Complete Tafseer from Agha Mahdi Pooya regarding Surah Al-Ma’idah – Ayat 67
The followers of "Muhammad and ali Muhammad" are quite certain that this verse descended about the wilayah (regency) of Ali on the day of Ghadir Khumm, and the traditions in our records on the subject are numerous and consecutively transmitted through the Imams of the holy posterity of the Holy Prophet, whose reporting is enough for us, and should also be so for the Muslims, because they alone are the truthful (sadiqin) as per verse 119 of al Tawbah (9:119) (refer to Hafiz Abu Nu’aym; Muwaffaq ibn Ahmad; and Ibn Hajar in his Sawa-iq al Muhriqah, chap. 11, p. 90).
Ibn abi Hatim quotes Abu Sa-id Khudri and Antara; Ibn Marduwayh quotes Abdullah bin Masud and Abu Sa-id Khudri; Ibn Asakir quotes Abu Said Khudri; Abu Bakr Shirazi, Muhammad bin Talha Qarshi and Sayyid Ali al Hamdani quote Abdullah bin Abbas; Nizamuddin Nayshapuri quotes Abdullah bin Abbas, Abu Sa-id Khudri and Bara bin Azib, to say that this verse was revealed about the wilayah of Ali ibn abi Talib; and Sabbagh Maliki in Fusul al Muhimma; Badruddin Ayni in Umdatul Qari, Muhaddith Shirazi in Kitab al Arba-in; Shahabuddin Ahmad in Tawdih al Dala-il; and Mu-tamad Khan Badakhshani in Miftah al Nijat also confirm it.
Hafiz Abu Bakr bin Marduwayh in Manaqib quotes Abdullah bin Masud that during the life time of the Holy Prophet they used to recite this verse with Inna Aliyyan Mawla al mu-minin (Ali is the master of the faithful).
The shortest narration of the event of Ghadir is given below:
While returning from his last hajj, in 10 Hijra, the Holy Prophet, alongwith the huge caravan of nearly one hundred thousand Muslims, made a halt at Ghadir Khumm, a midway stop between Makka and Madina.
He had received the following verse from Allah:
O Our Messenger! Deliver what has been sent down unto you from your Lord; and if you do not, then you have not delivered His Message; and surely Allah will protect you from men." (Ma’idah, 5:67)
The Holy Prophet mounted a tall pulpit and delivered a long sermon, recounting his services towards the fulfilment of his mission as the messenger of Allah. He asked the audience whether he had conveyed to them the commands of Allah, enumerating them one after another.
The huge gathering, in one voice, said "yes". "Do I wield authority over your souls more than you do?" He asked.
"Certainly it is so, O Messenger of Allah". They replied.
Then he asked Ali to come up. He held him in both his hands, raised him high, so much that the whole assembly of men and women saw him clearly.
He again addressed them:
"O men and women! Allah is my Mawla (Lord-Master). I am the mawla of the faithfuls. I have a clear authority over their souls, And of whomsoever I am the mawla (this) Ali is his mawla. O Allah! Love him who loves Ali, hate him who hates Ali."
At the end of this declaration the following verse was revealed:
"This day I have perfected for you, your religion, and have completed my favour on you, and have chosen for you Islam, as religion." (Ma’idah, 5:3)
For those whose minds are clouded with the doubts created over the years by the enemies of the Holy Prophet and his holy Ahl ul Bayt, there are sufficient references in the books written by their own scholars whom they acclaim with one voice.
Several eminent traditionists have clearly stated it to be genuine. Even Ibn Hajar has admitted it to be genuine where he has copied the tradition from Tabarani and others; in Sawa-iq, sec. 5, chap. 1. p. 25.
Tabarani and others have recorded the following tradition as related by Zayd ibn Arqam and transmitted through sources unanimously acknowledged to be reliable. Zayd says that the Holy Prophet delivered a sermon at Ghadir Khumm under a cloth spread as a canopy on two large trees. The Holy Prophet said:
"O my people! I am going to be recalled shortly and I must comply. I shall be interrogated and you also shall be interrogated. What will you say then?" The entire audience answered: "We shall bear witness that you did convey to us the message of Allah, and tried your best to guide us on the right path and always gave us good counsel. May Allah bless you with a good reward." The Holy Prophet proceeded: "Why do you not bear witness that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, and that paradise is true, hell is true, death is true, resurrection after death is true, that the day of judgement will doubtlessly come and that Allah will raise to life the dead from their graves?" They said: "O Yes! We bear witness to all this." Then he said: "O Allah! You also may witness."
