The True Facts about
Prophet Mohammad's Last Sermon and Ghadir Al-Khumm
Often the questions are asked by the Agakhani Ismailis, who do not know the history of the Prophet, concerning the "Two Things" that the Prophet had asked his followers to "hold fast" to in his Last Sermon, as well as about what was said by the Prophet at Ghadir al-Khumm for Hadhrat Ali and why?
* The book is published by Inner Traditions International, Ltd. of New York, and by George Allen & Unwin, Ltd. of U.K. ISBN 0-89281-046-7
Chapter LXXXIII – The Farewell Pilgrimage
When the sun had passed its zenith the Prophet preached a sermon which he began, after praising God, with the words: "Hear me, O people, for I know not if ever I shall meet with you in this place after this year." Then he exhorted them to treat one another well and gave them many reminders of what was commanded and what was forbidden. Finally he said: "I have left amongst you that which, if ye hold fast to it, shall preserve you from all error, a clear indication, the Book of God and the word of His Prophet. O people, hear my words and understand."
An Important Observation:
He then imparted to them a Revelation which he had just received and which completed the Koran, for it was the last passage to be revealed: This day the disbelievers despair of prevailing against your religion, so fear them not, but fear Me! This day have I perfected for you your religion and fulfilled My favour unto you, and it hath been My good pleasure to choose Islam for you as your religion. (Holy Qur'an 5:3).
An Important Observation:
He ended his brief sermon with an earnest question: "O people, have I faithfully delivered unto you my message?" A powerful murmur of assent, "O God, yea!", arose from thousands of throats and the vibrant words Allahumma na’m rolled like thunder throughout the valley. The Prophet raised his forefinger and said: "O God, bear witness!" 1
The ritual prayers were then prayed and the rest of the Day of 'Arafah, as it is called, was spent in meditation and supplication. But as soon as the sun had set the Prophet mounted his camel, and bidding Usamah mount behind him he rode down from the hill and across the valley in the direction of Mecca, followed by his fellow pilgrims. It was the tradition to ride quickly at this point, but at the first signs of excess he cried out: "Gently, gently! In quietness of soul! And let the strong amongst you have a care for the weak!" They spent the night at Muzdalifah, which is within the sacred precinct, and there they collected small pebbles with which to stone Satan, who is represented by three pillars at ’Aqabah in the valley of Mina....
The Prophet himself prayed the dawn prayer in Muzdalifah, and then led the pilgrims to ‘Aqabah, with Fadl mounted behind him on his camel. It was at this very spot on this very day twelve years previously that he had met the six men of Khazraj who had pledged their allegiance to him, thus preparing the way for the First and Second ‘Aqabah pacts. After the stoning, the animals were sacrificed, and the Prophet called for a man to shave his head....
The prophet now bade the pilgrims visit the Ka’bah and return to spend that night and the two next nights in Mina. He himself waited until the late afternoon. Then his wives accompanied him to Mecca, all but ‘A’ishah, who was not in a state of ritual purity. A few days later, as soon as she was able, he sent her outside the sacred precinct, escorted by her brother ‘Abd ar-Rahman. There she consecrated herself afresh, and going to Mecca she made the rounds of the Ka’bah.
Having finished the campaign in the Yemen, the troop of
three hundred horse that the Prophet had sent our in Ramadan was now approaching
Mecca from the south. ‘Ali had ridden on ahead of his men, eager to meet the
Prophet as soon as possible and to make with him the Pilgrimage, which he now
had done. Amongst the state's fifth of the spoils there was enough linen to
clothe the whole army, but ‘Ali had decided that it must be handed over to the
Prophet untouched. In his absence, however, the man he left in charge was
persuaded to lend each man a new change of clothes out of the linen. The change
was much needed for they had been away from home for nearly three months. When
they were not far from entering the city, ‘Ali rode out to meet them and was
amazed to see the transformation that had taken place.
On the way back to Medina one of the troops bitterly
complained of ‘Ali to the Prophet, whose face changed colour. "Am I not nearer
to the believers than their own selves?" he said; and when the man assented, he
added: "Whose nearest I am, his nearest ‘Ali is." Later on the journey, when
they had halted at Ghadir al-Khumm, he gathered all the people together, and
taking ‘Ali by the hand he repeated these words, to which he added prayer: "O
God, be the friend of him who is his friend, and the foe of him who is his foe";
and the murmurings against ‘Ali were silenced. 2
An Important Observation:
2. The Agakhani Ismaili and the Shiah historians both have recorded that the Prophet had mentioned at Ghadir al-Khumm; "For those who consider me as their Mawla (person in charge), Ali too is their Mawla."
