Ghadir Khum Part 1

بِسْمِ اللَّـهِ الرَّحْمَـٰنِ الرَّحِيمِ

In this year, Thursday, May 18, 1995 coincides with the 18th of Dhul-Hajjah, the anniversary of the event of Ghadir Khum where the Messenger of Allah delivered his LAST sermon. The greatest parallel/frequent (Mutawatir) tradition in the History of Islam is related to this sermon of the Prophet (S).

Please see Part 3 for a complete list of 110 companions of Prophet who narrated this tradition, as well as classified lists of the Sunni traditionists/historians/commentators of Qur’an who confirmed this tradition to be authentic and frequent, and their corresponding books where the tradition can be found. Also in Part 2 we discuss the meanings of wali, mawla, and wilayah.

The Farewell Pilgrimage

Ten years after the migration, the Messenger of Allah ordered to his close followers to call all the people in different places to join him in his last pilgrimage. On this pilgrimage he taught them how to perform the pilgrimage in a correct and unified form. This was first time that the Muslims with this magnitude gathered in one place in the presence of their leader, the Messenger of Allah. On his way to Mecca, more than seventy thousand people followed Prophet (S). On the fourth day of Dhul-Hajjah more than one hundred thousand Muslims had entered Mecca.

Revelation Of Verse 5:67

On the 18th of Dhul-Hajjah, after completing his last pilgrimage (Hajjatul-Widaa), Prophet was leaving Mecca toward Medina, where he and the crowd of people reached to a place called Ghadir Khum (which is close to today’s Juhfah). It was a place where people from different provinces should say Good bye to each other and take different routes for their home. In this place, the following verse was revealed:

"O Apostle! Deliver what has been sent down to you from your Lord; and if you don’t do it, you have not delivered His message (at all); and Allah will protect you from the people ...”(Qur’an 5:67).

Some of Sunni references confirming that the revelation of the above verse of Qur’an was right before the speech of Prophet in Ghadir Khum:

(1) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, under commentary of verse 5:67, v12, pp 49-50, narrated on the authorities of Ibn Abbas, al-Bara Ibn Azib, and Muhammad Ibn ‘Ali.

(2) Asbab al-Nuzool, by al-Wahidi, p50, narrated on the authorities of Atiyyah and Abu Sa’id al Khudri.

(3) Nuzul al-Qur’an, by al-Hafiz Abu Nu’aym narrated on the authorities Abu Sa’id Khudri and Abu Rafi.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(11) Tafsir al-Nisaboori, v6, p194

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

The last sentence in the above verse indicates that the Prophet (S) was mindful of the reaction of his people in delivering that message but Allah informs him not to worry, for He will protect His Messenger from people.

The Speech

Upon receiving the verse, the Prophet (S) stopped on that place (the pond of Khum) which was extremely hot. Then he sent for all people who have been ahead in the way, to come back and waited until all pilgrims who fell behind, arrived and gathered.

He ordered Salman (ra) to use rocks and camel toolings to make a pulpit (minbar) so he could make his announcement. It was around noon time in the first of the Fall, and due to the extreme heat in that valley, people were wrapping their robes around their feet and legs, and were sitting around the pulpit, on the hot rocks.

On this day the Messenger of Allah spent approximately five ours in this place; three hours of which he was on the pulpit. He recited nearly one hundred verses from The Glorious Qur’an, and for seventy three times reminded and warned people of their deeds and future. Then he gave them a long speech. The following is a part of his speech which has been widely narrated by the Sunni traditionists:

The Messenger of Allah declared: "It seems the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call. I am leaving for you two precious things and if you adhere both of them, you will never go astray after me. They are the Book of Allah and my progeny, that is my Ahlul-Bayt. The two shall never separate from each other until they come to me by the Pool (of Paradise)."

Then the Messenger of Allah continued: "Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves?”People cried and answered: "Yes, O’ Messenger of God.”Then Prophet (S) held up the hand of ‘Ali and said: "Whoever I am his leader (Mawla), ‘Ali is his leader (Mawla). O’ God, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him."

ألَسْتُ أولى بالمؤمنين من أنفسهم؟ قالوا بلى يارسول الله. قال: من كنت مولاه فعلي مولاه. اللهم وال من والاه و عاد من عاداه.

