Prophet of Islam, Muhammad ibne Abdullah (s.a.w) went to Mecca in the
last year of his life to perform the worship of "Hajj". He also invited
all the Muslims to take part in the Hajj ceremonies, and, in response to
his invitation, all those who were able to do so accepted the Prophet's
dictate. In a short while, large numbers of Muslims were moving towards
Mecca. There they performed the glorious worship of Hajj and learned
from the Prophet all its customs and procedures.
When the ceremonies of the
Hajj and the visits to the Holy Ka'aba were over, the caravans made
ready their return and set off. The Prophet, too, accompanied a caravan
and set off for Medina.
The sound of the camel bells
had filled the desert. The weather was hot and the desert scalding.
Mid-journey, God's angel of revelation descended and brought the Prophet
this message from God:
"O Prophet! Deliver to
mankind the message that has descended to you from your Lord. If you do
it not, you have not fulfilled your Divine mission. God will guard you
from the evil of mankind and will not make the unbelievers successful."
At that very spot, the
Prophet dismounted to carry out the Divine command. He called to a group
of Muslims and told them to tell all the caravans that had advanced to
come back, and to tell those that hadn't yet arrived to hurry up.
This group quickly mounted
their camels and hastily reached the caravans which were advancing and
tey called out loudly, "Stop! Stop! Come back! Come back!"
The men of the caravans
pulled at the bridles of their camels and the ringing of the bells
stopped. One by one they asked, "Why must we stop? What has happened?
Why must we stop in this heat? Why return?"
The riders told them that the
Prophet had commanded them to return and come to him at the side of the
The caravans returned and
arrived at the side of the pool, and those that hadn't yet come also
arrived. In this way thousands of Muslims who were on their return from
the Hajj all gathered at Ghadeer of the 18th day of the month of Zill
Hijjah and offered the Zohr (noon) prayer with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w).
Then they built a platform of
camel saddles and luggage and the Holy Prophet stood on the top in order
to carry out the Divine command and deliver to the people that important
The people were all silent
and still, waiting to hear the Prophet's speech, and to know what the
"important message" was.
After a very eloquent speech,
the Prophet asked the people in a loud voice and heavenly tone, "O
people! Who is your guide and guardian? Who is your leader and ruler? Am
I not your leader and your guide? Am I not your guardian and ruler?
They replied, "O Prophet of
God, you are our leader and ruler. You are our guide."
Then the Holy Prophet called
for Ali ibne Abi Talib and gave him a place next to himself. He took his
hand and held it aloft, showing this to the people, and in his loudest
voice and most glorious tones he commanded:
"Those whose guide and leader
I am, after me, will be guided and led by Ali. O people! O Muslims!
After me, Ali is your guide and master".
Then he lifted his hands to
the skies and said: "Lord! Be friendly with the friends of Ali! Be an
enemy to the enemies of Ali! Lord! Help the helpers of Ali, and humble
those that wish evil of Ali!"
Then he descended from the
platform, wiped the sweat from his forehead, took a deep breath, stood
still for a moment, and commanded the Muslims to, "Make allegiance to my
brother and successor; congratulate him on his Divine appointment. He is
Imam and Amir ul-Mumineen.
In this way, on the 18th day
of the month of Zill Hijjah, Ali ibne Abi Talib was selected for
leadership and Imamate. The position of leadership and Imamate became
part of religion, and with the introduction of leadership, the religion
of Islam became perfect and eternal. In this way, God entrusted the
guardianship and leadership of the Muslims to the twelve Imams. And, in
the age of the Imam's absence, a virtuous courageous and aware master of
the Divine law (Mujtahid), who also has the capacity to manage, becomes
the representative and successor of the Imam, guiding the Islamic
society their political, social and religious affairs while the people
accept his guidances and ordinances with relief and gratitude.
Every year, we make this
great day a festival and become happy due to the Imamate of Imam Ali
(a.s). We recognise Ali as Imam and leader of the Muslims and we strive
to follow him in words and deeds.