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The Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) at Ghadir Khumm

The Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) at Ghadir Khumm

Publisher: www.alhassanain.org/english

The Sermon of Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) at Ghadir Khumm

Author: Vahid Majd

Table of Contents

Introduction 3

What does the sermon establish for Ali (PBUH)? 6

His followers, his enemies, and their fate11

Transmitting the sermon through modern ways15

An overview of the sermon 19

The Sermon of The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) on The Day of Ghadir Khum21

Part 1 : Praising Allah and regarding Him pure24

Part 2 : Preparation for delivering an important commandment from Allah28

Part 3 : Open declaration of the leadership of Ali Ibn Abi Talib (PBUH) and the Imams after him31

Part 4 : Announcing the perfection of religion due to Aliپ fs appointment and reminding the People of his virtues36

Part 5 : Referring to the aims of the hypocrites39

Part 6 : Adherents of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) and their enemies42

Part 7 : Mentioning Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH)44

Part 9 : Finality of the religious laws and the role of the Imams46

10 : Pronouncing the covenant and taking the oath of allegiance49



The Ghadir event and its significance Seventy days before his demise, when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF)

1 was returning to Medina after his last pilgrimage to Mecca, he reached the pond of Khum (Ghadir Khum) near Juhfa. It was the 18th of the month of Dhul-Hijja of the year 10 AH (March 15, 632 AD).

By this time, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) had conveyed all of the divine commandments to his nation except for the formal and explicit public announcement of his divinely appointed successors as the leaders, guardians, and guides for the believers for all days to come.

By the order of Allah, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) stopped at the pond of Khum, gathered the crowd of pilgrims, and delivered his last universal speech.

In this sermon, he presented his last religious instruction which finalized the last divine religion and made Islam the perfect religion in the sight of Allah. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (PBUH), the fifth Imam and successor of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) said:

1 The acronym “PBUH&HF” refers to phrase “peace be upon him and his family.”

“The last obligatory duty that Allah sent down was al-Walaya (adherence to the guardian assigned by Allah). Then, He sent down the verse: ‘Today, I completed your religion…’1 once the Messenger of Allah established it in Juhfa area.”2

This message was the most unique in the entire mission of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) due to the revelation of Verse 67, Chapter 5 of the Holy Quran before his speech.

In this revelation, Allah warned His Messenger that failing to deliver this last message would nullify his entire mission. This unprecedented warning proves that this last message contained the most important religious commandment of Allah for the Muslim nation.

Moreover, the contents of this last message were so crucial to the faith that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) emphatically required all those who directly or indirectly heard the sermon of Ghadir Khum to convey it to people who were not aware of its details, and parents to convey it to their children for all generations to come. Hence, this sermon addresses all Muslim generations of the world until the main issue that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) addressed in his speech in Ghadir Khum was that Allah appointed Ali Ibn Abi Talib (PBUH) as the guardian (Wali), the master (Mawla), the leader (Imam), and the commander (Amir) of all believing men and women, the deputy and the executor of his affairs (Wasi), and his successor (Khalifa).

1 Chapter 5, Verse 3 of the Holy Quran

2 al-Tafsir, Ali Ibn Ibrahim al-Qummi, vol. 1, p. 162, under the commentary of Verse 5:3; al-Tafsir, al-Ayyashi, vol. 1, p. 292, under the commentary of Verse 5:3; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 37, p. 112, Hadith 5, vol. 37, p. 138, Hadith 27.

3 Day of Judgement. This emphasis naturally implies that the content of this message has a vital role in the future of the Muslims, their spiritual health, and their felicity in the Hereafter.

His sayings and commands should be preferred over the opinions of all others in every matter. Obeying him is obeying Allah, and disobeying him is disobeying Allah.

Whoever follows him (and his sayings) is a believer under the guardianship of Allah, and whoever turns away from him (or his sayings) is a disbeliever under the guardianship of Satan.

Guardianship (al-Walaya) expresses a bilateral relation between the guardian and the people. Observing al-Walaya by people means adhering to the guardian and acknowledging his authority by heart, tongue, and action.

On the other hand, the action of al-Walaya by the guardian means offering protection from evil, spiritual assistance, care, support, and guidance for his adherents. A divinely appointed guardian guards his adherents from misguidance, spiritual destruction, wrongdoing, and sin as much as they adhere to him and his commands.

Establishing al-Walaya has been the ultimate goal of religion and the fruit of the entire efforts of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH&HF) during his mission.

