By Imamate, we mean the general Imamate for Muslims, i.e. caliphate, rulership, leadership and Wilāyah (guardianship).
Since the main topic of my book being comparison between the school of Ahl al-Sunnah and that of the Imāmiyyah Shi‘ah, I have to expose the principle of Imamate in the perspective of both the sects, in order that the reader and researcher be acquainted with the foundations and principles upon which each sect depends, knowing consequently the convictions that led me to accept conversion and abandon my previous belief.
The Shi‘ah view Imamate as one of the principles of religion (usul al-Din), due to its great significance and seriousness, being the leadership of the best Ummah (community) that has been raised up for mankind. Beside the numerous virtues and unique characteristics upon which leadership is based, of which I refer to: knowledge, bravery, forbearance, honesty, chastity, asceticism (zuhd), piety (taqwā), and godliness…etc.
The Shi‘ah hold that Imamate being a Divine post with which Allah encharges whomever He chooses from among His upright bondmen, to undertake this critical role, being to lead and guide the world after the demise of the Prophet (God’s peace and benediction be upon him and his Progeny).
On this basis, al-’Imām ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib was the Imam and leader for Muslims in accordance with the election of Allah, Who has revealed to His Messenger to nominate him (‘Ali) as the chief for mankind, the task that he (S) did, telling the Ummah to follow him as his successor, after returning from his last Hajj pilgrimage to Makkah (Hajjat al-Wadā‘) at Ghadir Khumm, and people swore allegiance to him “as held by the Shi‘ah.”
Ahl al-Sunnah also believe in the necessity of the Imamate for leading the Ummah, but they give the Ummah right to choose its Imam and leader. According to this, Abu Bakr ibn Abi Quhāfah became the leader for the Muslims through their electing him after the demise of the Messenger of Allah (S), who kept silent concerning the matter of successorship never declaring anything in its regard to the Ummah, leaving the issue to be determined according to the shurā (consultation) among people.
Where the Truth be?
When any researcher meditates in the sayings of the two sects, contemplating in their arguments without any fanaticism, he will undoubtedly approach the truth. Herewith I will review with you the truth I have attained as follows:
1) Imamate in the Holy Qur’ān
The Almighty Allah said: “And (remember) when his Lord tried Abraham with (His) commands, and he fulfilled them, He said: Lo! I have appointed thee a leader for mankind. (Abraham) said: And of my offspring (will there be leaders)? He said: My covenant includeth not wrong-doers.” (2:124)
In this noble verse Allah tells us that Imamate being a Divine post encharged by Allah to whomever He chooses from among His bondmen, when saying: “I have appointed thee a leader for mankind”. The verse further elucidates that Imamate is a covenant from Allah never including but the pious bondmen, whom Allah has elected for this task, due to denying it for the wrong-doers, who never deserve the covenant of Allah — the Glorified and the Exalted.
The Almighty has said too: “And We made them chiefs who guide by Our command, and We inspired in them the doing of good deeds and the right establishment of worship and the giving of alms, and they were worshippers of Us (alone).” (21:73)
In another place, Allah, the Glorified, said: “And when they became steadfast and believed firmly in Our revelations, We appointed from among them leaders who guided to Our command.” (32:24)
He also said: “And We desired to show favour unto those who were oppressed in the earth, and to make them examples and to make them the inheritors.” (28:5)
Some may fancy that the denotation conceived from these verses being that the meant Imamate here is prophethood and message, which is a wrong concept for Imamate in general, as every messenger is a prophet and leader (Imam) but not every Imam being a messenger or prophet!
For this reason, Allah — the Glorified and Most High — has expressed in His noble Book that His godly bondmen are entitled to ask Him to grant them this reputable appointment, to have the honour of guiding people, and gaining out of this high reward. The Most High said: “And those who will not witness vanity, but when they pass near senseless play, pass by with dignity. And those who, when they are reminded of the revelations of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat. And who say: Our Lord! Vouchsafe us comfort of our wives and of our offspring, and make us patterns for (all) those who ward off (evil).” (25:72-74)
Besides, the Holy Qur’ān has used the word Imāmah to point to the oppressive leaders and rulers, who misguide their followers and nations, leading them toward corruption and torment in the world and Hereafter. Talking about Faraoh and his troops, the Almighty Allah said in His noble Scripture: “Therefore We seized him and his hosts, and abandoned them unto the sea. Behold the nature of the consequence for evil-doers! And We made them patterns that invite unto the Fire, and on the Day of Resurrection they will not be helped. And We made a curse to follow them in this world, and on the Day of Resurrection they will be among the hateful.” (28:40-42)
On this basis, the Shi‘ah’s claim is nearer to what the Holy Qur’ān has ordained, since Allah — the Glorified and the Mighty — has explicitly expounded with no doubt, that the Imamate being a Divine appointment Allah imparts upon whomever He wills, and it is the covenant of Allah of which He deprived the oppressors. And since the Prophet’s Companions other than ‘Ali (‘a) have ascribed partners unto Allah during the pre-Islamic era, thus they turn to be among the wrong-doers, being incompetent for Allah’s covenant encharging them with Imamate and caliphate. While the Shi‘ah’s claim stands firm that al-’Imām ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib was the only one, from among all other Companions, having the right to Allah’s covenant of Imamah, due to the fact that he has never worshipped other than Allah, and never prostrated to any idol, the reason why Allah has granted him honour, out of the Companions. If it is said that Islam exonerates whatever is past before it, we never object, but there is a great difference between that who was a polytheist and repented afterwards, and that who used to be immaculate and pure, knowing none but Allah.
2) Imamate in the Prophetic Sunnah
The Messenger of Allah (may God’s peace and benediction be upon him and his Household) has disclosed several utterances regarding Imamate, narrated by both the Shi‘ah and Sunnah, in their books and Masānid (Musnads). Once he referred to it with using the expression Imamah, and another time with the word successorship, and once again with the word ‘wilāyah’ (guardianship) or imārah (princedom).
About the word Imamah he (S) said: “The best of your leaders are those whom you love and they love you, and whom you pray upon and they pray upon you (after death), while the most wicked of your leaders are those whom you detest and they detest you, and whom you curse and they curse you.” They (who were present) said: O Messenger of Allah, shall we declare war against them by the sword? He replied: “No, as long as they are establishing
He also said: “After me there will be leaders that can never follow my guide, and never adopt my sunnah, among whom will rise up men having hearts of the devils inside a body of a human being.”
And about caliphate he (S) said: “Religion remains established till the Doomsday or twelve successors rule over you, all being from Quraysh.”
