Letters for Alpha
Written by: Seyed Mustafa Mousavi Garmaroudi
Introduction and Translation:
Dr. Fatemeh Mojtahedi
Naba Cultural Organization
Mousavi Garmaroudi, Mustafa موسوي گرمارودي، مصطفي، 1333 – [ نامه هايي براي الفبا. انگليسي]
(لترز فور آلفا)
Letters for Alpha / Written by Mustafa Mousavi
Gsrmaroudi; introduction and translation Fatemeh Mojtahedi
تهران: نباء 1385 – 2006 م.
ISBN : 964 – 8323 – 46 – 1 52 ص.
فهرست نويسي بر اساس اطلاعات فيپا.
1. داستانهاي مذهبي – قرن 14 . 2. غدير خم – داستان 3. علي بن ابي طالب (ع). امام اول، 23 قبل از هجرت – 40 ق. – اثبات خلافت. الف. مجتهدي فاطمه ،
، مترجم. ب. Mojtahedi, fatemeh
ج. عنوان: نامه هايي براي الفا. انگليسي.Leaters for Alpha :عنوان
168 / 297BP204952 ن 8 م /
كتابخانه ملي ايران 13626 – 85 م
Letters for Alpha
Author: Seyed Mustafa Mousavi Garmarudi
Introduction and translation:
Dr. Fatemeh Mojtahedi
No. of Copies: 2000 / First Edition: 2006
Publisher: Naba Cultural Organization
Address: P. O. Box: 13185- 567 Tehran, Iran
ISBN: 964 – 8323 – 46 – 1
The events of Ghadir Khum from recognition of (Imamat), the executor of the will and successor of seal of the prophets, Muhammad (p.b.u.h.) being declared as Imam Ali (a.s.) was a turning point in the history of Islam. The command was “If thou didst it not, thou wouldst not have fulfilled and proclaimed thy mission.”
On that .historical day the multitude gathered and a quick pulpit was erected. The prayers were performed in congregation, after which the prophet climbed up the pulpit. Then the Prophet began his most eloquent Khutbah. “All praise belongs to Allah. In Him do I put my faith and from Him do I crave support. In Him do I trust and His protection (do I) seek against the malice of our souls and the evils of our deeds. The misguided have no guide except Him, and those who are guided by Him can never go astray. I bear witness that there is no one worthy of worship except Him I and that I, Mohammed, am His slave and messenger.”
The Caravan returning from Hajjatul-Widda (The last pilgrimage of the prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h.) was halted unexpectedly. The Jibrael (Gabriel) had come with the message from Allah: “O Prophet! Deliver what has been revealed to you from your God, and if you do not, then you have not delivered His message. Allah will protect you from the people.”
The place where the Muslims had stopped was Ghadir Khum. The prophet delivered a sermon appointed Imam Ali as his Successor. His words were: “O Muslims! Who is more worthy (in the eyes of) the believers than their ownselves?”
The audience replied: “Allah and His Messenger know better.”
Hearing this, the prophet declared: “I am the Master (Mawla) of the faithful and I have rights over them even more than what they have over themselves. Therefore, “whomever I am the Mawla, (this) Ali is his Mawla.”
Among the first to congratulate Imam Ali was Umar Khattab who said: “Excellent! How fortunate you are O Abul Hassan! Now you have become my master, as well as, of all the Muslims.”
This all happened 1,400 years ago. But alas! The events following the death of the Prophet took a different turn and Imam Ali was by-passed as the Mawla or the Leader of the Muslims.
Prophet asked the multitude if they would also witness that ‘Allah is One, the Resurrection and Judgment, Heaven and Hell, and the Life Hereafter are all certainties. The prophet continued: “I have been commanded to tell you that I will be taken away from your midst, but I leave with you my legacy (for the whole Ummah) 2 most important things, namely, the Book of Allah (The Qur’an) and my descendants, (the Ahl-al-Bayt). Never shall they be separated from one another, and so long as you adhere to both of them, you will never be led astray after me.
Therefore, “O People! This is my last will and testament unto you that you should always remain faithful to the Qur’an and the Ahl-al-Bayt as true Muslims until death. Do not lag too far behind them and do not walk ahead of them, for either way you will go astray. But follow them, walk in their footsteps, and they will guide you along the straight path (Sirat ul- Mustaqim).”
The Prophet asked the multitude if he was not more worthy of their obedience than their own souls. They replied: ” Yes, verily, yes, O Prophet of Allah.” “The Prophet then lifted Imam Ali and showing Him to all sides he said; “Whomever I am the Mawla, (this) Ali is his Mawla.”
“Man Kuntu Mawla fa hadha Aliun Mawla.”
He truly and faithfully delivered the message. Then, the Prophet said another important statement: “Should those who are present here convey to those who are absent.” In this Khutba, a clear chart of our ‘Usul’ (principles) and also a clear path for humanity to follow to the end of the term of the human cycle is found. The Prophet asked the multitude in this Khutba to witness the Oneness of Allah (Tawhid). Then he told them they will be accountable to Allah (Adalah). Then he asked them I he was not the messenger of Allah (Nabuwwah). Then the Prophet proclaimed Imam Ali as the Mawla of all (Imama). Then he asked them to witness that the Resurrection, Judgement, Heaven and Hell, and Life hereafter are undoubted certainties (Qiyamah).