One who submits to Allah’s representative and adheres to him has indeed acknowledged Allah’s authority and guardianship and is a true monotheist in obeying Allah.

Acknowledging the guardianship of the leaders that Allah appointed and submitting to them is the greatest pillar of faith. It safeguards the followers from the wrath and punishment of Allah. Imam Muhammad al-Baqir (PBUH) said:

“Islam is established by five things: prayer, charity, fasting, pilgrimage, and al-Walaya (adhering to the guardians authorized by Allah).

None (among them) was called for as (emphatically as) al-Walaya was called for. However, people accepted the first four and abandoned al-Walaya.”1

People who refused to submit to the leaders that Allah appointed resemble the Satan who refused to submit to the viceregent of Allah, Adam (PBUH), and consequently, became an outcast and went under the curse of Allah 1 al-Kafi, vol. 2, p. 18, Hadith 3.

forever as mentioned in the Holy Quran.1 It is narrated that Imam al-Ridha (PBUH) said:

“The similitude of the believers in accepting the guardianship of the Commander of the Believers (Ali) on the day of Ghadir Khum is that of the angels in prostrating before Adam (i.e., submitting to him), and the similitude of those who turned away from the guardianship of the Commander of the Believers on the day of Ghadir is that of the devil (Iblis).”2

In one of his speeches on the anniversary of the day of Ghadir, Imam Ali (PBUH) said:

“Allah does not accept the faith (of an individual) except after he acknowledges the guardianship of whom He required. He does not arrange the means of His obedience (for an individual) except after he adheres to His ropes and the ropes of His authorized people.

Thus, Allah sent down to His Prophet (PBUH&HF) on the day of the large trees1 that which explained His will for His sincere and chosen servants.

Allah commanded him to convey (the message) without being concerned about the hypocrites or the deviants, and guaranteed him protection against their evil... By that, Allah completed His religion, and delighted the eyes of His Prophet (PBUH&HF), and the believers.

Some of you witnessed this event and some received its news. This (appointment) concluded the beautiful word of Allah for those who observe patience… ”2

1 This phrase refers to the day of Ghadir Khum as there had been some large trees beside the pond at the time.

2 Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 94, p. 115, Hadith 8.

What does the sermon establish for Ali (PBUH)?

Does successorship only refer to political authority? Some people do terrible injustice to the event of Ghadir by portraying it as a matter of transferring political power.

They unwittingly borrow the Sunni understanding of the term Khalifa, interpreting it asپ ga ruling successorپ h. They state that the main goal of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) in Ghadir Khum was to establish Imam Ali (PBUH) as a political leader after his departure.

Were it truly so, the matter would have been a historical matter, and it would be meaningless to quarrel over the right of Imam Ali (PBUH) to rule after passing 1400 years.

It is almost fourteen centuries too late to decide whether Ali (PBUH) should have been the first or the fourth ruling governor after the departure of the Prophet (PBUH&HF).

Were there a mistake during the upheaval after his departure, it should not be stressed, because no one can change the past, and believing that Ali (PBUH) should have been the first ruler instead of the fourth would have no consequence in todayپ fs life.

This viewpoint ultimately led some to believe that the differences between the Shia and the Sunnis are limited to some minor historical disagreements, which do not have any bearing on their salvation in the Hereafter, and that their beliefs are the same; thus, they should abandon their differences for the sake of their prosperity in the life of this world.

By considering the issue of successorship to be a matter of political rule, they have unknowingly belittled the goals and the achievements of Allahپ fs Messenger and his successors, peace be upon them, for historical records show that, due to a lack of sincere supporters, they were unable to implement their ideal divine government.

Besides, most of the Shia Imams (PBUT) never attempted to implement their own government and used to refer those who questioned their stance1 to Imam Mahdi (PBUH) who will appear at the end of time and will establish the Kingdom of Justice on earth.

On the other hand, a brief look at the sermon of Ghadir shows that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) wanted to pass on much more than political authority to Imam Ali (PBUH) and the Imams after him. An examination of his words shows that they are the guardians that Allah appointed, and people must acknowledge their authority inside their hearts and follow them in all aspects of life.

People will benefit from them as their Imams and will be rewarded by Allah only if they accept them willingly and not through political dominion. Whether or not the guardians that Allah appointed become a ruling authority, the believers of all generations have a duty to abide by their instructions.