Jābir ibn Samurah is reported to have said: I heard the Messenger of Allah, may God’s peace and benediction be upon him and his Progeny, say: “Islam is still powerful as long as twelve successors are there,” saying then a word I couldn’t understand, so I asked my father: what did he say? He replied: All are from Quraysh.”
About princedom he (S) said: “There will be emirs whom you recognize but deny. Whoever recognizes (them) will be acquitted and whoever denies will secure (against danger), but who admits and follows, (thereat) they said: Shall we fight them? He replied: No, as long as they keep on establishing prayer.”
Further, about the word princedom he (S) said: “Verily there will be twelve emirs, all are from Quraysh.”
He is also reported to have warned his Companions saying: “You will covet eagerly for imārah (princedom, rule), and this will turn to be a regret on the Doomsday, so what an excellent nurse she is, and how bad the weaner is.”
In another narration the word wilāyah is used instead of imārah.
The Messenger of Allah (S) said further: “Whoever presides over subjects of Muslims, and dies after being dishonest with them, Allah shall verily forbid him the heavens.”
In another place he (s) uttered a hadith about wilāyah: “The affairs of people keep on running their course as long as being presided over by twelve men, all being from Quraysh.”
That was a brief survey about the concept of Imamate or caliphate, which I have displayed from the Holy Qur’ān and the genuine Prophetic Sunnah without exposition or interpretation. Rather I have mainly depended upon the Sihāh of Ahl al-Sunnah other than the Shi‘ah, since this affair (i.e. caliphate of twelve men from Quraysh) is regarded by them as an irreproachable intuition, about which there is no slight difference between even two of them, despite the fact that the ‘ulamā’ of Ahl al-Sunnah expressly declare that the Messenger of Allah (S) said: “After me there will be twelve successors (ruling over you) who are all from Banu Hāshim.”
Al-Shi’bi reports from Masruq that he said: “When we were in the house of Ibn Mas’ud offering him our codices (masāhif), a lad said to him: Did your Prophet make a covenant informing you how many successors will be after him? He replied: You are still so young, and no one other than you has ever asked me the question you have put forth… the answer is yes, our Prophet (s) has assured us that after him there will be twelve caliphs, the same number as that of the chiefs of Israel…”
After that, we have to review the opinions of the two sects, to know the veracity of the claim of each of them through the express texts. We will also discuss the interpretation of each of them for this critical issue that created disunity among the Muslims, dividing them into creeds and sects, and theological and thought schools, after being one Ummah (nation). And any dispute erupted among the Muslims, whether in regard of fiqh (jurisprudence), or tafsir (exegesis) of the Qur’ān, or in comprehending the Prophetic Sunnah, is traced back to and caused by the caliphate.
No one is aware of the caliphate that — after the Saqifah — turned to be a factual affair due to which authentic traditions and express verses were disapproved and for whose establishment and confirmation many other traditions were composed and fabricated, that have no root or origin in the authentic Prophetic Sunnah. All this reminds me of Israel and the status quo, as the Arab Heads of State and Kings have met and reached an agreement that there should be no recognition of or compromise or peace with Israel, and whatever is taken by force can never be regained but by force. After only a few years they met again to sever, this time, their ties with Egypt due to its recognition of the Zionist Regime. After passage of some few years they resumed their relations with Egypt, never deploring its normalization of ties with Israel, though the latter had never recognized the right of the Palestinian people, and never changed its position. Rather it increased in its stubbornness and obstinacy, multiplying its repression against the Palestinian people. History is repeating itself and events are recurred, and the Arabs are used to commit themselves to surrender to the status quo.
Ahl al-Sunnah’s Opinion about Caliphate and its Discussion
The opinion of Ahl al-Sunnah about caliphate is known, being that the Messenger of Allah passed away without nominating anyone as a successor. But the influential magnates among the Companions have met in the Saqifah of Banu Saidah, and elected Abu Bakr al-Siddiq as their guardian (wali al-’amr) due to his position near the Messenger of Allah, and since he (S) made him his substitute in leading the congregational prayers during his illness. At that time people said. If the Messenger of Allah (S) recognizes him as a guardian of our religion affairs, so how can’t we accept him as a guardian undertaking the affairs of our life?
The recapitulation of their belief is that:
1. The Messenger has never nominated any successor.
2. Caliphate can never be determined but through shurā (council).
3. Electing Abu Bakr as a caliph was made by the magnates of Sahābah (Companions).
This was also my opinion when I was a Māliki strongly defending him with argumenting by depending on the verses about shurā, trying my best to boast that Islam being a religion based on democracy in the rule, and the prior of other religions to invite toward this humane principle on which the civilized progressive countries are priding.
I say: While the Republican system was not known by the West but only during the nineteenth century, Islam realized and outstripped other religions in getting it since the sixth century.
But, after meeting the Shiah ‘ulamā’;, reading their books and being acquainted with their convincing evidences, that can be found in our reference books, I changed my previous belief and converted when the argument (hujjah) showed itself clearly, since it is improper for the majesty of Allah— the Glorified — to forsake an Ummah without an Imam, while He says: “Thou art a warner only, and for every folk a guide.” (13:7).
It is also inappropriate for the mercy of the Messenger of Allah (S) to let his Ummah without a custodian, especially when knowing that he used to fear for his Ummah disunity,  turning back on their heels, rushing madly upon the world, smiting of the necks of each other, and lastly following the systems (sunan) of the Jews and Christians.
When knowing that Umm al-Mu’minin ‘A’ishah, the daughter of Abu Bakr, delegated to ‘Umar ibn al-Khattāb, when he was stabbed, someone to tell him: “Nominate someone as a successor over the Ummah of Muhammad, and never leave them discarded after you, as I fear they be inflicted with sedition.”
Also, when ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Umar entered upon his father, when he was stabbed, saying to him: “People have alleged that you have not designated anyone to succeed you, and if you have a camels or sheep shepherd who comes toward leaving his herd alone, verily you consider him as being neglectful of his duty, while taking care of people is much harder.”
Further, we observed how Abu Bakr himself, who was elected by Muslims through the shurā, breached this principle, rushing to nominate ‘Umar as his successor, in order to eradicate any dispute, disunity and sedition. The fact that was foretold by al-’Imām ‘Ali (‘a), when ‘Umar exerted much pressure against him to swear allegiance to Abu Bakr, thereat he said to him: “Prepare a scheme whose half shall be yours, and reinforce it for him today, he will reward you tomorrow.”