Some of the Sunni references:

(1) Sahih Tirmidhi, v2, p298, v5, p63
(2) Sunan Ibn Maja, v1, pp 12,43
(3) Khasa’is, by al-Nisa’i, pp 4,21
(4) al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v2, p129, v3, pp 109-110,116,371
(5) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, pp 84,118,119,152,330, v4, pp 281,368,370, 372,378, v5, pp 35,347,358,361,366,419 (from 40 chains of narrators)
(6) Fada’il al-Sahaba, by Ahmad Hanbal, v2, pp 563,572
(7) Majma’ al-Zawa’id, by al-Haythami, v9, p103 (from several transmitters)
(8) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, v12, pp 49-50
(9) Tafsir al-Durr al-Manthur, by al-Hafiz Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, v3, p19
(10) Tarikh al-Khulafa, by al-Suyuti, pp 169,173
(11) al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah, by Ibn Kathir, v3, p213, v5, p208
(12) Usdul Ghabah, by Ibn Athir, v4, p114
(13) Mushkil al-Athar, by al-Tahawi, v2, pp 307-308
(14) Habib al-Siyar, by Mir Khand, v1, part 3, p144
(15) Sawaiq al-Muhriqah, by Ibn Hajar al-Haythami, p26
(16) al-Isabah, by Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani, v2, p509; v1, part1, p319, v2, part1, p57, v3, part1, p29, v4, part 1, pp 14,16,143
(17) Tabarani, who narrated from companions such as Ibn Umar, Malik Ibn al-Hawirath, Habashi Ibn Junadah, Jari, Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas, Anas Ibn Malik, Ibn Abbas, Amarah,Buraydah,...
(18) Tarikh, by al-Khatib Baghdadi, v8, p290
(19) Hilyatul Awliya’, by al-Hafiz Abu Nu’aym, v4, p23, v5, pp26-27
(20) al-Istiab, by Ibn Abd al-Barr, Chapter of word "ayn”(‘Ali), v2, p462
(21) Kanzul Ummal, by al-Muttaqi al-Hindi, v6, pp 154,397
(22) al-Mirqat, v5, p568
(23) al-Riyad al-Nadirah, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, v2, p172
(24) Dhaka’ir al-Uqba, by al-Muhib al-Tabari, p68
(25) Faydh al-Qadir, by al-Manawi, v6, p217
(26) Yanabi’ al-Mawaddah, by al-Qudoozi al-Hanafi, p297 ... And hundreds more. Please see part 3 for more classified references (traditionists, historians, and commentators).

The above was just a part of speech of the Prophet (S). For a more detailed speech of the Prophet, please see the end of this part.

Revelation Of Verse 5:3

Immediately after the Prophet (S) finished his speech, the following verse of Holy Qur’an was revealed:

"Today I have perfected your religion and completed my bounty upon you, and I was satisfied that Islam be your religion.”(Qur’an 5:3)

Some of Sunni references which mentioned the revelation of the above verse of Qur’an in Ghadir Khum after the speech of the Prophet:

(1) al-Durr al-Manthur, by al-Hafiz Jalaluddin al-Suyuti, v3, p19
(2) Tarikh, by Khatib al-Baghdadi, v8, pp 290,596 from Abu Hurayra
(3) Manaqaib, by Ibn Maghazali, p19
(4) History of Damascus, Ibn Asakir, v2, p75
(5) al-Itqan, by al-Suyuti, v1, p13
(6) Manaqib, by Khawarazmi al-Hanfi, p80
(7) al-Bidayah wal-Nihayah, by Ibn Kathir, v3, p213
(8) Yanabi’ al-Mawaddah, by al-Qudoozi al-Hanafi, p115
(9) Nuzul al-Qur’an, by al-Hafiz Abu Nu’aym narrated on the authority Abu Sa’id Khudri.

... and more.

The above verse clearly indicates that Islam without clearing up matter of leadership after Prophet was not complete, and completion of religion was due to announcement of Prophet’s immediate successor.

