GHADIR As Reflected from the Quran and Traditions
By: Dr. Majid Maaref
Translated by: R. (Masoumeh) Murphy
In the Name of Allah
One of the definite proofs to the leadership of Amir-al-Momenin, Ali (A.S.) which is emphasized in Quran and narrations, is the event of Ghadir-e-Khom. There are verses from Chapter Maideh (The Food), on this event, which according to Shiite and also many of the Sunni interpretations, do not comply with anything, other than the leadership of Ali (A.S.). In the interpretations of these verses, there are also narrations acquired from the books both Shiite and Sunni sources that makes the immediate leadership of Ali and his priority over the others, undeniable to the seekers of truth.
Relying on the evidences from the Quran and traditions, in this book, we will investigate the Ghadir-e-Khom event and make clear, from this aspect, the
leadership of Ali (A.S.).
HISTORICAL BACKGROUND OF GHADIR:
The appearance of the new moon, announced the beginning of the month of Di Ghadeh, the tenth year of Hejrat. In this month, the Prophet of Islam (S.A.W.A.), announced his decision to make a pilgrimage, along with other Muslims, to the house of God (Mecca), to perform the ceremony of Haj. This news spread through the city of Medina and its suburbs and also it reached to the
Muslims who lived in other parts of Arabia, so that in a short time, thousands arrived to perform the ceremony of Haj alongside the Prophet (S.A.W.A.).
On the 25th of Di Ghadeh, the caravan of Prophet (s.a.w.a.), along with a great number of Muslims, historians have stated as being about one hundred thousand persons, or even more, left Medina toward Mecca. These people were
separate from those who came from different parts of Arabia and included those who inhabited Mecca and the villages around this city, who joined to the pilgrims.
Sheikh Mofid In his book, Al Ershad, wrote:
After the meeting of Prophet (S.A.W.A.) with the Christians of Najran and the event of Mobaheleh, the last Haj or the (farewell Haj) took place. A short while before this event, the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) sent Ali (A.S.) to Yemen to collect the Islamic tax (khoms) of treasures and mines from the citizens there, and also to collect what the Najran Christians had promised of silk and money. Ali (A.S.) was sent on this mission as the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) did not trust some one else from among his followers, and saw no one more deserving than Ali (A.S.) for this job. So Ali (A.S.) was sent on this journey as the Prophets (S.A.W.A.) deputy. Ali was pleased he could do this mission entrusted to him.
It was the same time, when the Messenger of God (s.a.w.a.) decided to go to Haj. A great population joined the Prophet from Medina and its suburbs. On
25th of Di Ghadeh, He left Medina. At the same time the Prophet (S.A.W.A.)
wrote a letter to Ali (A.S.) to Yemen, recommending Ali (A.S.) to come to
Mecca. In his letter He did not state the type of pilgrimage or the intention he had made.
The Prophet (S.A.W.A.), along with a group of Muslims, moved towards
Mecca and Ali (A.S.) along with an escorting army started off from Yemen towards the same city. When close to Mecca, Ali (A.S.) left the army in command of someone else and him himself, made haste towards the city to see the Prophet. Ali (A.S.) was successful to visit the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) before he entered Mecca, and he presented him a report on the silk clothes and gifts he had brought. The Prophet (S.A.W.A) after showing his pleasure on seeing Ali (A.S.) asked, “O Ali! On what intention have you put on your pilgrim garments?”
“I did not know your intention.” Ali replied, “Because of this, at the time of putting on my pilgrim garments my intention was that I had the same
intention as you. I said O God! My intention for putting on my pilgrim garments is the same as your Messenger. I have also brought thirty four camels along with me to sacrifice.”
The Prophet said, “God is Great! I have brought sixty six camels to
sacrifice. You are my partner, not only in the rites of Haj, but also in sacrifice. Now, return to your army and bring them soon. So we join each other in Mecca.
The Prophet stayed a few days in Mecca to perform the rites of Haj. On the
day of Arafa-and as some traditions say, the day of Eid-he delivered a speech in
front of the Muslim assembly. In his speech he recommended everyone to stay pious, keep their promise of ethical values and to observe each others rights. Afterwards, the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) decided to leave Mecca for Medina. He gave the order to proceed, so once more the immense group of people, along with their Prophet, left Mecca for Medina. When this great caravan reached a location called Johfeh, the angel of revelation, Gabriel descended and at a place called Ghadir e Khom, revealed this verse to the Prophet:
ﻞﻌﻔﺗ ﱂ نا و ﻚﺑر ﻦﻣ ﻚﻴﻟا لﺰﻧا ﺎﻣ ﻎﻠﺑ لﻮﺳﺮﻟا ﺎﻬﻳا ﺎﻳ »
يﺪﻬﻳ ﻻ ﷲا نا سﺎﻨﻟا ﻦﻣ ﻚﻤﺼﻌﻳ ﷲا و ﻪﺘﻟﺎﺳر ﺖﻐﻠﺑ ﺎﻤﻓ
O Prophet! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your God; 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.
(Surah Maidah, Verse 67)
When this verse was revealed the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) ordered the caravan to halt and on this order, the Muslims invited those who had gone on ahead to return to the caravan and waited for those who lagged behind to catch up.
It was midday, the weather was scorching hot. It was so hot that the people pulled a corner of their cloaks over their heads and put the other corner under
their feet. It was time for prayers; the prophet also informed them that it is time for them to hear a new message. The Muslims made a platform consisting of four camel saddles. The Prophet took his place on top of them and made his
historical speech as follows.
THE PROPHETS SPEECH ON THE DAY OF GHADIR:
Allameh Amini, in his book, Al Ghadir, using reliable documents, wrote a report on Ghadir e Khom as follows: The holy Prophet stated:
Thanks and praises are only for God. I want Him to assist me. I believe in Him. I trust in Him. I take shelter in Him against all my bad and inadmissible deeds. For those who have gone astray there is no guidance other than Him. There is nothing to mislead those He guides. I swear there is no other object of value of worship other than Him and Mohammad (S.A.W.A.) is His servant and Prophet.
“Behold! It is my turn to answer to God’s invitation and leave you. I am liable, just as you too, are liable. Now tell me, what do you think and say about
At this time the congregation, replied, “We testify that you have performed your duty as a Prophet, and you have endeavored in our cause. May God give you an excellent reward?”
After a short pause, the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) replied, “Verily, I will be transferred to the next world, but I will leave among you two precious things.
Be careful to how to behave towards them.”
“O Prophet!” Someone from the crowd cried, “What do you mean by two precious and valuable things?”
“One is the noble book of God.” The Prophet of Islam replied, “This book is
the more prominent of the two, and is the means of your constant contact with God”. The other” He continued, “Are the members of my family and household. God has informed me that these two will never be separated until they join me by the Divine pool of Kousar. Behold! Do not precede these two and do not neglect abiding them. If you do, it will be your downfall.”
