SHAFAQNA – There is a war being waged within Islam we have been told! This war many have said, arose in between Sunnis and Shiites, the two main branches of Islam.
The Islamic world we have been told, stands now in division, fragmented within sects and schools of thoughts, currents and ideas, keeping religious communities apart – walled up behind man-made prejudices and bias, disputes and traditions.
Only Islam is One – only Islam is but One message, which was carried by One prophet, entrusted to the leadership of One man, born to One united line of blessed messengers, to unite all people under One banner in submission to The One God: Allah.
The Quran speaks not of sects within Islam. The Prophet of God spoke not of divisions and fragmentations – he called instead for unity in the worship of God, he called for harmony in the respect of Islamic traditions, as he himself expressed under God’s command.
The Prophet Muhammad was neither a Sunni, a Suni or a Shia – he was the last Messenger of God, and God’s Word was his message to mankind. What the Prophet left his umma, his community was the Quran, his hadiths and one oath of allegiance – Ghadeer.
The Oath of Ghadeer … the oath which so few ever spoke about, even though it sits center to Islam’s unity.
The only division which exists within Islam is that which its enemies have expressed. Islam was never meant as fracture, but a healing balm onto society – a salvation, a mercy, a guidance, a light when all other light have faltered, a Justice when that of men falters, a promise that Truth is indeed within reach for those who seek Him.
“O Messenger! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people.” (5:67)
The above verse speaks about a revelation of such paramount importance, of such pull and traction, that should the Prophet had failed in his deliverance, his prophethood would have been nullified altogether.
Bearing in mind most of the verses of the Quran had by then been revealed to the Prophet Muhammad, what message could have been left still to be offered onto men that could so profoundly change everything?
By this time, most of the beliefs and rules of Islamic sharia had already been revealed and conveyed. So this message which was left to told had to be of another nature …
Allamah Tabatabai said on the matter: “Why was this order so important that if it was not conveyed then the message was not conveyed at all? It was because religion’s knowledge and commands are inter linked…The fact, that if this commandment was not conveyed, then no other order was conveyed, shows its utmost importance, and makes it crystal clear that this particular order occupies such a central position in the whole structure – so much so that if it had been left unannounced, it would have amounted to leaving all other orders unannounced, because its relation to other items is like that of soul with body; if it is disconnected, there would remain only a dead body, devoid of feeling, movement and perception… There was a danger that the people would oppose it and strive hard to overturn it against the Prophet aiming at demolishing the structure of religion he had built and disintegrating all its parts … Accordingly, he kept postponing its delivery from time to time, waiting for a suitable circumstances and peaceful atmosphere, in order that his mission might be successful and his endeavours fruitful. But Allah ordered him to make haste in conveying that message, showing to him its importance, and promising to protect him from the people.” (source – Islam.org)
What was the message the holy Prophet was supposed to convey that would provoke the people, specifically, the disbelievers? As per numerous traditions from both Shia and Sunni sources, it was about the guardianship of Imam Ali. It was about the issue of succession after the death of the holy Prophet – about the leadership and guardianship of the Islamic nation.
The issue of guardianship is so important that without it, not only is religion not complete, but without it the unbelievers would have been successful in their plots against the divine religion.
The holy Prophet conveyed this message after performing his last Hajj. There in Ghadeer, he ordered Muslims to assemble together, to bear witness once more, to pledge their allegiance once last time to the Word.
It was there, before the Islamic ummah that Imam Ali it was revealed as the true successor of the Word – both the Guardian and the Tradition itself, together the recipient of the Rule and the Rule itself.
Where Muhammad was God’s last Prophet, Ali was His Imam – the voice after the Word which would carry, defend and purify those verses which were passed on by the Prophet of God.
IT HAS BEEN NARRATED FROM ABI SA’ID THAT: “WHEN THE DAY OF GHADEER KHUMM CAME, THE MESSENGER OF ALLAH (S) COMMANDED THE CALLER TO CALL OUT, ‘GATHER FOR THE PRAYER. THEN HE TOOK ALI (AS) BY THE HAND AND SAID, ‘O’ ALLAH! WHOMSOEVER I AM HIS MASTER, THIS ALI IS ALSO HIS MASTER. O’ ALLAH! BE A FRIEND TO THAT PERSON WHO IS A FRIEND TO HIM, AND BE AN ENEMY TO THAT PERSON WHO IS AN ENEMY TO HIM.’”
Islam’s unity, and true oath of allegiance is expressed twice, to become One: once in the declaration that there is indeed but One God, and that Muhammad is His prophet, and then in the pledge of Ghadeer – The two faces of a coin, when body and soul become united in worship to become Islam.
With the announcement of guardianship, the message of Islam was perfected and completed.
“This day have those who disbelieve despaired of your religion, so fear them not, and fear Me. This day have I perfected for you your religion and completed My favor on you and chosen for you Islam as a religion” (5:3)
By Catherine Shakdam for Shafaqna