Lastly he asked the multitude to proclaim this Message to all. This holds good for Muslims in all generations because the Qur’an calls the Muslims “Khayr-ul-Ummah”, that is, the best nation, because Muslims are the holders of the truth and they should guide mankind towards Salvation as there will be no more Prophets, but we have the Qur’an and the Ahl-ul-Bayt. With these two valuable things we can balance ourselves perfectly. We are the Ummah of the Prophet whom Allah described as the Rahmatun-lil-Alamin (Mercy to the Worlds)
With this brief introduction which describes Ghadir in a nutshell, I proceed to the main text which explains all the happenings related to that historical day, and its significance in a simple yet informative story form, for the enlightenment of the masses all over the world.
LETTERS FOR ALPHA
I said: You are mistaken. This is not the pungent sour sea, but in the span of hundreds of years whomsoever has mourned and wept for Hazrat Ali (a.s.) each drop of their tear has fallen into this water.
See, the clarity of the water which is scintillating and pure as the tears of the eye… Then ………….
In The Name of Allah the Merciful1 the Beneficent
I took a glance from the window towards the school playground. I could see a couple of tall pine trees where the storks had made a nest. The trunk of the tree resembled co-co brown pillars, high above which stems with sharp needle like leaves were gently flowing with the wind. There were no storks to be seen in any of the nests. The winter season had arrived and the storks hence migrated. They were nowhere to be seen.
A couple of students were seen playing with a plastic ball in the playground. I felt too weak to join them and to play with them. The chilly air and cold wind and the nonstop running and playing had turned their cheeks rosy red. The Headmaster said:
How are you coping with loneliness?
Loneliness is nothing great to deal with; in any case it is a passing phase.
Later on, once again I glanced through the window towards the playground; where Alpha was hurriedly passing through to reach the academic section office. He was a fine boy. His tall height was the reason why he sat in the last row of the class.
Because of the stammering at the initial stages of pronunciation of any word the other children named him “Alpha” (implying that who stutters).
The Headmaster glanced from above his glasses.
When are you going to speak properly?
Alpha turned red with shame.
I…….it is not my f……..fault.
The winter rain commenced to pour suddenly off season. I was waiting for snow to fall, but contrary to my expectation, it started to rain. The children who were playing outside in the playground ran inside the classroom. The echo of the lighting was like that of a bomb blast, it shook the windows. Alpha said: H……Here you are; and kept a relatively large envelope on my desktop.
I replied; thank you.
At noon everyone left the school. The Headmaster insisted to take me to his house for lunch. I said; I am more comfortable here.
I sat on the chair and listened to the pitter-patter of the rain, I wish I could be like that for hours. (In my own shell) I felt years had passed by from the time that my son and my wife had left.
The school servant boy entered with a cup of tea in his hand. I sent him to buy lunch for me. I opened the envelope that Alpha had given to me. It contained letters which had been stapled to each other I started reading the letters.
My Dear Friend!
Hello. I am writing this letter from a hospital. Your first letter reached me exactly a week ago. BibiJaan (Mother Darling) had brought it along with her. So nice of you to write me a letter. Now you can post your letters to this (hospital) address; of course that is until I am hospitalized over here. Bibijaan believes I’ll recover very soon; nevertheless, since the day I was admitted to this hospital I have had three giddy spells; leading to loss of consciousness. I think Bibijaan wants to console me.
Now she’s sitting next to my bed, busy knitting me a woolen sweater. The hospital has a large compound and snow has given an even white look to everything visible outside. I wanted to feed the small sparrows outside my window, but the nurse took my food away and said: “No one in his right mind gives the expensive rice to the birds!
Bibijaan promised to buy some cheap pigeon food. I hope till then the sparrows wouldn’t die of hunger and cold frost.
By the way, what’s the latest news on the School front? I’m really missing the teachers and my other classmates. Give my regards to all. If I return to school once again, I’ll ask the principle to change your seat from the back to the middle row of the classroom. After all, they don’t know that you are sighted (poor vision), and you feel ashamed to tell them so. Bibijaan sends her regards to you and adds:
Shame and Modesty are good qualities but not being shy.
I think I have to close for now. Send the reply to my letter as soon as you can.
Good bye for now.
* * * *
The lunch that the maid had kept for me on the table, became cold. I had no appetite. Loneliness was eating into me like chilly air. I got up and increased the temperature of the heater in the office; and hence began to read:
My Dear Alpha hi (Salam)!
I received the reply to your letter much sooner than I had anticipated. The nurse had come to inject me, it is painless, but I closed my eyes out of fear. She smiled and said: If you don’t get scared, I’ll give you a lovely gift. Then she handed over your letter to me. You had written about your plans to celebrate Eid¬-ul- Ghadir (Festival of Ghadir) in school. You are so fortunate to be able to go around and do shopping for the school. I wish I could be amongst you and to be with you and to pin up on the notice board “CONGRATULATIONS! HAPPY EID-¬UL- GHADIR”.