The Prophet (S.A.W.A.) then took Ali’s (A.S.) hand and raised it over his head, in a way that their under arms were revealed. The Prophet (S.A.W.A.)
holding this position, made a speech to the Muslims.
« ؟ﻢﻬﺴﻔﻧا ﻦﻣ ﲔﻨﻣﺆﳌﺎﺑ سﺎﻨﻟا ﱄوا ﻦﻣ !
سﺎﻨﻟا ﺎﻬﻳا »
O people! Who from among you, the believers, is more deserving for leadership than himself?
“God and His messenger know best.” They replied.
“Surely God is my leader and I am the leader of the believers. I Am not more deserving to leaded conduct them than any one of them” He then continued.
دﺎﻋ و ﻩﻻاو ﻦﻣ لﺁ و ﻢﻬﻠﻟا
,ﻩﻻﻮﻣ ﻲﻠﻋ اﺬﻬﻓ ﻩﻻﻮﻣ ﺖﻨآ ﻦﻣ »
ﻪﻟﺬﺧ ﻦﻣ لﺬﺧا و ﻩﺮﺼﻧ ﻦﻣ ﺮﺼﻧا و ﻩادﺎﻋ ﻦﻣ
“Whoever knows me as his leader, Ali is also his leader. O God! Love the admirers of Ali and behold his enemies as your enemies. Hold dear those who Ali is dear for them. Be angry with those who make him angry. Assist his helpers and abandon those who abandon him. Make him the standard and equilibrium of truth.”
“Be aware!” He declared, “Those of you who are present must relay this message to those who are absent.”
The congregation had not yet dispersed when Gabriel once again revealed this verse to the Prophet (S.A.W.A.).
ﻢﻜﻟ ﺖﻴﺿر و ﱵﻤﻌﻧ ﻢﻜﻴﻠﻋ ﺖﻤﲤا و ﻢﻜﻨﻳد ﻢﻜﻟ ﺖﻠﻤآا مﻮﻴﻟا »
“Today I have completed your religion and have given you my complete beneficence. I have selected Islam as your religion.”
On the revelation of this verse the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said, “God is Great! He has completed our religion and His beneficence and God is also satisfied with His Prophet and Ali’s leadership after me.
In the meanwhile, the people came close and congratulated Ali (A.S.) on his new status and title. From among those who were foremost on congratulating Ali (A.S.) were Abu-Bakr and Omar. They said:
“Congratulations, son of Abu Taleb. You are our leader and the leader of every believer, man and woman!”
Hassan Ibne Sabet then asked permission of the Prophet (S.A.W.A.)
permission to recite a poem on this incident. The Prophet (S.A.W.A.) let him so. The translation of a part of it is as follows:
The Prophet made a proclamation, on the day of Ghadir,
The announcement of the Prophet, was worthy for all to hear,
Who is your leader? Your Prophet? Without hesitating they replied,
God is our leader, you are our Prophet your leadership we all recognize, We’ll follow you from now till forever, from your path we will not astray,
Your example, leadership and guidance, your commands, we won’t disobey, The Prophet then addressed Ali. “Dear Ali, please stand up!”
I have chosen you as my successor, to succeed me, after my demise.”
He declared, “To who I am a leader, Ali now is the leader of him,
In truth and rightfulness, follow him; he will keep you away from sin. The Prophet then cried, “O God! to his followers, You be a friend,
Whoever is his adversary, be also the foe of him!”
After Hassan Ibne Sabet had recited his poem, the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) uttered this famous sentence about him:
“Till the day you assist us with your tongue, May the Gabriel be your aid.”1
After concluding the ceremony of choosing a successor in the land of Ghadir e Khom, the Muslims rose and every group started towards their own
destinations. The Prophet (S.A.W.A.) and a large congregation, who had accompanied him from Medina, also started on their way back. The tenth year of Hejrat had not yet finished when they entered Medina. After a while the
Prophet (S.A.W.A.) was confined to bed with illness, which ended in his death. However before that, the assignment of the succession and leadership was made known.
1 For more information about the Prophets (s.a.w.a.) speech on the day of Ghadir and a detailed account of events, refer to: Al ghadir: 1/31-34 with the Farsi translation of Sirat al Mustafa 693, taken 1)from different Sunni references, 2) Ershad Shaikh Mofid 1/165, Summits from the history of Prophet of Islam 512-518
ANALYSING THE GHADIR-E-KHOM INCIDENT:
1-The Actual Location of Ghadir from Islamic Sources
What is exceptional of the Ghadir incident and is worthy of attention, is the revelation of two verses from the Holy Quran on this great event. These verses are; verse 67 from Chapter Maideh (The Food) known as the (Tabliq) or the Publishing Verse, and the other is verse 3 from the same chapter known as the (Ikmal) or the Completion Verse. Taking these two verses into account, the discussion on Ghadir enters the region of interpretation, which created different interpretations from the Shiite and Sunni books. Moreover, the Ghadir incident presented a source of traditions, history, theology and even literature and got a special and extensive place in this origin.
According to the research of Allameh Amini, 110 individuals from the
Prophets (S.A.W.A.) close companions (Ashab) and 84 individuals from the (Tabein)-who were the students of the close companions, have narrated this event. Besides 360 Islamic scientists living is different centuries, have written extensively or briefly about the Ghadir incident. (1) Look at Al-Ghadir, Vol 1. P. 40- 240.
Another class of individuals, who contemplated on this historical event, were the poets and authors, who in every generation, wrote their most beautiful pieces
of literature and elegies inspired from this event, and have left them as moments to history. It can be said, that not many historical events in the world, was recognized and so greatly esteemed as the Ghadir incident , by so many different
groups of authors, interpreters, theologizes, philosophers, lecturers, poets, historians and biographists. As mentioned, one of the reasons of the long life and infinity of this tradition is two verses from the Holy Quran on this incident.
As the Quran is immortal and eternal the incident of Ghadir is immortal too, and will not be wiped from memories. (Summits in the History of Islam P.514)
Another reason for the endurance of this historical event is the celebration of
its anniversary among the Muslims, as one of the Islamic holidays. Many of the Islamic writers, including Ibne Khalakan in Vafiyaat-ol-Ayan and Abu Rayhan Biruni in (Asar-al-Baghiyeh), considered Ghadir as one of the holidays that all Muslims realised and celebrated. (Summits … P. 515)
Apart from those, who discussed the incident of Ghadir in traditional, exegesis, historical and theologies sources, 26 Islamic scientists have written independent books on this matter. Their names and the characteristics of their
works are stated in the first volume of Al-Ghadir. Certainly, the most complete work written on Ghadir-e-Khom is the book (Al- Ghadir) written by that great Islamic scholar Abdul Hossein Amini. By studying this book and deliberation
on its different sections gives every reader enough proof on the issue of leadership and succession of Ali (A.S).