Oath Of Allegiance

After his speech, the Messenger of Allah asked every body to give the oath of allegiance to ‘Ali (as) and congratulate him. Among those who gave him the oath were Umar, Abu Bakr, and Uthman. It is narrated that Umar and

Abu Bakr said:

"Well done Ibn Abi Talib! Today you became the leader (Mawla) of all believing men and women."

Sunni references:

(1) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v4, p281
(2) Tafsir al-Kabir, by Fakhr al-Razi, v12, pp 49-50
(3) Mishkat al-Masabih, by al-Khatib al-Tabrizi, p557
(4) Habib al-Siyar, by Mir Khand, v1, part3, p144
(5) Kitabul Wilayah, by Ibn Jarir al-Tabari
(6) al-Musannaf, by Ibn Abi Shaybah
(7) al-Musnad, by Abu Ya’ala
(8) Hadith al-Wilayah, by Ahmad Ibn `Uqdah
(9) Tarikh, by Khatib al-Baghdadi, v8, pp 290,596 from Abu Hurayra ... and more.

The Number Of People In Ghadir Khum

It was Allah’s will that an increased popularity is associated with this tradition via the tongs of narrators and over the times. So that there is a standing proof for the guiding Imam (peace be upon him). Allah ordered His Prophet (S) to notify people at a time of crowded populous so that all become the narrators of the tradition, while they exceeded a hundred thousand.

Narrated by Zaid Ibn Arqam: Abu al-Tufail said: "I heard it from the Messenger of Allah, and there was no one (there) unless he saw him with his eyes and heard him with his ears."

Sunni reference:

(1) al-Khasa’is, by al-Nisa’i, p21;

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

(3) History of Ibn Kathir, v5, p208

It is also narrated that:

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

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

"There were with the Messenger (S) from the companions, Arabs, residents around Mecca and Medina one hundred and twenty thousand (120,000) and they are those who were present in the Farewell Pilgrimage and heard this speech."

Sunni reference: Manaqib, by Ibn al-Jawzi

Revelation Of Verse 70:1-3

Some Sunni commentators further claim that the first three verse of the chapter of al-Ma’arij (70:1-3) was revealed when a dispute arose after Prophet reached Medina. It is recorded that:

On the day of Ghadir the Messenger of Allah summoned the people toward ‘Ali and said: "‘Ali is the mawla of whom I am mawla.”The news spread quickly all over urban and rural areas. When Harith Ibn Nu’man al-Fahri (or Nadhr Ibn Harith according to another tradition) came to know of it, he rode his camel and came to Medina and went to the Messenger of Allah (S) and said to him: "You commanded us to testify that there is no deity but Allah and that you are the Messenger of Allah. We obeyed you. You ordered us to perform the prayers five times a day and we obeyed. You ordered us to observe fasts during the month of Ramadhan and we obeyed. Then you commanded us to offer pilgrimage to Mecca and we obeyed. But you are not satisfied with all this and you raised your cousin by your hand and imposed him upon us as our master by saying `’Ali is the mawla of whom I am mawla.’ Is this imposition from Allah or from You?”The Prophet (S) said: "By Allah who is the only deity! This is from Allah, Mighty and the Glorious."

On hearing this Harith turned back and proceeded towards his she-camel saying: "O Allah! If what Muhammad said is correct then fling on us a stone from the sky and subject us to severe pain and torture.”

He had not reached his she-camel when Allah, who is above all defects flung at him a stone which struck him on his head, penetrated his body and passed out through his lower body and left him dead. It was on this occasion that Allah, the exalted, caused to descend the following verses:

"A questioner questioned about the punishment to fall. For the disbelievers there is nothing to avert it, from Allah the Lord of the Ascent.”(70:1-3)

Sunni references:

(1) Tafsir al-Tha’labi, by Is’haq al-Tha’labi, commentary of verse 70:1-3 from two chain of narrators.
(2) Noor al-Absar, by Shablanji, p4
(3) al-Fusool al-Muhimmah, by Ibn Sabbagh al-Maliki al-Makki, p25
(4) al-Sirah al-Halabiyah, by Noor al-Din al-Halabi, v2, p214
(5) Arjah al-Matalib
(6) Nazhat al-Mujalis from al-Qurtubi

The Events That Imam ‘Ali (as) Reminded The Tradition

Imam ‘Ali (as), in person, reminded others who witnessed the event of Ghadir and the tradition of the Messenger of Allah; these are some of the events:

- On the day of Shura (Election Day for Uthman)
- During the days of Uthman’s rule
- The Day of Rahbah (year 35) where 24 companions stood up and swore that they attended and heard the tradition of the Prophet (S) first hand, of whom were the warriors of Badr.
- The Day of Jamal (the War of Camel, year 36) where he reminded Talha.
- The Day of the Riders where 9 witnesses testified.