This would look great in the main hall of the school. I suggest you design a news bulletin board and name it “Eid -e- Ghadir at our home “. Before I forget, let me tell you that Bibijaan kept her promise and did buy the bird seeds for the birds. You should now come and see for yourself. Many of these sparrows, along with a couple of pigeons, gather around my window.
When the nurse enters the room, they collectively fly away. Bibijaan says: “They are afraid; the nurse might even inject them too.” The unity in their flying together reminds one of the Divine angels of the heavenly bodies in the sky. The nurse adds with her sweet Turkish accent: “I say… you’re making friends.”
I wish I too could fly with my friends. If I had feathers and wings, where do you think you I’d fly first? You can send a reply to this in your next letter to me. I’m not able to continue for more.
So good bye for now.
Bibijaan sends her regards!
* * * *
The heater had made the office room warm enough. A few big black crows were crowing away on the pine trees in the school yard. The servant came to clear the table and said: “It is a saying that the crowing of the crows indicates a good omen. God willingly good news awaits you” I could barely smile at him as a gesture. Little does this old man know of what is going on within my heart. It is as though the burden of a world of sorrow has been laid on my shoulders. The servant went away and I read on.
My Friend Hello (Salam),
You had written, “If I had feathers like the sparrows, I could fly directly from the hospital to home and to our school.” Of course, you had guessed correctly. For anyone his home and school are the best places. But if I could fly, my first destination would be “Mecca”, to view the “Ka’aba” (House of God). The reflection of Ka’ba in my eyes has always been like an attractive mirror. After Mecca, I would proceed to “Medina” where I would sit near the edge of the green tomb in the Mosque of the Prophet Mohammed (p.b.u.h.) and I would look towards the grave yard (Jannat-ul-Baqi). Then I would go towards a place where I had repeatedly dreamt. Near a pond of crystal clear water (not a “Mirage” of course), in the heart of a dry burning desert, a place that is named Ghadir-e-Khum.
By the way, the occasion of Eid -e-Ghadir is not far away. Did you design the news bulletin with our classmates to be hung on the wall. Have the students decorated the school with colored paper yet? If possible, compose an anthem to be recited on the day that the festival is to be celebrated. After all this is the biggest and most important festival of the Muslim community; of cource, if they have the privilege of being aware of this very fact.
Bibijaan says: God willingly you should recover till Eid-ul-Ghadir, so that you could accompany your friends and participate in the occasion of its celebration. May God Grant her wishes. But I doubt that I will recover so soon.
Yesterday they shaved my hair. After seeing myself in the mirror, I couldn’t help laughing. Perhaps if you see me, you would not be able to recognize me. I resemble a forty year old man.
Bibijaan was weeping and didn’t want to see me crying. Every time she leaves the room and comes in again, her eyes are red and swollen.
The nurse is saying: It is time to sleep; the lights will be switched off in a couple of minutes. Give my regards to others.
* * * *
I got tired of sitting in the chair. I paced up and down in the office room for some time. The peaceful silence of the school atmosphere would at times be broken by the noise of the labors working behind its walls. The rain had stopped pouring and the crows had flown away from the pine trees. I found a big piece of cardboard and sat on it. While resting against the wall, I began to read:
Hello (Salam) my very good friend!
I have a minor complaint. This time your letter reached late. If you were in my place, you would realize how difficult it is to be kept waiting. All these days, I’ve been shuttled from one room to another. I feel sick when I hear the word “Medical Investigation” and “Medical Tests It. Once, they put me on a bed and sent me in a tunnel made of steel. It was a strange apparatus and I felt asleep right there. I may have also fallen unconscious, but when I opened my eyes, I was in my own room. Bibijaan was next to me reciting the Holy Qur’an.
The lady nurse brought me a cup of coffee with some chocolates. By the way, don’t forget to purchase some chocolates for the Ghadir celebrations. I’m so happy to hear that you have formed a group to recite the anthem. I hope to return to my home town next week. You had asked me the meaning of the word “Ghadir” and “what took place in Ghadir?” in your letter. You really don’t know? Or are you pulling my leg? Or did you just want to write me a lengthy letter? I was only joking! I know that you didn’t intend to be talkative.
Ghadir means “a pit or a lake or a pond in which water has accumulated”. Nearby Mecca, there is a place full of such ponds and pits. When it rains or a flood hits these pits, they are filled with water. The Arabs kept a name for all these pits or Cisterns (Ghadirs), the most famous of all is known as “Ghadir-e-Khum” the very place where I would love to fly to. By the way, the sparrows still gather in front of my window. There is no trace of snow left in the hospital compound. Yet the sparrows have got used to being fed by Bibijaan.
The nurse has brought my lunch. One should have lunch at a specific time over here, just like the medication and the injectables that they bring over here.
So, till the next letter, Good bye. Don’t forget to buy chocolates for Eid-ul-Ghadir (the festival of Ghadir).
