Ghadeer the Greatest Eid
Ali: Assalamo Alaikum, Usman, Happy Eid.
Usman: Wa Alaikum As-Salaam, Ali, but why this wish for Eid?
Ali: Don’t you know that today is Eid-e-Ghadeer?
Usman: Till date, I am aware of only two Eids amongst us Muslims, One is the Eid-ul-Fitr and the second Eid-ul-Azha. Now, from where did this third Eid come from all of a sudden?
Ali: This day the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared the successorship of
Ameerul Momeneen, Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.)
Usman: Ali, first of all, you tell me what does the word ‘Eid’ mean and secondly, whether this day of Ghadeer is the Eid of only Shias or of all the Muslims?
Ali: Eid is derived from the Arabic word ‘Aada’ means to return time and again. Implying that the day of Eid returns every year and calls for celebration by Muslims. Also, they must try to indulge in as much divine worship as possible. For example, the first of Shawwal of every Hijri year is celebrated as Eid because it marks the end of the holy month of fasting of Ramazan and hence is the cause of happiness for all the fasting Muslims. Now, can there be a happier occasion than the declaration of successorship of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) by the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.) on Allah’s command, thereby confirming him (a.s.) as the divine proof on earth after his noble self (s.a.w.a.)? As far as your second question is concerned that whether Eid-e-Ghadeer is the eid of only Shias or that of the entire Muslims, then you should know that there are innumerable correct, reliable and authentic traditions narrated by countless chain of traditionalists which are acceptable by one and all about this incident. Hence proving that the happiness of this occasion is not confined to the Shias alone, but is a cause of joy for the entire Muslim populace.
Usman: Great, brother Ali, Your language was truly flowing like that of a highly learned scholar but unfortunately your answer was not all that satisfactory.
Ali: Brother Usman, may I know how your heart can gain contentment?
Usman: Of course if you can prove to me from our Sunni books that this day of Ghadeer is Eid.
Ali: As I have mentioned before, Eid-e-Ghadeer is not special for Shias alone but all Islamic sects are equal partners of their Shia brothers on this joyous occasion and this includes even great and famous Sunni scholars. For
example, Beirooni in his book ‘Al-Athaarul Baaqiyah Fil Quroonil Haaliya.’ on page 334, while mentioning about this Eid says, ‘This day (of Ghadeer) is like all other Eids and is worthy of attention of all Muslims.’
Ibn Talha Shafee in his book, ‘Mataaleb-us-So’ool, page 52 says: “Ameerul Momineen Hazrat Ali (a.s.) has himself remembered the day of Ghadeer-e-Khum as an Eid in his poems. Because this is the day when the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) announced the mastership of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) over the Muslims, thus giving him preference over all other companions” On page 56, he states: “No matter in what context the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) called Hazrat Ali (a.s.) as the master of the people, nevertheless, it is a very high position through which the latter was introduced and merely for this reason, this day is the day of celebration and rejoicing. This statement (of whomsoever I am the master, Ali is his master) is itself sufficient for the Muslims to celebrate it as an Eid. Whether the pronoun in the statement is intended for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or Hazrat Ali (a.s.). If it is intended for the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.), then the meaning is quite evident and if it is for Hazrat Ali (a.s.), even then our goal is achieved, Because, all the Muslims, without exception, hold Hazrat Ali (a.s.) dear, either as the rightful and only heir to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) or as the fourth caliph of the Muslims. No Islamic sect can be found which deems Hazrat All (a.s.) as an enemy because if it does so, then in the light of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.)’s traditions, he is a Khaarji (a non-muslim). Apart from this, history books teach us that all the Islamic nations from the east and the west, have agreed on this day as an Eid. Egypt and Iraq, the two great civilizations of the past, figure quite prominently in this list. They used to hold programmes of Namaz, Duas, sermons and poems to celebrate the occasion, all of which have been discussed in details in concerned books. Now, are you satisfied, Usman ?
Usman: Words cannot express my feelings. Ali, your answers have truly broken through the barrier of prejudice. If you don’t mind, may I ask one more question?
Ali: Please go ahead. The problem of minding does not arise. It is our duty to clear all your doubts.