While Abu Bakr was not believing in the shurā system, so how can we accept that the Messenger of Allah (S) has neglected the affair without nominating any successor, and was not aware of what was done by ‘Abu Bakr, Aishah and Abd Allah ibn ‘Umar, as known by people intuitively, including difference of opinions, scatterness of inclinations when they are encharged with the task of election, especially when it is related to headship and assuming the rostrum of caliphate. This has actually occurred even in electing Abu Bakr on the day of Saqifah, as we observed the dispute erupted between the Master of the Helpers (Ansār) Sa’d ibn ‘Ubadash and his son Qays ibn Sa’d, ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib and al-Zubayr ibn al-‘Awwām, al-’Abbas ibn ‘Abd Muttalib and Banu Hāshim with some of the Companions who were of the opinion that Ali (‘a) was more entitled to caliphate, and lingered behind in his house refusing to swear allegiance (to Abu Bakr), until they were threatened with being burnt.
On the other side, we find the Imāmi Shi‘ah prove exactly the opposite of Ahl al-Sunnah’s claim emphasizing that the Messenger of Allah has definitely nominated ‘Ali to assume caliphate, confirming this in several occasions, the most known of which being in Ghadir Khumm.
If equity necessitates of you to listen to your opponent to adduce his opinion and plea in controversial issue with you, how it would be when your opponent argues with you offering as a plea something the occurrence of which you yourself testify.
The evidence given by the Shi‘ah is not so feeble or unsubstantial that can be easily overlooked or forgotten, but rather it is relevant to Qur’ānic verses revealed in this respect. The care and importance given to these verses by the Messenger of Allah reached an extent that was propagated by caravans, and reported by all people, far and near, till filling books of history and traditions, and being recorded by the narrators, a generation from another.
1) ‘Ali’s Guardianship in the Holy Qur’ān
Allah, the Exalted, said: “Your guardian can be only Allah; and His Messenger and those who believe, who establish worship and pay the poor-due while bowing down (in prayer). And whoso taketh Allah and His Messenger and those who believe for guardian (will know that), lo! The party of Allah, they are the victorious.” (5:55,56)
In his al-Tafsir al-kabir, al-’Imām Abu Ishāq al-Tha‘labi is reported, with his isnād (chain) reaching back to Abu Dharr al-Ghifāri, to have said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (may God’s peace and benediction be upon him and his Progeny) with my two ears, otherwise they be deaf, and saw him with my own eyes, otherwise they be blind, saying: ‘Ali is the leader of the pious, slayer of the disbelievers, victorious is that who helps him, and defeated is that who disappoints him.”
Once upon a day I was praying with the Messenger of Allah, when a beggar came to the Prophet’s mosque. No one responded to his pleas. ‘Ali (‘a) was bowing down (in prayer) at that time. He pointed his little finger, on which was a ring, towards the beggar, who came forward and took away the ring. This incident occurred in the Prophet’s presence, who raised his hands towards the Heavens and prayed My God! My brother Moses had begged of You saying: “My Lord! Relieve my mind. And ease my task for me. And loose a knot from my tongue.
That they may understand my saying. Appoint for me a henchman from my folk. Aaron, my brother. Confirm my strength with him. And let him share my task. That we may glorify Thee much. And much remember Thee. Lo! Thou art ever Seeing us.” Then you revealed to him: “Thou art granted thy request, O Moses.” O Allah! I am your bondman and prophet, relieve my mind and ease my task for me, and appoint for me a henchman from my folk, ‘Ali, and confirm my strength with him.
Abu Dharr then said: By God, the Messenger of Allah (S) had not yet finished his prayers, when Gabriel descended upon him revealing the following verse: “Your Guardian can be only Allah; and His Messenger and those who believe, who establish worship and pay the poor-due, while bowing down (in prayer). And whoso taketh Allah and His Messenger and those who believe for guardian (will know that), Lo! the party of Allah, they are the victorious. (5:55,56).
There is no disagreement among the Shi‘ah that this verse was revealed in ‘Ali’s regard, according to the reports of Ahl al-Bayt (peace be upon them), which being among the unanimously accepted akhbār (reports), that were referred to in many considerable Shi‘ah books, like:
1. Bihar al-’anwār, by al-Majlisi.
2. Ithbāt al-hudāt, by al-Hurr al-‘Amili.
3. Tafsir al-Mizān, by al-‘Allāmah al-Tabātabā’i.
4. Tafsir al-Kāshif, by Muhammad, Jawād Maghniyyah.
5. Al-Ghadir, by al-‘Allāmah al-’Amini.
Beside numerous other books.
Its revelation in ‘Ali’s regard was reported too by a large number of Ahl al-Sunnah ‘ulamā’, among whom we refer only to the exegets:
1. Tafsir al-Kashshāf by al-Zamakhshari, vol.I, p.649
2. Tafsir al-Tabari, vol.VI,-P.288
3. Zād al-masir fi ‘ilm al-tafsir, by Ibn al-Jawzi, vol.II, p.383
4. Tafsir al-Qurtubi, vol. VI,p.219.
5. Tafsir al-Fakhr al-Rāzi, vol,. XII, p. 26
6. Tafsi Ibn Kathir, vol.II, p.71
7. Tafsir al-Nasafi, vol. I. p.289
8. Shawāhid al-tanzil, by al-Hasakāni al-Hanafi, vol. I, p.161
9. Al-Durr al-manthur fi al-tafsir bi al-ma’thur, by al-Suyuti, vol.II.p.293
10. Asbāb al-nuzul, by al-’Imām al-Wāhidi, p.148
11. Ahkām al-Qur’ān, by al-Jassās, vol.IV. p.102
12. Al-Tashil li ‘ulum al-tanzil, by al-Kalbi, Vol.I, p.181.
Beside other unmentioned Sunnah books, numbering more than those I referred to.
2) The Almighty Allah said:
“O Messenger! Make known that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord, for if thou do it not, thou wilt not have conveyed His message. Allah will protect thee from mankind.” (5:67)
It is reported by some exegetes from among Ahl al-Sunnah, that this verse was revealed in the early days of Da‘wah (invitation), when the Messenger of Allah was having some bodyguards to protect him against murder and assassination. But when the verse “and Allah will protect thee from mankind,” was revealed, he (S) said: “Go away, Allah has protected me.”
Ibn Jarir and Mardawayh have reported from ‘Abd Allāh ibn Jarir that he said: “The Messenger of Allah (S) was pursued by some of his Companions, and when the words” and Allah will protect thee from mankind,” he came out and said: “O people, go and reach your pursuants, as Allah has protected me from mankind.”
