SHAFAQNA – Eid al-Ghadeer is a festival celebrated by Shia Muslim. This festive day is celebrated on the 18th day of the Zil-Hajj month according to the Islamic calendar. This festival is celebrated to mark the appointment of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib as the immediate successor of Prophet Mohammed according to the Shia belief.
On this day, the Shia community takes a mass oath to reassert their commitment to Islam. On the day of Eid al-Ghadeer it is recommended that people take bath early in the morning and observe a fast, followed by prayers.
Sunnis do not celebrate this day as they believe that it is not an important day to be celebrated. They also do not accept that the Prophet appointed Ali as His successor. Hence, this festival is celebrated only by a particular sect of the religion. Story Behind Eid al-Ghadeer Before his death, Prophet Mohammed was residing in Medina. He made His last pilgrimage to Mecca. This pilgrimage is known as the Farewell Pilgrimage. After completion of the religious pilgrimage, the Prophet returned back to His hometown in Medina. While returning, He stopped at the Pond of Khumm and appointed Ali as His successor and the caliph of His believers.The statement of the Prophet is as follows: “Whoever I am master to, Ali is his Master too.”
The appointment of Ali as caliph has been a point of controversy between the two major schools of thought of Islam, till this day. The exact meaning of the word ‘Maula’ and its interpretation has been a matter of rift between the beliefs of the Shia and Sunni communities. The declaration of Ali as caliph is interpreted by the Shia community as the successor of the Prophet while the Sunni community believe that it was just a word of praise for Ali. Whatever the case may be, Eid al-Ghadeer holds a special significance for the Shia community. It is the commemoration of the last sermon by Prophet Mohammed. Hence, it is celebrated with great enthusiasm and faith by the Shia.