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An Essay on Ghadir

An Essay on Ghadir

Publisher: www.umaa-library.org

Essay on Ghadir

Author (s): Zulfiqar Ali

Table of Contents

Reality- Status of Muslims 3

No mistakes during Holy prophets (s.a.w.a.) physical presence 5

Differences immediately After Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)- 6

An Analysis of events & differences 9


Location of Ghadir: 11

Date 11

Event Backdrop: 11

After the Last pilgrimage: 11

Delivery of the sermon: 11

Revelation of the verse 5:3 12

Hassan Bin Thabit’s poetry: 12

Oath of allegiance: 13

Revelation of the verse 70:1-3 13

Three Basic Excuses given for non acceptance of the Ghadir appointment & their Rebuttals: 14

Excuse 1:The tradition of Ghadir is not reliable and authentic 14

Rebuttal of Excuse 1: 14

Excuse 2: 17

Rebuttal of Excuse 2: 17

Excuse 3: 19

Rebuttal of Excuse 3: 19

Ghadir in the words of a Non-Muslim: 21

Ghadir as a feast: 22

Ghadir in respect of the Present Imam (a.s.): 22

Our Opportunity to Obey the Prophet (sawa) & Ali (as) 23

Books related to Ghadir: 24

Notes 25

Reality- Status of Muslims

By Zulfiqar Ali email: minds.islam@gmail.com

We are compelled to ask ourselves two questions. What status did Islam want the Muslims to achieve?  & What status have the Muslims actually achieved?

The answer to the first question is comparatively much easy to digest. Three times does the Holy Quran repeats:

“He it is who sent His apostle with guidance and the religion of truth that he might cause it to prevail over all religions...”.[1]

Also the Holy Quran enunciates:

“Surely the land is Allah’s; He causes such of His servants to inherit it as He pleases.”[2]

But the answer to the second question hits the belly – and indeed hits it hard. Today’s Muslim does not stand anywhere near victory.The parable of the Muslim is that of a football. Being kicked from one end to another. Some do kick to get material benefits. Majority are the people who seek pure entertainment by being the spectators and at times the cheerleaders. This reality slaps, smack, on our faces.

The somberness of this fact burns our hearts. It persuades us to do the much-needed research in order to comprehend the underlying fundamentals to this stark variation ie.  What the Quran explicitly mentions compared to what we observe in the socio-political transnational personality of the contemporary Muslim.

In this research to pursue the reality, we must promise ourselves to uphold and follow the genuine research ‘wherever it leads to’. Pursuit for truth without the sincere intent and the firm resolve has no meaning. Before we venture out in the realm of sincere research and quest for truth we take caution and endeavor to improve our resolve with these words “There are few nudities so objectionable as the naked truth – Agnes Repplier. Further we sincerely pray that we take our faith seriously and not to be included in those who have been mentioned with the words “He wears his faith but as the fashion of his hat - William Shakespeare. We take courage in these words “All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them - Galileo Galilei (1564 - 1642). And also “Truth is generally the best vindication against slander – Abraham Lincoln.

Let us first analyzewhere did the Muslims go wrong in their vast history presently spread over more than 14 centuries. Where did the first falsehood creep into the history of the Muslims? We will not leave any stone unturned and any page unread to locate this falsehood and ultimately eliminate it.

There are two ways to this analysis. One is we initiate from the contemporary to the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). Second is we initiate from the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to the contemporary. We know that if there is a falsehood in the past then it multiplies with time; therefore, we take the second option, starting from the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) to the present. It would have been an increasingly arduous affair to analyze the complex form of the falsehood in the recent times without analyzing the comparatively bare and raw form of the falsehood in the previous times. When we mention ‘bare form of the falsehood ‘we definitely have taken great pains in comprehending what a ‘falsehood’ means and implies. This indicates that there do exists different forms of falsehood. There are 2 kinds of falsehoods. One is in its bare status, which is in its nascent elementary form, and the other is thefalsehood garbed with truth that is the complicated form. The Holy Quran says:

“Do not mix the truth with the falsehood.”[3]