Ibn Hibbān and Ibn Mardawayh have reported from Abu Hurayrah that he said: When being in the company of the Messenger of Allah (S) on a journey, we used to dedicate for him the greatest and most shadowy tree to sit under. One day he sat under a tree, hanging his sword on it, when a man came and took it, saying: O Muhammad, who can protect you against me? The Prophet (s) replied: Allah protects me against you… put away the sword. So he returned it to its place. Thereat the verse “and Allah will protect thee from mankind” was revealed.
Further, al-Tirmidhi, al-Hākim and Abu Nu’aym have reported from ‘A’ishah that she said: The Prophet (S) used to be guarded till the words “and Allah will protect thee from mankind” were revealed, whereat he brought out his head from the dome saying: O people, go away, Allah has verily protected me.
Al-jabarrāni and Abu Nu’aym in al-Dalā’il, narrates that Ibn Mardawayh and Ibn ‘Asākir have reported from Ibn ‘Abbās that he said: The Prophet (S) was having a bodyguard, and his uncle Abu jālib used to send with him every day some men from Banu Hāshim to safeguard him. One day he (S) said (to him) O uncle! Allah has protected me, so I am in no need any more for those you send.
When pondering upon these traditions and interpretations, we would realize their being incompatible with the denotation or even the context of the noble verse, as all these narrations show that they were revealed at the outset of the invitation (da‘wah) to Islam. Some of them even declare their being revealed during the lifetime of Abu jālib, that is, many years before the Hijrah (migration of the Prophet), particularly Abu Hurayrah’s narration in which he says: “When being in the company of the Messenger of Allah on a journey, we used to dedicate for him the greatest tree… etc.” This narration is explicitly fabricated, since Abu Hurayrah was never acquainted with Islam or the Messenger of Allah but only in the seventh year after Hijrah, as he himself testified. So how can this be accepted, while all the exegetes, Sunnah and Shi’ah, unanimously concur that Surat al-Mā’idah (The Table Spread) was revealed at al-Madinah, and its being the last surah revealed of the Quran???
Ahmad and Abu ‘Ubayd in Fadā’il, al-Nahhās in his Nāsikh, and al-Nisā’i, Ibn al-Mundhir, al-Hākim, Ibn Mardawayh and al-Bayhaqi in their Sunan, have reported from Jubayr ibn Nufayr that he said: I made the pilgrimage to Makkah, and when I entered upon ‘A’ishah, she said: O Jubayr, do you read (Surat) al-Mā’idah? I said: Yes. Then she said: It is the last surah revealed (of the Qur’ān). Deem lawful whatever you find lawful in it, and deem unlawful whatever you find unlawful (harām) in it.
Also it is reported by Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi, and was improved and revised by al-Hākim, with Ibn Mardawayh and al-Bayhaqi in their Sunan, from ‘Abd Allāh ibn ‘Umar that he said: Surat al-Mā’idah is the last surah revealed of the Qur’ān.
It is reported by Abu ‘Ubayd, from Muhammad ibn Ka’b al-Qartani that he said: Surat al-Mā’idah was revealed unto the Messenger of Allah during Hajjat al-Wadā‘, while being on his camel between Makkah and al-Madinah, whereat it (the camel) was cracked, and then the Messenger of Allah (S) got down.
Ibn Jarir reports from al-Rabi ‘ibn Anas that he said: Surat al-Mā’idah was revealed upon the Messenger of Allah (S) on his way back from his last pilgrimage, while being on his mount, and his mount kneeled down due to its (surah’s) heavy burden.
Abu ‘Ubaydah reports from Damrah ibn Habib and ‘Atiyyah ibn Qays that they said: The Messenger of Allah (S) said: “Al-Ma’idah (the Table spread) is the last of the Qur’ān in revelation, so deem lawful what it considers lawful (halāl) and deem unlawful what is considered unlawful (harām) in it.
So, how can any sane equitable man accept then, the claim of one believing in its being revealed in the early days of the Prophetic mission (al-Bi‘thah al-Nabawiyyah)? The aim of this move is clear, being to divert people from its real meaning. Added to this, the Shi’ah concur that Surat al-Mā’idah being the last surah revealed of the Qur’ān, and that the verse “O Messenger! Make known that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord…”, which is called Ayat al-Balāgh (Verse of proclamation), was revealed unto the Messenger of Allah on the eighteenth of Dhu al-Hijjah, in the wake of the last pilgrimage at Ghadir Khumm, before designating al-’Imām ‘Ali as a master for people and his successor after him. This incident was on Thursday, and Gabriel (‘a) has brought it down after the elapse of five hours of the day, saying to the Prophet: O Muhammad Allah sends you His greetings and says to you.
“O Messenger! Make known that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord, for if thou do it not, thou wilt not have conveyed His message. Allah will protect thee from mankind.” (5:67)
But the Almighty’s saying: “…for if thou do it not, thou wilt not have conveyed His message” explicitly indicates that the message has come to an end or was about to, though some very significant thing is left, without which religion can never be perfected. Further, the noble verse tells that the Messenger feared being belied by people, when inviting them to this serious affair. But Allah — the Glorified — has not respited him, since his hour has approached, and that was the best opportunity, of the greatest position since those who gathered around him (S) numbered more a hundred thousand, accompanying him in Hajjat al-Wadā‘, whose hearts were still vivid through the offerings consecrated to Allah, recalling to mind the Messenger’s telling them the approaching of his death hour.
Also we can refer to his saying to them: I may not meet you after this year, and imminently my Lord’s messenger (death angel) is to come, so as to summon me and I should respond. And since after this awful situation all people will separate and return to their homelands, with a very little chance to meet such a huge multitude, and as Ghadir Khumm being a crossroad, so it was not, in any way, for Muhammad (S) to miss such an opportunity. How would he do so while it was revealed for him, in a threatening-like way that the message in a whole, was dependent upon this proclamation, with Allah’s ensuring him protection from mankind, leaving no reason for him to fear his being belied by them. This was due to his awareness that many messengers before him were belied, but without being dissuaded from propagating that which was entrusted to them, since the duty of any messenger being only to convey the message. And had Allah known in advance that most of them were hateful unto the truth, and that some of them being the beliers (denying the message), He — the Glorified — would have never forsaken them without establishing an authority (hujjah) over them, that there might not remain any argument (excuse) for people against God (ref.4:165).
