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Ghadir: The Pillar of Shia Islam

SHAFAQNA – “Atlas of Shia” is a book written by “Rasul Jafarian” in Persian, published in Tehran in 2008. This work, consisting of 743 pages and 12 chapters, aims to present a geographical and historical picture of Shia in the history of Islam from its inception to the first decade of the third millennium AD. “Atlas of Shia” has won the Book of the Year Award of the Islamic Republic of Iran and has been translated into Arabic as well. Shafaqna International News Cooperation has translated some sections of this book and provided them in English.

Ghadir: The Pillar of Shia Islam

The event of Ghadir, occurring on the 18th of Dhul-Hijjah in the tenth year of the Hijra near Juhfa, originated from the divine command and explicit order of the Truth to the Messenger (PBUH), stating:

“O’ Messenger! Convey everything revealed to you from your Lord. If you do not, then you have not delivered God’s message. Allah (SWT) will ˹certainly˺ protect you from the people. Indeed, Allah (SWT) does not guide the people who disbelieve.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah: 67)

Also, the Verse: “Today I have perfected your faith for you, completed My Favour upon you, and chosen Islam as your way.” (Surah Al-Ma’idah: 3) has been revealed about the day of Ghadir and the importance of guardianship in completing the revealed religion.

Based on meticulous historical and narrative sources, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) during his last pilgrimage, known as the Farewell Pilgrimage, was tasked with introducing Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) as his successor.

A location was chosen where roads diverged from multiple directions, namely Ghadir Khumm. It was there that the Prophet (PBUH) delivered a sermon known as the Sermon of Ghadir. The most important principle and point in this sermon was the proclamation of the guardianship of Imam Ali (AS) over all Muslims.

The text of the Ghadir Hadith has been narrated in various forms, although the main theme is consistent in the guardianship issue, some narrations are shorter and others longer. Some of the narrations are as follows:

Bara’ah bin Azib said: “We were with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) (coming from Mecca) until we reached Ghadir Khumm. At this time, he called all of us together and said: ‘Am I not more worthy of you than yourselves?’ We said, ‘Yes, O’ Messenger of Allah!’ He said, ‘Am I not more worthy of you than your own mothers?’ We said, ‘Yes, O’ Messenger of Allah!’ He said, ‘Am I not more worthy of you than your fathers?’ We said, ‘Yes, O Messenger of Allah!’ He said, ‘Then whoever I am his Mawla (master), Ali is his Mawla (master). O’ Allah, love those who love him, and be hostile to those who are hostile to him.'” (History of Damascus: 42/220)

Abdullah bin Abbas narrates from Buraidah bin Haseeb that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) is the master of every believer and believers, and he is your Wali after me.” (History of Damascus: 42/220)

Abu Ishaq Hamdani said: “I heard from Habshi bin Janadah who said: ‘I heard from the Messenger of Allah (SWT) on the Day of Ghadeeir Khumm saying: ‘Whoever I am his Mawla (master), Ali is his Mawla (master). O’ Allah, befriend whoever befriends him, and be an enemy to whoever opposes him, and help whoever helps him, and forsake whoever forsakes him.'” (Al-Sunnah, Ibn Abi ‘Asim: 591, Hadith 1360)

Zaid bin Arqam said: “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) descended among Makkah and Madinah near five trees… There he delivered a sermon and preached until he said: ‘O’ people, I am leaving among you two precious things (Thaqalain): the Book of Allah and my progeny, my Ahlul-Bayt. Do you not know that I am more worthy of the believers than themselves?’ – three times – The people said, ‘Yes.’ The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) then said, ‘Whoever I am his Mawla (master), Ali is his Mawla (master).'” (Al-Mu’jam al-Kabir: Tabarani: 1225)

Attiyah Awfi narrated from Zaid bin Arqam: “We were at Juhfa. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) came to us at noon, holding the hand of Ali, and said: ‘O people! Do you not know that I am more worthy of the believers than themselves?’ They said, ‘Yes.’ He said, ‘Whoever I am his Mawla (master), Ali is his Mawla (master).'” (Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal: 5/494)

The strongest evidence that this Hadith indicates “Imamate” and “Caliphate” is the use of the term “Awla” meaning preference and interference in the affairs of the people. This is exactly the line of difference between the ruler and the people. In other words, the meaning of Imamate is in the foundation of this preference and guardianship, which God first established, then the Prophet, and then for the believers who are appointed by God. The principle in the word “Wala” is this very priority.

In Shia sources, not only the principle of the Hadith of Ghadir, which is accepted among Shia and Sunni sources, but also the Prophet’s (PBUH) sermon on the day of Ghadir has been conveyed and the text has been narrated from Imam Ridha (AS). (Masbah-al-Mutahajjid: 752).

Part of the Book Atlas of Shia by Rasul Jafarian


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