Then he said: "O my people! Allah is my Mawla and I am mawla of the faithful and I have superior right on and control over their lives. And this Ali is the mawla of all those of whom I am mawla. O Allah! Love him who loves him and hate him who hates him." He further said: "O my people! I will precede you, you also shall arrive at the pool of Kawthar, the pool wider than the distance between Basrah and Sana, and there are on the pool as many goblets of silver as stars. When you shall reach me I shall interrogate you about your behaviour towards the two invaluable assets after my death. The major asset is the book of Allah, one end of which is in the hand of Allah, and the other end in your hands. Grasp it tightly and do not go astray and do not change or amend it. The other asset is my progeny, who are my Ahl al Bayt. Allah has informed me that the two will not part from each other before they reach me at the pool."
First of all he announced that the time of his death was fast approaching. This was a warning to the people that the time had come for the completion of his divine message and ensuring the future spiritual welfare of his followers by appointing his successor. This important matter brooked no delay, lest his death might arrive before properly establishing his successor in office.
As the appointment of his own brother (cousin) was very unpalatable for self-seekers, jealous and malicious persons, and the hypocrites, he thought it fit to appease their feelings and to calm their hearts by prefacing the declaration of appointment with "I shall be interrogated," so that they might know that the Holy Prophet was in command from Allah to make this declaration and would be interrogated about discharging this important duty and, that there was no alternative.
Wahidi has stated in his book Asbab al Nuzul through reliable sources culminating with Abu Said al-Khudri that Chap. 5, Verse 67 " O Messenger; do proclaim what has descended upon you from your Lord"(5:67) descended at Ghadir Khumm about Ali ibn Abu Talib.
Daylami and others have recorded as related by Abu Said and as stated in Sawa-iq that the Holy Prophet said: "Call them to a halt. They will be interrogated about the superior authority and guardianship of Ali." And Wahidi says: "They will be interrogated about the superior authority and guardianship of Ali and the Ahl al Bayt."
This sermon calls for special attention. A careful perusal of it will reveal the truth that belief in the superior authority and guardianship of Ali is one of the fundamental principles of faith and this is what the Shi-as believe. The Holy Prophet first asked the audience to bear witness that Allah is the only God, that Muhammad is His slave and messenger, that the day of judgement is bound to come and that Allah will raise to life the dead from their graves. And when they had promised to bear witness to all these things and expressed their belief therein, he asked them to believe "Ali to be wali, i.e. defender of the faith, supreme commander of the faithful and favourite of Allah," so that everybody might know that witnessing of belief in the wilayah of Ali was as important an article of faith as belief in the unity of Allah, the prophethood of Muhammad, the resurrection of the dead, and the day of judgement, and that he will be interrogated about it too. Anyone who follows the style of the sermon, the juxtaposition of sentences therein and the import of the words will reach the same unavoidable conclusion.
Mawla means master; lord; guardian; one more deserving of superior authority.
The words ana awla (I am superior) indicate that the word mawla means awla, i.e., superior. What the Holy Prophet meant by this sentence was, "Allah is superior in right and might to him and he is superior in right and might to the faithful and Ali is superior in right and might to all those to whom the Holy Prophet is superior."
These are the words of Zayd ibn Arqam, who related the tradition. Tabarani, Ibn Jarir, Hakim and Tirmidhi all have recorded the tradition in identical words. Ibn Hajar has copied the tradition from Tabarani in his Sawa-iq, p. 25, and has stated that the tradition is accepted as genuine by all Muslims.