Whereas the Messenger of Allah (S) has a good example for his brethren the messengers who preceded him, and who were denied by their communities. Allah, the Exalted, said: “If they deny thee (Muhammad), even so the folk of Noah, and (the tribes of) Ad and Thamud, before thee, denied (Our messengers). And the folk of Abraham and the folk of Lot. And the dwellers in Midian. And Moses was denied; but I indulged the disbelievers a long while, then I seized them, and how (terrible) was My abhorrence!” (22:42-44)
When abandoning the detested bigotry, and blind fanaticism, we would realize that this exposition being the reasonable one that keeps pace with the context of the verse and events that preceded and occurred after it.
Many of our ‘ulamā’ have confirmed its revelation at Ghadir Khumm, in regard of designating al-’Imām ‘Ali for the post of caliphate, authenticating those narrations, concurring in this respect with their brothers among the Shi’ah ‘ulamā’. As an example I refer to some of the Sunni ‘ulamā’:
1. Al-Hāfiî Abu Nu’aym in his book Nuzul al-Qur’ān.
2. Al-’Imām al-Wāhidi in his book Asbāb al-nuzul, p.150
3. Al-’Imām Abu Ishāq al-Thalabi in his al-Tafsir al-kabir.
4. Al-Hakim al-Hasakani in his book Shawāhid al-tanzil li qawā‘id al-tafdil, vol.I,p.187
5. Jalāl al-Din al-Suyuti in his book al-Durr al-manthur fi al-tafsir bi al-ma’thur, vol. III, p. 117.
6. Al-Fakhr al-Rāzi in his al-Tafsir al-kabir, Vol.XII, p.50.
7. Muhammad Rashid Ridā in Tafsir al-manār, Vol.II, p.86; Vol. VI, p.463
8. Abu Asākir al-Shāfi‘i in Ta’rikh Dimashq, Vo. II, p.86
9. Al-Shawkāni in Fath al-Qadir, vol.II, p.60
10. Ibn Talhah al-Shāfi‘i in Matālib al-Sa’ul, vol.I.p.44
11. Ibn Sabbāgh al-Māliki in al-Fusul al-Muhimmah, p.25
12. Al-Qunduzi al-Hanafi in Yanābi‘ al-mawaddah, p.120
13. Al-Shahristāni in al-Milal wa al-nihal, vol.I.p.163
14. Ibn Jarir al-jabari in Kitāb al-Wilāyah.
15. Badr al-Din al-Hanafi in ‘Umdat al-qāri fi Sharh al-Bukhāri. Vol.VIII.P.584
16. ‘Abd al-Wahhab al-Bukhāri in Tafsir al-Qur’ān.
17. Al-’Alusi in Ruh ma‘āni, Vo..II.p.384
18. Ibn Sa‘id al-Sijistāni in Kitāb al-Wilāyah.
19. Al-Hamwini in Farā’id al-simtayn, vol.I.p.185
20. Al-Sayyid Siddiq Hasan Khān in Fath al-bayān fi maqasid al-Qur’ān, Vol. III, p.63.
This is just a scanty modicum of what comes to my mind, beside a large number of other Ahl al-Sunnah ‘ulamā’ referred to by al-‘Allāmah al-’Amini in the book al-Ghadir.
I wonder what did the Messenger of Allah (S) do when he was commanded by his Lord to deliver what was revealed unto him?
The Shi’ah hold that he (S) gathered the people from all strata in that place, being Ghadir Khumm, giving a long eloquent sermon, calling them to witness against themselves and they witnessed that he(S) certainly had more right on them than they themselves had. Thereat he took ‘Ali’s hand and declared: “To whomever I am his master, this Ali also is his master (mawlā). My God befriend whoever him and be hostile to whoever is hostile to him, help whoever helps him, and forsake whoever forsakes him, and keep the haqq (truth) always with him.” 
Then he (S) made him wear his turban, arranging a ceremony for him, commanding his Companions to congratulate him for being the leader of the believers. And so they did, at the foremost of whom being Abu Bakr and ‘Umar, who both said to ‘Ali (‘a): “Congratulation, O son of Abu Tālib, within a day and a night you became a mawlā (master) of every believing man and woman.”
When the ceremony was over, the following verse was revealed unto him by Allah: “This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed my favour unto you, and have chosen for you Islam (to be) the Religion.” (5-3)
This notion is held by the Shi’ah, as an indisputable fact accepted by all. Do Ahl al-Sunnah ever refer to this incident? In order not to tilt toward them, or being pleased with their opinion, Allah — the Glorified — has warned us by saying: “And among men there is he whose talk concerning the life here marveleth thee and he taketh God to witness as to what is in his heart yet he is the most violent of adversaries.” (2:204)
We are asked then to be cautious, and to discuss this topic with much care, with looking honestly into the evidences given by the two sects, seeking only God’s pleasure in this respect.
The answer for the previous question is: yes, many of Ahl al-Sunnah ‘ulamā’ refer to this incident with all its stages. The following are some of evidences quoted from their books:
1) Al-’Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbal has reported a hadith narrated by Zayd ibn Arqam, saying: We got down with the Messenger of Allah (S) in a valley called Khumm Valley, and he ordered congregational prayer to be held, performing it in meridional heat. Then, while being shaded by a garment over a brown tree, from the sun, the Messenger of Allah addressed us saying: “Aren’t you aware, or don’t you give witness that I have more right on every believer than he himself has? They said: Yea. Then he said: Of whomever I am his master (mawlā) ‘Ali also is his master. O God, befriend whoever befriends him and be the enemy of whoever is hostile to him…”
2) In al-Khasā’is al—’Imām al-Nasā’i reports (from Abu al-jufayl) from Zayd ibn Arqam that he said: “When the Messenger of Allah (May God’s peace and benediction be upon him and his Progeny) returned from the last hajj pilgrimage and came down at Ghadir Khumm, he ordered (us) towards the big trees, and (the ground underneath them was swept. Then he declared: ‘I am about to answer the call (of death). Verily, I have left two precious things (thaqalayn) among you, one of which is greater than the other: the Book of Allah and my ‘Itrah, my Ahl al-Bayt. So watch out how you treat them after me. For, indeed, they will never separate until they return to me by the side of the Pond.” Then he said: ‘Verily, Allah is my master (wali) and I am the master of every believer.’ Then he took ‘Ali’s hand and declared: “To whomever I am his wali, this one is also his wAli. My God, befriend whoever befriends him and be hostile to whoever is hostile to him.” Abu al-jufayl says: “I said to Zayd: “Did you hear it from the Messenger of Allah?’ He replied, “There was no one in the caravan who did not see it with his eyes and hear it with his ears.”
