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, Imam ‘Ali entered Mecca and recited Surah al-Tawbah to the public.113 He then informed everyone of the Holy Prophet's warning:
(1) God and His Apostle dislike the unbelievers.
(2) No unbeliever is allowed to perform the Hajj from next year on.
(3) Nobody is allowed to circumambulate the Kaaba with naked body.114
(4) For the coming four months, the unbelievers are allowed to return to their native lands. After the expiration of these four months, there will not be any truce for any unbeliever except those who are in contract with the Holy Prophet. Their treaties are valid up to their deadlines.
(5) No infidel shall enter Paradise.115
Following this warning, the infidels blamed themselves, saying, “Now that Quraysh have converted to Islam, what shall we do?” So, they had to embrace Islam116.
From that year on, no infidel performed the Hajj ceremonies; and no one did so naked.117
Parallel to correspondence with the governors of the world, the Holy Prophet wrote a letter to the bishop of Najran.118 Praising the God of Abraham, Ishmael, Isaac and Jacob, the Holy Prophet asked the bishop and his followers to stop worshiping people, start worshiping God, leave allegiance to people and accept loyalty and allegiance of God; lest they should pay a special tax or be prepared for a war.119
According to some narrations, the Holy Prophet mentioned the following holy verse in his letter:
Say: O followers of the Book! Come to an equitable proposition between us and you that we shall not serve any but Allah and (that) we shall not associate aught with Him, and (that) some of us shall not take others for lords besides Allah; but if they turn back, then say: Bear witness that we are Muslims. (3/64)120
Receiving the letter, the Bishop convened a session with religious personalities to discuss the issue, since the Christian scholars had known some prophesized features of the Holy Prophet. They therefore decided to send a convoy to Medina in order to meet the Holy Prophet and study his character.
Upon their arrival in Medina, headed by three religious personalities including the bishop himself, the Holy Prophet met them and invited them to Islam. He recited some verses of the Holy Qur'an. The envoy replied, “We have been Muslims before you.” The Holy Prophet said, “You are liars. There are three things which hinder you from being Muslims: you worship the Cross, eat pork, and assign a child for God.”
Then, the topic of Jesus being God or God's servant started. Relying on the miracles of Jesus Christ, such as giving life to the dead, knowing the unseen, healing the diseased, and, especially, being born with no father, Christians considered him God. The Holy Prophet insisted that Jesus was a human being—a fact that the Christians could not accept, entering into lots of discussions. Then, the Holy Prophet received this revelation:
Most certainly, they disbelieve who say: Surely, Allah - He is the Messiah, son of Marium. (5:17)
Surely, the likeness of Jesus with Allah is as the likeness of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him, Be, and he was. This is the truth from your lord, so be not of the disputers. (3:60)
But whoever disputes with you in this matter after what has come to you of knowledge, then say: come to us call our sons and your sons and our women and your women and our near people and your near people, then let us be earnest in prayer, and pray for the curse of Allah on the liars. (3:61)
After the revelation of these verses, the Holy Prophet said, “God has ordered me to do mutual cursing with you if you do not become Muslims.”121 They replied, “We have to think about it.” Then, they went back and started counseling. The bishop warned them that Muhammad was God's Messenger and that to accept mutual cursing with him would bring about chastisement of God for them. However, they did not agree; rather, they insisted on mutual cursing (Mubahalah). They decided that the next day would be the date of Mubahalah. Then, the bishop said, “Look and wait to see how Muhammad attends the session; avoid taking part in it if he accompany his family members with him, because this means that he believes in what he says or else he would not endanger the lives of his near relatives. However, if he comes with his followers, then take part and you will know that his claims are baseless.”122
The following day, the Holy Prophet came with ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan, and Husayn.123 Looking at the Holy Prophet's company, the bishop asked, “Who are these?” He was told, “This is his cousin, the woman is his daughter and these two are her sons.”124 The bishop told his followers, “These are persons who if they ask God to cut a mountain, the mountain shall certainly be cut off. Do not enter in it lest you will be destroyed and there will remain no Christian on the earth.” The group dispensed with the mutual cursing125 and, on terms of a treaty, they had to pay tax.126
The founder of Hajj, the most prominent politico-religious ceremony, was Prophet Abraham. In the second chapter of this book, we discussed the chaotic status of religion and the power and influences of Quraysh prior to the rise of Islam. We also mentioned that until the appearance of Islam, Quraysh and all unbelievers performed Hajj and ‘Umrah ceremonies. However, it was not Hajj in the true sense of the word. They had altered the Abrahamic Hajj and performed it in a defective form mingled with superstitions.
We should mention here that Quraysh called themselves the true dwellers of God's shrine127 and since Mount ‘Arafat territory is located outside the shrine, Quraysh, contrary to all unbelievers, would not go to ‘Arafat in the Hajj seasons; rather, they would stay at al-Muzdalifah128 from where they headed for Mina. On the other hand, the people of Yathrib used to put on the Hajj uniform (ihram) next to the idol Manat, which was on the Mecca-Yathrib route at the seashore129 and those who put the Hajj form on from there would not cross the distance between Safa and Marwah, which they had to cross seven times.130 The unbelievers, contrary to the Abrahamic traditions, moved to al-Muzdalifah from ‘Arafat prior to sunset.131
All these had contributed to the deformation of the true features of the Abrahamic Hajj and to its mixing with all sorts of superstitions.
With the revelation of the verse on the obligation of Hajj (22:27), the Holy Prophet informed the Muslims in advance and headed towards Hajj with great numbers of the people of Medina and nomads.132 He taught the Muslims the genuine Abrahamic Hajj for the first time. He insisted that Muslims should learn the ceremony very carefully.133 He used to say, “Take good care of all the rituals of Hajj because they are handed down to us by Prophet Abraham.”134
During this journey, the Holy Prophet could abolish all the innovations of the unbelievers, especially those of Quraysh. Despite the fact that he himself was from Quraysh, he stayed at ‘Arafat and then moved to al-Muzdalifah.135 This was an order issued by Allah, stating,
Then, hasten on from the place from which the people hasten on and ask the forgiveness of Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (2:199)
After sunset, the Holy Prophet left ‘Arafat.136
Due to its different aspects of significance, this pilgrimage is called by different titles: Farewell Pilgrimage (Hijjat al-Wada’), the Islamic Hajj (Hijjat al-Islam) and the Conveyance Pilgrimage (Hijjat al-Balagh).137
During his farewell pilgrimage on the day of ‘Arafah, on the desert of ‘Arafat, and among all pilgrims, the Holy Prophet delivered a very significant and historical sermon in which he spoke about important issues and declared specific recommendations. As the attendants testified to the sacredness of that month (Dhu’l-Hijjah) and the sacredness of that day (Yawm ‘Arafah), the Holy Prophet declared:
O people! Up to the day on which you will meet God, your blood and property are as sacred as this month and this day; making aggression against them is forbidden. The bloodshed at the era of negligence and ignorance could not be prosecuted at this time; furthermore, usury is forbidden now.
The Holy Prophet then considered as blasphemy the changing and delaying of the Forbidden Months.
Concerning women's rights, he emphatically said,
Act kindly to women since they are God's assets in your hands and are made legal for you through Divine laws.
Let those who are present inform others that there shall be no prophet after me and there shall be no ummah after you, Muslims.
Towards the end of his speech, the Holy Prophet declared null and void the customs and ceremonies of the Ignorance Era.138
Great scholars have pointed out that it was a great point of honor for these four persons; namely, ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn to take part in that Mubahalah together with the Holy Prophet. This is because this event showed that Hasan and Husayn are the sons of the Holy Prophet and they, together with Imam ‘Ali, are his true life. Fatimah, his daughter, was the only woman who had taken part in the ceremony of Mubahalah and the word nisa' could only refer to her.