3. Since the two important Verses of the Holy Qur'an viz., 5:3 and 5:67 were not Revealed in connection with or at the Ghadir al-Khumm the above Historical Declaration by the Prophet at Ghadir al-Khumm has no Spiritual or Religious significance as it is understood by the Ismailis.
4. Whatever the Significance one may like to give to the above Declaration, it does not mention that the entrusted or declared authority, power or supremacy of Ali as "Mawla" was a perpetual thing that could be automatically claimed or acquired by Ali's descendants.
5. There are several articles on this web site that clearly demonstrate that the present Aga Khan is not the Direct Physical Descendant of Ali and hence whatever views or opinions that I have expressed on this web site for the Aga Khans, do not necessarily apply to Hadhrat Ali (a.s.).
6. In any event the authority vested in Ali can not go beyond and above that of the Prophet of Islam who was chosen by Allah as his Messenger.
7. None of the above remotely demonstrate or even vaguely suggest that the authority and/or power of forgiving of the sins of his followers was or is given by Allah or by His Messenger to Karim Aga Khan.
8. In verse 3:135 of the Qur'an it is Revealed that "...And who can forgive sins except Allah?" Any person, after knowing all the above facts continues to clasp his or her hands and seek forgiveness from Karim Aga Khan or his accredited Agents in the Ismaili Jamaat Khanas on Chandrats (nights of the new moon), is knowingly committing the unpardonable grave sin of SHIRK, and is associating his or her Hazar Imam (Karim Aga Khan) and the Aga Khan's agents with Allah (swt).
9. Thousands of Aga Khan's accredited agents (men and women), all over the world, who collect the money (cash) on behalf of Karim Aga Khan and then forgive the sins of the followers will one day realize that they were directly aiding and abetting the Gravest Sin of Shirk in Islam.
I pray, may the Almighty Creator open the eye and ears and hearts of everyone to accept HIS DEEN and not the DEEN of HIS Creations.
The Event of Ghadir Khumm
in the Qur'an, Hadith, History
By Mohammad Manzoor Nomani
In Usul-e-Kafi we find narrations of the Innocent Imams about nomination and appointment by God and His Apostle of Hazrat Ali and eleven other Imams to Wilayat and Imamat, i.e., to the office of the religious and temporal leader and ruler of the Ummat, to obey whom was a religious obligation. Since the first to be nominated was Hazrat ALI, and at Ghadir-i-Khum the proclamation was made only in his favour, we will, at this stage, take up sayings in regard to him alone. Seeing that the traditions, as usual, are very long, here, too, we will be giving only their condensed translations.
It is narrated that Imam Baqar (once) said that when the command of God in respect of the Waliyat and Imamate of Hazrat ALI was received by the Prophet (peace be upon him and his dependents) and the following verse of the Quran was revealed:
You will find friends only in God and His Apostle and in the believers (V: 55)
and people, in general, did not fully grasp its meaning, the Almighty bade the Prophet to describe the office of Waliyat, in detail, to the people, and announce to them plainly the appointment of Hazrat Ali to it so that they could know and understand what it signified. The sacred Prophet, thereupon, was greatly worried and feared that on hearing about the Waliyat and succession of Hazrat Ali, Muslims might turn apostates and begin to disown and oppose him. The Prophet (peace be upon him and his dependents) then, begged the Lord to reconsider His Command upon which the Revelation came:
O Apostle: Make known that which hath been delivered unto thee from thy Lord, for, if thou do it not, then thou hast failed to fulfil the mission of a Messenger. And God will certainly protect thee from (the evil-minded) men.” (Q V: 67)
In another narration the Prophet is reported to have said, “When I feared that people might become apostates and disobey and reject me, I did not feel inclined to comply with this command. Then, there came an order from God with exceptional positiveness and stress that I had to carry out the order and was threatened with punishment in case of non-compliance”. After this admonition and threat of punishment, the Prophet (peace be on him and his dependents) made the declaration at Ghadir-i-Khum. He collected all the people for the occasion and the proclamation of the Waliyat and Imamate of Hazrat Ali was made in everybody’s presence. (p. 178-179)
Yet another narration says that the Prophet (peace be upon him) particularly addressed Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omar and said, “You both get up and wish Ali by saying, As-Salam-o-Alaika, ya Amir-al-Momini”, and so they did.”