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

We were in the camp of ‘Ali on the day of Battle of Camel, where ‘Ali sent for Talha to talk to him (before the beginning of war). Talha came forward, and ‘Ali told him: I adjure you by Allah! Didn’t you hear the Messenger of Allah (S) when he said: `Whoever I am his MAWLA, this ‘Ali is his MAWLA. O God, love whoever loves him, and be hostile to whoever is hostile to him’?”Talha replied: "Yes.”‘Ali said: "Then why do you want to fight me?”

Sunni reference:

- al-Mustadrak, by al-Hakim, v3, pp 169,371
- Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, on the authority of Ilyas al-Dhabbi
- Muruj al-Dhahab, by al-Mas’udi, v4, p321
- Majma’ al-Zawa’id, by al-Haythami, v9, p107

Ahmad Ibn Hanbal recorded in his Musnad that:

Abu Tufayl narrated that He (‘Ali) gathered the people in the plain of Rahbah (on year 35 AH) and adjured in the name of Allah every Muslim male present there who had heard the proclamation of al-Ghadir from the Messenger of Allah (S) to stand up and testify what they had heard from the Messenger on the Day of Ghadir.

Thereupon thirty (30) stood up and gave evidence that the Prophet grasped ‘Ali’s hand and said to the audience: "He (‘Ali) has superior authority over those who believe me to have superiority over their lives. O Allah! Love him who loves him and hate him who hates him.”

Abu Tufayl says that it was in a state of great mental agitation that he left the plain of Rahbah, the Muslim masses had not complied with the tradition. He therefore called on Zaid Ibn Arqam and told him what he heard from ‘Ali. Zaid told him not to entertain any doubt about it for he himself had heard the Messenger of Allah uttering those words.

Sunni reference: Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v4, p370 also:

Abd al-Rahman Ibn Abu Laylah said: I witnessed ‘Ali administering an oath to the people in the plain of Rahbah. ‘Ali said: "I adjure those of you in the name of Allah who heard the Messenger of Allah on the day of Ghadir saying `’Ali is the Mawla of whom I am Mawla’ to stand up and to testify. He who was not an eyewitness doesn’t need to stand up.”Thereupon twelve (12) such companions who had participated in the Battle of Badr stood up. The occasion is still fresh in my memory.

Sunni references:

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

- Khasa’is, by al-Nisa’i, pp 21,103, narrated similar to above on the authority of three others: Umayah Ibn Sa’d, Zaid Ibn yathigh, and Sa’id Ibn Wahab.

It is also recorded that:

When ‘Ali said to Anas: "Why don’t you stand up and testify what you heard from the Messenger of Allah on the day of Ghadir?”He answered, "O Amir al-Mumineen! I have grown old and do not remember.”Thereupon ‘Ali said: "May Allah mark you with a white spot (of leprosy; Alphosis) unconcealable with your turban, if you are intentionally withholding the truth.”And before Anas got up from his place he bore a large white spot on his face, Thereafter Anas used to say, "I am under the curse of the righteous servant of Allah."

Sunni references:

(1) al-Ma’arif, by Ibn Qutaybah, p14, in the account of Anas among disabled persons.
(2) Musnad Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, v1, p199, where he testifies to the above anecdote, as he says: "All stood up except three persons who came under the curse of ‘Ali."
(3) Hilyatul Awliya’, by Abu Nu’aym, v5, p27

A More Detailed Speech Of Prophet At The Pond Of Khum

Messenger of Allah said:

"Praise belongs to Allah. We ask Him for help, and we believe in Him, and to Him we trust. We seek refuge to Him from the evil of our souls and the sins of our deeds. Verily there is no guide for the one whom Allah leaves in stray, and there is non who leads astray the one whom Allah has guided."