* * * *
It had become dark and the peon of the school brought tea for me. He knew that I was going to be alone in the coming couple of days.
He said: You seem quite exhausted and tired?
I replied: It’s nothing to worry.
The telephone rang. It was my wife. She wanted to know whether I would be staying over night at the school. I replied: the house telephone has been disconnected, that’s the reason why I’m staying over at the school. She told me about all the places that she had gone to, and all what she’s been doing plus the people she had come across. All this while, in spite of listening to her, I couldn’t take my mind off. Suddenly I could hear her crying over the phone, only then I realized she’s unwell.
The school peon was standing near me and over hearing my telephone conversation, he must have been wondering what is going on. But my replies were abrupt and short, and he couldn’t make out anything from them.
When my conversation ended, he said: “God willingly, all is well.”
I replied: Very much so.
He said no more and left. As I sipped my tea, I resumed reading the letter:
Hello (Salam)! Accept my greetings and blessings which are as pure as the water in the Ghadir- pond.
I have an interesting matter that I want to share with you. The night before last, I dreamt that we have both gone to the sea shore. As far as the eyes could see there was nothing but water, waves and crystal clear sea. We were running alongside the beach and with each surge of the waves of the sea the wet sand would dig into our feet. I told you this is the Ghadir Lake. You stood there in utmost astonishment, and said: Ghadir is not so vast but a mere tiny pond with five thorny bush surrounding it.
I laughed. The echo of my laughter disappeared into the roaring sea; I added this place is Ghadir, because all the pure, clear waters of the world have ended their journey by pouring into “Ghadir-e-Khum”. This is why the water of the sea is not salty. You took a handful of water and began to sip, then you said: it is little salty,of course not much.
I replied: You are mistaken! The salty taste is not of the sea but since hundreds of years every person that has wept for Hazrat Ali (a.s.) his tears have dropped into this water. Just take a close look at the water and see; it is as clear and pure as the tear drops of the eyes!
I then woke up. Bibijaan was praying and weeping. The nurse told her: God willingly he will recover.
Bibijaan replied: Whatsoever be the Command of God Almighty for him.
The lady nurse got me a keychain with a replica portrait of H.Ali (AS) printed on both sides. The same imaginary portrait which is related to him. No doubt it is awesome. J hung the keychain on the edge of my bed so that it would always be facing me.
In your previous letter you had asked me to explain about the happenings in Ghadir-e-Khum. If you want to know the chain of events you should close your eyes and imagine yourself along with the Prophet of God, Mohammed (p.b.u.h.), in the tenth year reckoned from “HIJRA” (migration of Prophet from Mecca to Medina), the year in which our beloved Prophet sent Messengers to cities far and nearby, directing the people to come to Mecca that same year.
The holy period of performing pilgrimage in Mecca (Hajj) had approached. The people had begun to proceed towards the “Holy Ka’ba” to pay their homage.
The people’s enthusiasm for performing the rituals of Hajj was more than ever, because the Prophet of God (p.b.u.h.) had announced that this would be his last Hajj. Therefore, all wanted to participate in the final Hajj of their Prophet.
More than 70,000 people accompanied him from Medina towards Mecca…….
Bibijaan had finished offering her prayers. Now, she would come and take away my pen and paper. The doctor had said: “Walk and talk less!”
Since then, Bibijaan was concerned that I might exert myself and get exhausted. She only tells me to eat and sleep!
Of course, I don’t have energy to write any further, either. I feel heaviness in my hands, feet, and head as well.
So Goodbye for now!
* * * *
The school office door was opened and in came an employee wearing an orange outfit. He was from the Electricity Department. They were installing electric poles behind the school premises. He greeted me and said: The branches of the pine trees are coming in the way of the electric wires …… He seeked permission to cut those branches.
I told him that I’m not the principal of the school; hence he’ll have to return tomorrow to meet the correct authority.
The school peon was worried about the nests of the storks and said: If they chop off and break those branches, the nests are going to get destroyed.
It started raining once again. I could hear the raindrops as they fell on the carpet, covering the school grounds. I recalled my son, “When the sky is depressed the clouds begin to weep.”
I gave the card board which I had been sitting on to the peon. He had brought a mat from his house for me to sit on. I could now stretch my legs. I held Alpha’s letters in my hands and began to read:
My Dear Alpha!
I am thankful for the gift that you sent along with your letter. It was exactly what I desired to have beside me over here. A good book is like a good friend; it converses with you and teaches you many things that you may not know. Everyone relished the chocolate too, because I shared it with Bibijaan, the nurse and the maid.
Most probably you must have purchased the same quality of chocolate for the occasion of Ghadir Celebration as well! Excellent choice!
But I was wondering, who had sponsored it?
The principal, the teachers, or the students?
I suppose all had their share accordingly in carrying out the celebration. In any case I am thankful to you and would like to continue to write the remainder of the events and story of “Ghadir-e-Khum”.