2-REFLECTION OF THE GHADIR INCIDENT IN EXEGESES OF THE QURAN
A- Shiite interpretations
In the interpretation of the verses Tabliq and Ikmal Din, Shiite exegesis’s, have accept adaptation of these two verses to correspond with Ali (A.S.) leadership. They have written different debates concerning this. In these debates, documentations from traditions relating to the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) and religious leaders, along with theological argumentation, proofs are stated in such a way that both of these verses make perfectly clear their connection with leadership of Ali (A.S.).
For example, in the commentary book of Ayyashi, which is one of the oldest Shiite exegeses in the form of narrative, several traditions on the leadership and command of Ali (A.S.) have been told in connection with the verses of (Tabliq) and (Ikmal Din). One of these traditions includes a story from Ibne Abbas and Jaber Ibne Abdullah Ansari in which they stated: “God gave His Prophet (S.A.W.A.) an order to appoint Ali (A.S.) as his successor, and also to inform the people of his status. The Prophet (S.A.W.A.) was anxious that people would say that he was supporting his cousin and refuse it. Finally God revealed this verse:
ﻞﻌﻔﺗ ﱂ نا و ﻚﺑر ﻦﻣ ﻚﻴﻟا لﺰﻧا
ﺎﻣ ﻎﻠﺑ لﻮﺳﺮﻟا ﺎﻬﻳا ﺎﻳ »
سﺎﻨﻟا ﻦﻣ ﻚﻤﺼﻌﻳ ﷲا و ﻪﺘﻟﺎﺳر ﺖﻐﻠﺑ ﺎﻤﻓ
Afterwards, the Prophet (S.A.W.A.), announced leadership of Ali (A.S.) on the day of Ghadir.
The esteemed Islamic exegesis, the deceased Tabarsi, after stating the same
tradition, writes in his exegesis of Majma-al-Byan; Abul Ghasem Haskani, stated this tradition just in the same words, in his book, Shavahed-al-Tansil. In his exegesis, Salabi has brought this tradition along with a document relating its first narration to Ebne Abbas. ( Majmah-al-Bayan 344/3)
Tabarsi then adds: The narrations received on the traditions of Ghadir from Imam Bagher (A.S.) and Imam Sadiq (A.S.) are renowned and related by frequent witnesses. The result of these traditions are: The Prophet (S.A.W.A.)
was in dread of announcing the succession of Ali (A.S.), as to some of his close companions it would be a difficult and intolerable matter, until God revealed this verse (Tabliq) which encouraged His Prophet, and assured him to act on this
issue. Therefore, the meaning of this verse is: If you neglect publishing what I
have revealed to you and keep it hidden, it is as if you have not relayed any of Gods message and for this you deserve punishment. (Majma –al– Bayan, Vol 1. P. 360)
When the Messenger of God finished introducing Ali (A.S.) as his successor, this verse was revealed to him:
و ﱵﻤﻌﻧ ﻢﻜﻴﻠﻋ ﺖﻤﲤا و ﻢﻜﻨﻳد ﻢﻜﻟ ﺖﻠﻤآا مﻮﻴﻟا »
In an explanation to the same verse, Ayyashi stated a tradition from Imam Bagher (A.S.) in which said to Zorareh: The last religious duty and compulsory act that God revealed, was the issue of leadership of Ali Ibne Abi Talebs (A.S.). Afterwards, this verse was revealed:
و ﱵﻤﻌﻧ ﻢﻜﻴﻠﻋ ﺖﻤﲤا و ﻢﻜﻨﻳد ﻢﻜﻟ ﺖﻠﻤآا مﻮﻴﻟا »
After this issue, God never revealed another religious duty to the Prophet
(S.A.W.A.) till he died. (The exegesis of Ayyashi, Vol 1. P. 321)
Narrating from Sunni sources, Tabarsi also narrated the same point from Abu Saeed Khodry, and then continued that on the revelation of the verse of Ikmal, the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) said: “God is verily able to complete the religion and His mercies; and He is satisfied with my prophecy and leadership of Ali Ibn Abi Talib after me”. (Majmah-al-Bayan, Vol 3, P.246)
IMPORTANT AND CONSIDERABLE POINTS ON THE INTERPRETATION OF THE TABLIQ VERSE.
In the opinion of Shiite exegesis, (For more information refer to: A) Al- Mizan exegesis Vol5, P. 85. B) The Message of the Quran no.9, P.190, C) Analyzing the characteristics of the Prophets household in Quran, P.131), in the Tabliq verse itself; there are several important points, which connect this verse to the undeniable issue of Ali (A.S.) succession. Some of these points are as follow:
1-The Tabliq verse points to an important subject, that is, if the prophet did not relay this verse to the people, he had not spread God’s message,. In other words, this subject is equivalent to the foundation of the prophecy of the Prophet So in case of lack of proclaiming the message, the foundation of the prophecy is deficient. Why? Because He says: If you do not do this, then you haven’t accomplished His prophecy.
2-This subject was not like pray (Namaz), fasting, haj and other Islamic expressions, or doctrine, like the Unification of God and the Resurrection. Since
the Tabliq verse is in Chapter Maideh, which is among the last chapters revealed to the Prophet (S.A.W.A.).
Even according to some of the narratives available in Shiite and Sunni exegesis, it was the last verse revealed to the Prophet and till that date, all of the religious commands and issues like, what is religiously lawful and unlawful, had all been
revealed and conveyed to the people.
3-The subject under regard in the verse of Tabliq, was a very serious matter, so that the Prophet (S.A.W.A.), was uneasy and dreaded conveying this message and considerations were taken into account. God, therefore, with this message: “And Allah will protect you against the people”.
Announced His support of the Prophet and gave a definite order to His Prophet
to convey this matter.
4-Those that the Prophet was anxious of their opposition and possible upraise were not the unbelievers of the Ghoreish tribe. At that time the Prophet
(S.A.W.A.) prevailed over Arabia and by removing idolatry in the eighth year of Hejrat, there was no other trace left of the influence or power of the pagans. Also, those opposing the Prophet, were not the followers of other religions, as
they also at this time had no power or influence in Arabia, especially as the Jews in their wars with the Muslims were eradiated and suppressed and their influence removed from Arabia.
Therefore, the meaning of (People) in the Quran expression of “And Allah
will protect you against the people” are no other than the hypocrites among the Islamic society, who with complete and utter sensitivity followed the transformations of the Islamic society, and were worried about the leadership after the Prophets death. The Prophet, by introducing Ali (A.S.) as his successor, had no fear of any group, other than them, to oppose him.