Usman: Thank you. Can you prove to me that even our Caliphs have celebrated this day as Eid?
Ali: There is no doubt about it. Not only the caliphs but the entire gathering of Muslims celebrated the 18th Zilhajj as Eid. For example, Imam Tabari, Mohammed Ibn Jurair in his book ‘Al- Wilayah’ page 89-92, narrates a tradition from the Holy Prophet, “From the depth of my heart, I have taken
a sincere oath to appoint my progeny as your masters. Never ever acquire any other character except their pure and holy character. You are witness upon me although Allah, the Almighty, is not in need of any witness You seek only what I have taught you., Salute Hazrat Ali (a.s.) referring him as Ameerul Momeneen (leader of the belevers) and say:
“All praise is for Allah who guided us to this path and guidance would not have been possible for us, had Allah not guided us.” “Know ye, Allah hears all voices and is aware of everyone who breaches trust. Then, whosoever breaks his oath, he has not caused harm to anybody except himself. And whoever fulfills his promise to Allah, He will honor him with a great reward. You say that only which pleases and satisfies Allah. If you are ungrateful, then remember, Allah is needless of you all. Zaid Ibn Arqam relates, “At this juncture, all the Muslims turned to the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and said: “We heard and are sincerely obedient of Allah’s and His Messenger’s command with our hearts.” The first ones to congratulate and shake hands with the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w.a.) and Hazrat Ali (a.s.) were Abu Bakr, Umar, Usman, Talha and Zubair and then the remaining Muhajereen and Ansar. People queued up to congratulate them till the time of Namaz-e-Zohr arrived. The Zohr and Asr prayers were combined after which again the process of complimenting continued till the time of Namaz-e-Maghreb approached. Once again, the Maghreb and Esha prayer were performed jointly. This series of congratulations and compliments went on continuously for three days.” This tradition has also been narrated by Ahmad Ibn MohammadTabari, famous as “Khaleeli”, in his book “Manaqeb-e-Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.)’, noting it from his teacher Mohd. Ibn Abu Bakr Ibn Abd ur. Rehman. (This book was written in 411 A.H. in Cairo, Egypt).
You observed, Mr. Usman, that your caliphs not only celebrated on this auspicious day, but were the first ones to congratulate Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and for your kind information, these excerpts are from authentic Sunni books. Now, you tell, is the day of Ghadeer the day of celebrations and enjoyment or that of grief and sorrow?
Usman: These traditions which you have narrated are they bonafide or have you assumed them as authentic on the basis of a couple of narrations?
Ali: As I have stated before, innumerable traditionalists and historians, of both Shias and Sunnis, have narrated this incident of allegiance payment and congratulations. But for your contentment, let me inform you that at least sixty renewed Sunni scholars have narrated these traditions in their books. Amongst them, Maulvi Waliullah Lakhnavi (Miraatul Momeen), Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (Musnad-e-Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, vol. 4, page 281), Qazi Abu Bakr Baquaani Baghdadi (Al-Tamheed Fil Usool-e-Deen page 171) and Abu Is’haaq Tha’labi (Tafseer Al-Kashf Wai Bayaan) figure quite prominently. Even Haafiz Abu Bakr Khateeb Baghdadi has narrated this tradition from Abu Huraira in his book of history. Though the list of such historians and traditionalists is very lengthy yet I presume that you must have understood the matter. Still, to make the whole thing crystal clear, I am narrating one tradition which has been related by all Sunni scholars like Muslims, Maalik, Bukhari Tirmidhi and Ne’saai. A Jew called Tariq Bin Shahaab, was in the company of Umar and his companions when during the conversation, he remarked, “If this Qur’anic verse: “This day have I perfected for you your religion, and completed my favour on you and choosen for you Islam as a religion.” had been revealed for our,-religion, we would definitely have taken this day as Eid.” None from the attendants of the gathering objected to the Jew’s remark. Even Umar listened to him intently. This day is of such majesty and splendor that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) and after him, the infallible Imams too indulge in felicitations and celebrations. As Turat Ibn Ibra-heem-e-Kufi (3rd century A. H.), narrates from Muhammad Ibn Zaheer, from Abdullah Ibn Fazl Hashmi, who says that I heard Imam Sadiq (a.s.), narrating from his great ancestors saying that Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said: “The day of Ghadeer is the best and greatest Eid of my people. It is the day when Allah, the Almighty, commanded me to appoint my brother Hazrat Ali (a.s.) as Imam of the people, so that after me, they mightbe guided with the inspiration of his light. It is the day when Allah, the Almighty perfected his bounties and choose Islam as a religion for the Muslims. Some of the people present on that occasion even said poems glorifying this Eid.