As I stated, our beloved Prophet (p.b.u.h.) along with 70,000 followers reached the city of Mecca. Ali (a.s.) also entered Mecca via Yemen along with 12,000 followers. Our Imam Ali (a.s.) in accordance with the orders executed by the Prophet (p.b.u.h.) had gone on a mission to Yemen and Najran. The Prophet (p.b.u.h.), through a letter, had sent word to him to head towards Mecca. All the Muslims, who had assembled in Mecca in the Holy period of Hajj, performed the rituals specific of Hajj (Manasek) along with the Prophet of God (p.b.u.h.) and then proceeded towards the deserts (Mana) and (Mash’ar) and (Arafāt).
Now do you really think that all those who accompanied the last Messenger of the Almighty God and along side, Ali, had the true faith in God and His Messenger (p.b.u.h.)?
No doubt, it goes without saying that the enemies of the prophet could no longer reveal their blasphemy like the Non-believers of Quraish; hence it was natural for them to pray along with the true Muslims, and claim to be pious and God fearing behind a real robe of utter hypocrisy and deception!
I ask the doctor who was treating me: How many people accompanied the Prophet in his Last Journey to perform the holy Hajj?
He replied: It is recorded as more than 120,000 in authentic books.
To think of it rationally and sensibly it should be correct, as everyone knew that this is going to be the last pilgrimage journey of the Prophet of God (p.b.u.h.) and for this very reason, people from different cities and tribes, far and near, hurried towards Mecca to have one last chance to meet and see their beloved Prophet.
I’ll write the remaining part of the events and incidents that took place later. They want to prepare me for the Operation Theatre; so till the next letter, Goodbye!
* * * *
I offered the evening prayer in the school office room .The peon came and lovingly took me to his house. His house consists of 2 rooms, side by side, next to last classroom in the school. It is tiny, but neat and clean.
His wife trembled while walking like a drenched chicken. The old woman was suffering from Tremors (shaking palsy), inspite of this, she first poured tea for me, and then laid out dinner at the table. The peon was engrossed in a hot topic on the days of his youth, where he rode on the back of a horse in the fields of Fariman and watched hundreds of sheep closely like a shepherd. Once he had walked all the way from his village to Mashed for the pilgrimage of Imam Reza (a.s.), and to deliver a sack full of money to the owner! Maybe by narrating all this he wanted to console me and bring me out of my depression.
After dinner with the excuse of wanting to sleep, I retired only to resume reading the letters: – It read…
Have you ever been under anesthesia? I hope you never fall unconscious in this manner, if this was a good condition, people would never praise intelligence and witty consciousness.
Of course this unconsciousness is very different to that slow witted dullness. Before the nurse took me to the Operation Theater, she injected me with some ampoule, then she began to count one …… two …. three ….. four ……. After which I could hear no more. It was as if I had entered a dark tunnel which was eternal and never ending.
Everything faded away and sank in darkness and a state of total oblivion. When I opened my eyes, Bibijaan was standing in front of me and praying for me. I was not allowed to move from the bed for four days. Now, I feel much better. The moment I could sit up on the bed, they handed over your letter to me. The doctor wanted to test my visual ability. He asked me to read the letter out aloud and so I did. You had written that along with other students you had all celebrated the festival of “Ghadir” and the principal had given a speech on this occasion. It would have been so good and so much advisable for parents and every teacher to narrate in detail the events which took place on the eve and the day of (Eid-ul-Ghadir), to their respective children and students.
Of course many scholars have written books on this matte. The most famous of which is the book “Al Ghadir”.
“Al Ghadir” is written by “Allameh Amini”, who is one of the greatest and distinct scholars of Islam, and it goes without saying that over the past 1400 years the elders have narrated to the youngsters what Eid-ul-Ghadir is all about, and what the Prophet of God (p.b.u.h.) has accomplished on that day, and what speech he had given. My father has repeatedly explained this important event to me. I think my father still preserved the “Al Ghadir” book in his library.
If I get discharged and return home, I will show it to you. In any case, I had narrated the events till that part, where the Prophet along with the Muslim people left for the deserts of “Mena”, “Mash’ar”, and “Arafat” from the city Mecca.
In Mena, the Messenger of God assembled the people around him and delivered a speech.
The crowd was wondering if that is the last journey of the Prophet, then who will be the successor after Him? The Messenger of Allah (p.b.u.h.) stressed on this very matter, in the desert of Mena, amidst his speech. In the end he announced: “O’ my followers, I leave after me two precious depositions. If you follow and obey these two you will never be misled and astray. These are the holy Book (Qur’an, the script of God), and my Progeny.”
When the Messenger of God expressed those words everyone present understood that the Prophet by his Progeny meant; the leadership of Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and his immaculate descendents after him; and insisted that people should obey and follow Ali and descendents of his family thereafter.
That divine and eloquent speech provoked and rekindled the secret animosity like wild fire in the hearts of the enemies of the Prophet, who pretended to be followers and friends!
I will continue with the remaining part of this story later. The nurse has come to take me for an outing in the hospital compound.
Give my regards to all. Good bye!
