The event of Ghadir Khumm

The event of Ghadir Khumm
Also called Eid Al-Ghadeer
Observed by Shia Muslims
Type Shia islam
Significance Appointment of Ali as the successor of Muhammad according to Shia
Observances Prayers, giving gifts, festive meals, doing Ghusl,and reciting Du'a Nudba
Date 18 Dhu al-Hijjah
2016 date 20 September[1][2]
The Investiture of Ali at Ghadir Khumm (MS Arab 161, fol. 162r, AD 1309/8 Ilkhanid manuscript illustration)

The event of Ghadir Khumm (Arabic and Persian: واقعه غدیر خم) was an event in February 632, where, among other things, the Islamic prophet Muhammad reportedly announced that "whomsoever to I am leader , Ali is also their leader." Shia Muslims believe this to be the appointment of Ali as Muhammad's successor. Most Muslims accept the historicity of the event, but they do not believe that this constituted an appointment of Ali as successor. The day's anniversary in the Islamic Calendar (18 Dhu al-Hijjah) is celebrated by Shias as Eid al-Ghadeer.

Farewell pilgrimage

Main article: Farewell Pilgrimage

Ten years after the migration and on last days of Dhu al-Qi'dah (coinciding with February 632), Muhammad moved from Medina to Mecca accompanied by thousands of his followers. He only once attended Hajj rituals and it was few months before he died. Since, this Hajj took place in the last year of his life, he made farewell to people. Ali was in Yemen for preaching Islam when he was informed about Muhammad’s Hajj, so he moved towards Mecca together with some people and joined Muhammad before rituals began. When rituals of Hajj finished, Muhammad left Mecca for Medina together with other Muslims.[3][4]

Revelation of the verse of announcement

On Thursday 18th of Dhu al-Hijjah (March 19), Muslims arrived at Ghadir Khumm. Then, the following verse of the Quran was revealed:

O Messenger! proclaim the (message) which hath been sent to thee from thy Lord. If thou didst not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed His mission. And Allah will defend thee from men (who mean mischief). For Allah guideth not those who reject Faith (5:67).[5]

According to the verse, Muhammad was obliged to proclaim an important message. The verse clearly denotes the importance of the message that if he does not announce it, he did not performed his mission. After revelation of the verse, Muhammad ordered the caravan to stop and ordered those who have passed Ghadir Khumm return and wait until those who had not yet arrived there join them.[6][7]

Ghadir Sermon

Works related to The Last Sermon of Muhammad by Shia Accounts at Wikisource
Works related to The Last Sermon of Muhammad by Sunni Accounts at Wikisource

It was very hot. There were about 10 thousands. By the order of Muhammad a rostrum of camel saddles was made. After performing Zuhr prayer, Muhammad made a speech known as Ghadir Sermon (Arabic: خطبة الغدير). It was a long speech. He recited numerous verses from the Quran and reminded and warned people of their deeds and future. However the well-known sentence was, while he had raised Ali’s hand, "whomever I am his protector, this Ali is his protector (Mawla)."[8][9]

Revelation of the verse of Ikmal al-Din

According to Shia scholar Sheikh Abdul Hosein Amini’s work, Al-Ghadir, immediately after Muhammad finished his speech, the following verse of the Quran was revealed:[10][11][12]

This day have those who reject faith given up all hope of your religion: yet fear them not but fear Me. This day have I perfected your religion for you, completed My favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion (5:3).