Therefore, it is not too late to follow their commands, accept them as guardians, submit to them, prefer their sayings over oneپ fs own and otherپ fs opinions, consider them as the center of truth, evaluate everything by their standard, and keep aloof from their enemies who opposed their commands.

1 See for instance, al-Kafi, vol. 1, pp. 341-342, Hadith 25, 26, and 27; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 51, p. 132, Hadith 1, and p. 109, Hadith 1.

It is also interesting to observe that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) mentioned the titles Wali, Mawla, and Imam for Ali (PBUH) in his sermon over 27 times, whereas he used the word Khalifa for him only three times. Even under the Sunni implication of the word Khalifa (successor).

which limits it to political rule.it is clear that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) stressed spiritual leadership in his speech, which would guarantee the salvation of those who follow the Imam, and would lead them towards Paradise. Worldly issues never took priority for the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and his successors. Imam Ali himself has said:

By Allah, this world of yours is more despicable in my eyes than a pig bone in the hand of a Certainly, had the majority of people followed the sayings of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) concerning the divinely appointed guide, he would have naturally come to power.

Thus, Imam Aliپ fs exclusive qualification for political rule is only one of the natural outcomes of the guardianship (Walaya) that the Prophet (PBUH&HF) established for him on behalf of Allah on the day of Ghadir. In this manner, the spiritual 1 Nahj al-Balagha, Maxim 236. Also refer to Sermon 3 (known as al- Shiqshiqiyya) for another similar statement.

authority of Imam Ali (PBUH) and his pure descendants is still effective over the remaining believers until the Day of Judgement, irrespective of the support of the majority of people for them or their political authority.

Believing in the Imamپ fs virtues in oneپ fs heart and adhering to his words in disguise (al-Taqiyya) under tyrannical rule are not only sufficient for salvation in the Hereafter but also rewarded many-fold, because observing faith is more difficult at times of terror and fear.

According to the traditions, worship during the days of tyrannical government is more rewarding for the believers than worship during the time of the just government, though this fact should not prevent the believers from praying to Allah for the manifestation of the Kingdom of Justice on earth by Imam al-Mahdi (PBUH).1

The rights and virtues of Imam Ali and other Imams The sermon of Ghadir Khum confirms the following rights and virtues of Imam Ali (PBUH) and the Imams after him:

1- Allah has decreed absolute authority for them over the believers, and thus, just like the Prophet (PBUH&HF), all their commands must be obeyed unconditionally.

2- Like the Prophet (PBUH&HF), they have priority over people, and they have more rights over the believers 1 cf. al-Kafi, vol. 1, p. 333, Hadith 2, also Hadith 1; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 127, Hadith 20, also p. 145, Hadith 67. Another related tradition can be found at: al-Ikhtisas, p. 20, Hadith; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 52, p. 144, Hadith 62.

than what they have over their own souls. They should be preferred over others (in position, sayings, ideas, commands, etc.) for Allah has preferred them.

3- Allah has made them the leaders of the believers and the medium of divine guidance after the Prophet (PBUH&HF). They guide people towards the pleasure of Allah, keep them from His disobedience and His wrath, and lead them to Paradise.

4- Allah has made them the guardians of the faithful, who protect their close adherents from evil and misguidance.

5- They are theپ gStraight Pathپ h of Allah, whom people are ordered to follow.

6- They have all the knowledge of the Prophet (PBUH&HF). Allah has placed the knowledge of everything in them. They are the inheritors of all branches of knowledge. Particularly, they possess the complete knowledge of religion. They are authorized to expound the religion and explain its commandments and prohibitions.

7- Allah has authorized them to interpret the Holy Quran and to explain its meaning after the Prophet (PBUH&HF). No one knows its interpretations, its hidden warnings, and its mysteries except through them. They guide people to the truth of the Quran and call them to it.

8- They are the executors of the will of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) and the deputies of his affairs (Wasi). Imam Ali (PBUH) was the greatest in virtue and rank among the deputies of all the prophets (most of whom were prophets themselves) just as the Prophet (PBUH&HF) was the greatest among all prophets (PBUT).

9- Imam Ali (PBUH) is the most virtuous amongst the creation of Allah so long as creation exists.

10- Imam Ali (PBUH) was foremost in accepting Islam and worshipping Allah.

11- Imam Ali (PBUH) fought against the enemies of Allah by His command and was the greatest helper of religion.