* * * *
I wanted to go to bed, but my sleep flew from my eyes like a passerine bird, and I was wide awake. Anxiety was suffocating me. My wife had cried bitterly over the phone. It must have been a sentimental issue. She had said that all our relatives, family members, and friends had come to help, but no one could be of any use.
The moments went by slow and burdensome. Near the call to prayers (Azān) of the early morning fell asleep. I dreamt that I was sitting beside a pool of water with my son. It was the same pond as I had read in Alpha’s letter.
Five trees full of branches and leaves, and a slab of stone from beneath which water was pouring out. My son dipped his arm till his elbows into the water and was playing. I was busy reading Alpha’s letter.
He snatched the letter from me and threw it in the pool of water (Pond). The letter sank like a heavy stone. He laughed and said: “Only the pure, clear waters understand these words.” And he added with a pause: “Or the hearts that is as pure and clear as water!”
I woke up with a start. The envelopes and letters were beside me. I took a sigh of relief. It would have been a shame if they were misplaced and lost. I got up and poured some tea for myself. I had a bitter taste in my mouth. I read:
My Good Friend Hello (Salam)!
I am not feeling well at all. I have a burning fever since yesterday; contrary to the days immediately after my operation when I was feeling much better; I feel sinking and slowly collapsing. In any case I want to finish writing and narrating the story of “Ghadir” for you.
I had told you that the Messenger of God (p.b.u.h.) had gone to “Mena” along with his followers and there he had delivered a speech for them and directed them to obey the holy Qur’an, and His Progeny- “Hazrat Ali (a.s.) and his immaculate descendents.”
The Prophet stayed over in the desert of “Mena” for 3 days. On the third day he instructed all the pilgrims to assemble in the “Kuif Mosque “. In this speech he once again directed all to obey and follow the holy Qur’an and his magnanimous Progeny. In fact with these two speeches in “Mena” he paved the way for performing the “Ghadir-e-Khum ceremonies” and traditions.
Thereafter, they went from “Mena” to “Mash’ar”, from there to “Arafāt”, and then returned to Mecca.
After completion of the “Ceremonies of Hajj”, The Prophet (p.b.u.h.), contrary to what the people expected, instead of staying a few days in Mecca immediately proceeded towards Medina and took many halts on the way to “Ghadir-e-Khum”, which finally they arrived at.
Unexpectedly, the Divine revelation descended through the angel “Gabriel” to the Messenger of God (p.b.u.h.).
“God Almighty has directed: O’ Prophet! You shall reveal all that has been descended to you from the God, to mankind and in the event that you do not do so, your Prophetic mission would be incomplete. God Almighty will protect you from the evil. “
The divine command had descended to declare a very important matter.
Therefore, the holy messenger reached beside “Ghadir” and stayed over there for three days. On the first day from morning till noon he awaited those who were coming from Mecca to Medina, and sent messengers to the ones who were ahead to return. More than 120,000 people gathered around “Ghadir-e-Khum”.
My dear friend! Please allow me to continue in the next letter. Of course, if I have the power and the ability to pick up the pen and to write. Today I came to know that everyone has lost hope in my ability to regain health and full recovery.
It looks like very soon, I’ll be flying like a bird onto the wings of eternity. May God bless you!
Remember me in the Celebrations of “Ghadir” in the coming year.
* * * *
The worker slowly opened the door of my room. He thought that I was overslept. A few minutes had passed from the morning Azan (call for prayer). The moment he saw me, he said:
O’ Sir, are you still awake? Are you crying? I wiped my tears and said:
No, ….. No, …… sometimes tears overflow unknowingly from the eyes. Then I added with a smile:
Of course, that phrase was quoted by a poet.
After the morning prayer, I came out of the room. Outside, it was neither very dark nor light; it was just dim. The rainfall from yesterday and the night before had left the pine tree trunks and the surface of the floor and the school compound absolutely wet. The half moon was shining high above the sky .There was a cold breeze in the air outside .I sat at my table and continued to read the letter:
My Dear Alpha!
I hope you are enjoying good health. I have become like the spring season, sometimes sunny otherwise cloudy! One hour I feel well and the other, unwell. My nurse says: Eat what you like! There is no food restriction any more!
I really don’t know whether I’ll see the sun tomorrow or not. Bibijaan’s eyes are bloodshot.
Nowadays, she is praying for my health and observing her daily prayers most of the time. She is rarely beside me.
I had told you that never I’ll be flying away from this world, like a bird, so before I do so I want to finish narrating the real story of “Ghadir-e-Khum” for you.
The Prophet of God stopped in “Ghadir-e-Khum” for three days. The weather was hot and the ground was burning like fire. The people, just like the Prophet had pulled part of their clothes under their feet and partly above their head to shield themselves from the heat. Some people wanted to gather under the 5 “Samor” trees, to make use of the shade and cool air under the branches and leaves of those trees; but the Messenger of God said that no one had the right to sit under the shade of the trees.
Then he directed his loyal companions “Abuzar”, “Meghdad”, and “Ammar-e-¬Yasser” to clean the underneath surface of the trees and make a pulpit from stone and the saddles of the camels.
The command of the Prophet was obeyed.