Oath of allegiance

Only then, he left the rostrum and ordered to establish a tent in which Ali would sit to receive allegiance oath of Muslims. Thousands of people group by group, including women, went to him and saluted and congratulated him as Amir al-Mu'minin, commander of the faithful. Umar ibn Al-Khattab was the first to congratulate.[3][13][14]

Narrators of the event

The event of Ghadir Khumm has been revealed in both Shia and Sunni sources. However, Sunnis do not believe in the Shia interpretation of the Hadith. Narrators of the Hadith of Ghadir Khum are many including:

This Hadith is considered as Hasan by many scholars and some considers it Sahih. Furthermore, all Shia Hadith scholars and some great Sunni scholars consider this Hadith as Mutawatir. Shia scholar Sheikh Abdul Hosein Amini collected all the references for the event of Ghadir Khum from Sunni sources and issued them together with all other reasons for this event in 11 volumes in his book Al-Ghadir.[14]

Eid al-Ghadeer

Shias celebrate the occasion of Muhammad appointing Ali as his successor.[21] Fasting, doing Ghusl (ritual bath), reciting Du'a Nudba and giving food to believers is among recommended practice of Eid al-Ghadeer. It is a public holiday in Telangana, India.


After the death of Muhammad, a gathering at Saqifah elected Abu Bakr, rather than Ali, to be the successor of Muhammad as the first Rashidun Caliph. This choice was disputed by some Muslims, who believed that Ali had been appointed as successor. This dispute led to the schism between Sunnis and Shias.

See also


  1. "Special security measures in Najaf ahead of Eid Al-Ghadir". 17 September 2016. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  2. "Iran Public Holidays 2016 and 2017". Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  3. 1 2 Al-Shaykh Al-Mufid, Muhammad. Irshad. Qom: Maktaba Basirati. p. 91.
  4. Shaykh Tabarsi, Ahmad ibn Ali. al-Ihtijaj. 1. Mashhad: Nashr al-Murtaza. p. 56.
  5. "Yusuf Ali Translation".
  6. Al-Shahrastani (1984). Kitab al–Milal wa al-Nihal. London: Kegan Paul. pp. 139–140.
  7. Tafsir ibn Abi Hatim Vol. 4 Pg. 1172 Hadith no. 6609
  8. Veccia Vaglieri, Laura. "G̲h̲adīr K̲h̲umm". Encyclopædia of Islam, Second Edition. Brill Online. Retrieved 2013-03-28.
  9. Dakake, Maria Massi (2007). The charismatic community : Shiʻite identity in early Islam. Albany: State University of New York Press. pp. 34–37. ISBN 0791480348.
  10. al-Bahrani, Seyyed Hashim. Al-Burhan Fi Tafsir al-Quran. 1. pp. 434–437.
  11. Makarem Shirazi, Naser. Tafsir Nemooneh. 4. pp. 263–271.
  12. Sobhani, Ja'far. Al-Iman va al-Kofr fi al-Ketab va al-Sunnah. 1. p. 244.
  13. Ahmad ibn Hanbal, Ahmad. Musnad Ahmad ibn Hanbal. 4. Beirut: Dar al-Ihya al-Torath al-Arabia. p. 281.
  14. 1 2 Amini, Abdul Hosein. Al-Ghadir. 1. Qom: Dar al-Kotob al-Islamia. pp. 9–30.
  15. Muhib al-Din al-Tabari, Ahmad ibn Abdullah. Zakhayer al-Oqba. Cairo: Maktabat al-Qodsi. p. 67.
  16. ibn Oqde, Ahmad ibn Muhammad. al-Vilaya. Qom: Dalil-e Ma. pp. 150–152.
  17. ibn Maqazeli, Ali ibn Muhammad. Manaqib. Beirut: Dar al-Adhwa. p. 69.
  18. Himaway al Juwayni, Ibrahim b Muhammad. Fara'id al-Simtayn. Beirut: Mahmudi. p. 315.
  19. Ibn al-Jazari, Muhammad. Asna al-Matalib. Isfahan: Maktabat al-Imam Amir al-Mu’menin. p. 48.
  20. Ibn 'Abd al-Barr, Yusuf ibn Abdallah. The Comprehensive Compilation of the Names of the Prophet's Companions (Arabic: الاستعياب في معرفة الاصحاب). 3. Beirut: Dar al-jil. p. 1099.
  21. Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali (2014). "Ghadīr Khumm". In Fleet, Kate; Krämer, Gudrun; Matringe, Denis; Nawas, John; Rowson, Everett. Encyclopaedia of Islam (Third ed.).
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