5- With attention to the above mentioned points, it is clear that the only important matter that was not declared publically till then was the subject of
leadership of the Islamic community after the Prophet death and introducing the just person to the leadership, i.e. Ali (A.S.). As Leadership, is considered as an
institution, in continuation of prophetic mission, the Almighty God gave the warning to His Prophet, that:
.« سﺎﻨﻟا ﻦﻣ ﻚﻤﺼﻌﻳ ﷲا و ﻪﺘﻟﺎﺳر ﺖﻐﻠﺑ
ﺎﻤﻓ ﻞﻌﻔﺗ ﱂ نا و »
“And if you do not do it, then you have not delivered His message, and Allah will protect you from the people”.
And the dear Prophet (S.A.W.A.) with suitable introductions, existing in the
Ghadir tradition like: “O People, who has the priority to make decision about
the lives of the believers that themselves?” embarked on concluding his prophecy.
6-A in the verse of Tabliq, in which God said: “And if you do not do it, then you
have not delivered his message”.
When the Prophet introduced Ali (A.S.) as his successor, this verse was revealed “ Today, I have perfected your religion for you, and completed My
Mercies on you …” , which shows that the Prophet (S.A.W.A.), without any fear, took steps to acknowledge God’s commands. Therefore, the issue of completion of religion and Gods beneficence for the Muslims were fulfilled
during the Prophet’s life.
B- The Sunni Interpretations
In the interpretation of the Tabliq verse, the Sunni exegesis has mostly emphasized on two things:
1-The Tabliq verse was revealed in Mecca at the beginning of the prophecy of Mohammed (P.B.U.H.) and the aim of its revelation was to encourage the Prophet to relay the verses and God’s religious commands to the people. And
with the prevailing of the unbelievers and pagans in Mecca, God gave His messenger a promise to protect him from the mischief of his enemies.
2-The Tabliq verse was revealed in Medina and with its revelation the esteemed
Prophet was obliged to relay, without fear, the truth of Islam to the followers of dominant religions. The Almighty promised that His prophet will be protected
from the deceit of the Jews and Christians.
It is worth stating that, in addition to these two views, there were also other probabilities in the Sunni books which mostly indicate that the Tabliq verse was
revealed in Medina. For example, Fakhr Razi in his exegesis of the Tabliq verse stated nine other possibilities and on the tenth possibility, he writes: This verse
was revealed about Ali -ebne- Abi Talebs (A.S.) virtues and after its revelation the Prophet took Ali’s (A.S.) hand and said: “ Whoever knows me as his leader,
Ali is also his leader. O God, love the admirers of Ali, and behold his enemies as your enemies”.
It was here when Omar visited Ali (A.S.) and said, “O son of Abi Taleb!
May this position be blessing to you, as you are now my Lord and leader and the
Lord and leader to every faithful man and woman.”
Fakhr Razi continued, “This issue is narrated from Ibne Abbas, Bara ebne Azeb and Mohammad ebne Ali, Imam Bagher (A.S.). (The book of exegesis of Mafatih al Ghaib, Vol 12, P. 50)
Fakhr Raazi, then stated his chosen opinion like this: “Although the narratives and opinions on the verse of Tabliq are many, the better view is that we say God protected His Prophet from the deceit of the Jews and Christians
and gave him an order to advertise, without fear, His religion’s truths. The
reason for this view is that its previous and subsequent verses are about these two religions, and it is improbable that this verse, in view of the subject , be far and separate from the other verses. (Same reference)
Among the other exegesists who have spoken about the Tabliq verse, is
Shaykh Mohammad Abdeh in “Al-Menar” exegesis. He, opposite from Fakhr
Razi, beleives that the Tabliq verse was revealed in Mecca and the aim of its revelation, was to state the commands and religious orders to pagans. The idea of the Al-Menar author started with: “Apparently what enters the mind from the Tabliq verse is that the Prophet (s.a.w.a.), at the beginning of his prophecy, was told to advertise Islam among the normal people, as the exegesists had specified on this issue, (especially in the narrative exegesis). If this theory is not correct, it is possible that the meaning of this verse is to explain the truth of Islam to other living religions, which are talked about in the following verse. As if, God had said: “deliver what has been revealed to you from your God about the followers of books”. (The exegesis of Al-Menar, Vol 6, P.467)
It is worthy to notice that Shaykh Mohammad Abdeh -like Fakhr Razi- in his book dialed also with the subject of Ghadir-e-Khom, and confirms it as a historical event. But he has also endeavored to deny the connection of this verse to the Ghadir-e-Khom event, and secondly in this tradition, “Whoever knows me as his leader, Ali is his leader also”, he has translated the word (Mowla) as friend and companion. (The same reference, Vol 6. P. 465)
As we know, this is the opinion and belief of the majority of Sunni scholars, who although confirming the Ghadir e Khom event, they actually try to deny the
connection of the Day of Ghadir to the issue of Ali’s (A.S.) leadership and try to reduce it to a mere recommendation of the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) to the
companionship of Ali (A.S.).
THE ASSESSMENT AND EVALUATION OF THE SUNNI EXEGESISTS VIEWS ON THE TABLIQ VERSE
1-Analysing the First Hypothesis – The revelation of this Verse in Mecca
In the opinion of a group of exegesis, the Tabliq verse was revealed in Mecca and the aim of its revelation is Gods recommendation to His Prophet to advertise religious laws to the pagans. They believe that in Mecca the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) had such a weak status, that God made His Prophet sure of His protection and encouraged him to relay the truths of Islam to the polytheists.
These writers, on confirming their own opinion, have supported some narratives which prove the responsibility of Abu Taleb on protecting the life of the Prophet. It was written in one of the narratives: Every time the Prophet left his house, Abu Taleb dispatched a group to follow him for his protection. Until this verse was revealed. “And Allah will protect you from the people”.
At this time the Prophet said to his uncle, “O uncle! God safeguards me. So there would be no need to send someone to protect me.” And according to other
narrative, the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) said, “God keeps me safe from man and jinn” It is clear from this that the Prophet of Islam was carrying out his holy prophecy without any fear, in Mecca.
For same reasons, it must be stated that the opinion of the Tabliq verse being revealed in Mecca and its issue concerning the life of the Prophet being protected in Mecca and the neutralizing of his safeguard because of the verse , “
and Allah will protect you from the people”, makes this opinion void. The important reasons are:
A-The exegesis’s agree that Chapter Maideh (The Food) was revealed in
Medina, (Saalabi, in his book wrote “All the interpretations believe that this chapter is revealed in Medina”, Vol 1, P.404.) and was perhaps one of the last chapter to be revealed there. (Tabyan exegesis Vol 1. P. 433). So how is it possible that the Tabliq verse would be revealed in Mecca? In answer to this question, some of the exegesists said: The Maideh chapter was revealed in Medina, in exception of some of its verses that were revealed in Mecca; and they mean the verses of Tabliq or Ikmal. (Take a look at the exegesis of Al Bahr Al Mohit. 4/323, exegesis of Maalem-al -tanzil, 2/5.)