The Prophet offered the collective prayers of noon and afternoon. Then he climbed up the stairs of the Pulpit and stood on its highest point. Now everyone could see him clearly. Some people amongst the crowd that were sitting on the ground, stood up to repeat the words of the Prophet for others.
The Prophet after praising God Almighty delivered a sermon of over three hours, the complete text or script of all the words spoken by this magnimous existence can be found in authentic books.
Of course from the inevitable fact in the God’s Revelation that stated “God will protect you from the evil of the people”, we can infer and understand that a group of people were not only against the announcement of Ali’s successorship for vicegerency, but also wanted to harm the Messenger of God for announcing so.
Therefore, one cannot consider all the people around the Prophet as true, dedicated Muslims.
Now I will write parts of the saying and speech of the Prophet of God from the book which I have.
Bibijaan has purchased that book, for me.
The messenger of God commanded in his speech:
“Oh, different groups of people…… Gabriel has descended 3 times to me and conveyed the regards of God, and said that the Almighty God has commanded: “should halt into this place (that is Ghadir -e-Khum), stand amongst you and announce to all the dark skinned and white skinned among you that Ali, son of Abu Talib, is my infallible successor and inheritor, and your religious leader after me……….
My requisition to God through Gabriel was to exempt me from the declaration of this holy Command, as I am aware that the virtuous people amongst you are, but a Few; and the hypocrites are too many If I desire I can point out these hypocrites one by one, by their names, and even point my finger towards them right now or even enlighten the masses to be able to recognize them; but I swear by God Almighty, it is my generosity that I do not disgrace them publicly…¬.
Hence, beware fellow people! Most definitely God has appointed Ali as your leader, pontiff and divine vicegerent……. those who obey his command and follow him, will be the forgiven ones and worthy of the divine salvation.
Oh People! This is the final station were I stand and address you all, so listen and obey and accept the command of your God! Most definitely God Almighty is your creator and the final authority the Mohammed (p.b.u.h.), who is standing amongst you and addressing you is your divine leader, and after him, by the command of God, Ali is your infallible Imam and spiritual pontiff. Thereafter, the divine successorship and infallible leadership of Islam is in my generation, who are the direct descendents of Ali- this is confirmed and he Sealed Command of your God- till the Day of Resurrection and Judgment.
There is no Law and nothing lawful but that of God Almighty (HALAL), and there is no unlawful and nothing forbidden but that of prohibited by God (HA RAM).
There is no knowledge but that which has been imparted to me by the God Almighty, and the same I have imparted to Ali, for it is He who is leader of the virtuous……”
I hope this lengthy letter didn’t tire you- I will write the remaining part- if possible¬ in my next letter.
By the way, the dotted marks in between the subject matter in the letter is my personal insertion, and in the dotted part there are some unsaid matter and those unwritten scripts in some parts, adds up to more than a page.
* * * *
The sun had risen, and the students were slowly entering the school. The schoolyard had become full with the students. The principal arrived and I rang the bell. I felt like going to sleep.
I could barely keep my eyes open, the lack of sleep during the previous night was getting to me. An employee of the electricity department entered. I told the principal that those people wanted to cut the branches of the pine trees. The principal said in utter astonishment: “For what purpose?”
The worker replied: Because those branches are obstructing the electrical wires.
We are installing electric poles behind the school premises.
The principal accompanied the worker to the site, to see if the cutting of the branches could be avoided. The telephone rang. I could barely hear my wife. She was crying. I was confused and very much disturbed. Then I heard her voice clearly. She said: “Just pray. Pray!”
Alpha, with the help of two of his friends, delivered a huge parcel to the school office and quickly went out. It seemed as though he wanted to avoid talking to me.
I took my seat behind my desk and resumed reading the remaining part of the letters:
Accept my greetings!
This may be my last letter to you. Of course I don’t feel any pain, yet I cannot move (from my place). Even writing a letter has become a difficult task for me. I feel my fingers are no more in my control. I want to write the final part of the Great “Ghadir” story to you. So listen carefully!
The Prophet of God (p.b.u.h.), after delivering many speeches-parts of which I have mentioned for you- instructed Ali (a.s.) to go to his side.
“Ali” stood one step behind the prophet on the Tribune. The prophet held his hand and raised it and at the same time announced to the people:
“Whomsoever I am his divine Leader, this Ali shall be his Leader.” (Remember to write this sentence in beautiful and large Calligraphy on the notice board of our school.
He then pleaded:-
Oh Almighty God! Love those who love Ali and Hate those who hate Ali. Banish from your Mercy and Blessing those who renounce his leadership, and be indignant to those who encroach on his lawful divine rights, unjustly, and unlawfully.
And, this is but a small part of the Heavenly phrases and words of the Prophet, who preached all to love, to obey, and follow Ali (a.s.) and his infallible and immaculate descendents.
In the same “Ghadir-e-Khum”, the great Prophet (p.b.u.h.) mentioned the 12th infallible Imam is Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.). He will be the last immaculate Imam appointed by God Almighty, and the fact that he will appear before the Resurrection Day by the Will of God, and he will duly punish the oppressors and the tyrants. After the completion of the speech of the Prophet all the people came forward to express their good wishes and to congratulate the Prophet and Ali (a.s.).