‘A'ishah is reported to have said that on the day of Mubahalah, the Holy Prophet asked these four persons to gather under his black clock. He then reciting this verse of the Holy Qur'an:
Allah only desires to keep away the uncleanness from you, O people of the house, and to purify you a thorough purifying. (33:33)139
Both Sunni and Shi’ite scholars unanimously agree that these four persons took part in Mubahalah together with the Holy Prophet.140 Emphasized this great virtue, Sa’d ibn Abi-Waqqaz is reported to have said, “When the verse of Mubahalah was revealed to the Holy Prophet, he called ‘Ali, Fatimah, Hasan and Husayn, saying “O God, these are my Household.”141
Having reported the issue of Mubahalah and ‘A’ishah's narration, al-Zamakhshari says, “This issue is the most rationale for the virtue and righteousness of the Holy Prophet's Household.”142
After narrating the event of Mubahalah, al-Baydhawi, says, “This indicates the righteousness of the Holy Prophet and the virtue of his Household.”143
In his book entitled Sa’d al-Su’ud, Sayyid Ibn Tawus writes, “Muhammad ibn al-’Abbas ibn Marwan, in his book of Ma Nazala min al-Qur'an fi al-Nabi wa Ahli Baytihi, has narrated the event of Mubahalah on the authority of fifty-one reporters among whom were grand companions of the Holy Prophet.”144
At the end of this article, it is worth mentioning that there are disagreements concerning the year, month and day of the Mubahalah.145
The Event of Ghadir and the introducing of the future leader
On his return from the Farewell Pilgrimage on the eighteenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah, and on the land of Ghadir Khumm146 which is three miles away from al-Juhafah, the following verse was revealed to Holy Prophet:
“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 (5:67)”
He therefore ordered the caravan of one hundred thousand pilgrims to stop on that arid land and in that extremely hot weather. Having performed the Noon Prayer, he climbed a high location and delivered a sermon in which he informed of his near death. Then, he asked the Muslims' views on his prophethood. Every one confirmed that he had perfectly conveyed the Divine Message. He then put stress on the Holy Book and his Household, recommending Muslims not to leave these two lest they would be misled. These two, he added, shall never depart one another until they join him on the Resurrection Day; therefore, Muslims should follow them closely.
Then, he took ‘Ali's hand, raised it and introducing him as the future leader of Muslims, saying:
“God is my Master and I am the master of the believers; so, anybody whose master is I, ‘Ali is now his master. O God, love and care for those who love and care for ‘Ali and be an enemy of those who are ‘Ali's enemies. O God, assist the friends of ‘Ali and make miserable the foes of ‘Ali. O God, let ‘Ali be in the pivotal center of righteousness.”
At this time, the following verse was revealed:
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)
The perfection of religion has been thus declared through the appointment of ‘Ali as the successor of the Holy Prophet. After that, the Holy Prophet's companions congratulated ‘Ali for this sublime position.147
This was a sketch of the significant and famous event at Ghadir Khumm which has been discussed in reference books from different dimensions.
‘Allamah Amini, in his worthy book of al-Ghadir, has thoroughly dealt with this historic event. Here, we shall mention a few points:
(1) The event of Ghadir is the most significant document for Imam ‘Ali's Divinely commissioned leadership and succession to the Holy Prophet (Wilayah) although it was not the only document. In this book, we have alluded to the fact that the Holy Prophet, since the early days of his prophethood and on various occasions such as the event of calling his close relatives to the new faith, referred to Imam ‘Ali's Wilayah, because of the importance of leadership to the people's fate.
Because the succession to the Holy Prophet is a matter defined by none but God, we have seen that during the first years of his general and open invitation to Islam and at the time introducing Islam to the tribes and in an answer to the proposal made by the chief of Banu-’Amir ibn Sa’idah, the Holy Prophet declared,
“My successor is decided by God alone. God will appoint anyone for this position that He desires.”
For many years, the Holy Prophet always laid emphasis on the question of his succession. He used to bring to light a certain personality, making sacrifices for Islam the criterion in selecting his successor. All these factors entail one conclusion, which is that Imam ‘Ali was such a unique person that he deserved to be the Holy Prophet’s successor. If truth be told, none of the Holy Prophet’s companions preceded Imam ‘Ali in virtuous features that prepare him to be the one and only successor of the Holy Prophet.
(2) The authenticity of the announcement of Imam ‘Ali’s next leadership at Ghadir Khumm is undeniable; therefore, some Sunni scholars confess to this issue.148
As ‘Allamah Amini has proved in al-Ghadir, this historic event was reported by one hundred and ten companions of the Holy Prophet, eighty-four others, and three hundred and sixty Sunni narrators and scholars who recorded it in their books and confessed to its authenticity.149 As a matter of fact, the event Ghadir Khumm is the most famous and authentic of all events that took place during the Holy Prophet’s lifetime.
Narrators have reported the event of Ghadir Khumm and historians seem to have censored these narrators. Among historians, Ya’qubi has dealt with this event with a short description following the event of the Farewell Pilgrimage.150 Although this event is not mentioned in Tarikh al-Tabari, which is supposed to have dealt with all historical events of Islam, the author has written a book on the verification of the event of Ghadir Khumm in a book entitled Kitab al-Wilayah.151 This book existed up to eighth century—a fact confirmed by al-Najashi (450 AH)152 and Shaykh al-Tusi (385-460 AH).153
Stating that the event of Ghadir Khumm too soon after the Farewell Pilgrimage, Ibn Kathir (774 AH) adds, “Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir Tabari, the historian, has shown interest in this hadith and collected its wordings in a two-volume book.”154 He then mentions some ways of narrating this event as recorded by Tabari.
He elsewhere writes, “The book of Tabari which I saw is of two big volumes comprising the narrations related to the event of Ghadir Khumm.155
Ibn Shahrashub (588 AH) writes, “Tabari wrote the book of Ghadir Khumm, in which he described this event; he gave it the title of Kitab al-Wilayah.156
Counting the number of narrators who reported the event of Ghadir Khumm, Ibn Tawus says, “Muhammad ibn Jarir, the historian, narrates the hadith of Ghadir in seventy-five different ways. He wrote a separate book entitled hadith al-Wilayah.157
Yahya ibn Hasan, known as Ibn al-Bitriq (523-600 AH) writes, “Muhammad ibn Jarir Tabari, the author of Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk, has described the event of Ghadir Khumm through seventy-five sources. He devoted an entire book to it entitled Kitab al-Wilayah.
The aforementioned scholars and historians have given us only a short report on Kitab al-Wilayah by Tabari. Others, such as Ibn Kathir, have only referred to some narrations mentioned therein. Al-Qadhi al-Nu’man al-Maghribi al-Mizri (363 AH) is the only historian who has collected more than seventy-five of Tabari's narrations on Imam ‘Ali's virtues in a book he entitled Sharh al-Akhbar fi Fadha'il al-A'immah al-Athar. Through this way, he presented Tabari’s narrations to the next generations.158 He writes:
“This is an interesting book in which Tabari describes ‘Ali's virtues in detail.”159
Mentioning Tabari's motive in writing this book,160 al-Nu’man adds:
In this book, Tabari has devoted one chapter to ‘Ali's successorship to the Holy Prophet. In this chapter, he mentions a hadith that the Holy Prophet repeated before and after the Farewell Pilgrimage:
“‘Ali is now the master of him who has considered me as his master. O Allah, be the confidant of him who confides with ‘Ali; and be the enemy of him who incurs the hostility of ‘Ali; and support him who supports ‘Ali; and disappoint him who disappoints ‘Ali.”
“‘Ali is the commander of the believers.”
“‘Ali is my brother.”
“‘Ali is my vicegerent.”
“‘Ali is my successor.”
“‘Ali is my representative on my nation after me.”
“‘Ali is superior in leadership over people after me.”
All these instructions and their likes clearly prove that ‘Ali would be the successor of the Holy Prophet.161
(3) The only spurious argument that some Sunni scholars have aroused against this issue mentionable doubt which is used concerning this issue is the purport of these prophetic instructions. For instance, al-Fakhr al-Razi and al-Qadhi ‘Adhud «ji have claimed the Arabic word mawla that the Holy Prophet used to refer to Imam ‘Ali might have indicated friendship and help, but not leadership of the Muslim nation and succession to the Holy Prophet! In other words, by all these statements, the Holy Prophet only wanted to say that ‘Ali is his friend! They further claim that the word mawla is different in meaning from awla, which means superior.162
‘Allamah Amini, with a thorough research employing ample Qur'anic witnesses and making use of morphological data and philological bases, has proven the futility of such a statement and has shown that it is very common in Arabic to use the word mawla in the sense of awla, meaning superior. For instance, in the following holy verses, the lexical item mawla cannot have any other sense except that of wali; that is successor and man of authority:
So, today ransom shall not be accepted from you nor from those who disbelieved; your abode is the fire; it is your friend, and evil is the resort. (57:15)
Therefore keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate and hold fast by Allah; He is your Guardian; how excellent the Guardian and how excellent the Helper. (22:78)
That is because Allah is the protector of those who believe, and because the unbelievers shall have no protector for them. (47:11)
Nay! Allah is your patron and He is the best of the helpers. (3:150)
Say: Nothing will afflict us save what Allah has ordained for us; He is our patron. (9:51)
He calls upon him whose harm is nearer than his profit; evil certainly is the guardian and evil certainly is the associate. (22:13)
In the aforementioned verses, the word mawla is taken to be guardian. Likewise, all traditionists and scholars of Muslim jurisprudence have unanimously agreed that the word mawla has been mentioned in definite hadiths to denote guardian.163
‘Allamah Amini has found twenty-seven different meanings for the word mawla proving that this word may be used to denote lie, blasphemy or indecency.164 He then presents the claims and reasoning of fourteen distinguished Sunni scholars who have not taken the true sense of this word as used by the Holy Prophet in the sermon at Ghadir Khumm. For example, Shams al-Din Abu’l-Mu¨affar Sibt Ibn al-Jawzi Hanafi (511-654 AH) writes:
“Biographers unanimously believe that the event of Ghadir Khumm took place on the Holy Prophet's return from the Farewell pilgrimage on the eighteenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah in the presence of one hundred and twenty thousand companions during which the Holy Prophet declared, ‘‘Ali is now the master of him who has considered me as his master.’