It must be said that, a definite argument doesn’t confirm this claim, neither in narratives nor apparent explanations from logical reasoning. Suppose the verse
of Tabliq was revealed in Mecca and during the last days of life of the Prophet was placed in chapter Maideh. The question that arises is, in all these rather long years, where was this verse placed and how was it recited? Did the Prophet
recite this verse alone, till the rest of the Maideh verses were revealed to him and then placed this verse in the context of Maideh verses?
This is a question that does not have a definite answer. So, Ibn Kathir Dameshqi, after stating the relevant verse about safeguard of Prophets in Mecca, and the revelation of, “and Allah will protect you from the people”, he wrote.
This tradition is strange and contradictory to the acclaimed, as the Tabliq verse was revealed in Medina, even though the content of the tradition says that the verse was revealed in Mecca. (The exegesis of Ebne Kathir, Vol 1, P.81)
Ibn Kathir, in his criticism of the second narrative on the safeguarding the
Prophet’s life and the revelation of the verse, writes: This tradition is also strange. The right opinion is that the Tabliq verse was revealed in Medina, even this verse is one of the last verses revealed from the noble Quran, and God is more aware about the truth. (The same source)
B-The issue that the Tabliq verse was revealed in Mecca and following its revelation; the holy Prophet was to relay the heavenly laws to the pagans and,
God promised His Prophet that he will be protected in Mecca from the pagans, deceit, is not acceptable and the reason of invalidity both theories are other verses from the Quran. In the holy Quran, especially in the verses revealed in
Mecca, there exist many verses, in which God gave His Prophet a mission to relay the revealed verses to the pagans and promised to support and assist him against the conspiracy of the enemies. Two examples of these promises are in verses Alagh (The Clot) and Hejr (The Rock) which are of the earliest verses
revealed in Mecca.
It is written in the chapter Hejr (The Rock) that,
“Declare openly what you are bidden and turn aside from the pagans. Surely we will suffice you from the scoffers. Those who set up another God with Allah, so they shall soon know.” (Chapter Hejr (The Rock) verses 94-96)
In his interpretation of this verse, Ibne Kathir, on behalf of Abdullah Ibne Masood wrote, “The Prophet (S.A.W.A.) secretly carried out his prophecy till the above verse was revealed. It was about this time when He and the Muslims made their invitation public (Ibne Kathir exegesis 2/579). He wrote afterwards in his exegesis; “The meaning of these two verses are: relay to the people, whatever has been sent unto you by God and do not take notice of the pagans who want to stop you from relaying these heavenly verses, and do not fear them as God will suffice you. (Same source 2/580.)
Taking these verses into account, in which God announced his definite safeguard of the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) in Mecca, it will not be acceptable if we imagine that the Prophet neglected performing his heavenly mission, or he was
uncertain of Gods promise of his protection. As with revelation of this verse in Mecca, once again, it emphasized declaring God’s orders to the pagans and the safe being of the Prophet from his enemies’ conspiracies.
2-Atudy of the Second Hypothesis – the revelation of the verse about those religions who own a Divine book
A few of the Sunni exegesists believe that the Tabliq verse was revealed about introducing the truth of religion to other major religions who owned a divine book. The reason of these exegesists, is the location of Tablilq verse in the category of verses that consist of subjects relating to other major religions. This opinion was chosen by Fakhr Razi. Following him, Abu Hyyan Tohidi, also writes in his exegesis: (of Bahr-al-Mohit 4/321), “O Prophet! Make known whatever laws of punishments that have been revealed to you; the same laws that were changed by the Jews and Christians their divine books.” Abu Hayyan continued: “what can be used from the words of this verse is: “God protected His Prophet from the plots Jews and Christians and commanded him to advertise and act upon, without paying attention to any one of them, whatever, about them, was revealed to him in the Quran. The text before and after this verse, are about those religions with a Book, and it is doubtful that this verse, in meaning, is detached from its previous and subsequent verses, (The same source and page). However, because of the following reasons this theory is improbable:
A-Not only the Shiite exegesists, but also many of the Sunni exegesits have specified that the subject of the Tabliq verse was revealed at the last days of life of the Prophet, and specifically in the Farewell Haj (Look at Majma al Bayan
And the major religions were not in a position, at that time, that the holy Prophet fearful to tell the truth of Islam.
For more information, we will remind you that in principle the Jews and even
the Christians had no power or influence in Mecca or Medina to stand against or even consider impeding the progress of Islam. Coinciding with the Prophet appointment, a few clans of Jews lived in Medina, but considering power, they were in the minority, so that they were always waiting for a Prophet to end the revelation and with his help, they prevail over the pagans from the tribes of Ows or Khazraj.
After the Prophet’s migration to Medina, a pact was concluded between the Muslims, and other tribes residing in Medina. The rights of the Jews were respected. After a while, they started to conspire. They even became allies – against the Muslims – with the pagans of the Goreish tribe and the hypocrites of Medina. The wars between the Jews and the Muslims began. The important wars, against Bani Ghoriseh and Khaibar tribes, were commanded by the Prophet himself. The result was defeat and out casting of the Jews, or in other words, cutting off their influence from Arabia. (Look at chapter Ahzab 26/27 and the Chapter of Hashr (the Banishment); 2), this event happened in 7 A.H.
It must also be stated that the Christians did not actually live in Arabia, especially Medina, and only in 9 A.H. a group of the Najran Christians came to
Medina and were swept into the current of events after the invitation of the Prophet (S.A.W.A.). It is said that they first accepted to have a Mohaheleh meeting with the Prophet. (Chapter “Ale Emran”, 6 known as the verse of Mobaheleh).
But on the day of Mobaheleh, the Christian clergymen changed their minds, and were satisfied with the payment of Jaziyeh (a tax given by non Muslims to an
Taking these historical testimonies into account, how is it possible that in the
Tabliq verse, the Prophet got a mission to relay the truth of religion to other major religions when the Jews and Christians had been subdued by the Prophet
of Islam (S.A.W.A.) and the Muslims and some of the chapters emphasized their submission. (Quran 2:61m and 3:112). In some Quranic chapters their beliefs
were also denied and charged with error. ( Quran, 4:153, 5:63, 9:30-31).