3) Al-Hākim al-Naysāburi reports from Zayd ibn Arqam, through two sahih (correct) chains according to the requirements of the Shaykhayn (al-Bukhāri and Muslim), that he said: “When the Messenger of Allah (S) returned from the last hajj and came down at Ghadir Khumm, he ordered (us) towards the big trees, and (the ground) underneath them was swept. Then he said: ‘I am about to answer the call (of death) Verily, I have left behind two precious things amongst you, one of which is greater than the other. The Book of Allah, the Exalted, and my ‘Itrah (Kindred). So watch out how you treat these two after me, for verily they will not separate from each other until they come back to me by the side of the Pond.’ Then he said: ‘Verily, Allah, the Almighty and the Glorious, is my master (mawlā) and I am the master of every believer (mu’min). Then he took Ali by the hand and said: “This (‘Ali) is the master of whomever I am his master. O God, love whoever loves him and be the enemy of his enemy’…
4) This hadith was also narrated by Muslim in his Sahih with his sanad (chain) reaching back to Zayd ibn Arqam, in an abridged form, saying: “One day the Messenger of Allah upon whom be Allah’s peace and benediction, addressed us near a pond called Khumm between Makkah and Madinah.
He praised God and extolled Him and preached and reminded (us). Then he said: “Lo, O people, I am only a human being and I am about to respond to the messenger of my Lord (i.e. the call of death). I am leaving behind two precious things (thaqalayn) among you. The first of the two is the Book of Allah. In it is guidance and light. So get hold of the Book of Allah and adhere to it.” Then he urged and motivated (us) regarding the Book of Allah. Then he said: “And my Ahl al-Bayt (family). I urge you to remember Allah regarding my Ahl al-Bayt. I urge you to remember Allah regarding my Ahl al-Bayt I urge you to remember Allah regarding my Ahl al-Bayt.”
Although al-’Imām Muslim has briefed the incident, never relating it completely, but it is, thanks to Allah, so sufficient and conclusive. May be the abridgement was made by Zayd ibn Arqam himself when the polotical circumstances obliged him to conceal Hadith al-Ghadir, the fact conceived from the context of the tradition when the narrator says: “I Husayn ibn Sabrah and ‘Umar ibn Muslim went to see Zayd ibn Arqam. When we sat down with him, Husayn said to him, “O Zayd, you have been greatly fortunate. You have seen the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be Allah’s peace and benediction, heard his speech, fought with him in battles and have prayed behind him. Indeed, O Zayd, you have been enormously fortunate. Narrate to us what you have heard from the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and benedictions be upon him.’
Zayd said: O brother, by God, I have become aged and old and I have forgotten some of what I used to remember from the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be Allah’s peace and benediction. So accept what I narrate to you and as to what I don’t, trouble me not regarding it.’ Then he said: One day the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be Allah’s peace and benediction, addressed us near a pond called Khumm…”
From the hadith context, it seems that Husayn has asked Zayd ibn Arqam about the Ghadir incident, putting him thus in a critical situation before all, undoubtedly knowing that giving express reply for this question would certainly create for him troubles with the Government that used to compel people to curse ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib. So he made apology to the inquirer with the excuse of being aged and old, and that he has forgotten some of what he used to remember, asking then the attendants to accept what he narrated to them, without troubling him regarding that he couldn’t tell them.
Despite his fear, and abridgement of the details, but Zayd ibn Arqam (may Allah reward him) has exposed many facts, hinting at Hadith al-Ghadir without mentioning it by name. That was when he said: One day the Messenger of Allah, upon whom be Allah’s peace and benediction, addressed us near a pond called Khumm between Makkah and Madinah, referring then to ‘Ali’s virtues and his being partner of the Qur’ān, as recorded in Hadith al-Thaqalayn (the Book of Allah and my Ahl al-Bayt). But he never mentioned the name of ‘Ali, letting those present there to deduce with their wittiness, as it was commonly known for all Muslims that ‘Ali being the doyen of the Prophet’s Ahl al-Bayt.
Therefore we observed that al-’Imām Muslim himself got the same meaning we got from the hadith, realizing what we realized, narrating then this hadith under the chapter of Fadā’il ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib, though no express reference was made in it to the name of ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib.
5) In al-Mu‘jam al-Kabir, al-Tabarani reports, through a correct chain (sanad), from Zayd ibn Arqam, from Hudhayfah ibn Asid al-Ghifāri, that he said: The Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and benediction be upon him and his Progeny, at Ghadir khumm under some trees saying: “O people, I am about to answer the call (of death).
Verily I shall be answerable and you will be answerable, what do you say? They replied: We witness that you have delivered the message, and striven (on Allah’s way) and given good advice, may Allah reward you good. Then he said: Don’t you witness that there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is His bondman and messenger, and His heaven is truth, resurrection after death is truth, and the Hour (Doomsday) is certainly to come, and Allah resurrects the dead from graves? They said: Yes, we do witness so. He said: O Allah be a witness. Then he said: O mankind, verily, Allah is my master (mawlā) and I am the master of every believer (mu’min), and I have more authority over the believers than they over themselves. Of whomever I am his master, this one also is his master — i.e. ‘Ali O God, be the friend of whoever befriends him, and be the enemy of whoever is hostile to him.
Then he said: O people, I am verily separating from you, and you are coming back to me by the side of the Pond (Hawd). A Pond that is wider than the space between my sight and San‘ā’, in which there are stars equalling two silver goblets. When you come back to me I will ask you about the Thaqalayn, how did you treat them after me. the greater thiql: the Book of Allah — the Almighty and the Glorious — which is a rope between Him and you, whose one end is in His hand and whose other end is in your hands. So get hold of it, as you shall never go astray and never be changed, and my ‘Itrah (kindred) my Ahl al-Bayt. The Subtile, the Aware informed me that the two will never part, until they come to me at the Pond (Hawd).
6) Al-’Imām Ahmad narrates from al-Barā’ ibn ‘Azib, through two ways, that he said: We were with the Messenger of Allah (S) and we came down at Ghadir Khumm, whereat a call for holding congregational prayer was made. People swept the ground under two trees for the Messenger of Allah, may Allah’s peace and benediction be upon him and his Progeny, who performed the noon prayer (salāt al-îuhr). Then he took ‘Ali’s hand, saying: Don’t you know that I have more right over every believer than he has over himself? They replied: Yes (you do). Then he declared (taking ‘Ali’s hand): ‘To whomever I am his master, ‘Ali also is his master. My God, befriend whoever befriends him and be hostile to whoever is hostile to him.” Then the narrator said: After that ‘Umar met him (‘a), and said to him: ‘Congratulation, O son of Abt Tālib, within a day and a night you became the mawlā (master) of every believing man and woman.”