He then mentions ten probable meaning for mawla nine of which he discards and only one he accepts citing as proof a verse in Surah al-Hadid in which the word mawla is used in a sense proving the Imamate of and acceptance of obedience to Imam ‘Ali. Moreover, Arab poets, such as Hassan ibn Thabit, have used this word to denote the same meaning involved.
The Holy Prophet’s sermon at Ghadir Khumm comprises a number of signs and witnesses confirming that the word mawla has not been used to exclusively indicate befriending with Imam ‘Ali.
(1) The order of halting at that place and in that extremely hot weather, which was issued to one hundred thousand Muslims, is not appropriate for the announcement of an insignificant issue like recommending them to love Imam ‘Ali. As a matter of fact, brotherly terms among Muslims and caring for one another had now become so common among Muslims that the Holy Prophet did not need to announce it under such circumstances.
(2) As an introduction to his sermon, the Holy Prophet foretold the imminence of his passing away. This issue is strongly connected to the issue of the next leadership and succession to him. Besides, it has nothing to do with the recommendation of bearing love for ‘Ali ibn Abi-Talib.
(3) The Holy Prophet asked the attendants to witness that he was closer to them than their own selves; and they did. Immediately after that, he declared that ‘Ali would be closer to them than their own selves. This shows that he wanted to confirm a special position for ‘Ali; that is ‘Ali being his successor.165
(4) After the sermon, the attendants congratulated Imam ‘Ali. Of course, such congratulation could not be for any reason except appointing ‘Ali as the next leader and the successor to the Holy Prophet.
(5) After the Holy Prophet’s announcement of the next leader, the Holy Qur'an proclaimed the perfection of religion and the completion of the Divine Grace. Of course, these two things have nothing to do with the recommendation of bearing love for ‘Ali ibn Abi-Talib.
(6) Hassan ibn Thabit, the Holy Prophet’s poet and a famous literary personality of those days, was present at Ghadir Khumm. After he had been permitted by the Holy Prophet, Hassan composed a poem in which he used the same statements of the Holy Prophet’s sermon. He thus used the word mawla to express Imam ‘Ali’s Imamate and next leadership.
In one of his letters to Mu’awiyah, Imam ‘Ali demonstrated that he was appointed as the mawla of Muslims by the Holy Prophet during the event of Ghadir Khumm.166
(7) Connecting the Holy Prophet’s announcement of Ghadir Khumm to Imam ‘Ali’s journey to Yemen prior to the Farewell pilgrimage, Ibn Kathir claims that ‘Ali, during that journey, stopped his companions to divide the booties among themselves prior to giving them to the Holy Prophet. This incident, Ibn Kathir claims, made his friends feel that they were offended.167 For this reason, the Holy Prophet, at Ghadir Khumm, praised ‘Ali for his loyalty and justice and showed how much respect he had for him. In this way, Ibn Kathir contends, the Holy Prophet eradicated people's bad feelings towards ‘Ali!
This reasoning, however, does not have any firm basis, because in the event of ‘Ali's journey to Yemen, the Holy Prophet, on his first visit to those who were with ‘Ali, answered their criticism against ‘Ali by saying,
“Do not complain against ‘Ali. By God I swear, ‘Ali is firm in the way of obeying God; he is brave and audacious in this regard.”168
With the firm and decisive statement, the case was over for those who listened to the Holy Prophet. It is therefore nonsense to think that three hundred169 of those people were still at odds with ‘Ali and the Holy Prophet had to repeat it once more in front of one hundred thousand Muslims.
(8) Another doubt is aroused in the following way: If the Holy Prophet had appointed ‘Ali at Ghadir Khumm as his successor, the Companions would not have opposed to ‘Ali's manners and statements. This is because, the discussion goes on, the Holy Prophet's companions were sincere people; they had always been ready to sacrifice for Islam. It should be mentioned that the Holy Prophet's demise took place nearly seventy days after the announcement of Ghadir; thus, they say, the memories were still fresh.
To answer, we should be aware that a research of the events at the time of the Holy Prophet clearly shows that even some of the Holy Prophet's grand companions at times disobeyed him; so, disobedience to ‘Ali was justified. Whenever the Holy Prophet's commands contrasted their personal wishes or tribal and political inclinations, the companions tried to stop him from carrying out that decision. Sometimes, they refused to carry out these commands; and very often, they made oppositions. They objected to the Holy Prophet when he agreed to the Hudaybiyah Truce. They objected and disobeyed his order of dispatching the troops of Usamah. They disobeyed him in the final hours of his blessed life when he ordered them to bring him a pen and an inkpot. Besides too many other objections and disobedience to the Holy Prophet’s acts and ordered, books of history of Islam are full of such events.
Sayyid Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi has gathered all these cases in a book he entitled al-Naz wa’l-Ijtihad.
In addition, several verses of the Holy Qur'an emphasize obedience to the commands of the Holy Prophet, considering it part of faith. Others warn people against disobeying him. These verses prove that such cases of disobedience had actually taken place:
Therefore, let those beware who go against his order lest a trial afflict them or there befall them a painful chastisement. (24:63)
O you who believe! Be not forward in the presence of Allah and His Apostle, and be careful of your duty to Allah; surely Allah is Hearing, Knowing. (49:1)
And know that among you is Allah's Apostle: should he obey you in many a matter, you would surely fall into distress. (49:7)
And it behooves not a believing man and a believing woman that they should have any choice in their matter when Allah and His Apostle have decided a matter; and whoever disobeys Allah and His Apostle, he surely strays off a manifest straying. (33:36)
And We did not send any apostle but that he should be obeyed by Allah's permission' and had they, when they were unjust to themselves, come to you and asked forgiveness of Allah and the Apostle had also asked forgiveness for them, they would have found Allah of returning to mercy, Merciful. But no! By your lord! They do not believe in reality until they make a judge of that which has become a matter of disagreement among them, and then do not find any resistance in their hearts as to what you have decided and submit with entire submission.(4:64-65)
O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Apostle and do not turn back from Him while you hear. (5:20)
Although the Holy Prophet tried hard to remove the evil aspects of tribal prejudices and rivalries which were the source of all kinds of calamities during the Ignorance Era, the cultural aspects of the tribes still prevailed in society, demonstrating occasionally. As an example, as soon as the Holy Prophet passed away, the people of Aws and Khazraj enlivened their tribal inclinations.170 Thus, it was clear that some political figures of Quraysh would be rivals to Banu-Hashim and they would never tolerate a government headed by Banu-Hashim.
There are disagreements among scholars concerning the time of the revelation of the holy verses appertained to the Holy Prophet’s declaring Imam ‘Ali’s Imamate and succession to him. However, several documents prove the revelation of these two verses at Ghadir Khumm.171
The contents of these two verses show that they should have been revealed for an important topic, such as the succession to the prophethood. For instance, verse No. 3 of Surah al-Ma'idah puts emphasis on four topics, which are only related to the issue of Imamate:
a) The infidels who wrongly assumed that Islam was dependant on the Holy Prophet only and by his demise, it would come to an end are now despairing. However, with the adoption of a strong, just and distinguished man such as ‘Ali, it was clear that Islam would be ever-lasting.
b) Islam has been ultimately perfected. It could not have reached such perfection without the continuation of leadership.
c) The asset of guidance has been completed through the continuation of leadership.
d) God has accepted Islam as the perfect religion.172
Zayd ibn Harithah was one of the three commanders of the Muslim troops that fought in the Battle of Mu'tah in which the Muslim army was defeated by the Romans and three commanders together with some soldiers were martyred.
A year after that, the Muslim army went forward as far as the land of Tabuk, but no armed conflict took place. As a result of these consequences, the Holy Prophet always worried about a war with the Romans who were aggressive and powerful.