In another standard book of Isna Ashariyya called, Ehtijaj-e-Tabrisi, the incident of Ghadir-i-Khum, has been related on the authority of Imam Baqar, with a number of additions. The narrative begins from page 28 and ends on page 35 of the book.
Even a gist of it will take eight to ten pages of our article, the pages of which are of smaller size than that of Ehtijaj-e-Tabrisi, and, therefore, we will content ourselves with the observation that, in it, it is, further, added that after the Holy Prophet had ended his long sermon concerning the Caliphate and Imamate of Hazrat Ali, he took, at his own hand, from all those present (numbering about a lakh) the pledge of fealty in respect of the Caliphate of Hazrat Ali, and the first to do so were Abu Bakr, Omar and Usman, and then came all the Muhajirin (Emirgrants) and Ansar (Helpers), and, finally, all the others who were present. It went on like that till late in the evening, and the prayers of Maghrib and Isha were offered together. (p. 35)
In another report occurring in Usul-e-Kafi, it is stated that when the holy Prophet (peace be upon him and his dependents) was returning from the Farewell Haj and had reached Ghadiri-Khum, Gabriel came to him with the verse:
“0 Apostle! Make known that which hath been revealed unto thee from thy Lord.”
The Prophet, then, had the announcement made for the people to gather there and the ground was cleared of thorns where acacia trees had grown. When the people had collected, the Prophet, after a few introductory remarks, said “Ali is the Maula’ of whom I am the Maula. 0 God! Have friendship towards those who have friendship for Ali, and show enmity towards those who have enmity for Ali”. The sacred Prophet said it thrice which aroused feelings of malice, double-dealing and hypocrisy among the people and they observed that the command, certainly, was not from God. The Prophet simply wanted to thrust his cousin (uncle’s son) upon them by raising his rank and position. (p. 182) There is yet another narrative, in the same context, in Furu-i-Kafi only a substance of which, too, can be given here.
In it, extremely abominable and heathenish charge and accusation has been made against the leading Companions like Abu Bakr, Omar, Salim Maula Abu Huzaifa and Abu Obaida Ibni Jarrah.
It is related by Hasaan Shutarban i.e., (camel driver) that “once, Imam Jafar Sadiq travelled on my camel from Medina to Mecca. When we reached Ghadir-i-Khum, the Imam looked at the left side of the mosque and said that it was the place where the Prophet (peace be upon him and his dependents) had stood up and raising up Ali with both the hands had proclaimed his Caliphate and Imamate. and said, A1i is the Maula of whom I am the Maula.” Imam Jafar Sadiq, then, looked at the right side of the mosque and observed that there was the tent of Abu folan and folan (meaning Abu Bakr and Omar) and Salim Maula Abi Huzaifa and Abu Obeida Bin Al Jarrah). When they saw the Prophet (peace be upon him and his dependents) lifting up Ali with both the hands and announcing his Wilayat and Imamate, they said among themselves: ‘Just look at his eyes (meaning, God forbid, the eyes of the Prophet)? How are these rolling as if these were the eyes of a lunatic ?“ It was, then, that Gabriel appeared with the following verse:
And lo, those who disbelieve would fain disconcert thee with their eyes when they hear the Reminder, and say lo ! he is indeed mad’. (LXVIII: 51)
Please Note:The meaning of the verse, in fact, is that when the Unbelievers hear the Quran, 0 Apostle, they stare at you and want to disconcert and rattle you and say that you are mad. The reference, evidently, is to the Pagans of Mecca, but, in Furu-i-Kafi, it is stated about Imam Jafar Sadiq that he said that it applied, particularly to Hazrat Abu Bakr, Hazrat Omar, Hazrat Salim Maula Abi Huzaifa and Hazrat Abu Obeida bin Jarran.
