Festival of Ghadir


The pilgrimage is over, for this year. Being celebrated in this respect is also the Id al-Ghadir, the Festival of Ghadir, a most important event.

Ghadir al-Khumm is an oasis between Mecca and Medina. Returning from the final ?Farewell Pilgrimage? shortly before his death, the Prophet stopped here with his followers, waiting for those who were behind to arrive and called upon those who had gone ahead to return, for he had received a revelation from Allah which he had to deliver to the people:

?O Messenger! Declare what has been revealed to you from Your Lord, and if you do not, then your words will not have been fully declared, and Allah will not protect you from the harm of the people.? (5:67)

Then he spoke a bit before asking the assembly whether he truly had authority over them. The people replied: ?Yes, O Prophet, of course you are our leader (mawla).? He repeated this question three times, and the people responded in the same way each time, acknowledging his leadership. The Holy Prophet (pbuh&hf) then called for Ali, held up his arm so that their two arms formed one shape pointing upwards, and said to the people: ?He whose leader (mawla) I am, Ali is his leader.?

At this time, Ali was 33 years. The people received this news with a variety of responses ? some with happiness and some with resentment. The first to congratulate Ali were the future first and second caliphs. The second caliph said: ?Congratulations, congratulations to you, O Ali, you have become my leader (mawla) and the leader of every faithful Muslim.? (Al-Tabari and others.)

Then another verse was revealed to the Holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh&hf):

?Today I have completed for you the religion, and favoured you with my bounty, and accepted Islam for you as the religion.? (5:3)

With this verse, the religion of Islam was completed by the appointment of Imam Ali (pbuh) to succeed the Holy Prophet (pbuh&hf). And had Ali not been appointed as the successor, the religion of Islam would have been incomplete.

The events at Ghadir al-Khumm is celebrated by the Id al-Ghadir, or the Festival of Ghadir, and particularly by the Shia-Muslims, closer to Imam Ali (pbuh).