Upon his return from the Farewell Pilgrimage and arrival at Medina, the Holy Prophet ordered an army headed by Usamah, son of Zayd ibn Harithah, to advance as far as the land of Ubna,173 where his father had been martyred, and to fight the Romans. He then gave the banner to Usamah along with orders and instruction. Usamah betook himself al-Jurf174 as headquarter at which troops would gather.175 Chief personalities of Muhajirun and Ansar, including Abu-Bakr, ‘Umar, Abu-’Ubaydah ibn al-Jarrah, Sa’d ibn Abi-Waqqaz,176 ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, Talhah, al-Zubayr, Usayd ibn Hudhayr, Bashir ibn Sa’d,177 Sa’id ibn Zayd,178 Qatadah ibn al-Nu’man and Salamah ibn Aslam were among these troops.179
When the Holy Prophet was dispatching the army, he was in good health. However, the next day, he came down with fever which culminated in his death. On his death-bed, the Holy Prophet was informed that some of the troops did not accept Usamah's commandership claiming that he was too young. While he was completely weakened by illness, the Holy Prophet came to the mosque to encourage people to join Usamah, saying:
What is that I hear about your objection to Usamah's commandership? You are objecting to his commandership in the same way you did to his father. I swear to God, Zayd deserved commandership and so is his son.180
In his final days, the Holy Prophet was in a distressing position. Most of the time, he was unconscious. When he regained consciousness, he asked about Usamah's army. He was told that the troops were readying themselves to move. The Holy Prophet said,
“Help Usamah's army. May God curse those who lag behind this army.”181
His ailment lasted for two weeks;182 yet, this army did not move. This event is a clear indication of the cases of disobedience manifested by some Muslims to the Holy Prophet's distinct orders.
Concerning the Holy Prophet's trial to dispatch Usamah’s troops, there are important points to consider:
(1) In the mobilization of this army, the leadership was given to a young man who was less than twenty years old to fight against the most powerful army of those days away from the center of the Islamic government.
(2) In this army, senior commanders and grand Companions were put under the command of Usamah, the young. They considered themselves prestigious and expected greater ranks in that army.
(3) Although the Holy Prophet knew about his imminent death, as he had referred to this issue in the sermon of Ghadir, and that the dark, heavy clouds of disastrous events were hovering over the heads of Muslims, he sent the Muslim army to a far land and asked the grand personalities of Muhajirun and Ansar to join it on this mission. Considering the excellent managerial capacities of the Holy Prophet, we can never doubt that he had a great objective in mind to achieve.
Taking these notes into consideration, we can conclude that, in addition to carrying out military actions against the Romans to remove their danger, the Holy Prophet aimed at following two other objectives:
a) By appointing Usamah as the head of the army, the Holy Prophet wanted to make Muslims realize that the most important point in management and leadership is the leader's expertise and merits, but not his age. Hence, age has nothing to do with merits and capacities. For this reason, he replied to their objections by saying, “Zayd was a good leader, so is his son.”
Through this formal position, the Holy Prophet confirmed Usamah's merits and objected to the proposals of those who wanted to take age and racial issues into consideration. Wasn't this insistence on the Holy Prophet's side done to pave the way for ‘Ali's succession?
b) The Holy Prophet wanted ‘Ali's rivals to be away from Medina at the time of his demise. For this very reason, he ordered the chief personalities of Muhajirun and Ansar to join that army and leave Medina. He wanted ‘Ali to have control over things in the absence of his rivals who would not be able to do anything when they would see ‘Ali in power.183 For this reason, some personalities delayed the movement of the army waiting for the Holy Prophet’s demise.
On Thursday (four days prior to his demise), the Holy Prophet who was bedridden ordered,
“Bring me paper and pen so that I will write something saving you from going astray forever.”
One of the attendants said, “He is under severe pain; he is hallucinating! We have Qur'an; it suffices us.” Disagreement took place among the attendants; some accepted the statement of this person and others wanted to carry out the Holy Prophet's orders. There was now commotion. Then they asked the Holy Prophet, “Should we carry out your intentions?” he replied,
“After what has been done? Leave me alone; my pain is better than what you ascribe to me. Leave me alone.”
Narrators have reported this catastrophic event with little differences; yet, the sequence of the events is the same.184
We can now understand what the Holy Prophet had in mind. He wanted to appoint ‘Ali as his successor in a written form so that Muslims would not encounter any hardships after his demise. Some of the attendants had already concluded the matter; therefore, they exerted all possible efforts to prevent the Holy Prophet from writing down that document and from declaring his final will.
Considering this event with much pain, ‘Abdullah ibn ‘Abbas used to say: “How disastrous that Thursday was! The Prophet asked for pen and paper to write something saving Muslims from going astray, but those present ones did not listen.”
This issue is one of the principles of the history of Islam; it was told and retold several times in the past; therefore, we shall not say anything more; rather, we ask the gentle reader to refer to the reference books mentioned in the footnotes.185
After twenty-three years of spreading the Divine Mission, and after tremendous amount of hardships and insurmountable obstacles, the Holy Prophet passed away on Monday the twenty-eighth Safar, in the eleventh year of Hegira186 after fourteen days of ailment.187 He was buried in his small residing-place next to the mosque that he had established. Later on, when the mosque was rebuilt by some caliphs, his sacred shrine was located in its eastern section.
Several years after Hegira, economic conditions improved for the Holy Prophet and Muslims and the revenues of the treasury became well-managed. Besides, the Holy Prophet's superficial power and spiritual influences increased. Despite all that, the Holy Prophet's life pattern did not change in comparison with his past; he preferred to have a simple life in his residing-place next to the mosque. He neither amassed wealth nor obtained a usual home. The bed where he rested was made of leather with linen made of date-palm leaves.188 He used to pray on a mat and that was the place he rested. At times, the effect of the straws could be seen on his sacred body.189 Towards his end, he ordered to distribute among the needy some Dinars left from the treasury and kept by one of his wives.190
He lived a simple life and passed away in a simple residing-place. However, when he passed away, there was left a great religion, there remained a Divine and holy Book and a nation, God-loving and dynamic. There had been established a new civilization in the history of the world.
Upon his residence in Medina, the Holy Prophet took advantage of a free space and appropriate social conditions to lay the stone for an Islamic society and to overcame, yet gradually, all hindrances and obstacles. He gave the Muslim nation (ummah) an independent religious and political identity and spread the Divine Messages. At the time of his demise, he believed that he had fulfilled his mission and gained bright and brilliant successes. However, there were some issues in the society of those days requiring discussions:
(1) In the light of Islamic instructions, the Holy Prophet could unite the diverse tribes of Arabs who were always at odds with one another with the common bonds of faith, belief and brotherly care. He could make a unified nation out of scattered tribes. With the assistance of such people, he could establish in Medina a Divine government under his own leadership.
In this government, he could find solutions for the unsolved issues through consultation with people. Everybody was free to express his/her ideas and to criticize. For the first time and in the light of Islam, the Arab nation could experience such unity, power and spiritualism. However, the continuation of this success needed a powerful leader to guide people politically and spiritually.
(2) At the time of the Holy Prophet's demise, idolatry was more or less uprooted in the Arabian Peninsula. Although there was no military victory for Islam beyond the borders of the Arabian Peninsula, the Holy Prophet's universal invitation to Islam had reached the ears of the governors of the world’s countries of those days. However, inside the Arabian Peninsula, some of those who had converted to Islam on the final days of the Holy Prophet's life, (especially those who had turned to Islam after the conquest of Mecca and the Battle Tabuk, had only superficially accepted the new faith that had not yet penetrated into their souls. The Holy Prophet never found a chance to send religious missionaries among them for cultural purposes. Most of them had even not seen the Holy Prophet face to face. Only their chiefs had some contact with him. So, with the temporary weakness in the power of Islam, their return to blasphemy was probable. This situation made the continuation of the Islamic leadership even more pertinent so that the cultural work of the Holy Prophet could have continued.
(3) Although the death of ‘Abdullah ibn Ubayy, the head of the Hypocrites, in the ninth year of Hegira caused this dangerous group to lose some of their previous solidarity, they were around and inside Medina. They were always waiting for an opportunity to attack Muslims. In addition to the hypocrites who were considered internal enemies, there were two other external dangers for the newly-established government of Islam: the Iranian empire and the Romans. There were lots of signs for their enmity and negative attitudes towards Islam.
This vicious triangle made the Holy Prophet so concerned that he had to find solutions. This issue too made the presence of a strong leader absolutely necessary.
(4) Prior to the advent of Islam, the social life of the people inside the Arabian Peninsula was heavily reliant on the tribal system, which was based on racial and familial bonds. The social effects of such a system, including the blind tribal prejudices, nonsensical prides, revenge tacking and conflicts, had made life miserable for them.
Through hard working and boundless attempts, the Holy Prophet annihilated such a system and put the common faith for the common blood or the common race, in the light of Islam's unifying instructions and the word of monotheism. In this way, he was to a great extent able to eradicate the tribal system. All this was the result of Islam, the Holy Qur'an and the Holy Prophet's Mission.