Another book by the author of Usul-e-Kafi, Abu Jafar Muhammad bin Yaqub Kulayni, is called, Kitab-ur-Roza which is the last part of his compedium, Al-Jame-ul-Kafi. It contains the report of a long sermon by Hazrat Ali at the end of which he is related to have said while narrating the event of Ghadiri-Khum: “When the Prophet (peace be upon him and his dependents) reached Ghadir-i-Khum, a pulpit was erected by his order. He mounted on it and holding me by the arms raised me up in such a manner that the whiteness of his armpits was visible, and, (then), proclaimed in a loud voice to the assembly: Ali is the Maula of whom I am the Maula. 0 God, love him who loves Ali, and have enmity towards him, who is the enemy of AlL’’ The report goes on to say that, at the end of the sermon, Hazrat Ali used the word al-Ashqiyan (highly wretched, sinful and depraved persons) for Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omar, and related, in detail, the punishment they were doomed to receive in the Hereafter, and, then, Hazrat Ali uttered the worst kind of imprecation against all the Ansar and Muhajirin. without naming anybody, who had accepted Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omar, as the Caliphs, or, so to say, against the entire Muslim Ummat of that time and all the holy Companions.
Arguments Against Ghadir Khumm Episode
Firstly, let no one entertain any unworthy idea, doubt or misgiving about Hazrat Ali and his descendants, particularly Imam Jafar Sadiq and Imam Baqar on reading the aforementioned reports and traditions appertaining to Ghadir-i-Khumm (or any other of a similar kind reproduced earlier) in which highly deplorable and shameless remarks and statements have been attributed to those virtuous men concerning Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omar and other leading Companions (to the extent of condemning them as wretched, sinful, and vicious and apostates, and infidels, and damned to Hell, and guilty of insolence and treachery against the holy Prophet). All these narratives are pure slander and vilification, and an attempt to blacken the character of the first two or three Caliphs and other distinguished Companions by the narrators thereof whose sole aim and mission was to create discord and dissension in the Ummat and to destroy Islam. Otherwise, it is an incontrovertible fact of history that, along with the Companions in general,the Mahajirs and Ansars, Hazrat Ali, too, had pledged his fealty to Hazrat Abu Bakr and Hazrat Omar as the Caliphs and successors of the sacred Prophet, and he was among their most trusted advisers (or ministers in the modern parlance). He never expressed his disagreement in that regard before any group or body of men nor laid claim, against them, to Caliphate and Imamate by recalling what is said in these reports to have happened at Ghadir-i-Khum. According to an overwhelming majority of Muslims, and non-Muslim historians as well, the conduct of Hazrat Ali was based wholly on sincerity and had nothing to do with Taqaiyya or hypocrisy as the Shias assert. Its most obvious proof is that he married away his daughter, Umm-Kulsum, to Hazrat Omar and made him his son-in-law in the same way as the holy Prophet had made Hazrat Ali his son-in-law.
But, enough for the present. We will return to it later. Secondly, in some books of the Traditions of Ahl-e-Sunnat, too, the holy Prophet’s sermon on the occasion of the Farewell Haj is mentioned in which he had observed that “Ali is the Maula of whom I am the Maula”. But it had nothing to do whatsoever with the question of Caliphate or Imamate. The fact of the matter is that seven or eight months before the Last Pilgrimage, the sacred Prophet had sent Hazrat Ali with about 300 men to Yemen. They had come from Yemen to join the Prophet in the Farewell Haj. During their stay in Yemen, some of Hazrat All’s companions had disagreed with him on certain matters. These persons, also, had come with Hazrat Ali to take part in the Last Pilgrimage, and during the Haj they spoke about the differences they had with some of the steps taken by Hazrat Ali. It was, undoubtedly, a mistake on their part. and the Devil is always on the lookout for such an opportunity to sow the seeds of rancour and animosity in the hearts of men. When the holy Prophet came to know of it, he felt that the circumstances demanded that he publicly declared what place of acceptance and liking Hazrat Ali did enjoy from the side of God. With that object, he gave the sermon in which he said, “Ali is the Maula of whom I am the Maula. 0 God! Have friendship towards those who have friendship for Ali, and have enmity towards those who have enmity for Ali”. In Arabic the word Maula has a wide range of meaning. It denotes ‘master’, ‘slave’, ‘emancipated slave’, ‘helper’, ‘friend’ and ‘loved one’. In the holy Prophet’s pronouncement it has been used in the sense of a friend and a loved one, as is evident from the prayer that follows it. What the above saying of the Prophet conveys, in sum, is that ‘he who holds me dear holds Ali dear as well. Hence, whoever loves me should, also. love Ali.”
Anyway, the tradition is not even remotely related to the question of Caliphate or Imamate.