12- Imam Ali (PBUH) was the greatest aid and defender of the Prophet (PBUH&HF). He fought on his behalf and offered his life as a sacrifice for him. His relation to the Prophet (PBUH&HF) was that of Aaron to Moses (PBUT).

13- Imam Ali (PBUH) was the dearest and the closest to the Prophet (PBUH&HF). He is from the Prophet (PBUH&HF), and the Prophet (PBUH&HF) is from him. The Prophet (PBUH&HF) called him his brother.

14- The title ofپ gthe Commander of the Believersپ h exclusively belongs to him.

15- Allah and His Prophet (PBUH&HF) are pleased with him. All verses of the Holy Quran that express Allahپ fs satisfaction or praise in their ideal sense have been revealed about him.

16- The divine light, the divine guidance, and the divine leadership have been placed in Imam Ali (PBUH) and the Imams from his descendants up to Imam Mahdi (PBUH), the last divinely appointed Imam. The earth will never lack an Imam until the Day of Judgement.

17- Imam Ali (PBUH) and the Imams of his descendents are the trustees of Allah, His appointed judges, the vessels of divine knowledge1, the greatest proofs of Allah 1 Theپ gdivine knowledgeپ h refers to all the heavenly knowledge created by Allah, and placed in His best creation.

It is called divine just because Allah issued and authorized it, and because it is not a science generated by a human. It is called His knowledge since it is His creation and is attributed to Him. However, this should not be confused with Hisپ gEternal Knowledgeپ h.

It should be made clear that any knowledge that a human being can possess, grasp, or comprehend is a creation, and has no similarity whatsoever with Allahپ fs Eternal Knowledge (i.e., His Essence), which is not created. The knowledge that a human or even an Imam possesses is not a part of Allahپ fs Eternal Knowledge, otherwise it would imply His Essence has parts.

Any imagination or perception of Allah's Eternal Knowledge by us is a creation of our mind and cannot be attributed to Allah. With regard to the Essence of Allah, we are not allowed to theorize or converse because we have no way to understand Him, and byپ gHis Eternal Knowledgeپ h, we only mean,پ gHe is not ignorantپ h.

We should recognize that His Essence (Dhat) is free from any type of knowledge that we know (i.e., any generated knowledge even if it is multiplied by infinity in terms of quality and quantity) just as we recognize that there is nothing that He is unaware of. Nothing is like Him.

Maintaining a difference on the quality or the quantity between His knowledge and the concept of knowledge that is known to us is not enough to avoid resemblance, and we need to deny the resemblance in the concept of knowledge between the Creator and the creation.

There is neither concept, nor quality for His Essence. Allah is the creator of perfections and qualities, and He is not limited by the extension of qualities and concepts that we imagine. Allah knows, but not like how His creation knows. Hence, our understanding of His Eternal Knowledge (i.e., His Essence) is only among His creation, and His exhaustive arguments against them.

18- Imam Ali (PBUH) and the pure members of his progeny constitute one of the two weighty symbols besides the Holy Quran. If people adhere to both, they will be never misled. Each one of the two guides to the other and agrees with it.

19- Imam Ali (PBUH) and the Imams of his progeny are the most learned about the religion. The lawful and unlawful things are only those that the book of Allah, the Messenger, and the Imams, have declared so, respectively.

20- The last Imam of his descendants, the Mahdi (PBUH), shall establish the global kingdom of justice. He will revive Allahپ fs religion, and will overcome all religions and ideas.

He will annihilate falsehood, will purify the earth from the enemies of Allah, will avenge the blood of all the friends of Allah, and will re-establish the rights of Allah, the Prophet (PBUH&HF), and his family.

His followers, his enemies, and their fate

In the sermon of Ghadir Khum, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) describes the followers and the enemies of Imam Ali (PBUH) and the Imams after him, and informs them of their destinies:

limited to denying any opposite in Him. In other words, we should regard Him free from all defects such as ignorance.

1- Those who acknowledge the authority of Imam Ali (PBUH) are the triumphant Party of Allah and the true believers who will achieve felicity and a great reward.

2- Whoever doubts any of the Imams has doubted them all, and his abode is the everlasting Hellfire.

Whoever doubts the sayings of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) in this sermon concerning them has doubted all of what Allah has revealed to the Prophet (PBUH&HF) throughout his entire mission. Such a person is accursed and under the wrath of Allah.