However, history shows that the cultural remnants of this arrogant and ignorant age still remained in the hearts and souls of these people who manifested their tribal thinking as soon as they found it possible. However, the Holy Prophet, with his skill and vigor, always tried to stop this trend; he did not let it turn into a crisis. This once again showed the vulnerability of Islamic unity in those days. An example of this is the tribal inclinations between two distinguished groups of Muslims in the event of the Saqifah immediately after the demise of the Holy Prophet.
These worries clearly depicted the duties of the great leader of Islam in those days and the whole issue was a great test to show who was after the unity of Islam and would sacrifice everything for that unity on the one hand and who would insist on the cultural aspects of the Ignorance Era on the other hand.
(5) After his migration to Medina, the Holy Prophet was both the religious and political leader for Muslims. He undertook these two missions simultaneously so much so that Muslims would listen to his words, perform the congregational prayers, and be so absorbed by his spiritual charisma that they would rub the water of his ritual ablution on their faces, participate in the military campaigns, slay the enemies, ready themselves to martyrdom, be appointed by him as governors of provinces, and carry out negotiations on his behalf with his political opponents. After his demise, it was not enough for his successor to be a political leader; rather, he had to perform the political leadership together with religious leadership so that he would be able to fill the Holy Prophet's empty place on the strength of his thorough awareness of the Islamic knowledge.
- 1. Muhammad al-Ghazzali, the Trial of Goldziher the Zionist, pp. 79-80.
- 2. Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 1:258-262.
- 3. Miyanji, Makatib al-Rasul 1:31. Ibn Husham, in al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:254, states that the Holy Prophet sent ten letters to the rulers and kings of the world. According to Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:66-67, the Holy Prophet’s letters were thirteen. Mas’udi, in al-Tanbih wa’l-Ishraf pp. 236-237, states that they were six. A contemporary researchers, namely Ahmad Sabiri Hamadani, in his book of Muhammad wa-Zimamdaran, the Holy Prophet’s letters were only two or three!
- 4. al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 2:434; Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:360.
- 5. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 637-703. Al-Ya’qubi states that the number of these letters was twenty thousand (2:46).
- 6. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 637.
- 7. According to Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:266, the name was Yusayr ibn Rizam.
- 8. Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:91-92.
- 9. Ibn Husham, op cit, 4:266-267.
- 10. Muhammad Hasanayn Haykal, Hayat Muhammad, pp. 386.
- 11. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 634.
- 12. Al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 646.
- 13. Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk 3:93; Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:349; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 4:186.
- 14. The Holy Prophet’s statement and Imam ‘Ali’s mission were reported with some differences in the following reference books: Sahih al-Bukhari 1:5; Sahih Muslim 15:76-177; Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:110-111; Shaykh al-Saduq, Kitab al-Irshad, pp. 311; Tarikh al-Tabari 3:93; al-Qanaduzi, Yanabi’ al-Mawaddah 1:47; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:219; Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isi’ab 3:36; al-Hakim al-Naysaburi, al-Mustadrak ‘Ala’l-Sahihayn 3:104; Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 3:349; Ibn Hajar, al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, pp. 121; al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 2:635; Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:46; Ibn Kathir, al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 4:186; al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 2:733-736; Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Amali, pp. 380.
- 15. Sahih Muslim 15:176.
Sa’d ibn Abi-Waqqaz (belonged to Banu-Zuhrah) was one of the early converts to Islam at the age of seventeen (Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 3:134) or fourteen (al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 1:434) in Mecca. In Medina, he was considered one of the great figures of Muhajirun. He was among ‘Ali's political rivals and one of the members of the six-member council who was set to select a caliph after ‘Umar’s assassination. He refused to vote for ‘Ali (Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah 1:188). After the assassination of ‘Uthman, Imam ‘Ali was elected by all Muslims except a few group among was Sa’d who rejected to pay homage to Imam ‘Ali (Mas’udi, Muruj al-Dhahab 2:353; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 3:191). Despite his situation from Imam ‘Ali, he had to confess these three unmatched virtues of ‘Ali.
- 16. Saduq, al-Khizal, pp. 369, chapter 7.
- 17. al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 21:32.
- 18. Muhammad Ibrahim Ayati, the History of the Prophet of Islam, pp. 473-475.
- 19. al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 2:690; Yaqut al-Hamawi, Mu’jam al-Buldan 2:410.
- 20. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 3:352.
- 21. Yaqut al-Hamawi, op cit, pp. 410; al-Buladhari, Futuh al-Buldan, pp. 36-37.
- 22. al-Buladhari, op cit, pp. 42; Ibn Husham 2:352; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:224; al-Waqidi, op cit, 2:707; Yaqut al-Hamawi, op cit, 4:236; Qasim ibn Sallam, al-Amwal, pp. 16.
- 23. Zayni Dahlan, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 2:170-171; Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:289-290.
- 24. Halabi writes: “The Holy Prophet sent a letter to Hercules, the Roman emperor, who resided in Damascus at that time.” See al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 2:786.
- 25. Halabi, op cit, 2:786.
- 26. al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 2:755; Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:128.
- 27. Ja’far ibn Abi-Talib, having lived in Abyssinia for several years, returned to Medina in the seventh year of Hegira. After the conquest of Khaybar, he met the Holy Prophet there. The Holy Prophet was so delighted with Ja’far’s return that he said, “I do not know which news is more delightful; Ja’far’s return or the conquest of Khaybar!” See al-Hakim al-Naysaburi’s al-Mustadrak ‘Ala’l-Sahihayn 2:624. For further information, refer to Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 4:35, Ibn al-Athir, Usd al-Ghabah 1:287; Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isi’ab 1:210; Abu’l-Faraj al-Izfahani, Maqatil al-Talibiyyin, pp. 30; Ibn Kathir: al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 4:206.
- 28. Tabrisi, I’lam al-Wara, pp. 107. Although some reports state that Zayd had taken the commandership of the Muslim army during that battle before Ja’far, some Shi’ite narrations (according to Tabarsi) show that Ja’far was the first commander, as is confirmed by some details of the event. See Subhani, Furugh Abadiyyat 2:291-293. A narration reported by Ibn Sa’d deals with this issue. (Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:130). For further information, refer to Ja’far Murtadha’s Dirasat wa-Buhuth fi’l-Tarikh wa’l-Islam 1:210 and the following pages.
- 29. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:19-21; Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk 3:107-110; al-Waqidi, op cit, 2:755-769; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 2:128-130; Halabi, op cit, 2:787-793; Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara pp. 102-104; Zayni Dahlan, op cit, 2:68-72; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 21:50-63; Tusi, al-Amali, pp. 141.
- 30. al-Maghazi 2:769.
- 31. Al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:30.
- 32. Muhammad Ibrahim Ayati, the History of the Prophet of Islam, pp. 501.
- 33. This city is situated in Jordan, in the southern province of Karak, which is 135 Kilometers away from the capital Amman.
- 34. Ja’far Subhani, A report of a journey made to Jordan (Mu'tah, the land of Memories), Lessons from the School of Islam Magazine, year 38, Issue No. 7, Mehr 1377 ASH.
- 35. Prior to Islam, these two tribes were on terms of enmity (Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:310). Since that time, Banu-Khuza’ah were the allies of ‘Abd al-Muttalib (al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 2:781).
- 36. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 1:33; al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 2:783; Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:47.
Ibn Husham writes, “An individual from Banu-Khuza’ah was killed in this attack.” (4:33) However, al-Waqidi and Ibn Sa’d mention that twenty individuals were killed in this event. (al-Maghazi 2:784; Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:134).
- 37. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 744-800; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 2:135.
- 38. al-Waqidi, op cit, 2:746-802; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 2:134.
- 39. al-Waqidi, op cit, 2:787-796; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 2:134.
- 40. Ibn Husham, op cit, 4:34; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 2:134; Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:47.
- 41. Ibn Husham 4:42, pp. 63; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 2:135; al-Waqidi, op cit, 2:801.
- 42. Ibn Husham, op cit, pp. 42, 44, 46; al-Waqidi, op cit, 2:817-819.
- 43. The casualties were between fifteen and twenty-eight. See Ibn Husham, op cit, pp. 50; al-Waqidi, op cit, 2:825; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 2:136.
- 44. Ibn Husham, op cit, 4:49; al-Waqidi, op cit, 2:832; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 2:136. Also see Shaykh al-Tusi, al-Amali, pp. 336; al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:30; Zayni Dahlan, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 2:102; Qastalani, al-Mawahib al-Ludaniyyah 1:322; Ibn Tawus, al-Tara’if 1:80-81; Ibn Shahrashub, al-Manaqib 2:135-136; Zamakhshari, Tafsir al-Kashshaf 2:244.
Allamah Amini has reported this event from forty-one Sunni narrators. (al-Ghadir 7:10-13). On the basis of some reference books (such as: al-Khawarzmi’s al-Manaqib, Fara'id al-Simtayn, Yanabi’ al-Mawaddah, and Tadhkirat al-Khawazz) and in accordance with some narrations recorded in Bihar al-Anwar, this event had taken place one year prior to the Emigration and had taken part at night without letting Quraysh know about it Most probably, the event might have happened in both ways.