Usman: The clear proofs presented by you cannot be rejected by anyone except a highly prejudiced or ignorant person, thereby proving that Eid-e-Ghadeer is the Eid of all the Muslims. Can you please tell me as to what type pf worship on this day Shias do, because one of the general misconception amongst Sunnis is that you Shias indulge in indecent and obscene behavior as part of celebrations of this Eid.
Ali: Theqatul Islam Shaikh Kulayni, in his book “Al-Kafi” vol. 1, page 303, relates a tradition from Hasan Ibn Rashid, who says I asked Imam Sadiq (a.s.), “May my life be sacrificed upon you, is there any third Eid for the Shias apart from the two famous Eids? He replied, “Yes, O Hasan this third Eid is greater than these two Eids.” I asked, “What is that day”? He answered, “It is the day when Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.) was raised to the great status of leadership.” I questioned again, “May my life be sacrificed for you. Please tell us as to what are our responsibilities on this day? He (a.s.) rejoined, “O Hasan It is better to be awake on this day and send blessings and salawaat on Hazrat Mohammad (s.a.w.a.) and Hazrat Ali (a.s.) as much as possible. You express your displeasure against those who have oppressed them. Every Prophet had instructed his nation to celebrate that day as Eid when they appointed their successor. “One who fasts on this day his reward is like one who has fasted for sixty months consecutively.”
Ibn Abi Nasre Bazanti says that Imam Ali Ibn Moosa ar-Reza (a.s.) admonished me, “O son of Bazanti, wherever you are on the day of Ghadeer, try to be at the holy tomb of Hazrat Ali Ibn Abi Talib (a.s.). For, on this day, Allah, the glorified forgives each believing man and woman’s sixty years of sins. And the amount of people who are given amnesty from the hell fire by Allah in the month of Ramazan, in Shab-e-Qadr, and in the night of Eid-e-Fitr combined altogether, the double this amount are given reprieve by Him on the day of Ghadeer. One dirham sadaqah on this day is better than a thousand dirhams sadaqah on any other day.” A believer should recite selected invocations on this day as the divine mercy is sent upon him. Now its upon you to deem such acts as acts of worship or obscenity and indecency.
Usman: By God, Ali, you have shown me the light of the right path. I can never forget your obligation till the Day of Judgement. I feel like reciting the
Qur’anic verse which was recited by all Muslims on the day of Eid-e- hadeer. “All praise is for Allah who guided us to this path and guidance was not possible for us had Allah not guided us.”
Ali: Our learned scholars have narrated, some more specific types of invocations and worship for this day from our Holy Imams (a.s.), some of which we will mention over here. For details, you can refer to the book, ‘Mafaatehul Jenaan,’ on reading which you will realize the treasures of invocations and supplications stored in our books. Some of the acts for Eid-e-Ghadeer are as follows: 1) Ghusl, 2) Fasting, 3) Ziarat of Hazrat Ali’s (a.s.) tomb. 4) Doa-e-Nudba, 5) Recitation of the sermon of brotherhood amongst Muslim brothers to further strengthen the relations and make it still stronger. It should be done thus: One believer gives his right hand to his right hand to his believing brother’s right hand and says:
“I take you as brother because of Allah and am sincere to you because of Allah and grasp your hand because of Allah and I make a pact with Allah and His angels and His Books and His messengers and His Prophets and the Infallible Imams that surely if l am from the people of heaven and intercession and if I am permitted to enter heaven, I shall enter it not except with you.”
Then the second brother should say: I accept. Then again the first brother says: “I have eliminated all brotherly rights except intercession, prayer and
visitation.” You saw how we take the brotherhood oath on the day of Ghadeer. Even the basis of our brotherhood and friendship are Allah, His Messenger and Paradise.