3- If anyone chooses a religion other than submission to the guardianship of Imam Ali (PBUH), Allah will never accept it from him, nor will He accept his deeds, and he will be among the losers on the Day of Judgement.

4- Allah loves whoever loves Ali (PBUH). He keeps up His support, protection, guidance, forgiveness, and mercy for anyone who keeps attached to Ali (PBUH), listens to him, and remains under his guardianship.

5- Anyone who turns away from Imam Ali (PBUH), he has rejected Allahپ fs guardianship and has gone under the guardianship of Satan. Such a person has attained the curse of Allah and His wrath.

6- As long as someone denies Aliپ fs authority, Allah will never turn to him nor will He ever forgive him. If he dies like that, he will remain in Hell forever. This is a decisive decree by Allah that will never change.

7- The friends of Imam Ali (PBUH) are those who believe in his guardianship and never doubt their belief. They detest those who oppose Allah and His Messenger even if they are their closest kin.

8- The enemies of Imam Ali (PBUH) are those who turn away from his guardianship, doubt the virtues that Allah has bestowed upon him, are jealous of him, abandon support for him, reject his sayings, disagree with his actions, oppose his commands, or have friendship with those who oppose him.

9- His enemies are the wretched, the misguided, the arrogant, the brothers of Satan, and the rejecters of faith. Their deeds are all in vain. Their lasting punishment will not be lessened, and they will never be pardoned.

10- Those who usurped the rights of the family of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) are the leaders who invite people to Hell. Allah and His Prophet (PBUH&HF) are clear of them and their actions. They, their supporters, and their followers will be in the lowest pit of the Hellfire.

The Ghadir event leaves no excuse

During the Sermon, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) stressed that his speech completes Allahپ fs argument against everyone until the Day of Judgement. After the departure of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), other members of Ahl al-Bait (PBUT)

1 emphasized

this fact as well. Lady Fatima (PBUH), the Prophetپ fs daughter, said:

Allah did not leave any argument or any excuse for anyone after the event of Ghadir Khum.پ h2 Similarly, when Imam Ali (PBUH) addressed the immigrants and the helpers in the Prophetپ fs Mosque (after they had pledged fealty to Abu Bakr), he reminded them of his exclusive right for the leadership of the community and their covenant with the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) concerning him.

Some of the helpers said to Imam Ali,پ gO Abul Hasan! Had the helpers heard your arguments before giving their pledge of allegiance to Abu Bakr, none would have disputed your rule.پ h In response to them, Imam Ali (PBUH) said:

1 Ahl al-Bait means People of the House. However, the Ahl al-Bait of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) as specifically defined by him and believed by the Shia, refers only to the divinely selected individuals of his house. They are his daughter (Lady Fatima (PBUH)) as well as twelve divinely appointed leaders (Imams) after him. The twelve Imams include the Prophetپ fs son in law and cousin, Ali (PBUH), Aliپ fs two sons, al-Hasan and al-Husain (PBUT), as well as nine descendants of al-Husain (PBUH).

2 Dalaپ fil al-Imama, p. 38. See also, al-Khisal, vol. 1, p. 173; Bihar al- Anwar, vol. 30, p. 124.

Did you want me to leave the shrouded body of the Messenger of Allah without burial and come out to quarrel for his sovereignty? By Allah! I could not believe anyone would yearn for it, dispute with us Ahl al-Bait (PBUT) in it, and make lawful to do what you did (in usurping our rights).

I do not see that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) left any place for any controversial talks, any plea, or any argument for anyone (by his speech) on the day of Ghadir Khum.

The above testimonies, among others, show that the speech of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) at Ghadir Khum in defining the position of Imam Ali (PBUH) is clear, evident, and definitive, and it exhausts arguments brought by anyone. Thus, it can be presented as a comprehensive proof to everyone.

Our obligations towards the sermon and the event

The necessity of submitting to the Prophetپ fs sayings One of the important differences that distinguishes Islam from all the early divine religions is that it states that it is 1 al-Ihtijaj, vol. 1, p. 74; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 28, p. 185.

the final religion of Allah. It offers the ultimate divine instructions for people in terms of beliefs and practices, and all its commandments and prohibitions are effective until the Day of Judgement. Believers of all generations are required to submit to the sayings of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) to achieve felicity. Allah states in the Holy Quran:

It is not permissible for a believer, man or woman, to exercise choice in a matter for which Allah and His Messenger issued a command.

Whoever disobeys Allah and His Messenger, he has surely strayed off (the path), a manifest straying.