In this verse the Holy Quran exhorts the people not to mix truth and falsehood together. Simply speaking, the Holy Quran could have asked us to leave falsehood. But it is needless to mention here that the Holy Quran wants to specify here the second form of falsehood that is exceedingly dangerous than simple elementary form of falsehood. This falsehood is the complex form of falsehood that is mixed with truth and is perceived as truth at the outset. Only when a person ponders over the reality of this he comes to understand that it is in reality a falsehood and not truth.But the more simple minded people and those who do not ponder a lot get hooked and start considering this falsehood as being the real form of truth. These people start believing this complex form of falsehood as the truth in such a way that they are more than willing to even sacrifice their lives for this complex falsehood, of course, under the impression that this is truth by itself. But even for such people it can rightly be said “Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened” – Winston Churchill. There is another group of people who are impure at heart. They are quite aware about this complex falsehood and comprehend that this is falsehood but choose to stick by this falsehood rather than the truth. “I believe in looking at reality straight in the eye and denying it.” - Garrison Keillor.

No mistakes during Holy prophets (s.a.w.a.) physical presence

Beginning from the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), firstly, we are sure that nothing went wrong in the time when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was alive. Since we know very well that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was at the helm of the affairs of the Muslims and no mistakes could be attributed to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). It is sufficient to say that at leastno Muslim believes that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) committed any mistake that ultimately has caused such tragic oppressions of the Muslims. Also, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) has received a certificate from Allah (s.w.t.) that he will not err in the affairs of the Muslims in the following verses of the Holy Quran:

“Your companion does not err, nor does he go astray; Nor does he speak out of desire. It is naught but a revelation that is revealed.”[4]

Also the Holy Quran certifies all his actions by asking everyone to follow each and every action of his without any exception, this verse has been repeated tens of times in the Holy Quran:

“Obey Allah and obey the Prophet.”[5]

Our journey for seeking truth has started from the life of the Holy Prophet and is supposed to ultimately terminate at the contemporary. So the next stage which should not miss our stringent perusal is the period immediately after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

Differences immediately After Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)-

Immediately after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) we observe big differences taking place amongst the Muslims. We can proffer more than 40,000 instances displaying the terrible differences that had occurred after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). But since the scope of this document is highly limited, in order to indicate the extent of differences taking place after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), it is sufficient to enunciate the following 12 points:

1.    Abu Ja’far Baladhuri Ahmad Bin Yahya Bin Jabir Baghdadi, one of reliable traditionalists and historians according to the Sunnis, writes in his History that when Abu Bakr called Ali to swear allegiance, Ali refused. Abu Bakr sent Umar who went with a torch to set fire to Ali’s house. Fatima came to the door and said: “O son of Khattab! Have you come to set my house on fire?” He said: “Yes, this is more effective than anything your father did.”

2.    Sharhe Nahju’l-Balagha, Volume III, page 351. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid wrote that he told his teacher, Abu Ja’far Naqib, that when the Prophet was told that Hubbar Bin Aswad had attacked his daughter Zainab’s litter with a lance, because of which Zainab suffered a miscarriage, the Prophet allowed him to be put to death. Abu Ja’far said:

“Had the Prophet of Allah been alive, he would have surely ordered the death penalty for him also who had frightened Fatima so much that her child, Muhsin, died in miscarriage.”

3.    Hazrat Hussein (a.s.) the grandson of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was martyred along with his family members.

4.    When Abdullah learned that, like other copies of the Holy Quran, his copy had been burnt, he was much aggrieved. In social and religious gatherings, he narrated the condemnatory hadith that he knew about Uthman. When this news reached Uthman, he had Ibn Mas’ud so severely beaten by his slaves that his teeth were broken, and he was confined to bed. After three days he succumbed to his injuries. Ibn Abi’l-Hadid writes in detail about these facts in Volume I, pages 67 and 226 of Sharh Nahju’l-Balagha (printed in Egypt) under “Ta’n VI.