In brief, Hadith al-Ghadir was narrated by numerous ‘ulamā’ of Ahl al-Sunnah, more than those we have mentioned. Among them are: al-Tirmidhi, Ibn Mājah, Ibn ‘Asākir, Abt Nu’aym, Ibn al-’Athir, al-Khwarazmi, al-Suytti, Ibn Hajar, al-Haythami, Ibn al-Sabbāgh al-Māliki, al-Qundtzi al-Hanafi, Ibn al-Maghāzili, Ibn Kathir, al-Hamwini, al-Hasakani, al-Ghazzāli, and al-Bukhāri in his Ta’rikh.
Further, al-‘Allāmah al-’Amini, the author of the book al-Ghadir, has enumerated a large number of non Shi’i ‘ulamā’, who narrated Hadith al-Ghadir and recorded it in their books, from different classes and schools of law, since the first till the fourteenth Hijrah century, numbering more than sixty-three. Whoever wants to investigate and be more assured, can refer to the book al-Ghadir.
After all this, is it possible for anyone to claim that Hadith al-Ghadir was fabricated by the Shi‘ah?
The surprising and strange fact is that, when Hadith al-Ghadir is mentioned to most of the Muslims, they claim being unaware of it, or say, never hearing it. And even more surprising is that after this unanimously accepted hadith how is it feasible for the Sunni ‘ulamā’ to claim that the Messenger of Allah (S) has never designated anyone as his successor, leaving this matter to be determined through shtrā (council) among Muslims.
O people! Is there any hadith more declarative and expressive than this one regarding caliphate?? I may refer to a conversation held between me and one of al-Zayttnah ‘ulamā’ in my country. When I mentioned for him Hadith al-Ghadir as an evidence proving the successorship of al-’Imām ‘Ali, he admitted its veracity. He rather added to fuel to the fire when making me acquainted with the interpretation he invented for the Qur’ān, with which he mentioned and rectified Hadith al-Ghadir, saying afterwards: “The Shi‘ah claim that this hadith is a text establishing the caliphate of our master ‘Ali (may Allah grant him honour), while it is invalid in the perspective of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamā‘ah, since it contradicts the caliphate of our master Abt Bakr al-Siddiq and our master ‘Umar al-Faruq, and ‘Uthmān Dhu al-Nurayn. So it is inevitable to interpret the word mawlā cited in the hadith to mean lover and helper, as referred to in the Holy Qur’ān. This being the same meaning conceived by the rightly-Guided Caliphs (al-Khulafā’ al-Rāshidtn) and honourable Companions (may Allah be pleased with them all), from whom the Tābi‘tn (followers) and Muslim ‘ulamā’ have taken. So no sense is to be given to the interpretation given by the Rāfidah for this hadith, as they never recognize the successorship of the caliphs, speaking ill of the Messenger’s Sahābah. This being a sufficient proof to refute their lies and invalidate their allegations.” (His speech in the book is over).
I asked him: Did the incident actually occur at Ghadir Khumm?
He replied: Had it not occurred, the ‘ulamā’ and muhaddithtn (traditionists) would have never related it!
I said: Is it appropriate for the Messenger of Allah (S) to gather his Companions under scorching sun’s heat, addressing them with a protracted sermon, just to tell them that ‘Ali was their lover and helper? Do you accept such an interpretation?
He replied: A number of the Companions have complained against ‘Ali (to the Prophet), among whom there were some harbouring vindictive feelings against ‘Ali and detesting ‘him.
There after the Messenger, intending to eliminate their grudge, said to them: Ali is your lover and helper, so as to make them love him and never detest him.
I said: This never requires of him to make them all stop, and lead them in prayer, initiating his sermon by saying: Don’t I have more right over you than you have over your own selves, for the sake of elucidating the meaning of mawlā. Had the case been as you claim, it was feasible for him to tell those complaining against ‘Ali: “He is your lover and helper,” and finished with it without any need to detain under the sun all those enormous multitudes, numbering more than a hundred thousand, among whom were old men and women. Any man having reason can never be content with this!
He then said: Does any sane man believe that a hundred thousand Companions have never apprehended what you and the Shi‘ah apprehended??
I said: First of all, only very few of them were living in al-Madinah. Secondly: They apprehended exactly the same meaning I and the Shi‘ah got. So it was narrated by the ‘ulamā’ that Abu Bakr and ‘Umar were among those congratulating ‘Ali by saying: “Congratulations, O Ibn Abi Tālib, within a night and a day you became the mawlā of every believing man (and woman).”
He said: Why didn’t they swear allegiance to him then, after the Prophet’s demise? Do you think that they have disobeyed and contradicted the Prophet’s commandment? I seek Allah’s forgiveness for such claim.
I said: If Ahl al-Sunnah ‘ulamā’ testify in their books that some of them — i.e. of the Sahābah — used to contradict the orders of the Prophet (S) during his lifetime and in his presence, so it would be no wonder to see them forsaking his orders after his demise. And when most of them vilify and disapprove of his appointment of Usāmah ibn Zayd as the commander of the army, due to his youngness, despite the battalion being limited and for a short time, so how would they accept to be under the leadership of the young man ‘Ali, and for life long absolute caliphate? And you yourself have testified that some of them were detesting and harbouring grudge against ‘Ali!!
Feeling, upset, he replied: It was improper for al-’Imām ‘Ali, may (Allah grant him honour) and be pleased with him, to keep silent of his right, if being aware that the Messenger of Allah designated him as his successor, while being that brave man fearing no one and of whom all the Sahābah feeling awe.
I said: O Sayyid, this is another subject out of the scope of my discussion, since you were not convinced by the authentic (sahih) Prophetic traditions, trying to interpolate them and divert them from their true meanings with the aim of respecting the dignity of the good ancestors (al-Salaf al-Sālih). So how can I convince you with ‘Ali’s keeping silent or his arguing with them by his right to caliphate?
He smiled and said: By God, I am among those who consider our master ‘Ali, may Allah grant him honour, superior to others. Had it been in my hand, I would have never preferred anyone of the Sahābah to him, as he is the gate of the city of knowledge and Allah’s conquering lion, but it is the will of Allah, Who brings forward whoever He wills and keeps behind whoever He wills. He will not be questioned as to that which he does, but they will be questioned.