Whoever does not judge according to what Allah has sent down is a disbeliever.2

O You who believe! Do not precede Allah and His Messenger; and be watchful of (your duties 1 Chapter 33, Verse 36 of the Holy Quran. 2 Chapter 5, Verse 44 of the Holy Quran.

toward) Allah. Verily, Allah hears and knows all things.

But no, by your Lord, they have not truly believed until they make you judge in all disputes between them, find in their souls no resistance against your decision, and submit (to you) with complete conviction.

O You who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those who are given authority from among you; and if you had a dispute in a matter, return it to Allah and His Messenger if you believe in Allah and the Last Day.

1 Chapter 49, Verse 1 of the Holy Quran.

2 Chapter 4, Verse 65 of the Holy Quran.

3 Chapter 4, Verse 59 of the Holy Quran.

Say,پ eIf you truly love Allah, follow me; Allah will love you and will forgive you your sins; and Allah is oft-forgiving and the most merciful.

f Say, eObey Allah and His Messenger.f But if they turn back, Allah loves not those who reject faith.h 1 Therefore, it is necessary for a believer to follow all the sayings of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) which have reached us in the form of traditions.

Opposing the traditions of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) means opposing Allah and disbelieving the above-mentioned verses of the Holy Quran.

Weakening and disregarding the sayings of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) that have been handed down to us means believing that the Quranic verses, which require us to follow his sayings, are useless in our time.

Particularly, for such an important issue as the message of Ghadir Khum, rejecting it means believing that Allah and His Prophet (PBUH&HF) have failed to convey the message that, according to the Quran, if not conveyed, would be as if nothing of His religion was conveyed,2 and religion would remain deficient and unsatisfactory in the sight of Allah.3

It is, therefore, our duty to acquire and learn this final message of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), to comply with what it entails, and to follow its directions.

1 Chapter 3, Verses 31-32 of the Quran.

2 cf. the Holy Quran, Chapter 5, Verse 67.

3 cf. the Holy Quran, Chapter 5, Verse 3.

Learning, acknowledging, and protecting the text of the sermon

The sermon of Ghadir Khum constitutes the last instructions of the last prophet of Allah in his last days. Hence, it is of prime importance for every believer to study the text of the sermon with care, reflect on it, and acknowledge all its implications in oneپ fs heart.

In the sermon of Ghadir, the Prophet (PBUH&HF) has emphasized that all his final commandments and prohibitions are effective forever and should never be altered by peoples desires, needs, ideas, opinions, or tendencies in any era.

He (PBUH&HF) considered it a duty of every believer to learn and comprehend the instructions of the sermon as it was handed down to them, and to protect them from any alteration or change for the use of the current and future generations.

Acting upon the instructions of the sermon and observing the covenant

After understanding and acknowledging the message of the Prophet (PBUH&HF) in the heart, one must put it in practice in his/her life. Calling people toward the truth by self-practice is the most beautiful and the most effective method of propagating the truth, which protects the message on a practical level and keeps it alive in the community.

The covenant taken by the Prophet (PBUH&HF) from all people who eventually hear the sermon includes the following verbal declarations:

1- We heard and understood the divine message concerning the authority and the rights of Ali (PBUH) and the Imams of his offspring.

2- We pledge our fealty to them by our hearts, our souls, our tongues, and our hands.

3- We are satisfied with the message and submit to it.

4- We will never deny it, nor will we break the covenant.

5- We will never doubt it.

6- We will obey it by our actions.

7- We will live and die with this belief.

8- We will never change nor replace its instructions.

9- We will convey it to our children, family, and friends, near or far.

10- We take Allah as witness to this covenant, and His Prophet (PBUH&HF), Allahپ fs Angels, His forces, and His servants, and anyone who obeyed it.

According to the saying of the Prophet (PBUH&HF), this covenant is taken by the order of Allah, and anyone who pledges his allegiance to him, Imam Ali, and the pure Imams of his progeny according to the terms of the covenant has indeed pledged his allegiance to Allah, the mighty and the majestic. This fact is also verified by the Holy Quran.1

1 cf. Chapter 48, Verse 10 of the Holy Quran.

The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) stated that those who precede others in acknowledging their covenant with Imam Ali (PBUH) and the Imams after him and truly believe in their guardianship are those who succeed in attaining the gardens of bliss.