The noise of the people rejoicing in that desert was unbelievably loud! The Prophet ordered a pavllion to be erected for Ali, where men and women, one after the other, would enter and take “oath of allegiance” to express their loyalty and they would say to him: “Greetings to You O Commander of the Believers”. With this they would declare and swear allegiance and obedience. The historians have written that one of the initial people to take an oath of allegiance with Ali was a person known as “Umar ibn Khattab” who said: “O son of Abu Talib! May you relish and enjoy the succession of the Prophet. You are now the Guardian of all the faithful believers!”
Dear Alpha, don’t be surprised this is the same Umar who chose “Abu Bakr” as the Caliph of the people after the demise of the Prophet (p.b.u.h.).
After all those events, would anyone imagine that the Messenger of God (p.b.u.h.) would stop 120,000 people near the “Ghadir-e-Khum” (Ghadir Pond) for 3 days in the burning desert, for any purpose EXCEPT to announce the Successorship of Ali and his infallible descendents after him? And to, “proclaim them as the lawful divine Caliphs of the Muslim world after him?”
Most interestingly, after the completion of the holy words of the Prophet in “Ghadir-e- Khum”, Gabriel descended and revealed that God Almighty said:
“Today I have perfected your religion, and completed my bounty and blessing to all.”
Therefore, since the day of “Ghadir-e-Khum” the religion was completed by the announcement of the successorship of the Commander of the believers, Imam Ali (a.s.), this day has become the greatest festival that the Islamic nation celebrate.
What more should I say?
Nothing more, Good Bye!
* * * *
I put my head on the table. I felt I was breaking down, I wanted to cry. I felt somebody standing in the office near my desk. It was Alpha. He reached out to take the letters and said: I ca……. came to kn…… Know, yours s …….. son is n….. not at all w….. well, I w….. wish I c…… could see him……… once again!
Alpha’s eyes were full of tears. The telephone rang, I nearly broke down. The principal got up from his seat at once. The phone was ringing nonstop, but no one dared pick up the receiver.
It was as if we were all sinking in a marsh of fright! I mumbled: Oh God……My son!
A voice within my heart saying………. O’ God…….. I became Abject!
A worker entered the front office, with one glance he understood all that was happening. Everyone had turned pale with fear. The old man quietly said: Hope to God (for the best) and picked up the receiver.
Alpha placed all his letters in an envelope. The principal came and stood beside me. He probably wanted to console and comfort me: The worker handed over the telephone receiver to me and added: “Sir, it’s for you!”
It was Bibijaan on the line. She quickly said: Talk to your son! I could hear my son’s voice. It appeared like the humming of the stream, he said: Hello Dad!
I have something, unbelievable to tell you! I was sinking into darkness.
This time I was not unconscious, I felt the chill of death over my leg. Suddenly the portrait of Imam Ali which hung in front of my bed began to enlarge. It became very large! He looked at me with his Heavenly eyes and said: “You will always be a bird but only at heart, don’t let Bibijaan cry!”
When I regained consciousness, the doctor who was treating me bowed down on his knees (like the prostration to worship God). We will start from here (towards home) tomorrow. Yes, tomorrow. Dad……… Dad…….. Can you hear me?
I was crying loudly.
* * * *
I look through the window towards the yard of the school. The storks can be seen sitting on the tall branches of the pine trees. The gardener was watering the plants.
Some students playing volleyball with a big leatherette ball. The principal arrives and smiles.
My son is walking and talking in the school yard with Alpha. Their faces are glowing beneath the spring sunshine. Alpha is wearing the photograph which was on my son’s key chain, in a chain around his neck. On the wall opposite, above a poem which reads “Able is one who is wise and learned” they have written with big and beautiful Calligraphy: “WHOMSOEVER I AM HIS DIVINE MAWLA (LEADER), THIS Ali SHALL BE HIS MAWLA (LEADER)!”
1. Are there the five principals of Islam in Khutba of Ghadir Khum?
2. Were there 70,000 along with the prophet Mohammad (p.b.u.h.) to Mecca, for performing Last Hajj (Hajj-ul-weda)?
3. Did 12,000 muslims along with Ali reach to Mecca via Yemen?
4. Were there 120,000 followers participating in Ghadir event?
5. Is Al-Ghadir the most famous book written on Ghadir event by Allameh Amini?
6. Are the two things which never mislead the followers, the holy Qur’an and Prophet’s progeny?
7. Did the message of Ghadir-e-Khum complete the prophetic mission?
8. Is the meaning of “Mawla” Divine Leader and prophet’s successor?
9. Did the holy prophet acknowledge in Khutba of Ghadir that the 12th infallible Imam is Hazrat Mahdi (a.s.) and will reappear by will of Allah and punish the oppressors and tyrants?
10. Is the Ghadir-e-Khum, one of the biggest events in Islam, and should celebrate every year and be alive in Hole year in our life?