Hakim has recorded in the chapter on the "Virtues of Ali" in Mustadrak (vol. 3, p. 109) this tradition as related by Zayd bin Arqam and transmitted through two different sources, and has stated that both the sources are reliable according to the standard set by Bukhari and Muslim. Hakim has recorded it also in the account of Zayd ibn Arqam in Mustadrak, vol. 3, p. 533, and held it to be genuine. In spite of his orthodoxy, Dhahabi has copied it from this chapter in his Talkhis from the account of Zayd.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal has recorded the tradition related by Zayd ibn Arqam (in his Musnad, vol. 4, p. 372). In Khasa-is al Alawiyyah, p. 21, Nasa-i has recorded this tradition as related by Zayd ibn Arqam.
Abu Tufayl says: "I asked Zayd if he had personally heard the Holy Prophet uttering the tradition related by him." Zayd replied: "Everyone in the huge crowd saw the Holy Prophet with his own eyes and heard him (making the declaration) with his own ears."
Abu Tufayl's question to Zayd indicates his surprise at the action of the Muslim nation in disregarding the imperative instructions of the Holy Prophet in respect to Ali, in spite of the reports concerning the declaration the Holy Prophet made on the day of Ghadir about the prior right of Ali and his superior authority over the lives of the faithful, similar to the prior right and superior authority over the lives of the faithful held by the Holy Prophet himself. He was either extremely doubtful about the genuineness of the tradition of Ghadir, because the nation had settled the question of succession of the Holy Prophet by vote of allegiance in glaring contradiction of the Holy Prophet's declaration, or astonished at the utter disregard by the followers of the Holy Prophet's important declaration. He therefore inquired if Zayd had himself heard the Holy Prophet making the declaration. Zayd ibn Arqam replied that in spite of there being a huge crowd of men on the occasion there was not a single person who could not see the Holy Prophet with his own eyes and hear his words with his own ears. Zayd's reply convinced him of the truth of what has been expressed by Kumayl, a prominent poet who composed poems in praise of Ali in the following lines:
"In the valley of Ghadir Khumm the Holy Prophet had declared Ali to be his successor. Would that the nation had complied with the declaration.
But they decided the matter of succession by vote of allegiance; I have never witnessed casting a vote of allegiance about such an important matter.
I have neither witnessed another day so important as the day of Ghadir;
Nor have I ever seen so serious a destruction of right."
Muslim has also recorded this tradition in the chapter on the 'Virtues of Ali' in his Sahih (vol. 2 p. 325) as related by Zayd ibn Arqam and transmitted through several sources. But he has recorded it briefly in a curtailed form as men of his class are apt to do about such matters.
Ahmad ibn Hanbal has recorded the tradition related by Bara ibn Azib in his Musnad, vol. 4, p. 281, transmitted through two different sources.
Bara says: "We were with the Messenger of Allah." We alighted at Ghadir Khumm. Congregational prayer was in order. An area under two trees was swept and cleaned for the Holy Prophet. He offered midday prayers and he grasped the hand of Ali and said: 'Do you not know that I have greater authority over the lives of the faithful than the faithful themselves?" "Yes you have," they replied. He again inquired: "'Do you not know that I have greater right to the life of every believer than the believer himself?" "Surely, you have," they answered. Then he grasped the hand of Ali and said: "Ali is the mawla of all those of whom I am mawla. O Allah! Love him who loves him and hate him who hates him." Bara ibn Azib says: "Then Umar came to Ali and said: 'Congratulations to you O the son of Abu Talib. You have become the mawla (master) of all the faithful men and women." Nasa-i has recorded a tradition related by A-ishah bint Sad, who says that she heard her father saying that on the day of Ghadir he heard the Holy Prophet delivering a sermon while holding the hand of Ali. He praised and eulogised Allah and then he said: "O my people! I am your master." "True it is, O messenger of Allah," they responded. Then he raised the hand of Ali and said: "He is my wali, and he will repay my debts. I am a friend of him who loves him and an enemy of him who hates him."
Sad also relates that he was among the people accompanying the Holy Prophet. When he reached Ghadir Khumm he ordered a halt and called back those who had preceded him and waited for those who were lagging behind. When all the people gathered there he said: "O my people! Who is your wali (master)?" "Allah and His messenger," they said. Then he grasped the hand of Ali and caused him to stand and said: "He is wali of whom Allah and His messenger are wali. O Allah! Love him who loves him and hate him who hates him."