Written by H118 Thursday, 22 March 2012 23:49Prophet Muhammed (P) went to Makkah in his last year of his life to perform the annual pilgrimage “Hajj”. He also invited all the Muslims to take part in the Hajj pilgrimage. In a short while, large number of Muslims was moving towards Makkah, were they learned the customs of Hajj from the Prophet and performed the glorious worship of Hajj.
When the Hajj pilgrimage and the visits to the Holy Ka’ba were over, the caravans made ready for their return. Prophet Muhammed (P) was among those who accompanied a caravan to 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, Gabriel, descended and brought the Prophet this message from God: “O Messenger! Deliver what bas been revealed to you from your Lord; and if you do it not, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people; surely Allah will not guide the unbelieving people.”
At that very spot, the Prophet dismounted to carry out the Divine command. He commanded a group of Muslims to tell all the caravans to come back quickly!
Everyone was confused to why the other caravans had told them to come back. The riders told them that the Prophet had commanded them to return and come to him at the side of a pond-called Khum.
The caravans returned and arrived at the side of the pond. Thousands of Muslims who were on their return from the Hajj all gathered at Ghadeer of the 18th day of the month of Dhul Hijjah and offered the Dhuhr (noon) prayer with the Holy Prophet (P).
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 message. The people were all silent and still, eager to hear what the Prophet had to say.
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 master? Am I not your guardian and ruler?” They replied, “O Prophet of God, you are our leader and ruler. You are our master.”
Then the Holy Prophet called for Ali ibn 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: “Whoever I am his master then this Ali is his 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, and commanded the Muslims to, “Make allegiance to my brother and successor; congratulate him on his Divine appointment. He is the Imam and the Prince of Faithful!”
In this way, on the 18th day of the month of Dhul Hijjah, Imam Ali ibn 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 occultation, a virtuous, courageous, and aware scholar of the Divine law (Mujtahid), who also has the capacity to manage, becomes the representative and successor of the Imam, guiding the Islamic society in their political, social, and religious affairs while the people accept his verdicts and ordinances with relief and gratitude.