5.    Ulema of both sects relate that when Umayyad oppression increased, some companions of the Prophet wrote to Uthman, asking him to relent. They said that if he continued to assist his cruel Umayyad Governors, he would not only be harming Islam, but he would himself be subjected to serious consequences. They asked Ammar Yasir to deliver the petition since Uthman himself had acknowledged Ammar’s virtue. They had often heard Uthman say that the Prophet said that faith was blended with the flesh and blood of Ammar. So Ammar took the letter to Uthman. When he arrived, Uthman asked him, “Do you have business with me?” He replied: “I have no business of a personal nature. But a group of the Prophet’s Companions have written in this letter some suggestions and advice for your welfare. They have sent them to you through me.” After reading a few lines, Uthman threw the letter down. Ammar said: “It was not good of you. A letter from the companions of the Holy Prophet of Allah deserves respect. Why did you throw it on the ground? It would be proper for you to have read it and replied to it?” “You are lying!” Uthman shouted. Then he ordered his slaves to beat him, and Uthman himself kicked him in the stomach.

6.    Uthman was also cruel to Jandab Bin Junada, known as Abu Dharr Ghifari, one of the intimate companions of the Holy Prophet and a learned man. Great traditionalists and historians of both sects have reported that this ninety-year-old man was unjustly exiled from place to place with utmost ignominy – from Medina to Syria, to Medina again, and then from Medina to the desert of Rabza. He rode on a naked camel accompanied by his only daughter. He died in Rabza in penury and neglect. Sunni prominent ulema and historians, including, Ibn Sa’d, in his Tabaqat, Volume IV, page 168; Bukhari in Sahih, Kitab-e-Zakat; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid in his Sharhe Nahju’l-Balagha, Volume I, page 240 and Volume II, pages 375-87, Yaqubi in his History, Volume II, page 148; Abu’l-Hasan Ali Bin Husain Mas’udi, the famous traditionalist and historian of the fourth century in his Muruju’dh-Dhahab, Volume I, page 438, and many others have recorded Uthman’s cruelty. It has been widely reported how he mistreated the pure-hearted Abu Dharr, the loved one of the Holy Prophet, and also how Abdullah Bin Mas’ud, the hafiz and recorder of Wahi, who was given forty lashes because he bid farewell to Abu Dharr Ghifari. Insulting treatment was likewise shown to Ali for the same reason.

7.    The wife of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) came out to fight against the Holy Imam Ali (a.s.).

8.    Ayesha went to Basra. Uthman Bin Hanafi, a great companion of the Prophet and governor of Basra appointed by Ali, was captured there. His hair and beard were pulled out; he was tortured and driven out. More than 100 innocent, helpless Muslims were killed. Ibn Athir, Mas’udi, Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari, Ibn Abi’l-Hadid, and others have written in detail about this event.

9.    Abu’l-Faraj Ispahani in his Maqatilu’t-Talibin, Ibn Abdu’l-Bar in his Isti’ab, Mas’udi in his Isbatu’l-Wasiyya, and many other ulema have reported that Asma Ju’da, by order and promise of Mu’awiya, gave poison to Abu Muhammad Hasan Ibn Ali. Ibn Abdu’l-Bar and Muhammad Bin Jarir Tabari have also reported that when Mu’awiya was informed of the passing away of the holy imam, he shouted the takbir (“Allah is Great”).

10.  When Amr Bin As and Mu’awiya Bin Khadij conquered Egypt, the supply of water was cut off to Muhammad Bin Abu Bakr. When he had nearly died of thirst, he was killed. He was then enclosed in the skin of an ass and the bundle was thrown into a fire. When Mu’awiya learned of this, he was very pleased.

11.  Sunni eminent ulema and historians, including Yusuf Sibt Ibn Jauzi in his Tadhkira Khawasu’l-Umma, p.122; Allama Mas’udi, author of Muruju’z-Dhahab, in Isbatu’l-Wasiyya, p.136; Ibn Abi’l-Hadid in Sharh-e-Nahju’l-Balagha, vol. IV, p.18, reporting from Abu’l-Faraj and Yahya Bin Hasan, author of Kitabu’n-Nasab; Muhammad Khwawind Shah in his Rauzatu’s-Safa, and many others have written that when the corpse of Imam Hasan was being transported to Medina, A’yesha, mounted on a mule and accompanied by a group of the Bani Umayya and their slaves, stopped the group with Imam Hasan’s body. They said that they would not let Imam Hasan be buried by the side of the Holy Prophet. According to the report of Mas’udi, Ibn Abbas said: “It is strange of you, A’yesha! Was not the Day of Jamal, that is, your entering the battlefield mounted on a camel, sufficient for you? Now should the people also keep in memory the Day of Baghl (mule)?