The ascent of ‘Ali over the Holy Prophet’s shoulders has been mentioned by some poets, such as Ibn al-’Arandas al Hilli, a poet of the ninth century, who composed the following:
‘Ali’s ascent on Ahmad’s shoulders was more a great virtue and a lofty point of honor for ‘Ali. This virtue is different from being a relative of the prophet.
In the same way, Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, in one of his elegies, which is related to Mecca’s conquest, composed the following:
You have ascended on the loftiest shoulders which were surrounded with the Qur’an-reciting angels. You have climbed the shoulder of the best of God’s prophets; the shoulder of the dearest and holiest person who has ever lived on the earth.
See Muhammad Ibrahim Ayati, the History of the Prophet of Islam, pp. 524-530.
- 45. Al-Hurr al-’Amili: Wasa'il al-Shi’ah 9:323, Narration 1.
- 46. The number is recorded to have been between eight and ten. (Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:51-53; al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 2:825; Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:136.) However, some of them were pardoned by the Holy Prophet.
- 47. Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:49; Zayni Dahlan, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 2:48.
- 48. Ibn Husham, op cit, 4:58; Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:50; al-Waqidi, op cit, 2:844, with some alterations of words.
- 49. Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Tabataba’i, al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an 19:246. This contract was convened after the revelation of the following holy verses:
O Prophet! When believing Women come to you giving you a pledge that they will not associate aught with Allah, and will not steal, and will not commit Fornication, and will not kill their children, nor commit a calumny which they have forged of themselves, and will not disobey you in what is good, accept their pledge, and ask forgiveness of them from Allah; surely Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. (60:11)
Because the content of this treaty was the same as that of the first ‘Aqabah, it is sometimes called bay’at al-nisa' (the pledge of women).
- 50. Al-Nuwayri, Nihayat al-Irab 3:11.
- 51. Al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:61.
- 52. Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 1:303.
- 53. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 307.
- 54. Op cit, pp. 248; al-Nuwayri, op cit, pp. 37.
- 55. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 326.
- 56. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 292; al-Nuwayri, op cit, pp. 38.
- 57. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 330; al-Nuwayri, op cit, pp. 89.
- 58. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 331; al-Nuwayri, op cit, pp. 83.
- 59. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 352; al-Nuwayri, op cit, pp. 103.
- 60. Ibn Sa’d, op cit.
- 61. al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 1:966.
- 62. al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 3:889; Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk 3:125. Other reference books state another date for the conquest of Mecca.
- 63. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 125; Qastalani, al-Mawahib al-Ludaniyyah 1:216.
- 64. Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:50.
- 65. Qastalani, op cit, pp. 227; al-Nuwayri, Nihayat al-Irab 2:280-281; Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:145-147.
- 66. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:80; Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk 3:126.
- 67. Ibn Husham, op cit, 4:82; Tabari, op cit, 2:127; al-Waqidi, op cit, 3:893.
- 68. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 889; Tabari, op cit, pp. 127.
- 69. Ibn Husham, pp. 83; Tabari, op cit, pp. 127; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 2:150; Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara, pp. 113; Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:52.
- 70. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 843; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 150.
- 71. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 889; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 150; Tabarsi, op cit, pp. 113; Shaykh al-Mufid, Kitab al-Irshad, pp. 74.
- 72. Hunayn was a valley, near Dhu’l-Majaz in a distance of three nights away from Mecca.
- 73. Ibn Husham, op cit, pp. 85; al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 845; Tabari, op cit, pp. 128; Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara, pp. 14; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 21:169; Shaykh al-Mufid, op cit, pp. 75.
- 74. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 897; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 150.
- 75. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 900; Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:52.
- 76. Kitab al-Irshad, pp. 74; concerning Imam ‘Ali’s bravery during this was, see Shaykh al-Tusi’s al-Amali, pp. 574-575.
- 77. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 151; Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:52; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 21:150.
- 78. The Romans were neighbors to the northern part of the Arabian peninsula on the Damascus side.
- 79. al-Waqidi, al-Maghaz 3:440. Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:165; Qastalan, op cit, pp. 346; Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:99. This report was forged by the Nabataean tradesmen who also carried oil and flour to Medina (al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 989-990).
- 80. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 990.
- 81. al-Waqidi, op cit, Ibn Sa’d, op cit.
- 82. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 166.
- 83. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, Qastalan, op cit; Halabi, op cit, Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk 3:142.
- 84. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 992; Tabari, op cit; Halabi, op cit; Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:159.
- 85. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 990-991; Qastalan, op cit, 1:347; Halabi, op cit, Ibn Husham, op cit, pp. 160, Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara, pp. 122.
- 86. Tabuk was a famous place located between Medina and Damascus (Qastalan, al-Mawahib al-Ludaniyyah 1:346; Zayni Dahlan, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 2:125). It is 540 kilometers away from Medina. It took a traveler twelve nights to reach there. (Mas’udi, pp. 235). In those days, it was on the border of the Roman-occupied territories in Damascus where Christians used to live. Today, Tabuk is one of the cities of Saudi Arabia near the Jordanian borders and the terrific sign on the northern side of Medina shows 600 Kilometers to Tabuk.
- 87. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 165-167; al-Waqidi, op cit; Qastalan, pp. 346; Tabarsi, op cit, Halabi, op cit, pp. 99; Ibn Husham, op cit, pp. 159.
- 88. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 991; Tabari, op cit, 3:142.
- 89. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 166; al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 996, 1002; Qastalan, op cit, pp. 349; Halabi, op cit, pp. 102.
- 90. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 1002; Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 166.
- 91. Mas’udi, al-Tanbih wa’l-Ishraf, pp. 235.
- 92. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 165-166; al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 995.
- 93. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 993; Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:160; Qastalan, op cit, pp. 342.
- 94. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 995; Ibn Husham, op cit, 4:162.
- 95. Shaykh al-Mufid, Kitab al-Irshad, pp. 82; Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara, pp. 122.
- 96. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, al-Isi’ab 3:34; Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:104; Qastalan, al-Mawahib al-Ludaniyyah 1:348.
- 97. Ibn ‘Abd al-Barr, op cit, pp. 27; Ja’far Murtadha al-’Amili, al-Sahih min Sirat al-Nabi al-A’¨am 4:193-196.
- 98. Al-Jurf is a place three miles away from Medina.
- 99. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:163; Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 9:104).
- 100. Sahih al-Bukhari 6:304; al-Maghazi, chapter 95, pp. 857; Sahih Muslim 15:175. The Holy Prophet's words on ‘Ali can be found in the following reference books: al-Mawahib 1:348; al-Isti’ab 3:34; al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 5:7 and 8:77; Musnad Ahmad 1:179; Kanz al-’Ummal, h. 14242, 32881, 36572, Sahih al-Tirmidhi, chap. 21, h. 3730; al-Tanbih wa’l-Ishraf, pp. 235; al-Sawa’iq al-Muhriqah, pp. 121; al-Izabah 2:509 No. 5688; Zayni Dahlan’s al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 2:126; Muruj al-Dhahab 3:14; Amali by Shaykh al-Tusi, pp. 599.
- 101. Despite this clear set of argumentations, among Sunni scholars, such as Halabi and Ibn Taymiyah, have doubted the authenticity of these narrations. For further information about the authenticity of this narration and similar ones, refer to al-Ghadir 3:197-201; Ihqaq al-Haqq 5:133-234; Leadership from Islamic Point of View by Ja’far Subhani, chapter 15.
- 102. There was one horse for every three men.
- 103. Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:167; Qastalan, al-Mawahib al-Ludaniyyah 1:346; Halabi, op cit, 3:106.
- 104. Sahih al-Bukhari 6:308; Mas’udi, al-Tanbih wa’l-Ishraf, pp. 235; Qastalan, op cit, pp. 346. This name and title is taken from the Holy Qur’an 9:117.
- 105. Al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 3:1990-1991.
- 106. Halabi, op cit, pp. 99.
- 107. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, 2:166, 168; al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 1015.
- 108. Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara, pp. 123; Qastalan, op cit, pp. 350; Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk 3:146.
- 109. Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:165; Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:159; Halabi, op cit, pp. 49; Qastalan, op cit, pp. 346.
- 110. Ja’far Subhani, Furugh-e-Abadiyyat 2:403-404.
- 111. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:205. Biographers of the Holy Prophet’s life have amassed a list of these treaties enumerating them as sixty; see Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 1:291-359; The History of the Prophet of Islam by Muhammad Ibrahim Ayati, pp. 609-642.
- 112. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:190.