Transmitting the sermon through modern ways

As the Prophet (PBUH&HF) ordered, every Muslim who receives his message should transmit it to other members of his community, especially the youth and children.

Transmitting the sermon is the greatest manifestation of enjoining what is right (Amr bil ma’ruf)1.

The Prophet (PBUH&HF) mentioned that the most important example of enjoining the right is conveying what he said in this sermon to truth-seeking individuals who have not heard its details, urging them to follow it as an order from Allah and His Prophet (PBUH&HF), and advising them against violating it.

Introducing the position and virtues of Imam Ali (PBUH) to the people is the best possible deed, because it makes known to people the authentic source of inquiry for all righteous deeds.

The Prophet (PBUH&HF) stated in the sermon that without recognizing Imam Ali (PBUH), there is 1 The word al-Ma’ruf means what is recognized. It refers to the deeds that Allah has recognized as good. On the other hand, the word al- Munkar means what is rejected. It refers to what Allah did not recognize as righteous deeds, and thus, people should avoid them. neither any value nor any effect in enjoining other righteous deeds.

Therefore, it is the duty of all believing men and women to inform other Muslims, who are prepared to hear the truth, about the content of this sermon without screening it according to personal opinion.

What follow are some suggestions to make the text as well as the meanings of this sermon popular in our community: 1- Holding frequent special meetings for reciting the Arabic text of the sermon, its translation, and its explanation.

Seeking nearness to Allah by reminding about the Prophet’s statements on the day of Ghadir, and making such spiritual gatherings as the medium of one’s requests before Allah.

2- Reciting a part of the sermon, even a small amount, in any general gathering, and reminding about one’s obligation towards it.

3- Holding classes of memorizing the text of the sermon for the youth, organizing competitions, quizzes, and offering prizes for learning the contents of the sermon.

4- Presenting the books containing the full text of the Prophet’s (PBUH&HF) sermon at Ghadir Khum as gifts to the family and friends.

5- Making decorative objects, goods, and greeting cards, etc., on which the key phrases of the sermon are written or carved.

6- Developing extracurricular programs in schools for teaching the text of the sermon to the students.

7- Translating the sermon into different languages and publishing them in papers and on the Internet.

Keeping alive the event and observing its anniversary There are many traditions on the importance of observing the anniversary of the event of Ghadir Khum. To be brief, only three traditions are partially quoted below. The Messenger of Allah (PBUH&HF) said:

“The day of Ghadir Khum is the greatest religious festival (Eid) of my nation. It was the day that Allah, exalted is His rememberance, commanded me to appoint my brother, Ali Ibn Abi Talib, as the guiding banner for my nation, by whom they will be rightly guided after me. It was the day in which Allah finalized religion and fulfilled His blessings on my nation and was pleased that Islam be their faith.”1

Imam al-Sadiq (PBUH) said to one of his companions: 1 al-Amali, al-Saduq, p. 125, Hadith 8, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 94, p. 110, Hadith 2.

“Fasting on the day of Ghadir is equivalent to fasting throughout the entire age of the world… It is the greatest festival of Allah. Allah has not sent any prophet but that he celebrated this day as Eid and was aware of its sanctity. It is known in the heavens as ‘The Day of the Famous Covenant’… You might think that Allah, the mighty and the majestic, has created a day more sacred than that.

No, by Allah! No, by Allah! No, by Allah!”1 Imam Ridha (PBUH) said:

“Certainly, the day of Ghadir is more famous in the heavens than in the earth… and by Allah, had people truly known the superiority of this day, the 1 Tahdhib al-Ahkam, vol. 3, p. 143, Hadith 1; Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 95, p. 302, Hadith 2.

angels would have been shaking hands with them ten times a day.”1

Thanking Allah for this greatest blessing Being grateful to the benefactor for his favors is a matter of rational necessity. The wiser the servant, the more gratitude he expresses in words and actions to his master. Allah states in the Holy Quran:

“We indeed bestowed wisdom upon Luqman: ‘Be grateful to Allah.’ Certainly, whoever is grateful does so to the profit of his own soul, but if any is ungrateful, verily Allah is free of all wants and is abundantly praised.”2

In addition, the greater the favor, the more appreciation that is due. Divine guardianship (al-Walaya) is the greatest favor that Allah has bestowed upon His creation. The more gratitude that someone expresses to Allah by adhering to it, the more benefit he receives from it. On the other hand, the more someone rejects Allah’s mercy, the more he is 1 Tahdhib al-Ahkam, vol. 6, p. 24, Hadith 9, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 94, p. 118, Hadith 9.