B-The issue that the Tabliq verse is among other verses concerning the book religions, so it must be connected to the subject of those religions is not
necessarily right. Since as it is clear the revelation of the Quran verses and the completion of the chapters – especially the verses revealed in Medina – were gradually. Another point is that placement of the verses in a chapter does not
mean that the systematical placing of a verse accords to the time of its revelation, or its subjects being in connection with one another. The systematical placing of verses in a chapter, for example, was done according to the Prophets discretion. (The history of Quran, Dr. Ramiyar P.574)
In some cases the association of the verses to each other is precise and clear, in other cases, the association and suitability of the verses is both unclear and uncertain. The issue whether the Tabliq verse is connected to its previous and
subsequent verses or no is an issue that we deal with in future discussions.
3-Research on the status of the Tabliq verses revelation.
The Shiite and Sunni exegesists, believe that the Tabliq verse was revealed at the Farewell Haj and specified this as a true and correct opinion, but with one
difference. The Shiite exegesists believe that the revelation of the Tabliq verse associates to the Ghadir event, (look at the Majmah al Bayan 3/ 344, Nur al
Saghalain exegesis 1/ 651-58 with different narratives from the Sunni books look at, Fath al Ghadir exegesis 1/60, the Gharaeb al Quran 2/616) while some of the Sunni exegesists stated that the Tabliq verse was founded on some
situations – which will be stated – was revealed in Medina or at the time of some wars commanded by the Prophet. (S.A.W.A.), (Look at Maalem al Tanzil 2/ 52).
Allameh Amini, in his book, Al Ghadir, using well known Sunni references, has proven that the association between the Tabliq verse and the event of
Ghadir-e-Khom is also, to some extent, accepted by the Sunni writers. This means that this subject is not only claimed by the Shiites, but also Sunni scholars associates the revelation of the Tabliq verse to the Ghadir e Khom
event, and have stated it in their books. Nishabouri in Gharaeb al Quran book, on the behalf of Abu Saeed Khodry, wrote as the first possibility like this:
This verse was revealed on the day of Ghadir, about the virtue of Ali Ibne Abi Taleb. Afterwards, the Prophet took the hand of Ali and said to whom I am master; Ali is also a master … (Vol 2, P.616).
On the other hand some of the Sunni writers tried endeavored to deny the association of its revelation and the Ghadir-e-Khom event. The exegesis stated some points on the status of the Tabliq verses revelation which are not important. Fakhr Razi, including some of these possibilities, wrote:
-Some say the Tabliq verse was revealed on the decree of punishment (with regards to the changes made in these laws by Jews and Christians).
-Some say that the Tabliq verse was revealed to demonstrate the criticism and
sarcasm of the Jews against prophet (S.A.).
-Some know the revelation of Tabliq verse to be in connection with the Prophet
(S.A.W.A.) announcing the Takhir law to his wives. (The meaning of Takhir law is in the verses 27 and onward of Chapter Ahzab, in which the Prophet gave
his wives free choice between divorce, and benefits of worldly life in one side, and God, His Prophet, and simple economic living standard on the other side).
-Some believe the revelation of this verse was in association with a decree on Jahad which was condemned by hypocrites. (The books Meftah al Ghaib, Vol 1, P.49 and Maalem al Tanzil 2/52)
It must be said that none of these probable issues or above laws do not have
such a status; A) failing to announce them to be considered as a deficiency in stating God’s Prophecy B) the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) was not in fear to announce them. Moreover, as Allameh Amini emphasized, none of the mentioned probabilities are founded in tradition or accurate narratives and are nothing but assumption. (Al Ghadir, vol2, P.102-113).
The Tabliq verse being revealed on the day of Arafah is unacceptable as the speech made by the Prophet on this day has been recorded in most of the books
on tradition and history. In his speech the esteemed Prophet addressed the
Muslims and emphasized some usefyl social and ethical affairs. In a way, this speech is about Islamic principles in social affairs, respecting the rights of each
other, keeping pious and the limits of God, maintaining the rights and values of women and other such issues. It is clear, emphasizing on these matters was not
a matter that Prophet (S.A.W.A.) feels fearful of announcing them and would require a promise from God about immunity from the deceipt of the hypocrites. Meanwhile, as we know, after the Prophet performed the context of the Tabliq verse, the verse of Ikmale Din was revealed, that according to research, this
verse was revealed after the event of Ghadir e Khom. (Al Ghadir, Vol2, P.115-
4- EXAMINING SOME ASPECTS OF THE TABLIQ VERSE
A – The link of Tabliq verse to its previous and subsequent verses
The majority of chapter Maideh verses were about the people of Book, and the Tabliq verse was among these verses. Based on the belief of some Sunni writers the context of the Tabliq verse is also about them. Otherwise Tabliq verse, in view of its meaning, will be separate from its previous and subsequent verses which is not considered an adornment of the Quran.
But in the opinion of many scholars, the Tabliq verse, as well as being revealed about the Ghadir e Khom event, also corresponds with its previous and subsequent verses.
The Almighty God expresses to the believers to avoid the leadership of Jews and Christians (Quran 5:51). Following, in verses 52- 53 He harshly criticizes those who want to accept their leadership.
In 55 of this chapter, the renown verse on leadership and Mastership was stated with emphasis on the leadership of God and the Prophet and also those believers who keep up prayer and pay charity.
In verse 57, it was again suggested to the believers to avoid and reject the leadership of those who mock religion. (Both those who have divine books and pagans) In this field, chapter Maideh continues until God announces to His Messenger: “Deliver what has been revealed to you from your God. And if you
do not perform it, then you have not delivered His message at all; and Allah will protect you from the people …”
Since, in the previous verses, a discussion was made on leadership, the
implication of Tabliq verse was nothing more than public announcement of the leadership and command of Ali (A.S.).
In verse 68 of chapter Maideh – the next verse – once again is directed at the
people of the Books and concerning them says: O you with heavenly books! You are nothing (you have no true religion) till you act upon what your God revealed to you in Bible and Taurat!
In our opinion, following of the honorable verse by followers of those religions, will result in confessing to the fact of Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W.A.) and the succession of Ali (A.S.). As according to the Quran, signs of the Prophet
of Islam were written in the Taurat and the Bible, and the scholars of those two religions were aware of this truth. But because of jealousy and selfishness, they concealed it. (See Quran 2:146, and 7:157).
Taking this interpretation into account, as some exegesists have written, (the
context of the Tabliq verse was revealed as a command from God to the Prophet to declare the independance of the Muslims from the Jews and to transfer the leadership to the Muslims.) Emphasizing that, the Prophet should quickly
provide this message to the people and not to let the fear of enemies enter his heart as God will protect him.
In this aspect, the word “people” (those who their harm was feared) means both the Jews and the pagans, and also those who appeared Muslims but actually were hypocrites. Why? Because they thought as the Prophet had no son or
successor, when the Prophet dies everything would be over and they can once again continue their sovergnity dominance after the demise of Prophet.