- 113. This event, with some variations, has appeared in the following reference books: Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk 3:154; Sirat Ibn Husham 4:190; al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:291, Majma’ al-Bayan 5:3; Tadhkirat al-Khawaz, pp. 57; al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 537-38 and 7:358; Ruh al-Ma’ani; Tafsir al-Manar 10:157.
- 114. Circumambulating the Kaaba with naked body was one of the signs of the religious corruptions of the infidels. It had its roots in Quraysh’s control over the Kaaba.
- 115. The content of the Holy Prophet's warning, with some alterations, appears in the following reference books: Sirat Ibn Husham 4:191; Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an 9:163, 165; Tafsir al-Manar 10:157; al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 7:358, al-Ghadir 6:343, 348.
- 116. Tabari, Tarikh al-Umam wa’l-Muluk 3:154; Ibn al-Athir, al-Kamil fi’l-Tarikh 2:291.
- 117. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:191; Ibn al-Athir, al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 5:37.
- 118. Najran is one of the Yemenite centers next to Mecca. (al-Hamawi, Mu’jam al-Buldan 5:266).
Abu’l-Fida (672-732 AH) in, Taqwim al-Buldan, pp. 127 writes: “Najran is a small town with palm-groves; the distance between Mecca and Najran is about a twenty-day journey.” This town might have developed in the following centuries, because Zayni Dahlan (1231-1304 AH) writes: “Najran is a large city, near Mecca, on the way to Yemen, consisting of seventy three villages.” (al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 2:144). As the maps of Saudi Arabia shows, Najran is now one of the cities of that country, near the boarders with the Yemen.
- 119. Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:70-71; al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 5:53; Bihar al-Anwar 2:285; al-Watha’iq, pp. 34; ‘Ali Ahmadi, Makatib al-Rasul 1:175.
- 120. Sayyid Ibn Tawus, Iqbal al-A’mal 2:311.
- 121. Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:235-236; Zayni Dahlan, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 2:144; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 21:347. ‘Allamah al-Majlisi has gathered all reports and narrations about the Holy Prophet’s discussions with the missionary of Najran in volume 21 of Bihar al-Anwar, pp. 319-355.
- 122. Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara, pp. 129; Majma’ al-Bayan 2:452; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 21:337.
- 123. Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:236; Zayni Dahlan, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah wa’l-Athar al-Muhammadiyyah 2:144.
- 124. Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:72; Tabarsi, I’lam al-Wara, pp. 129.
- 125. Halabi, op cit; Zayni Dahlan, op cit; Zamakhshari, Tafsir al-Kashshaf 1:193; al-Fakhr al-Razi, Mafatih al-Ghayb 8:82; Sayyid Muhammad Tabataba’i, al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an 3:231; al-Baydhawi, Anwar al-Tanzil, pp. 74.
- 126. See Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:72; Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:358, Futuh al-Buldan, pp. 75-76; al-Watha’iq, pp. 134-135; al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah wa’l-Athar al-Muhammadiyyah 2:144; al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:236; Tafsir al-Kashshaf 1:191; Mafatih al-Ghayb 8:182; Al-Mizan 3:232.
- 127. al-Azraqi, Akhbar Makkah 1:176; Ibn ‘Abd-Rabbih, al-’Iqd al-Farid 3:313.
- 128. al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 3:1102; Zayni Dahlan, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 2:143.
- 129. Husham Kalbi, al-Aznam, pp. 13. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 1:88; Mahmud Shukri al-Alusi, Bulugh al-Irab 2:202.
- 130. Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:317.
- 131. al-Waqidi, op cit, 3:1104.
- 132. Shaykh al-Kulayni, al-Furu’ min al-Kafi 21:390.
- 133. Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:181; Halabi, op cit, 3:327.
- 134. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 1104.
- 135. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 1102; Zayni Dahlan, op cit, 2:143; al-Majlisi, op cit, 21:392.
- 136. al-Waqidi, op cit, pp. 1104; al-Majlisi, op cit, pp. 379.
- 137. Zayni Dahlan, op cit 2:143.
- 138. Ibn Husham, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah 4:250-252; Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:312; Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:186; al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 3:1111; al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 21:380. It is worth mentioning that according to both Ibn Sa’d and al-Waqidi, the Holy Prophet delivered this sermon at the desert of Mina.
- 139. Zamakhshari, op cit. Fakhr Razi, without mentioning the name of ‘A'ishah, records this narration and adds, “Both Sunni and Shi’ite scholars consider this narration authentic.” (al-Tafsir al-Kabir 8:82). Al-Shablanji says, “Various reference books reckon this narration as valid.” (Nur al-Abzar, pp. 111).
- 140. The following reference books deal with this same topic: Tafsir al-Kashshaf 1:193; Mafatih al-Ghayb 8:82; al-Durr al-Manthur 2:231-233, as narrated by al-Hakim, Ibn Mardawayh, Abu-Na’im in al-Dala’il; Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Ibn al-Mundhir, al-Bayhaqi, in al-Sunan, and Ibn Jarir; Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:71; Sharaf al-Nabi, pp. 262; al-Baydhawi, Anwar al-Tanzil, pp. 74; Nur al-Abzar, pp. 111; Manaqib ‘Ali Ibn Abi-Talib by Ibn Mardawayh, pp. 226.
However, the most detailed description of this report can be found in Sayyid Ibn Tawus’s Iqbal al-A’mal 2:310-348.
Despite the existence of so many narrations concerning al-Mubahalah, some historians, influenced by their prejudices, have manipulated the narrations adding or subtracting materials according to their whims and desires. For instance, al-Buladhari, Ibn Kathir and al-Shi’bi have omitted the name of ‘Ali from the narration. (See Futuh al-Buldan, pp. 75, al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 2:232.) Halabi and Zayni Dahlan both have put the names of ‘A'ishah and Hafzah among the participants; they have reported ‘Umar as having said, “If I wanted to partake in the Mubahalah with those people (i.e. the Christians), I would let ‘Ali, Hasan, Husayn, Fatimah, ‘A'ishah and Hafzah take part.” (al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:236; al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah wa’l-Athar al-Muhammadiyyah 2:144-145). Al-Suyuti narrates from Ibn ‘Asakir that the Prophet invited Abu-Bakr and his children and ‘Ali and his children for Mubahalah! (Al-Durr al-Manthur 2:333).
The effects of forging and distortion are so obvious in these narrations that we do not need for further explanation of the issue. It only suffices to mention that if the word nisa'ana included the Prophet's wives, why should only two of them, namely ‘A'ishah and Hafzah were worthy of to take part in Mubahalah?
- 141. Sahih Muslim 15:176.
- 142. Tafsir al-Kashshaf 1:193.
- 143. Anwar al-Tanzil, pp. 74.
- 144. Al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 21:350.
- 145. For more information, see Makatib al-Rasul 1: 179; Furugh-e-Abadiyyat 2:441-445.
- 146. This was the final juncture of the pilgrims. The directions of the pilgrims of Egypt, Iraq and Medina were separated, each one taking their appropriate direction.
- 147. Allamah Amini, al-Ghadir fi al-Kitab wa’l-Sunnah wa’l-Adab 1:10.
- 148. They only doubt the reference of this event to ‘Ali. For instance, in the international symposium for the recognition of Shi’ism, which was held in Istanbul, Turkey, with the participation of great scholars of Islamic countries and with the presence of a group of distinguished Muslim scholars of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Dr. Muhammad Sa’id Ramadhan al-Buti, one of the distinguished scholars of the University of Syria criticized the statements of one speaker who had denied the event of Ghadir saying, “There is no doubt about the narration of Ghadir and his participation in it. However, it does not pertain to Shi’ites…” This claim was answered by an Iranian scholar. See Congresses and Scientific Circles of Ayatullah, pp. 21, 27.
- 149. Al-Ghadir 1:14-15.
- 150. Returning to Medina, the Holy Prophet traveled at night until he reached a placed close to al-Juhafah called Ghadir Khumm. That was on the eighteenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah. Taking ‘Ali from the hand, the Holy Prophet delivered a sermon there in which he said, “Am I not superior to the believers than themselves?” The attendants answered affirmative. He then said, “‘Ali is now the master of him who has considered me as his master. O Allah, be the confidant of him who confides with ‘Ali and be the enemy of him who incurs the hostility of ‘Ali.” (2:102).
Contrary to what is commonly said, Mas’udi has referred to this event to have taken place on the Holy Prophet's return from Hudaybiyah:
On his return from Hudaybiyah, the Prophet said to the Commander of the Believers ‘Ali ibn Abi-Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) at Ghadir Khumm, “‘Ali is now the master of him whose master was I.” That was on the eighteenth of Dhu’l-Hijjah. See al-Tanbih wa’l-Ishraf, pp. 221.