I, in turn, smiled and said: This is too another topic dragging us toward discussing the subject of qadā’ and qadar (fate and destiny) that we have discussed earlier, with every one of us preserving his own viewpoint. I wonder, sir, why is that whenever I debate with any of Ahl al-Sunnah ‘ulamā’, presenting him a convincing strong argument (hujjah), he immediately tries to find outlet to change the course of discussion to another one irrelevant to the subject of debate. He said: I am still steadfast on my view, with no little change. So I bade him farewell and departed him. I remained contemplating attentively, about the reason behind the absence of anyone among our ‘ulamā’, to complete the task and confirm the debate with strong argumentation that settles the dispute.
There are some who commence the discussion, but when seeing themselves unable to establish any proof confirming their claims, they try to shirk the situation by saying: Those are people who have passed away. Theirs is that which they earned, and yours is that which ye earn. Some others say: Keep us away from agitating seditions and grudges, as this is not our business. The important point is that the Sunnah and the Shi‘ah believe in one God and one messenger, and that is enough. Some say, in brief: O brother, beware of Allah in regard of the Sahābah. After all that, is there any room for holding any scientific debate with such people, for the sake of enlightening them and illuminating the way for returning to the truth other than which only deviation is there? And how far are those from the style of the Qur’ān which invites mankind to present their evidences: Say: Bring your proof (of what ye state) if ye are truthful. (2:111)
This, despite the fact that if they abstain from their vilification and criticism campaign against the Shi‘ah, we have never resorted to dispute and controversy with them even by that which is good.
 Sahih Muslim, Vol. VI, p. 24, “bāb khiyār al-’a’immah wa shirārihim”.
. Ibid., Vol. VI, p. 20, bā al-’amr bi-luzum al-jamā‘ah ‘inda îuhur al-fitan”.
. Ibid., Vol. VI, p. 4, “bāb al-nās tubba‘ li-Quraysh wa al-khilāfah fi Quraysh”.
. Ibid., Vol. VI, p. 3; and Sahih al-Bukhāri, Vol. VIII, pp. 105, 128.
 . Ibid., Vol. VI, p. 23, “bāb wujub al-’inkār ‘alā al-’umarā’.”
 . Sahih al-Bukhāri, Vol. VIII, p. 127, “bāb al-’istikhlāf”.
 . Ibid., Vol. VIII, p. 106, “bāb Ma yukrah min al-hirs ‘alā al-’imārah”.
 . Ibid.
 Sahih Muslim, Vol. VI, p. 3, “bāb al-Khilāfah fi Quraysh”.
 Yanābi‘ al-mawaddah, Vol. III, p. 104.
Ibid., Vol. III, p. 105.
 Al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dāwud and Ibn Mājah; Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol. II, p. 332.
 Sahih al-Bukhāri, Vol. VII, p. 209, “bāb al-hawd”, and Vol. V, p. 292.
 Ibid., Vol. IV, p. 63.
 Ibid., Vol. III, p. 112
 Ibid., Vol. IV, p. 144, and Vol. VIII, p. 151.
 Al-’Imāmah wa al-siyāsah, of Ibn Qutaybah, Vol. I, p. 28.
 Sahih Muslim, Vol. VI, p. 5, “bāb al-’istikhlāf wa tarkih”.
 Al-’Imāmah wa al-siyāsah, of Ibn Qutaybah, Vol. I, p. 18.
 Sahih al-Bukhāri, Vol. VIII, p. 26, “bāb rajm al-hublā min al-zinā”.
 Ta’rikh al-khulafā’, of Ibn Qutaybah, Vol. I, p. 18 and afterwards.
 This is according to the fact that no proof (dalil) can be found with the Shi‘ah, but only when its application (misdāq) should be there in the Sunnah books.
He is Abu Ishāq Ahmad ibn Muhammad ibn Ibrāhim al-Naysāburi al-Tha‘labi (d. 337 H.). To him Ibn Khallikān referred by saying: “He was the matchless of his time in science of exegesis (‘ilm al-tafsir), of correct transmission, and trustable.”
 Al-Jam‘ bayn al-Sihāh al-Sittah; Sahih al-Nasā’i; Musnad Ahmad; al-Sawā‘iq al-muhriqah of Ibn Hajar, and it was reported too by Ibn Abi al-Hadid in Sharh Nahj al-balāghah.
 Al-Durr al-manthur fi al-tafsir bi al-ma’thur, Vol. III, p. 119.
 Fath al-Bāri, Vol. VI, p. 31; al-Bidāyah wa al-nihāyah, Vol. VIII, p. 102; Siyar A`lām al-nubalā’ of al-Dhahabi, Vol. II, p. 436; Ibn Hajar’s al-’Isābah, Vol. III, p. 287.
 Jalāl al-Din al-Suyuti’s al-Durr al-manthur, Vol. III, p. 3.
 Ibid., Vol. III, p. 4.
 Ibid., Vol. III, p. 4.
 It is called Hadith al-Ghadir, and was reported by both the Shi‘ah and Sunni ‘ulamā’ at the same level.
 Ahmad ibn Hanbal in his Musnad, Vol. IV, p. 281; al-Tabari in his Tafsir; al-Rāzi in his al-Tafsir al-Kabir, Vol. III, p. 636; Ibn Hajar in his Sawā‘iq; al-Dāraqutni al-Bayhaqi, al-Khatib al-Baghdādi, and al-Shahristāni, beside others.
 . Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol. IV, p. 372.
 . Al-Nasā’i in al-Khasā’is, p. 21.
 Mustadrak al-Hākim, Vol. III, p. 109.
 Sahih Muslim, Vol. VII, p. 122, “bāb fadā’il ‘Ali ibn Abi Tālib; and the hadith is reported too by al-’Imām Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi.
 Sahih Muslim, Vol. VII,p.122 “bāb fadā’il ‘Ali”.
 Ibn Hajar in his Sawā‘iq, p. 25, on the authority of al-Tabarāni and al-Hakim and al-Tirmidhi.
 Musnad al-’Imām Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Vol. IV, p. 281; also in Kanz al-‘ummāl, Vol. XV, p. 117; and Fadā’il al-Khamsah min al-Sihāh al-Sittah, Vol. I, p. 350.
 The book al-Ghadir of al-‘Allāmah al-’Amini, in eleven volumes. It is a valuable book in which its author collected and compiled whatever was written about Hadith al-Ghadir, from the Sunnah books.
 Al-Bukhāri and Muslim reported in their Sahihs several contradictions on the part of them (Sunni ‘ulamā’), as in the event of Hudaybiyyah Peace Treaty, and also the event of Thursday Misfortune, and many other events and cases.