It is evident that the previous verses are ignoring the leadership of Jews and
Christians, and acknowledging the leadership of God, the Prophet (S.A.W.A.)
and Ali (A.S.) which would make the enemies so uncomfortable that they would start to conspire, as this message, is actually considered to be the end of the Jews and Christians dominance over the world, and its transfer to the Muslims. (Kashef exegesis, 3/152)
The Tabliq verse can also be considered as a basis to compare between the situation that the Muslims would have in the future and the experience of the
Christians and Jews in the past. Then one would receive the message of the verse, that “Our Prophet! The Islamic community, like the Jews and the Christians, need a leader after you, so that they could benefit from his guidance.
If the Islamic community were without a leader after you, they would have greater misfortune than the Jews and Christians. Therefore, the context of the verse revealed to you by God and introduced to you the first leader who will rule after you deliver to people. (Look at Maani al Quran, Vol.1 P.118)
In this manner, the connection and continuation of the verses shows that the Tabliq verse, while having complete relation to the Jewish community, also stresses the most important revelation to the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) and he was
obliged to relay it, that is, announcing the end of the Jews caliphate, and beginning of the sovergnity of God, the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) and Ali (A.S.). (Kashef exegesis, 3/158)
B- Why was the Prophet afraid of announcing Ali’s (A.S.) leadership?
Even with the Prophet’s frequent emphases on Ali’s accomplishments and his superiority among all over his companions, for the following reasons opposition still existed toward his leadership.
1 – Among the followers of the Prophet, Ali (A.S.) had certain distinguished values and virtues that no one could share him about them. In one of his speeches, Ali announced seventy of these values. (Al Bayan, 2/151 taken from Sodough’s Maani al Akbar.). Among these values, are the chapters and verses
from the Quran relating to his status.
His heroics in the wars, including Badr, Ohod and Ahzab, and the liberation of Mecca, performing important missions like announcing the opening verses of
chapter Towbeh (Repentance) at a pagan gathering, the mission to Yemen,
staying in Medina at the time of the Tabook war, and participating in the
Mobaheleh event shows some aspects and superiority.
In a conversation between Saad Ibne Abi Vaghas and Moavieh, which is written in Sahih of Moslem, Saad states that Ali (A.S.) had three exclusive virtues, which Saad was not ready to change any one of these virtues (if he had any) with red haired camels (valuable things).
These virtues as seen by Saad Ibne Abi Vaghas were his important heroic role in the Khaibar war; the participation of Ali (A.S.) in Mobaheleh event, and the valuable tradition of Manzelat which is said by holy prophet about Ali (A.S.). (
Sahih Moslem, 4/ 1871).
It is evident that revealing such values as the personality of Ali (A.S.) caused so much jealousy against him, and in many cases. They were saying bad things
about him. With this background, what would have been the reaction of Jealousy people upon the leadership of Ali (A.S.) after the pass away of holy Prophet (S.A.W.A.)?
2 – As we know Ali (A.S.), in the Islamic wars (including of Badr, Ohod, Ahzab and Honain) defected and killed many of the Goreish champions and polytheist leaders and pagans, who their relatives – after the liberation of Mecca – accepted
Islam. This was not a matter that easily could be forgotten. Especially when the important reason for unity, between the Arabs, was blood and tribal ties.
Even after the fall of idolatry, and acceptance of Islam by the elders of Goreish, including Abu Sofian, the bitterness of Goreish especially the tribe of Bani
Omayeh concerning the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) and Ali (A.S.) didn’t stop, and although they had superficially accepted Islam, they were always waiting for an opportunity to get their revenge from prophet and his family.
The demise of the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) showed that the Goreish tribe played an important role to change the Islamic society, and not only the Prophet household, but also the Muslims of Medina were prohibited from their rights. In
this circumstance Ali’s (A.S.) leadership, which was the continuation of the behavior and leadership of Prophet was a bitter issue for the Goreish, and the Prophet was worried about the open conflict and on the whole, the hindrance of
the opposes in the introducing Ali (A.S.) as his successor.
3- During the time of the prophet (S.A.W.A.), Ali had appeared as a firm believer with stable personality and the holy Prophet prayed to God that:
.« راد ﺚﻴﺡ ﻪﻌﻣ ﻖﳊا ردا ﻢﻬﻠﻟا »
“O God! Always keep the truth with him. (Sonan Termezy, 5/522)
Taking this into account, Ali (A.S.) who was the manifest of belief and the axis of truth, worked in a way to gain God’s satisfaction, and to aquire the
Prophet’s contentment, and in this way, he didn’t abstain from any diligence. It
is clear that such a personality, for many of those ill hearted people was unbearable. Gradually, auspicious existence of Ali (A.S.) became a scale and standard to distinguish the believers from the hypocrites. Abu Saeed Khodri says: We, the group of Ansar, knew from their anger and bad willing toward Ali (A.S.).
With taking such a personality into account, the Prophet knew that, introducing Ali (A.S.) as his successor would not be free from opposition. Therefore, the idle talk of some of his opposes and a rival was understood. They stated the youth of Ali (A.S.) as an excuse to keep him away from the scene of leadership.
It cannot be left unsaid that, the Prophet (S.A.W.A) in order to the Islamic values stronger and to do away with a culture remaining from the ignorant
constitution, appointed worthy young’s to high positions at times, which of course, in many circumstances opposing reactions were made. For example, in the last days of the Prophet’s life, he ordered the Muslims to gaher under the
flag of Osameh Ibne Zaid and move towards Tabook. But many people infracted and made the excuse that he was too young. The Prophet (S.A.W.A.) cursed them, and even though he was ailing, he came to the Mosque and after praising
God he said:
People, be aware! I am worried about delay in movement of the army of Osameh, it seems that the command of Osameh is unacceptable to a group of you and you have started to criticize, but your critic is not new. You also
criticized his father’s command. I swear by God, his father was worthy to this position, and his son is worthy too. (Taken from summits of the History of Prophet of Islam).
In the event of Tabook war, the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) appointed Ali in Medina in his place. He himself left with the army for Tabook. The hypocrites, who saw Ali (A.S.) in the town, as a barrier for their plans, complained and spread a
romour that the Prophet has kept Ali in the city, like women and children. When Ali (A.S.) reported this romour to the Prophet (S.A.W.A.), he after consoling Ali, sent him back to Medina, addressing to him, he said:
.« يﺪﻌﺑ ﱯﻧ ﻪﻧا ﻻا ﻲﺳﻮﻣ ﻦﻣ نورﺎه ﻪﻟﺰﻨﲟ ﲏﻣ ﺖﻧا »
“You are for me as Haroun for his brother Moses (p.b.u.h.) only with one difference, after me there will be no other prophet”.