2 Chapter 31, Verse 12 of the Holy Quran.

entitled to His curse, which lies in the absence of His mercy and protection. Allah states:

“If you are grateful, I will increase your (benefits from My favor); but if you show ingratitude, truly My torment is intense indeed.”1 On the anniversary of the event of Ghadir Khum, Imam al- Sadiq (PBUH) praised and thanked Allah, saying:

1 Chapter 14, Verse 7 of the Holy Quran.

“O Allah! We listened, obeyed, and answered the caller from You due to Your favor. Thus, praise belongs to You. We seek Your forgiveness, our Lord, and towards Your (reward or punishment) is the eventual turn.

1 We believed in Allah, who is Unique and has no partner, believed in His Messenger, Muhammad, answered the caller of Allah and followed the Messenger in adhering to our master, the commander and the guardian of the believers, Ali Ibn Ali Talib.

He is the servant of Allah, the brother of His Prophet, the most truthful, His exhaustive argument against His creation, the supporter of His Prophet, and His true and clear religion. He is a flag of the religion of Allah, the treasurer of His (issued) knowledge, the chest of what is hidden by Allah, the place of His secrets, and the trustee of Allah and His witness over His creation.

O Allah! We have heard the call of one calling (us) to faith, ‘Believe in Your Lord,’ thus we have believed. Our Lord! Forgive us our sins, blot out from us our evil deeds, and take our souls in the company of the righteous. Our Lord! Grant us what You promised to us through Your 1 cf., Chapter 2, Verse 285 of the Holy Quran.

messengers, and disgrace us not on the Day of Judgement, for You never break Your promise.1 Surely it was by Your favor and Your grace that we acknowledged the Prophet and the Commander of the Believers (Ali), and disbelieved in al-Jibt and al-Taghut.2 Thus, keep us attached to what we have adhered to.

Resurrect us with our Imams, for we believe in them, have confidence in their (authorities and virtues), and are submissive before them …”3

Some statistics about the text of the sermon Here are some statistical facts about the sermon:

- The Prophet (PBUH&HF) explicitly mentioned the name of Imam Ali (PBUH) in his sermon about forty times besides many more instances that he (PBUH&HF) referred to him by pronoun.

1 Chapter 3, Verses 193-194 of the Holy Quran.

2 These two terms refer to the idols that are obeyed against Allah, which, in reality, implies they are worshipped instead of Him.

According to the traditions, they refer to the two foremost enemies of the family of the Prophet (PBUH&HF). Both terms have also been used in Chapter 4, Verses 51 of the Quran. However, the latter term, al- Taghut, has been used in seven more places in the Holy Quran. See for instance: Chapter 2, Verses 256-257, and Chapter 4, Verses 60 and 76.

Iqbal al-A'amal, p. 473, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 95, p. 299, Hadith #1. - He (PBUH&HF) repeatedly used the following titles for Imam Ali (PBUH) in this sermon:

- Wali and Mawla (guardian) fifteen times.

- Imam (leader) twelve times.

- Amir (commander) seven times.

- Wasi (executor of the will and deputy of the affairs) seven times.

- Akh (brother) four times.

- Khalifa (successor) three times.

- Hadi (guide) three times.

- The Prophet explicitly mentioned the word A’imma (Imams), referring to the eleven Imams after Imam Ali (PBUH), nine times in his sermon.

- The sermon also refers to over one hundred verses of the Holy Quran concerning Imam Ali (PBUH) and his authority, his followers, and their enemies.

- The number of sentences categorized by some important subjects of the sermon is as follows:

- Over fifty sentences on the Walaya of Imam Ali (PBUH).

- Twenty sentences about his virtues, yet stressing that it is impossible to enumerate all his virtues in the sermon.

- Twenty-five sentences about the followers (Shia) of Imam Ali (PBUH) and their enemies.

- Ten sentences on the Walaya of the Imams (PBUT) after him.

- Twenty sentences specifically about Imam Mahdi (PBUH), the last divinely appointed Imam who will establish the divine government on earth at the end of time.

- Twelve sentences about the importance of the Quran, and introducing Imam Ali (PBUH) and his children as its exclusive authorized interpreters.

- Ten sentences on urging people to pledge their fealty to Imam Ali (PBUH) and the Imams after him from his offspring.