In Muruj al-Dhahab 2:245, counting the virtues of ‘Ali, the author refers shortly to the event of the Divinely commissioned leadership of Imam ‘Ali by saying,
Things due to which the companions of Allah’s Messenger deserved favor are precedence to faith, migration, supporting Allah’s Messenger, nearness to him, satisfaction, self-sacrifice for him, knowledgeability with the Holy Book and the Revelation, strife for Allah’s sake, piety, asceticism, judicature, fair judgment, jurisprudence, and knowledge. In all these, ‘Ali (peace be upon him) had the biggest share and the greatest part. He was exclusively addressed by Allah’s Messenger when he associated as brothers each two of his companions, saying, “You are my brother.” Of course, Allah’s Messenger is matchless and incomparable. He also addressed ‘Ali by saying, “Your position to me is the same as Aaron’s position to Moses except that there will be no prophet after me.” He also said, “‘Ali is now the master of him whose master was I. O Allah, support him who supports ‘Ali and antagonize him who incurs the hostility of ‘Ali.”
- 151. Ibn Shahrashub, Ma’alim al-’Ulama’, pp. 106; Ibn Tawus, al-Tara’if; Ibn Bitriq, ‘Uyun Sihah al-Akhbar 1:157.
This book is referred to by other names, such as Kitab al-Fadha'il, hadith al-wilayah, and Kitab Ghadir Khumm. These titles might have been taken by authors with regards to the content of the book. Some others have put the name of a special section of the book for the whole book. As we will see in the next footnote, al-Najashi entitles it as al-radd ‘ala al-hurquziyyah (Refutations of Hurquz’s claims). Hurquz ibn Zuhayr was one of leaders of Khawarij. Most probably, the adoption of this title was to indicate and refer to the opponents of ‘Ali as apostates.
- 152. Al-Najashi, Fihrist Muzannaf al-Shi’ah, pp. 225. In his book of Iqbal al-A’mal 2:239, Sayyid Ibn Tawus refers to this name.
- 153. Tusi, al-Fihrist, pp. 281.
- 154. It is worth mentioning that while Ibn Kathir mentions the event of al-Ghadir, he distorts its relation to ‘Ali.
- 155. Ibn Kathir, op cit, 11:147. This belongs to the events of the year 310 which coincides with Tabari's death.
- 156. Ma’alim al-’Ulama', pp. 106.
- 157. Al-Tara’if 1:142.
- 158. This book has been printed in three volumes in Qum by the Foundation for Islamic Publications in 1414 AH. In its first volume, page 130 on, Tabari's narrations are recorded.
- 159. Op cit, 1:130.
- 160. Op cit, 1:130. His motive in writing this book was that he was informed that one of the experts in Baghdad has denied and rejected the event of Ghadir, claiming that on the Prophet's return from the Farewell Pilgrimage, ‘Ali was not with him; rather, he was in Yemen. Tabari was extremely moved by this lie and denial; so, he wrote the book of al-Wilayah to repudiate the view of that expert. In his book, he described the event of Ghadir and confirmed its authenticity. (Sharh al-Akhbar 1:130; Yaqut al-Hamawi, Mu’jam al-Buldan 18:84-85). According to Ibn ‘Asakir and al-Dhahabi, the expert mentioned above was Abu-Bakr ibn Abi-Dawud al-Sajistani, the author of Sunan Abi-Dawud. (Tarikh Madinat Dimashq 52:197-198; Tarikh al-Islam, pp. 213; Tadhkirat al-Huffa¨ 2:713.
Abu-Bakr Ibn Abi-Dawud is accused of having hatred against ‘Ali (Tarikh Madinat Dimashq 29:87; Mizan al-I’tidal 2:434; Tarikh Baghdad 9:467-468.
- 161. Sharh al-Akhbar 1:134-135. For more information on Kitab al-Wilayah, see Fadhl ‘Ali, by Rasul Ja’fariyan, 34.
- 162. Al-Ghadir 1:350, 354, 356.
- 163. For instance, the Holy Prophet is reported to have said, “The matrimonial contract of any woman that is married before obtaining the permission of her mawla (guardian) is void.”
- 164. Al-Ghadir 1:367-370.
- 165. According to a narration reported by Ahmad ibn Hanbal Musnad Ahmad 1:119 and Ibn al-Athir’s Usd al-Ghabah 4:28, the Holy Prophet said, “Am I not superior to the believers than their own lives? Aren't my wives their mothers?”
It is completely clear that when he refers to his wives as the mothers of the believers, the statement that is confirmed in verse 6 of Surah al-Ahzab is uttered to strengthen his prophethood. His reference to his status as superior to the lives of Muslims shows that he wanted to emphasize his own prophetic position and later on ‘Ali's position.
It is worth mentioning that Ibn Kathir considers its source as dubious, without presenting any reason whatsoever. (al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 5:211). This is while its first narrator, i.e.; ‘Abd al-Rahman ibn Abi-Layla has been confirmed by Sunni scholars as trustworthy. Besides, this hadith has been narrated by many others. (see al-Ghadir 1:177-178).
- 166. For a complete list of these signers and witnesses, see al-Ghadir 1:370-385; Leadership in the Eyes of Islam, Ja’far Subhani, pp. 234-238.
- 167. For further information, see al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 3:1081; al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 5:208-209.
- 168. Nihayat al-Irab 3:168; al-Bidayah wa’l-Nihayah 5:209; Ibn ‘Asakir, Tarikh Madinat Dimashq 1:386.
- 169. Historians and biographers mention the number of the troops under Imam ‘Ali’s mission to Yemen as three hundred. See al-Waqidi, al-Maghazi 3:1019; al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:169.
- 170. Ibn Qutaybah al-Daynawari, al-Imamah wa’l-Siyasah, pp. 24-25.
- 171. For further information, see al-Ghadir 1: 214, 247.
- 172. For further information concerning this and also data related to the distance between the abovementioned two verses (in Surah al-Ma’idah) and the fact that what comes in the latter part of the 3rd verse deals with forbidden meats and not related to the issue of succession, see Tafsir Namunah 4:263-271.
- 173. A location in Syria between ‘Asqalan and Ramlah, close to Mu'tah. See Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:227.
- 174. A place three miles away from Damascus.
- 175. Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:190; ‘Abd al-Qadir Badran, Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 1:121; Zayni Dahlan, 2:138; Halabi, op cit, pp. 227.
- 176. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 190; Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah 3:227; Zayni Dahlan, al-Sirah al-Nabawiyyah wa’l-Athar al-Muhammadiyyah 2:138.
- 177. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah 6:52.
- 178. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 190; ‘Abd al-Qadir Badran, Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 1:121.
- 179. Ibn Sa’d, op cit, pp. 190; al-Miqrizi, Amta’ al-Asma’ 2:124; Tahdhib Tarikh Dimashq 1:121.
- 180. Ibn Sa’d, op cit; al-Miqrizi, op cit, 2:124; Zayni Dahlan, op cit; ‘Abd al-Qadir Badran, op cit; Halabi, op cit, pp. 228; According to Sahih al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, the words of the Prophet were:
If you impugn his commandership, you have already been impugning his father. By Allah I swear, he was very suitable for leadership. He was one of my dearest people. This one is also my dearest one after his father.
See Sahih al-Bukhari 6:326, H. 9; Sahih Muslim 15:195.
- 181. Muhammad ibn ‘Abd al-Karim al-Shahristani, pp. 29.
- 182. Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi 2:178.
- 183. From the improper analysis that Ibn Abi’l-Hadid puts on this issue, we understand that this Shi’ite analysis has always been a controversial issue among historians.
- 184. Sahih al-Bukhari 1:120; al-Maghazi, pp. 317-318; Sahih Muslim 11:89; Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra 2:242; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, Sharh Nahj al-Balaghah, quoted from Abu-Bakr al-Jawhari, Kitab al-Saqifah.
- 185. For example, see the following sources: Ibn Tawus, al-Tara’if fi Ma’rifat Madhahib al-Tawa’if 2:431-435; Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi, al-Nazz wa’l-Ijtihad, pp. 162-177; Ja’far Subhani, Furugh-e-Abadiyyat 2:493-500; Mustafavi, al-Haqa'iq fi Tarikh al-Islam wa’l-Fitan wa’l-Ahdath, pp. 129-135; Yusuf Qulayni, pas az ghurub 1:38-53; Muhammad Hasanayn Haykal, Hayat al-Nabi, pp. 501; Sahih Muslim commentary of al-imam al-nawawi 11:84-93.
- 186. Muhammad Baqir al-Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar 22:514; the date of the prophet's demise is reported differently in some sources. See op cit, pp. 514-521; Ibn Sa’d, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, 3:272-274; al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, 3:454.
- 187. Ibn Wadhih, Tarikh al-Ya’qubi, 2:178.
- 188. Halabi, al-Sirah al-Halabiyyah, 3:454.
- 189. Ibid.
- 190. Ibn Sa’d, Al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, 2:237-239.