12.  Differences in the four schools of thought namely shaafei, Maaliki, Hanmbali and hanafi, which came in after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had been so intense that they used to go to the extent of calling each other infidels.

An Analysis of events & differences

The above indisputably shows that there did exist tremendous differences and an increasingly pathetic state of affairs of the Muslims right after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.). It will be absolutely wrong to endeavor and find out the roots to the causes of the plight of the contemporary Muslim ,without actually finding out the roots to the pathetic status of the Muslims immediately after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

It is eventually the pathetic status of the Muslims immediately after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) which has been inherited by the present day Muslim. But the big question is -How, in this seemingly confusing situation, do we find the truth? How do we analyze the events taking shape after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.)?

The Ahle sunnat provide a theory of ‘ Ijma.’ They boldly mention that INSPITE of the major differences amongst the Muslims, the Muslims were all very much united on one platform. Yes, it is like saying that the trouser has 40,000 holes in it but still it is perfect & You can wear it!

This is illogical & unacceptable to an inquiring mind ! If the Muslims had more than 40,000 deep-rooted differences of which the above 12 are glaring evidences, then it means they were NOT united & had differences – as simple as this.

Let us not follow the words “If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts - Albert Einstein (1879 - 1955) (attributed). Indeed, if the theory does not fit the facts we need to change the theory.

If we ponder on this and sincerely endeavor to seek the truth, we will understand that these kinds of disturbances were not exclusive to the Muslim society.Any community which has so many resources under it and has huge power, will get involved in this kind of strife, IF the previous leader does not designate one single leader . If the previous leader leaves the community without designating his heir for the community and the community has such resources it can very easily be predicted that enormous strife and disturbances will follow in the community. Hence this ultimately devolves on the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).If the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) had to avoid disturbances after him then he HAD to appoint his heir . There was absolutely no chance ,that the Muslim ummat would have remained safe from disturbances and internal strife, if there was no ONE SINGLE person appointed as the Holy Prophets (s.a.w.a.)’s heir and appointed BEFORE the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).SO… If a person says that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did not appoint anyone, as his heir throughout his lifetime, then he is most certainly attributing an error, short sightedness and a shortcoming on the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – may Allah (s.w.t.) protect everyone from such an assumption.

Hence, after all the pains we have taken we have at least understood the following:

1.    Plight of the present day Muslims are not related purely to the present day problems, but are inherited from the past; that is ultimately inherited from the problems faced by Muslims immediately after the passing away of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.).

2.    The problems of the Muslims immediately after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) were because they were not united under one single banner of TRUTH.

3.    The Muslims after the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) were not united under one banner of truth, because the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did not identify this banner of truth by not appointing his heir. Thus the root cause of all the problems faced by the Muslims throughout so many centuries is the error of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) – May Allah (s.w.t.) protect us from such wild and false imaginations.!

       The other possibility is; that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) DID APPOINT his heir and vicegerent BUT the majority of the Muslims disregarded it. Thus all the problems faced by the Muslims throughout so many centuries whether it be spiritual or material has to be attributed to this disregard of the appointed heir.

If it is true that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did appoint an heir and vicegerent after him but the majority of the Muslims disregarded it, thenwe should do our utmost to find this appointment by the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.a.) .Let us utilize all the latest tools available to mankind to scan and find out the moment in the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) when he appointed his heir and vicegerent.

If we study the life of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), we will find out that we do not require any tools ( no microscopes /telescopes etc) to locate where and how did the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) appoint his heir. In fact his life is FULL of small and big incidences wherein he has announced his heir. He has not hidden these events anywhere and has not made this appointment ambiguous. These kinds of REPEATED announcements by the holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), of his heir are ABUNDANT in his life time and are CLEAR. The Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) was far too merciful to have possibly concealed the appointment. The Holy Quran says:

“Certainly an apostle has come to you from among yourselves; grievous to him is your falling into distress, excessively solicitous respecting you; to the believers (he is) compassionate, merciful.”[6]