"O People! Know that Gabriel came down to me several times bringing me an order from the Lord, the Merciful, that I should stop at this place and inform you. Behold! It is as if the time approached when I shall be called away (by Allah) and I shall answer that call."

"O Folk! Don’t you witness that there is no deity but Allah, Muhammad is His servant and His Apostle, Paradise is truth, Hell is truth, is truth, resurrection is truth, and that the Hour shall certainly arrive, and Allah shall raise people from the graves?"

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

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

They said: Yes".

The Prophet said: "Behold! I am leaving among you two precious and weighty Symbols that if you adhere to both of them, you shall never go astray after me. Each of these two surpasses the other in its grandeur."

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

The Prophet replied: "One of them is the Book of Allah and the other one is my select progeny (Itrat), that is family (Ahlul-Bayt). Beware of how you behave them when I am gone from amongst you, for Allah, the Merciful, has informed me that these two (i.e., Qur’an and Ahlul-Bayt) never separate from each other until they reach me in Heaven at the Pool (of al-Kawthar). I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt. I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt. Once more! I remind you, in the name of Allah, about my Ahlul-Bayt.”

"Behold! I am your predecessor at the Pool (of Paradise) and I shall be a witness against you. Thus be careful how you treat these two precious things after me. Do not precede these two for you will perish, and do not stay away from them for you will perish."

"O People! Don’t you know that I have more authority upon you than yourself?”People cried and said: "Yes, O Messenger of Allah.”Then prophet repeated: "O Folk! Do I not have more right over the believers than what they have over themselves?”People said again "Yes, O Messenger of Allah.”Then Prophet said: "O People! Surely God is my Master, Whoever and I am the master of all believers.”Then he grasped the hand of ‘Ali and raised it and said: I am his master, ‘Ali is his master (repeating three times). O God! Love those who love him. Be hostile to those who are hostile to him. Help those who help him. Forsake those who forsake him. And keep the truth with him wherever he turns (i.e., make him the axis of the truth)."

"‘Ali, the son of Abu Talib, is my brother, my executor (Wasi), and my successor (Caliph), and the leader (Imam) after me. His position to me is the same as the position of Haroon (Aaron) to Moses, except that there shall be no prophet after me. He is your master after Allah and His Messenger."

"O Folk! Verily Allah has appointed him to be your Imam and ruler. of him is obligatory for all Immigrants (Muhajirin) and Helpers (Ansar) and those who follow them in virtue, and on the dwellers of the cities and the nomads, the Arabs and the non-Arabs, freeman and the slave, the young and the old, the great and the small, the white and the black.”

"His commands should be obeyed, and his word is binding and his order is obligatory on everyone who believes in one God. Cursed is the man who disobeys him, and blessed is the one who follows him, and he who believes in him is a true believer. His WILAYAH (belief in his mastery) has been made obligatory by Allah, the Powerful, the Exalted."

“O Folk! Study the Qur’an. Reflect on its clear verses and do not presume the meaning of the ambiguous verses. For, by Allah, nobody can properly explain them to you its warnings and its meanings except me and this man (i.e., ‘Ali) whose hand I am lifting up in front of myself."

"O People! This is the last time that I shall stand in this assembly. Listen to me and obey and submit to the command of Lord. Allah, He is your Lord and God. After Him, His prophet, who is addressing you, is your master. Then after me, this ‘Ali is your master and your leader (Imam) according to Allah’s command. Then after him leadership will continue through some selected individuals in my descendants till the day you meet Allah and His Prophet."

"Behold! Certainly you shall meet your Lord and He will ask you about your deeds. Beware! Do not become infidels after me by striking the necks of one another. Lo! It is incumbent upon those who are present to inform what I said to those who are absent for perhaps the informed one might comprehend it (understand it) better than some of the present audience. Behold! Haven’t I conveyed the Message of Allah to you? Behold! Haven’t I conveyed the Message of Allah to you?”People replied: "Yes.”The Prophet said: "O God! Bear witness."


- A’alam al-Wara, pp 132-133

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

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