It is clear that when in the Prophet Lifetime, there were always collusions against his designations, especially the succession of Ali (A.S.), so the amount of opposition caused by appointing Ali (A.S.) as his permanent successor would have been more. This was a truth that made Prophet upset and caused him doubtful to announce God’s message till God promised to support defend him.
He made it a duty to Prophet to proclaim His message without delay; otherwise, His prophecy would have been uncompleted.
C – What is the true meaning of “Mowla” in the Ghadir tradition?
One thing that has been an issue between the Shiite and Sunni scholars for a long time is the discussion on the meaning of the word “Mowla”. According to the Shiites, the word Mowla in the tradition is nothing but prior to possession and leadership, while according to the Sunni writers it means aid and friend.
The writer of Al Menar exegesis declared: according to the Sunni belief, the Ghadir e Khom tradition does not express the dominance which is conveyed in the word caliphate or leadership, as this word, with this meaning, is not in the
Quran. The intention of “Velayat” in this tradition is assistance and friendship, which God with this interpretation used about the believers and unbelievers. Therefore the meaning of this tradition will be: “Whoever I am his friend and
assistant, Ali (A.S.) is also his friend and assistant”, or “whoever likes me and assists me, should also like Ali (A.S.) and assist him”. (Al Menar exegesis
On criticizing this opinion, it is said: the word “Mowla” is used with several meanings in Arabic language, among them are, friend, assistant, sir, master, owner, one who has promised guardian and the foremost in possession. In cases where one word is used with several meanings, according to the common norms of literature, the outer and inner context of the word or sentence will specify the true meaning of that word. Taking note of these indications existing in the Ghadir tradition, the word “Mowla” cannot be interpreted into anything other than supervisor and leader. The number of these indications were used in the Holy Quran are many. The deceased Allameh Amini, in his book Al Ghadir, counted up to twenty senses of the different contexts (Al Ghadir, 2/339-
364 titled Garayen Ma Aniyeh.) Here we will point to the important indications:
1- On the contrary to the opinion of the writer of Al Menar, not only the word
“Mowla” is used as prior, but also it is used in this meaning in the Holy Quran. Verse 15, chapter Hadid (The Iron), is the testimony on this issue, which says:
ﻢﻜﻳوﺄﻣ اوﺮﻔآ ﻦﻳﺬﻟا ﻦﻣ ﻻ و ﻪﻳﺪﻓ ﻢﻜﻨﻣ ﺬﺧﺆﻳ ﻻ مﻮﻴﻟﺎﻓ »
.«ﲑﺼﳌا ﺲﺌﺑ و ﻢﻜﻴﻟﻮﻣ ﻲه رﺎﻨﻟا
“So today randsom shall not be accepted from you nor from those who disbelieve, your abode is the fire and fire (hell) is your prior and most suitable place, and evil is the resort”.
As you see the word “Mowla” in this verse cannot be understood as friend
and assistant, but in the meaning of prior and more worthy. A great number of
exegesists know this to be the meaning of the word “Mowla” in this verse. (Look at Al Ghadir 2/297-301).
2- The subject of friendship of Ali by the believers and vice versa is not a subject that needed to be emphasized or mentioned. The noble Quran says:
.« ﺾﻌﺑ ءﺎﻴﻟوا ﻢﻬﻀﻌﺑ تﺎﻨﻣﺆﻣﺎﺗ و نﻮﻨﻣﺆﳌا و »
“Men and women who believe, some of them to the others are aids and friends”.
It specifies much more than this, “Verily the believers are brothers”. (Quran,
Taking these truths into account, what does it mean that the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) brings huge caravan of his followers in a scorching hot desert, just to announce a message on Ali’s (A.S.) friendship?!
3 – Before introducing Ali (A.S.) as the leader of believers, the esteemed messenger of God first addressed the people, “Am I not more competent to
decide about you, than yourself?”
After the people confessed that the Prophet (S.A.W.A.) was more competent than any of them he said:
.« ﻩﻻﻮﻣ ﻲﻠﻋ اﺬﻬﻓ ﻩﻻﻮﻣ ﺖﻨآ ﻦﻣ »
“ To whom that I am a master and leader, that Ali is his master and leader”.
As said by Allameh Amini, most of the scholars who narrated this tradition
agree the tradition starts with this forward: “Am I not more competent …”
Taking this sentence of the Prophet into account “Mowla” will have no other meaning than prior and more competent in possession, as the speech of the Prophet views certain options that, “God determined for His messenger”.
4 – The people congratulating Ali on this historical event, especially Omar and Abu Bakr, show that the Ghadir issue was just appointment of Ali (A.S.) as the caliphate. Acknowledgment of his friendship was not so important that all the
Muslims gather to congratulate him. As shown in historical narratives, Omar visited Ali (A.S.) and said: “May this be pleasant to you, O son of Abu Taleb! You are now not only my leader but the leader of every believer, man or
woman”. It is said that Abu Bakr also expressed similar compliments.
5- Another witness to this issue are the poems recited on this matter, which show that the poets had no idea of the word “Mowla” other than leadership and sovereighty. In a poem from Hassan Bin Sabet, you see:
“The Prophet addressed Ali (A.S.) to stand up!
As I have chosen you to be the leader and guide of people after me.
Apart from the poems, there are also other traditions from some of the companions of Prophet (S.A.W.A.) who emphasized this matter. “After revealing these verses on the Ghadir e Khom event Ali (A.S.) was recognized as leader and commander of the believers”.
Siyouti narrates from Ebne Masood that he said: We at the time of the
Prophet (S.A.W.A.) recited the Tabliq verse like this: “O Prophet; deliver what has been revealed to you from your God – that Ali is the Master and Leader of the believers – and if you do not do it, then you have not delivered His message”.
In this tradition the phrase that “Ali is the Master and Leader of the believers”, has been an explanation by Ibne Masood about the divine revelation and nothing of the verse has been omitted.
6- After the event of Ghadir e Khom the verse “Today, I have perfected for you,
your religion, and completed My Mercy to you, and chosen for you Islam as a religion”, was revealed, and this issue is another indication which in the tradition of Ghadir, the word “Mowla” has no other meaning than leader and superior. Since, completion of religion depends on the situation of leadership of the society after the passing away of the Prophets (S.A.W.A.). And announcing friendship with Ali, with all the values of this act has no relation with completion of God’s religion. Therefore, the Prophet (S.A.W.A.), after revealing this verse, quoted the completion of religion(Alam al Vara 1/263, Majma al Bayan exegesis 3/264).
This sentence shows that the leadership of Ali (A.S.) was planned all through the prophet hood of the messenger of Islam (S.A.W.A.) and this is an emphasis on the meaning of leadership in the word “velayat”.